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Category: Faith (Page 2 of 2)

I Choose to Draw Closer to God

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Drawing Nigh to God is a Choice”)

As I continue on the path of this brand new year, I choose to draw closer to God.

Although I have been a born-again believer for a long time, I recognize that there is always more to learn and to receive from God. It would be arrogant of me to think that I have arrived! Besides, I sense an inner pulling from the Holy Spirit to DO better and to BE better. I’m not talking about being perfect because only God is perfect. I’m talking about simply doing what I know God is telling me to do.

How about you? Is God telling you to draw closer to Him? Is God requiring that you pray more? Is God expecting you to do further study in His Word? Is God dealing with you about your attitude? Is He telling you to correct your conduct? Are you treating people the way God expects you to?


Maybe you are quick-tempered, and God has told you to cast down your anger and give it to Him. However, instead of doing what He has instructed you to do, you make excuses for your behavior and continue to fly off the handle. As a result, your anger has damaged your relationships with people. Your anger has gotten you written up at work. Perhaps, your anger has even gotten you arrested. To make matters worse, your anger has dimmed your light. What do I mean? People don’t respect you as a Christian. One minute you’re giving God praise, and the next minute, you’re cussing someone out.

Whether it’s anger or something else, why do we have a difficult time relinquishing certain behaviors or attitudes? It’s comfortable! Even if it brings negative consequences, it’s still comfortable! It feels good! It’s familiar! Therefore, we have to put all our faith in God. We have to just trust God and draw even closer to Him by CHOOSING to obey Him.

Drawing nigh to God is a personal choice each of us has to make. When God created man, He created him with a free will. God instilled in each of us the ability to choose how to act or behave. In Genesis 3, although God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, He didn’t force them to obey Him. Adam and Eve knew God’s expectations. In fact, Eve informed the serpent (Satan) of God’s expectations. Nevertheless, in the end they chose to disobey God. So, like Adam and Eve had a choice, we have a choice to draw nigh to God. God desires that we come closer to Him. He even commands that we do so, but He doesn’t force our hands.

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY (Taken from Matthew 19 and Mark 10):

As Jesus was heading towards Jerusalem, a man came running up to Him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus asked the man, “Why do you call me good? Only God is truly good.” Jesus then said, “But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.”

The man responded, “Teacher, I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. He then said to him, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Since this man was very wealthy, he just left disappointed. After he left, Jesus then looked at His disciples and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!”

I believe the rich man initially approached Jesus because he sensed that he needed to DO better and BE better. However, he CHOSE his possessions over having a closer relationship with God. He CHOSE his wealth over becoming the man God called him to be. He made his CHOICE, and God didn’t force him.

I want to encourage you to draw closer than you ever have before to God, even if it means letting go of those things that give you comfort. God is speaking to you. Do you know why? He CHOSE you. Think about that! God chose YOU! It reminds me of Mary the mother of Jesus. Out of all the virgins, God chose her to carry the Savior of the world. Although a virgin being with child was unheard of, by FAITH, she accepted God’s assignment for her life.

Now, Mary could have allowed doubt and fear to take over and told God no. And what if she had rejected God’s assignment? Would that have stopped His plan? Absolutely not! God would have chosen someone else, and Mary would have missed out on a tremendous blessing.

So again, just like Mary was chosen, God has chosen you. John 15:16 says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you…” First, God chose to save you from your sins. Now He has chosen to use you to share His Good News of salvation with others.

Like the rich man, you have the choice to say no to God’s calling. But, I want you to consider something. How can you say no to such a loving, merciful, and gracious God? How can you say no to a God who believes in you more than you believe in yourself? How can you say no to a God who loves you more than anyone? How can you say no to a God who gives you life every day? How can you say no to a God who is willing to forgive you of your sins, to heal you, and to deliver you?

Think about THIS! You’re where you are because somebody, somewhere said YES to God on your behalf. That person said YES to praying for you when you were sick. Another person said YES to blessing you when you were in need. A few said YES to encouraging you when you needed it the most.

So, again I encourage you, starting right now…today…CHOOSE to draw nigh to God and turn that no into a YES!

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Draw Nigh to God

For this new year of 2017, first and foremost, I must draw nigh to God. I believe that with each new year, everyone should strive for better. What do you desire? What new ventures are you ready to take on?

* Do you desire to go back to school?
* Do you desire a better job, perhaps one that is more fulfilling?
* Are you ready to purchase your first home?
* Do you want to lose weight?
* Do you need to get healthier?

I believe any goals you and I may have can be achieved with faith and perseverance. However, God reminds me that our first priority should always be to pursue Him. Yes, we can and SHOULD pursue our dreams, so long as we keep God at the forefront. If we pursue GOD first, then He will guide our footsteps towards our dreams and enable us to achieve our goals. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” To do anything outside of God comes with unnecessary headaches and stress. Now, who wants that?!!

To draw nigh to God means to come close to God or to come closer to God. That can be achieved by spending more time in prayer, in worship, in the reading and studying of the Scriptures, and in the house of God with other believers. Regardless of how long a person has been a Christian, one can never get too much of God. We are ever learning and evolving.

In the 4th chapter of the book of James, the writer James (Biblical scholars say he was a brother of Jesus) was addressing the early Christians and expressing to them the necessity of drawing close to God.

James 4:1-10 (New Living Translation)

(1) “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires that war within you?

(2) You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.

(3) And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”

According to verses 1-3, these early Christians were arguing and fighting. These were people of God in conflict with each other! Believers in Christ Jesus! Church folk! And why were these people, to whom James was writing, at odds with one another? As the scriptures point out, instead of just coming together on one accord, seeking the will of God, and focusing on pleasing God, each person wanted things to go his or her way. Each person wanted to do only what made him or her happy. As a result, they resorted to doing evil. They were lying, cheating, stealing and even committing murder. Because they had taken their focus off God and weren’t right inwardly, they were treating each other with contempt.

(4) You adulterers (or unfaithful people of God)! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

(5) Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him.

If we say that we are children of God, but are not faithful to God, then we’re walking in disobedience to God, and are following the ways of the world. That, in turn, makes us God’s enemies. As harsh as it sounds, it’s the truth. To disobey God is to behave like His enemy!

(6) And He gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Those who humble themselves before God, FREELY receive His grace (unmerited/undeserved favor, mercy, lovingkindness). Why do we need God’s grace? Romans 6:14-15 say, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” God’s grace is so powerful that sin no longer has power over those of us who surrender to Him. During the Old Testament era, God’s people continued disobeying His laws because they didn’t have the ability to keep them. However, thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, His grace empowers us to obey God and to grow spiritually. Morevoer, we must understand that we have to respect and appreciate His grace, and not take it for granted by using it as a license to sin. Yes, God is loving and forgiving, but Galatians 6:7 let’s us know that He will not be mocked (or made a fool of), and we will reap what we sow. Therefore, God may forgive us for things we choose to do that we know are wrong, but we dare not think there won’t be consequences behind those choices.

Although these early Christians were out of order with God, it wasn’t too late for them. Fortunately, that same truth applies to us today!

7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We cannot resist the devil, the world, our flesh or sinful, human nature, until we first submit or surrender to God. It is GOD who empowers us to say NO to our enemies!

8 Draw nigh or come close to God, and God will draw nigh to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

It is a personal choice to draw nigh to God, to allow Him to cleanse us, and to become totally loyal to Him. According to James 1:6-8, when our interests are divided between God and those things that don’t please Him, we are unstable. So, if you’re looking for stability or balance in your life, stop fighting and SURRENDER!

9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.

We have to have repentant hearts and truly be sorry for our sins and past mistakes. When we’re truly sorry, then we’re less likely to repeat them.

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.

Once we recognize just how much we need God and submit sincerely and totally to Him, then in time, He will raise us up and make our lives significant and honorable.

This year of 2017, I will draw nigh to God, and I encourage you to do the same! Drawing nigh or coming close to God must be an ongoing process because of the wickedness that is prevalent in this world and because of our flesh or sinful, human nature. Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” In other words, when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives, we won’t give in to our sinful nature. Everything we need is, therefore, in GOD!

The following video is from my radio broadcast “The Kimberly Joy Show: Draw Nigh to GOD”:

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I Still Believe

“I still believe” are a few of the most important words I jotted down in my notebook. On that particular night several years ago, as I lay in bed attempting to sleep, my mind kept racing and I could feel myself becoming discouraged. I could feel a “woe is me” moment approaching and decided to be like King David and encourage myself in the Lord (I Samuel 30:6). Although it was bedtime and I had to get up early the next morning for work, I jumped out of bed and sat at my dining room table with a pen and notebook. I could sense depression circling my bedroom like an eagle on the brink of landing, and I wasn’t having it! So I did what I’ve done before; I began to write. In fact, I’ve come to realize that some of my best work are birthed during such moments. Bible study lessons, sermons, poems, blogs. On that sheet of notebook paper I reminded myself that no matter what my circumstances may try to tell me, I must still believe. Believe what, you ask? Believe GOD!

Like any human being, sometimes I may encounter a situation that leaves me feeling disappointed, discouraged, sad, angry or even scared. However, in those moments God will whisper in my ear, “Trust Me.” It can be hard to trust God, at times, when what I see and hear is the opposite of what He has promised me. Nevertheless, I have to yet abide by Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” I have to trust that the One Who created me, the One Who knows me better than anyone, has my best interests at heart and will not leave me in the dust.

Recently, I had an experience that has elevated my faith in God. It was a Thursday evening around 6:30, and I was driving home from the gym. As I drove, my car started acting strangely. The battery light came on, the interior lights dimmed and the radio, including the clock, went off. Then my car began making noises, and the power steering suddenly stopped working. Since it was difficult to steer the car, at that point, I thought about pulling over. However, once I drove into a nearby parking lot, I decided that it might be in my best interest to try to get the car home. As I continued up the road, the traffic slowed down due to rush hour. While sitting at a traffic light, my car completely shut down. To make matters worse, I couldn’t remove my key from the ignition. Feeling helpless and scared, tears began streaming down my face. Within a couple of minutes, a few people stopped to help me, but were unable to. I found myself becoming frantic and knew I had to calm down and THINK. That was when I remembered that my car insurance includes roadside assistance. Just as I was about to make the call, an older gentleman stopped to also help. Remember the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, I immediately judged the man based on his physical appearance and car. He claimed to know what was wrong with my car, and I thought to myself, “You don’t know anything!” Fortunately, I was wrong! The man, whose name is Jim, turned out to be a mechanic who also tows cars. Within twenty minutes, he had my car operating efficiently enough for me to get it home. Not only did he turn out to be a mechanic, but he also happens to live near me. So, he offered to follow me home just in case I had any more problems along the way. By the grace of God, I was able to pull into my driveway just before my car shut off again. Mr. Jim then agreed to repair my car, and two days later I was back in business!

I share this story because through that particular experience, God reassured me of His protection and provision for my life. Even as I lay down to sleep that night, with tears in my eyes, I continued thanking God for taking care of me. Reflecting on that evening’s happenings, I recognized how God was with me every step of the way. For one, God did not allow my car to shut off while I was on the interstate. Also, just as I was about to pull over in a parking lot, I quickly changed my mind and kept going. God would not allow me to stop in the parking lot because He knew that Mr. Jim was coming down the road. If I had pulled over, Mr. Jim would not have seen me. In addition, Mr. Jim just so happened to be a mechanic, who tows cars and lives in my neighborhood.

None of what I just described was a coincidence. God, the Father, the Almighty, sent the RIGHT person at the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time to help me at the RIGHT price! Oh yeah, did I mention that Mr. Jim also saved me a lot of money? If I had taken my car to an auto repair shop or the dealership (as I’ve been known to do), I would have paid more than what I could really afford. God reminded me that very night that, no matter what I may be going through or facing, He ALWAYS has my back! Even as my car began shutting down right before my very eyes, God was yet whispering in my ear, “Trust Me!” Soon after, He indeed proved, as He’s done so many times in the past, that I can trust Him, and that’s why I can truly declare, “Yes Lord! I STILL believe!!!!!!!”


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Rest in Me

“Rest in Me,” are the words I often hear God speak. Although the Bible states, “Don’t worry about anything…” (Philippians 4:6a), I still sometimes find myself worrying, not about everything, but about the things my human mind can’t figure out. If I can’t see how or when a situation is going to be resolved, I become uneasy. The uneasiness results from realizing that I’m not in complete control. However, to have faith is to allow GOD to be in control.

Resting in God is not always an easy thing to do. In fact, it can be downright difficult. I believe that many of us, if not all of us, like to feel in control. We want to be in complete control of our jobs, finances, love lives, children, etc. Nevertheless, it doesn’t work that way. If I try to control every circumstance and person in my life, then I’m taking on more than God has designed for me to handle. Have you ever heard the phrase “He’ll never put more on you than you can bear?” This is derived from I Corinthians 10:13 which says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

Temptation is typically defined as “a strong urge or desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.” However, in the Bible a temptation is also “a trial or test”. For instance, in Genesis 22, God tempted or tested Abraham when He instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. God wasn’t trying to persuade Abraham to do something wrong. In fact, later God provided a ram as the real sacrifice (Genesis 22:13). Rather, God put Abraham through this test to prove his faith. James 1:2-3 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” Verse 12 of the same chapter also says, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” Although God takes us through tests from time to time, as I Corinthians 10:13 assures us, it’s never something designed to overwhelm us because during the tests, we are to depend totally on Him (Proverbs 3:5). So if I find myself becoming overwhelmed and stressed out, it is simply because I haven’t placed it all in God’s hands. I can’t blame anyone but myself!

God says, “Rest in Me.” What does it mean to rest? To rest is “to be free from anxiety or disturbance”. Another definition is “to remain confident”. Therefore, when we rest in God, our minds are at peace because we know that God has our situations under control. As I mentioned, resting in God is not always easy. Nevertheless, it can be done if we put it into practice. The following tips are things I had to put into practice in order to learn how to rest in God.


1. Find time to worship God. During the hustle and bustle of the day, find a place to be alone where you can worship God. Believe it or not, I have had some awesome worship experiences in my bathroom and, even, in my car. When my mind is being bombarded with so many thoughts and I find myself becoming sad or angry, worship relieves me. As I sing or listen to a favorite worship song and meditate on the goodness of God, I am reminded that He is my everything. In that moment, He becomes priority, while everything and everyone else take a backseat. Then His love, peace and joy fill my heart. I am no longer bothered by my present circumstance because in the midst of worship, God reassures me that He has my back! In that moment God may even reveal some things to me and give me the answers I’ve been seeking in prayer.

These worship experiences call to mind the story of Paul and Silas who were beaten and thrown in jail for taking a stand for God’s Truth.

Acts 16:25-35:
“Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, ‘Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!’ The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.’ And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God. The next morning the city officials sent the police to tell the jailer, ‘Let those men go!'”

Just as Paul and Silas were set free from physical chains, worshipping God sets me free from the thoughts that try to chain my mind.

2. Pray. According to Philippians 4:6, God doesn’t want us to worry about anything, but to pray about everything. No problem is too big for God! Therefore, when we pray we must trust that God hears us and will answer our prayers. If we trust that God honors His children’s prayers, then anxiety should not be present. Prayer and worry do NOT go hand in hand. James 1:6-7 says, “But when you ask [God], you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

3. Obey God. To trust God is to obey God. One day I was discussing with a friend that we as humans cause ourselves greater heartache when we choose our way over God’s way. The Bible is our instruction manual for living. Unfortunately, many fail to follow it. II Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

If we trust and obey God, we will have rest. For example, during my time in grad school I learned that I had to have surgery. This was a serious dilemma because the spring quarter had just begun and I was taking my final class: Statistics. Since I still had time to withdraw from the class without being penalized, the logical choice was to withdraw and pick up the course the following quarter. Although it seemed like a good idea, it wasn’t an easy decision to make because it meant postponing my graduation. Thus, the night before the withdrawal deadline I asked God to tell me what to do. I had made up my mind to withdraw, but, in case it wasn’t necessary to do so, I needed to hear from the One Who knows all. To my delight, as I slept God clearly spoke to me, “Stay in the class. There will be people who will help you.” Having a sudden peace about the situation, I stayed in the class, and as God reassured me, my professor and several classmates were more than willing to help me. If I had chosen to follow my “sensible” mind, instead of obeying the voice of God, receiving my Masters degree would have been delayed, which, undoubtedly, would have caused me unnecessary distress .

4. Enjoy your life. Best-selling author and Bible teacher Joyce Meyer says, “Learn how to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” In other words, smile often and laugh as much as possible. Just enjoy the stage at which you are in your life. The apostle Paul says, “…I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength,” (Philippians 4:11-13). To be content doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t desire more because God has more for you. It just means that the desires shouldn’t cause anxiety and stress. When we focus on the Lord, He is guaranteed to give us the desires of our hearts (Psalms 37:4).

Resting in God takes away the pressure that Satan and the world try to place on us. When we give everything to God, He in turn, gives us a peace that the average person can’t comprehend (Philippians 4:7). So, every day I am making it a point to rest in God and gratefully enjoy this life He has graciously given me.


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Do You Honor the King?

Do you honor the King? Which King, you ask? The King that the psalmist recognizes when he says, “For God is the King of all the earth…” (Psalms 47:7). If “yes” is your response, how do you show God honor? Do you have a checklist?

* Pray before each meal
* Attend church every Easter
* Sing in the church choir
* Volunteer at church
* Attend Bible study
* Send children to Sunday school

Pretty good list, you think? So, is that all that is required to honor the King? Is saying your prayers before going to bed sufficient?

“Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

Is that suitable? Or is it enough to just reverence Him on Sundays? Is that all that is needed to honor the Creator?

Personally speaking, although the “checklist” is noble, simply abiding by a set of rules doesn’t signify that we honor God.

Honoring God comes from the heart. When we truly honor God, we do so with sincerity. We’re not doing it for accolades or to prove how holy we are. Rather, we honor God because we love Him. Mark 12:30 says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” We don’t need anyone to acknowledge that we’re such “great Christians” as long as we know we’re pleasing God.

We honor God because He honors us. God honors us with a LOVE that will never fade. Romans 8:38-39 says, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No matter what, God loves us. When we don’t deserve it, He is willing to extend His grace and mercy, giving us time to get it right. Just look at David who impregnated a married woman and later had her husband killed (II Samuel 11). Or, consider the story of the apostle Paul who once persecuted those who professed Jesus Christ (Acts 8 & 9). Despite their past transgressions, they were still forgiven and raised up to be mighty men of God.

We honor God when we honor Jesus as His Son. In order to honor God, we must also acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I John 4:15 also states, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” There are people who only want to honor God, while reducing Jesus to the level of men in the Bible, like Moses and Elijah. Although they were great men whom God used mightily, neither one held the position of God’s “only begotten Son”. As God’s Son, Jesus was the only one who could redeem us from our sins. Paul says in I Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Moreover, John 5:23 tells us that God expects “that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent Him.”

We honor God when we obey Him and stay away from sin. Jesus says in John 14:15, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” God wants us to live free from sin because it only leads to eternal death. Instead, He wants us to enjoy life in Him. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” (Romans 6:23). Once we confess and turn away from our sins, God is guaranteed to forgive us (I John 1:9). We are then made brand new. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” (II Corinthians 5:17).

We honor God by developing and maintaining a relationship with Him.
Jesus says in John 15:15, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” God doesn’t beat us over the heads like slaves, but He loves us unconditionally. All He asks is that we do the same! In other words, see Him as your BEST friend! See Him as the one with whom you share all your secrets because you know He won’t run and tell! Let Him be your shoulder to cry on, for He knows just how to comfort you. Shower Him with gifts of praise and worship, and be selfless of your time and money in order to help others. Brag often about His AWESOMENESS! Defend Him when naysayers want to disrespect Him. Listen to Him and obey when He speaks to you through His Word and in times of prayer. He has great plans for your life and knows what’s best for you!

By honoring God we bring honor to ourselves. God says He will honor those who honor Him (I Samuel 2:30). In other words, we will be blessed! Jesus promises in John 15:7, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” He also emphasizes in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Furthermore, because we honor God with our hearts, we can look forward to seeing Him. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”, (Matthew 5:8).


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You Are FREE!!!

“You are FREE!” God spoke to me as I walked around the empty sanctuary worshipping Him. Although He had uttered those words in my ear many times before, this particular afternoon was different. This time I really took notice of what He was saying and asked myself, “What does it mean to be FREE?”

Oftentimes in the wake of a person’s death, I hear people express how that individual is now FREE, especially if he or she suffered mentally, emotionally or physically while on earth. So, does that mean that one has to die in order to be FREE? No, absolutely not! We all can be FREE in Christ Jesus!

When I consider what it means to be FREE in Jesus, I think of a well-loved child. I specify “well-loved” because, unfortunately, some children aren’t loved and cared for as they ought to be. However, a well-loved child doesn’t have a care in the world because Mommy and Daddy have everything under control. The child can play joyfully during the day and sleep peacefully at night. He or she is FREE with no worries or concerns.

While attending Landmark Christian School as a second grader, I was set FREE the moment I confessed my sins and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior! What did He set me FREE from? Sin and eternal death or damnation! So if I was saved long ago, what is God speaking of when He now declares, “You are FREE”?

From my own personal experience, I find that Christianity is a process. We learn and grow as we go. Growth occurs each moment we spend time with God in prayer, praise, worship and learning His Word. Simply being a church-goer, reciting a few memorized scriptures, or claiming to “believe in God” doesn’t produce spiritual growth. Rather, it takes sincerely pursuing a relationship with God.

As I grow in my relationship with the Lord, in the words of Pastor Marvin Sapp, I become “stronger, wiser, better!” So things, like fear, that had me bound before, no longer have control over me. In fact, I’m realizing that much of my “captivity” was mental! Yes, mental! It was only in my mind! Why do I make that statement? Let’s look at Jesus! After fasting in the wilderness for 40 days and nights, Jesus was presented with temptations from Satan himself (Matthew 4:1-11). In other words, the devil was trying to play with His MIND. However, because Jesus knew who He was—–a FREE man—–He didn’t yield to the devil’s suggestions. Moreover, nor did he cower and hide. Instead, He stood on God’s Word with undeniable confidence! Consequently, after three attempts, Satan left Jesus alone because he realized he couldn’t change His MIND.

When God repeatedly states, “You are FREE,” He wants me to live my life day to day with a clear understanding of this truth. I live what I understand and BELIEVE. If I BELIEVE that Jesus has set me FREE, then I am indeed FREE (John 8:36). Since I know that I’m FREE, then I also know that sin, fear, worry, stress, sickness and anything else that is contrary to what God says, no longer have power over me (Romans 6:14). I belong to GOD! If imperfect people are capable of lovingly caring for their children, then there must be no doubt in my mind that the PERFECT GOD cares for me (Matthew 7:11)! Therefore, I don’t have to worry or be afraid because I can rest peacefully in my Father’s arms! I AM FREE!!!!!


If you would like, you can give your life to Jesus TODAY, and then YOU will also experience the TRUE FREEDOM in Him I celebrate!!! Just pray the following prayer of salvation. Then I encourage you to find a good Bible-based church, so you can grow in your relationship with Him.


Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, was buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!

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The Power of Words

Words have power! Did you know that? If you are a living, breathing human being, then I’m sure you know what I mean. In the Bible in the third chapter of James, the writer compares the tongue to a flame of fire. Now, why would he compare that tiny organ, which God so carefully placed inside your mouth to assist with eating and speaking, to fire? James 3:6 (New Living Translation) says, “And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set on fire by hell itself.” Although very small, the human tongue is capable of doing considerable damage, even total destruction, because words have POWER! That’s the way God designed it! In Genesis 1, the sun, moon, stars, sky, ocean, grass, trees, flowers, and animals were all formed by God simply speaking WORDS. As humans created in God’s image and likeness, our words are also designed to carry weight.

People either achieve greatness or fail to ever achieve because of words. Some children excel in school, and then later flunk out in their teens because of words. Many choose to live their lives to the fullest, while some see suicide as their only option because of WORDS! “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is a quote I heard often and even repeated as a child. Although I understand the message the originator was trying to convey, simply reciting the catchy phrase didn’t prevent the pain that certain words caused. I share in my blog post “Why Can’t I Be Beautiful?” about how certain words caused me to feel ugly as a teenager. The boy who was guilty of hurting me didn’t throw sticks and stones to break my bones or even punch me in the face with his fist. I remained physically intact, but mentally and emotionally I was a mess. Nevertheless, I thank God for His everlasting love which holds me and keeps me safe! My loving Father directed me to His Word and taught me how to cast down the words of hate and embrace His words of LOVE! I discovered that, although the young man’s words were powerful, God’s Word and the words of LIFE I choose to speak will overpower and annihilate the lies of my enemies!

James 3 shows me that, although the tongue is capable of causing great harm, it can be tamed. Therefore, as a child of God, I must tame my tongue daily. I am to be a witness for Jesus Christ, not just when I share the Gospel, but by displaying God’s love and righteousness. People watch what I do and listen to what I say.  James 3:9 (New International Version) says, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” I must control my tongue daily so that I don’t damage someone’s heart. God is holding me responsible!

I pray that more of our children learn the Word of God and are surrounded by adults who model good behavior and speech. I pray that we adults always make quality time for our children engaging them in productive conversations. Such moments are crucial because that’s when we’re able to speak words of life to counteract what they hear outside of the home. It can be a matter of life or death!  God and His Word definitely saved mine!

Why Can't I Be Beautiful Pic3
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