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Tag: New year

Live YOUR Dreams!


It is now 2018, and with the start of a brand new year comes excitement and even some nervousness. Many see the new year as an opportunity to live a new and better life, to leave mistakes, hurts, and disappointments in the past, and to start fresh.

Therefore, people make New Year’s resolutions. A resolution is when a person resolves or firmly decides to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or to, overall, improve his or her life. According to NBC News, the most popular resolutions for 2017 were:

1. Get healthy
2. Get organized
3. Live life to the fullest
4. Learn new hobbies
5. Spend less and save more money
6. Travel
7. Read more

Personally speaking, making a New Year’s resolution is great, so long as you’re committed to that resolution. In fact, for 2018, I believe God wants His children to be committed to living their dreams. When I say “dreams” what do I mean? In this case, a dream is “a strongly desired goal, aim, aspiration or purpose.” Why is this important to God? He placed those dreams inside of you!

Psalms 37:4 (King James Version) says:

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

In the scripture, the “desires” the writer is referring to are GOD’s desires for your life. I’ve heard some people state God will give you whatever you desire. However, I don’t believe that. I don’t believe God gives us any desires that go against His will. I don’t believe He gives us desires that don’t glorify Him. I especially don’t believe He grants us those desires that will do more harm than good.

A well-known Gospel singer, who will remain nameless, has shared her story of how God told her not to marry a particular man. Even on the day of her wedding, God told her not to walk down the aisle. However, she went against God’s warning and got married anyway.

Eventually, her husband wound up physically abusing her. The abuse became so bad that she later had to escape with only the clothes on her back. Did God decide to grant her HER desire to marry that man? No, I don’t believe He did! God does not treat us like robots. He speaks to us, gives us instructions, and even warns us, but in the end, it’s our decision. Thus, SHE chose to enter a marriage that was not God’s desire for her.

When I was an adolescent, I wanted to sing. Although I had a decent voice for singing in a choir, I didn’t have the type of voice for solo performances.

(Me, on the right, singing with the praise team)

I definitely didn’t have a voice that would land me a spot on Star Search or Showtime at the Apollo. So, I used to hope and pray God would bless my voice. I wanted to be able to sing like a Yolanda Adams or a CeCe Winans.

Why? For one, I’ve always loved music. Plus, good singers received applause and recognition, and I wanted that! I wanted to be admired for my angelic voice, which might be why God didn’t grant me MY desire. Singing was not supposed to be about glorifying me, but about glorifying God!

As I grew older and matured, I came to accept that, although singing was something I enjoyed doing, it wasn’t GOD’s desire for my life. Once I accepted that truth, I was able to recognize God’s true desires for me. I came to realize that I was trying to live someone else’s dream because it seemed glamorous and exciting, instead of living MY dreams and walking in MY purpose.

What is the purpose for which you were born? The only way to truthfully answer that question is by first developing a close relationship with God. So, how does one develop a close relationship with God?

1. First and foremost, you must repent of your sins and accept Jesus into your heart.

2. Take out time every day to pray and worship the Lord. During those times, you’re able to commune with God. Not only do you talk to God, but He talks to you.

3. Read and study the Bible every day. Through the Word of God you receive knowledge, instructions, and encouragement which will help you on your spiritual journey.

4. Go to church. I realize some people say they don’t need to attend church, and I get it! Just attending church doesn’t make you saved. Attending church doesn’t mean you’re close to God. You can hear God’s voice outside the church walls. However, going to church and being a part of an assembly of believers helps! Hebrews 10:25 states we should not neglect to come together with other believers. Sunday school, church services, Bible studies, women’s fellowship, men’s fellowship, and conferences, for instance, all contribute to a person’s spiritual growth. Sure, you can hear the Word being preached and find a church service on TV or on the internet.

Nevertheless, none of those people you’re watching can reach through the screen, take you by the hand and pray for you or give you a hug you may need at the time. In Genesis 2, God said it’s not good for man to be alone. I believe that statement applies to more than just marriage. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ.

In order to know what God’s purpose is for your life, you must get to know Him first. As you walk with the Lord, your purpose will become clear, and He will enable you to live YOUR dreams!

If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) 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.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so 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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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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