YOU’VE GOT TO WAIT


Did you know that everytime you wait it is an opportunity to strengthen your faith? God has sovereignly maintained the use of time to develop our faith muscles. Yet we do all we can to avoid the wait or keep ourselves occupied with outside influences which distract us from the boring, wearisome experience. It is the soul and body which objects to the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of waiting. All the while our spirits are starving for freedom which only the Spirit can provide. You’ve got to wait on the Lord in the midst of it all.

I am going to restart the Cyber Bible Study next week. It is a labor of love I started last year with my mom. Thankfully, it is an archived experience I will have to remind me of our Spiritual relationship now that she is no longer here. Every morning I am reminded of her loving care for me as her first born. She is the one who, with the help of the Holy Spirit, taught me the importance of waiting on the Lord. It is time well spent!

This morning I heard the Lord in my quiet time. He said, “Job waited on the LORD!” This was a phrase from a gospel song I used to sing in my youth now becoming a shining glimmer of Spiritual inspiration as I pondered the remaining lyric “tell me why can’t I…” I began to reflect on the intensity of his experience. Since 2011 I have realized how important the Book of Job is for me as I continue to recover from being divorced after 20 years of marriage. I have lost my strength, my career, my wife and family, home, cars, vacation properties, savings, security, social standing and youth. Through it all I have had to “endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist and fulfill my ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:3) The rewards are eternal! The waiting is so unnerving! His voice reminds me of  My mom who taught me these 2 verses as a child:

Job 13:15 NASB  “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him…”

Job 23:10 NASB  “But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold…”

The first verse compels me to share with you how, in spite of all my loss, I found the value of “this treasure (I have & you may too) in earthen vessels (our bodies) so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:7. God has strategically removed from me ALL the things I used to IDOLIZE so that I would learn to trust in, rely on, have faith in the excellency of the power of the Spirit of Christ, the risen Savior, in me. It is from this source of power that I wait patiently on the LORD with good courage and He strengthens me in ways I can’t even explain. I NEED HIS HELP DAILY!! And because of His steady supply of strength I will maintain my case that He is my waymaker, heart fixer and mind regulator in whom I trust in as I HAVE TO WAIT ON HIM FOR ALL MY HELP!!! (Hallelujah Praise is in my hands!)

The next verse was mom’s favorite! We will ALWAYS be affected physically, mentally and emotionally by the wait. From a human perspective we just don’t like it! It causes us to worry, doubt, fear or become anxious because of whatever it is we want right now. Whether it is waiting on our children to come home from an evening out, or a package coming in the mail or public transportation to get to a destination, the wait causes our bodies and souls to suffer. When we use the distractions of the ear buds, phones, empty conversations or to the extreme become irritable – even to the point of belligerence – we miss out on the lessons of faith during the wait. God uses hardships, difficult circumstances, uncertainty, distresses, anxieties and fears to manifest new growth in our faith muscles. Always remember He is the Chief Proprietor of time. The way He uses it for His glory makes the difficulties with waiting diminish exponentially.

Job said, though He causes me to experience loss, pain, disappointment, weariness through overwhelming circumstances, I know it is GOD who is allowing these circumstances for my good and His glory! He knows what He is producing as my flesh is devastated with the results of the wait. God’s loving response to the difficulty is “YOU’VE GOT TO WAIT!” My faith, my hope and my confidence in Him is going to produce GOLDEN results in eternity which I can’t even imagine!

In the meantime, the waiting is much more satisfying when you focus on His presence, His POWER and His peace which are revealed through His Word while you wait. Can you imagine how Heavenly the wait can be? You will have some of the best encounters with the risen Savior when you hang with Him during the wait! That is what He created us for in the first place. Stop allowing the world and its influences to detain you from your appointed time spent with the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth! Spend all the waiting time with Him, His Word and His Spirit in you! YOU’VE GOT TO WAIT for the experiences to prepare you, train you, teach you just how FAITHFUL AND POWERFUL HE IS!

The next time you are bothered by the wait, read CONQUERORSHOTS, the Psalms, Isaiah 40:28-31 ,Ephesians, Colossians or Hebrews 11 & 12 and realize when you wait on the Lord in the midst of the external opposition to the wait, He will reveal the faith growing exercise He planned just for you! It is the epitome of His love for you that makes the wait worthwhile. Sign up for the Cyber Bible Study for more.

 

 

 

 

 

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Watching My Mom Transition & Being Inspired


I have not lost my mom to death even though I watched her breathe her last breath. The pain of knowing I can’t call her, visit her any longer is horrific. However, I know she is in Heaven where there is no more suffering to be had. I can only imagine how wonderful it is for her now. That brings me joy. I am thankful for all the years she labored teaching me God’s word rightly-divided. Here is a reflection I began in the hospital and completed today:

I am watching my mom transition into eternity. I can’t help but be reminded of all the years of service (50+) to others teaching God’s Word. My sister and I were her lifetime students. Through the years mom and I have cast an unknown number of seeds of faith in the gospel of the grace of God.

It is for this reason that I am sharing 1 Corinthians 3. Paul’s message in the text lines up with the intention of this writing. It makes no sense to argue, debate or even choose whose message is noteworthy. Gospel seed planting is a group effort with Christ being the LEADER of the group. It does not matter who plants the seeds or who waters the seed to facilitate growth. In fact no seed can thrive on one round of watering. It is necessary for regular hydration agriculturally and Spiritually. Most importantly, all lessons, sermons, publications, blog posts et al require God’s increase for Spiritually, effectual results. No man or woman has the power to cause one’s heart to yield to the authority of scripture. Therefore, we must avoid the temptation to expect or demand instant results when sharing the gospel.

Stop insisting the student/hearer must respond to the Word in the moment of delivery for spiritual validation. Also, avoid being bias to the teaching/preaching of one person. The text indicates that, under the Authority of Christ, God uses multiple vessels to deliver His Word. Be equipped to discern the Authority of Christ and His Word as it is delivered. Or be equipped to discern where man is attempting to deliver the word himself.

Mom taught me, while teaching Bible study throughout the Tri-State area when I was a boy, God is responsible for any and all results after we deliver the Word. All efforts to teach, preach, share or write the gospel should be seasoned with the Spirit. Then, the Holy Spirit adds the increase in accordance to the Father’s will. All the while it is the Son of God, Jesus Christ, sourcing His Word into His children. What a Mighty God we serve. I’ll see you in Glory mom!

The Sharp Accuracy of the Bible


I cut my hand this morning while preparing breakfast. The sharpness of the knife sliced more of my finger than the frozen meat needing cutting. My understanding of the cardiovascular system provided some quick thinking while my spirit became captivated with the LESSON GOD WAS PROVIDING ME IN THE EXPERIENCE.

Never allow the sudden entrance of painful experiences to distract you from the fact that GOD IS OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT AND OMNIPOTENT.

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The aftermath of nearly slicing off the top of my right finger!

While the blood poured out of my finger and the intense, sharp sting of the running water made me cringe with concern – so much so I had to let the finger bleed until the thought to use gravity kicked in – the Holy Spirit was QUICK to remind me of Christ’s nail-scarred hands as He hung on the Cross BLEEDING for me. Since He was PRESENT in the moment  I was at peace with the trauma of seeing me bleed. Some would rush to the hospital with the cut I sustained-which may be NECESSARY in those cases – but God’s ALL KNOWING POWER prepared me for such a time as this.

OK the bleeding slowed considerably as the use of gravity was maintained for 11 minutes without interruption. Obviously the cooking stopped but more importantly the PRAYING began. There are many posts here on ConquerorShots chronicling the slogan “Prayer Changes Things.”  (Use the search bar to see) It soothed my doubts and calmed my fears. Suddenly I remembered one of the points from yesterday’s Cyber Bible Study   lesson I taught on Jacob. (You can sign up to get in on this free Spirit-filled weekly experience)

In Genesis 32:24-29 we see that Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the Lord all night long. The Bible lesson for us today is that Jacob’s experience with God’s Word cut him so deep it soothed his fears and produced faith to trust in Him exclusively.  The text reveals that at this stage Jacob was a mature man, having persevered 20 years of toils prescribed by Laban. Jacob was a father of 12 with 2 wives who supported His Spiritual reliance on God. Jacob maintained an abundance of fear for he and his family’s lives were threatened due to the death sentence his brother Esau vowed years ago. 

Jacob wept bitterly with anguish and heartache having lived to realize that all his worldly treasures could not deliver him from the consequences of his sinful past having stolen Esau’s birthright and blessing. God’s Providence for Jacob is undeniable as is the EFFECTS HIS CONSISTENT WORD HAD ON JACOB. At the time of the text Jacob realizes DIVINE incentive to wrestle (pour out his heart’s pinned up anguish from adolescence, working for Laban, having to marry Leah and looking at her crooked eye as the mother of  7 children and all the years he had to wait for his love Rachel to birth Joseph) with the Second Person of the Godhead – Jesus Christ INCARNATE – to the point where God changed Jacob’s name to ISRAEL. The evidence of it being a physical battle was the onset of the hip joint injury Jacob sustained. C.B.S. classmates have learned the name change was OBVIOUSLY part of God’s Plan made before the world was formed. (Psalm 90:2) 

This name change is so significant it can’t be overlooked. The seed that was originally predicted in Genesis 3:15, promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was now set in motion to become a DIVINE, UNIMAGINABLE, LOVING, JUSTIFYING SACRIFICE FOR YOUR SINS AND MINE through the manifestation of the Nation of Israel. Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God, the way the truth and the life, the Word in the Beginning that was with God and was God which became flesh so that He could identify with His Creation and SAVE US FROM ETERNAL JUDGEMENT AND DAMNATION – IS THE SEED PROMISED TO THE PATRIARCHS. 

God confirmed Jacob’s anguish as He allowed me to nearly slice off my finger. THE WORD OF GOD CUT JACOB WITH SHARP ACCURACY over time whereas a physical knife can cut our flesh deeply and IMMEDIATELY. TODAY, children of God/members of the Body of Christ, experience God’s WORD with QUICKNESS, ACCURACY and POWERFUL LONG SUFFERING RESULTS. THESE RESULTS ARE POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST NOW LIVING INSIDE US THROUGH OUR FAITH IN CPR² ON A DAILY BASIS.

Without FAITH it is IMPOSSIBLE to experience the life-changing experiences God’s Word can demonstrate in your life

Jacob wrestled with Him in the Old Testament. We wrestle with Him daily as He is revealed in the Pauline Epistles as the Head of the Body/Lord and Savior and our righteousness and peace.

THE PRAYER: “Thank you Lord for allowing me to see how your Word operates on my soul like a knife on my flesh. My sin-sick soul is pierced with the DOCTRINE, CORRECTION, INSTRUCTION AND REPROOF OF YOUR WORD AS IT LIVES IN ME LEADING ME INTO ALL TRUTH FOR YOUR NAME’S SAKE WITH SHARP ACCURACY WHILE I LIVE THE CONQUEROR LIFESTYLE – in Jesus name amen!”

 

How to Live the Conqueror Lifestyle & “WIN” Daily


 

God is faithful no matter what! Rev. D shares this short message on how you, like him, can live on purpose declaring “I WIN!” Spiritually daily.

Finding Out Where the Lord Wants Me


Our guest blogger is a dear cousin of mine – Sister Georgette Gude – who has faithfully served in the church for over 40 years. I have come to know her as an upstanding Christian woman who works hard, serves the Lord consistently and constantly stands for the truth of the gospel of the grace of God. She reveals personal contemplation that we can all identify with. Her lesson is worth reading about. Thank you Georgette for contributing to ConquerorShots.    Rev.D

Finding where the Lord wants me – placed in Him – has been challenging experience. Honestly, I am guilty of not always trusting God to perfect His will concerning me. All my life I’ve been judged by others based on my appearance. Family, friends, etc. look at what they see and often fail to understand God’s will for me. People naturally voice what they think I should be, where I should be and so on. I can no longer be shaped by what people think or say relative to where I should be. Finding out where He wants me did not have to be so difficult.

I realize today that life is a journey worth taking when Jesus Christ is Lord. He is ALWAYS exposing His omniscient leadership over my life. His amazing grace is consistently sufficient in my weakness. Most of all, His unconditional love has kept me from decade to decade while revealing exactly where He ALWAYS wanted me to be.

I have made it hard for others to know me because of my personal struggles all my life. By covering up my pain caused by horrific acts I experienced that no one knew of, I have maintained a tough exterior which affected my authenticity to me and others. I have worked hard to hide the ongoing pain from my past. Today, my personal time is consumed with emotions I can’t understand or articulate. One minute I can be smiling and laughing on the outside and suddenly, without warning, I begin to feel disconnected from everyone and all I know. The older I get, the more these emotional swings drain me. My soul cries out to the Lord God Almighty “I am weak and I need Thy strength and power to help me over my weakest hours.”[1]

I Corinthians 12:20–27 But now there are many members but one body, and the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body but that the members may have the same care for one another, And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body and individually members of it.

Over the years, God has shown me how these verses help me to know where the Lord wants me to be. As I wonder where He wants me now, I am reminded of my mother. She loved me “just as I am.” She would sincerely ask me how I was feeling. She would not accept superficial answers that I learned to use to mask my true feelings. In the course of our conversations she always found a way to inquire about my experiences reading the Bible. She taught me to always read His Word for strength, leadership and power to live a victorious Christian life. She made time to listen to what God’s Word was saying in ways that inspired me to read it more often. She was never condescending or judgmental concerning the Bible. She lovingly wanted to show me that God loves and cares for me unconditionally. God placed me in my mother’s womb and knew she would give me Jesus Christ.

In spite of the failures to honestly relate with others, I am convinced that GOD has known me from the beginning. He knows me in my awakenings and my slumber. He knows my thoughts afar off. He ALWAYS loves me from a sincere place “just as I am.” I never would have made it to see my marriage to my husband and the birth of our 3 beautiful sons without His unconditional love for me. I never would have made it as I had to watch my husband suffer with sickle-cell anemia throughout our marriage. God’s love kept us while I cared for him as he withered away while maintaining his love for me and his boys. Living through his death and raising my boys to become men was possible because of His love keeping us in the midst of it all. God allowed me to come through more and more pain and disappointment as He lovingly convinced me to trust and believe Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. My church home has always represented my Spiritual placement.He placed me where He wanted me to be then and now.

I am writing this because God has shown me that He has ALWAYS wanted me to be placed in the cleft of the Rock of ages. Jesus Christ is my rock in which I have found a secure crevice in HIM where His love, grace, peace and care are never ending. In Him I am unconditionally accepted in the beloved.  He will ALWAYS direct me in the way He wants me to go. When I focus on the exterior me I get confused concerning my insecurities. If I look around at others – family, friends, etc. I am overcome with uncertainties. My uncertainties, insecurities, struggles and fears are in my life to continuously push me to realize my position IN CHRIST. In Him I am uniquely positioned in the Body of Christ. In Him I have the ability to relate with a countless number of coequal members perfectly affixed into the Body. At the same time I am equipped to live an imperfect human life as more than a conqueror through Him that loved me. I know there is unlimited POWER available to me In Christ.

God wants me to be willing to rest in Him as I live the life He continues to provide for me. I will trust His call on my life. I will follow Him wherever He leads. I will not let fear dominate me. He has graciously placed me in Him. I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be because He is my strength and my guide – then, now and always.

  “Lord I thank you for a mother who showed me pure love without hypocrisies. Thank you for showing me your unfeigned love and making me feel accepted without pretenses or shadiness. Lord, PLEASE protect my heart, clean me up and create within me a pure, unselfish heart. Encourage me to continue to seek your face and give you all the Glory. Help me not to care how loved ones, family or friends view my intentions to serve you. Guide me into the fullness of your will for my life today and always.  I thank you for how you enable me to have a closer walk with you. The Scriptures have given me the confidence to know you and rely on you in all times. Regardless of my human status, I stand daily IN CHRIST trusting I am complete. I must be honest with myself and appreciate who you have made me to be. Always help me to remember what you spoke to Samuel in the selection of David – Man looks on the outside, but God looks at the heart! No one knows me like you do! I have moved my membership to a new church under your leadership. Now Lord, lead me in my new church home. Continue to direct me through your love. Reveal your Word to me and enlighten my life with newness. I trust in you who NEVER fails to place me where you want me. In Jesus name, AMEN”

By: Georgette Gude

[1] “Lead Me, Guide Me”, Akers, Doris, http://www.hymnary.org/text/i_am_weak_and_i_need_your_strength_and

 

Bible Reading or Bible Study?


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Join my free online Bible study lessons on “rightly-dividing the Word” coming soon! We will learn “Who Is God” “Why Jesus is So Important” and how “Bible Study Improves Our Lives” from week to week. Sign up today! 

Stay in the race!

Rev. D

The Benefits of Hope


Lamentations 3:24-26 KJV
24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

2017 is here and we are alive and well! Amidst all of the political uncertainty, social conflicts, national and international terrorism it is incumbent upon us to have hope. I do not suggest you place your hope in any government offices, political figures, public figures, corporations, social services divisions, church, preachers, deacons, evangelists, bishops,parents, grandparents or any other family member or friend. I hope that the foundation of your hope is rooted in your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Jeremiah is the writer of the opening scriptures that have blessed me tremendously. I hope they do the same for you. For all my ConquerorShots followers I am aware that this month’s spiritual principle is honesty but allow me to use it in conjunction with hope. You see, according to Jeremiah you have to be honest about what God has brought you through to successfully maintain the hope he proclaims in verses 24-26.

In the scriptures before, the writer declares his hopelessness. Nebuchadnezzar, the King of the Babylonians, sieges the Southern Kingdom where Jerusalem and the temple were. Prior to this the Assyrians occupied the Northern Kingdom. Jeremiah was lamenting over the lose of all the land and blessings God gave to the Israelites. It is interesting to note that the suggested location of Jeremiah’s public laments was at Golgotha – the future location of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Jeremiah’s hopelessness waned heavily on him as he honestly remembered the blessings of God, the provisions of God and the POWER OF GOD.

His honesty about what God had done in the history of the Israelite’s existence gave him significant evidence about God’s POWER. Upon his honest reflection of the facts, Jeremiah’s hope was produced. LISTEN, people all around the world are desperate for hope to relieve them of their hopelessness. Their reflections are confused by all sorts of worldly, fleshly, anti-Christian rhetoric. It distracts, dissuades and denounces EVERYTHING true about the Sovereignty of God. We can’t arrive at the benefits of hope like Jeremiah if we fail to appreciate the salvation of the Lord today.

We, like Jeremiah, must be CERTAIN of our Spiritual portion or inheritance we are entitled to as children of God in 2017. This is a Christian blog and I exclusively write from a platform of Christianity. If you don NOT have faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ he has NOT become your Lord and Savior, UNFORTUNATELY these Heavenly benefits do not apply to you. The central point of the benefits of hope rely on this personal experience: No man can save you like Jesus Christ can and will if you believe that His death (shedding of His blood), burial and resurrection gives you access to the LORD God Almighty Himself.

Faith in Christ Jesus as a risen Savior, who now sits on the right hand of the Father making intercessions for us, establishes the following spiritual benefits of hope:

  • Freedom to live life as “more than conquerors through Him that loved us”
  • Truth that transforms us from death to life, darkness to light, hopelessness to hopefulness
  • Justification
  • Sanctification
  • Glorification
  • Power to stand in adversity, evil days, months, years, decades
  • Confidence in the forgiveness of sin
  • Confidence in the production of the fruit of the Spirit overriding the works of the flesh
  • Confidence in the peace with God and the peace of God
  • Victory over the Enemy in life and throughout Eternity
  • Heavenly blessings including crowns, homes and riches untold
  • The Promise that wherever Jesus Christ is eternally I will forever be with Him
  • NO MORE UNCERTAINTY, POLITICAL CONCERNS AND CONFUSIONS, HUMAN TERRORISM AND SOCIAL INJUSTICES

It is good to have the willingness to “wait on the Lord and be of good courage.” God’s goodness gets sweeter and sweeter as you learn to trust in Him who will NEVER leave you or forsake you. Therefore, like Jeremiah said, EVERY man “should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.”  Our hope keeps us connected to the benefits of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Live the #ConquerorLifestyle in 2017!