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Category: Faith (Page 2 of 2)

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!!!!!

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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.

PRAYER OF SALVATION

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!

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