What Message Matters Most?


Are you aware of what false teaching sounds like?  When you hear someone who is “making sense” is the message lining up with scripture or human ideology? How do you know when to tune someone’s message out or when to  readily receive it?

Finally, when words are “sounding good” and you are inclined to consider spiritual application, do you “consider the source” of the message being from The Word of God or the word of man?

1 Timothy 6:3 If someone spreads false teachings and does not agree with sound words (that is, those of our Lord Jesus Christ) and with the teaching that accords with godliness,
 6:4 he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in controversies and verbal disputes. This gives rise to envy, dissension, slanders, evil suspicions,
 6:5 and constant bickering by people corrupted in their minds and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a way of making a profit.
 6:6 Now godliness combined with contentment brings great profit.
 6:7 For we have brought nothing into this world and so we cannot take a single thing out either. (NET Bible)

These verses are the "flashing light" of caution against false teachings that are designed to attract human interests rather than genuine Godliness.


The Apostle Paul was extremely familiar with how humankind IS predisposed to deny any behavior that is “Godly.” His epistles to the Corinthians, for example, consistently spoke against the Church trying to “understand” the gospel and God’s will in their flesh. His writings expose the elements of a Godly lifestyle and how the life of a child of God – one who is born again through the belief and acceptance of the finished work at Calvary – does not mirror a life of one who is in the flesh and living in the world.

In Corinth there were matters of division, revelings, immorality issues, and an assortment of Christian error that was based in carnality, rather than heresy. Carnality in these books refer to Christians who continue to adhere to worldly principles and fleshly, human ideology rather than the Spirit of God, His Word and His will. Paul had to repeatedly design the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to be palatable to the hearers who were looking to hear “a word” that was pleasing to the ear and that edified the flesh. His descriptions of love and the resurrection are eloquent renderings that depict the power of change that comes through the spirit and NOT the flesh.

The gospel that he taught, preached, stood for and lived was a message of hope that, when received, changed peoples’ lives from the inside out. This is the message that matters. It is the message that heals, delivers, restores and renews a Christian day after day. Paul knew that a life that was lived in the flesh was destined to do EVERYTHING possible to discredit Godliness. “So then they who are in the flesh can NOT please God.”

The message of the gospel is CRYSTAL CLEAR! It does not need to be reinterpreted through countless attempts to humanize it. These tactics to “tickle” the ears of listeners with “words” that “sound good” are so prevalent today. One must ALWAYS BE AWARE of God’s Word through personal Bible study. If you don’t study the Bible, you are not equipped to discern what messages mater most. If you don’t have a firm foundation originating from the TRUTH of God’s word IN YOU, the following scripture will be your experience:

Ephesians 4:14 So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes.

I pray that your life’s experience lines up with a desire to “be filled with the Spirit” and realize true”spiritual discernment.”

Human wisdom is NOT what matters.

A Train Ride To Serenity


The New York Subway system is great. There is a fundamental element associated with traveling from downtown to uptown. When I was a child, per my cousin Gary, there were two trains that got the task done. From Penn Station you could catch the “A” train, a local route making many stops throughout the entire boro of Manhattan. Mostly everyone used this one because of its frequent regular schedule during the day. But if you knew what you were doing and your goal was to get uptown, you could travel up a steep flight of stairs, wait a while and get on the “AA” train instead. This express line offered you the freedom to arrive at your destination in a fraction of the time uninformed/impatient passengers realized on the popular local route. Today it is known as the “A Express.” On a good day you can get from 42nd street to 168st in 4 stops.

The Serenity Prayer offers us the same advantage.Serenity PrayerThis prayer is like an express train to my core. On the exterior, when I find myself honestly appealing to God‘s Sovereignty over my life as I face some sort of issue, this prayer acquaints me with the dilemma’s affect on me. It also provides me with a Divine solution – PEACE! Philippians 4: 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Each request in the Serenity Prayer is significant.

At the point when I am “boarding” this train, my spirit cries out “GOD.” Now I must tell you that I had to learn how to interpret this instinctive cry and utilize this prayer. I can vividly remember my twenties, when I was SO overwhelmed by life and too afraid to ask for help,I thought/BELIEVED I was supposed to be able to know how to handle all of the things going on around and in my life. Asking for help seemed like a weak, spineless cop out. In essence, the lies had me fooled and I was destined to experience all of the calamity and blessings that God OK’d. I am so thankful for the Old Testament because my consistent pursuit into that portion of scripture, during my twenties, gave me this level of clarity as my twenties came to a close. However, I did not realize God’s sovereignty until my 30’s.

I take my “seat” on the train as my spirit declares “Grant me the SERENITY.” In other words, my peace has been disrupted. Some person, place, thing or situation has interrupted the harmony within me that fuels my purpose. It’s obvious to me now that at this point I have conceded to myself that I am in need of help – GOD’S HELP – in order to arrive at His desired will for my life. Somehow, someway I have gone astray and I NEED to be restored.

“Accept the things that I cannot change” – Action occurs as the train speeds towards the next stop. Acceptance is in motion. What characterizes the motion experience like that of an actual subway ride is how I adapt to the bumpy segments between stops. When you ride the subway it can sometimes be a rough ride. So it is as I have to get myself to this acceptance of whatever it is that has interfered with my peace. The plea for acceptance directly calls into focus what I CANNOT change. Here is where the bumps get intense. Who cares to admit that they can’t do something when they are so engrossed in the prospects of consistently looking good on the outside. The prayer quickly challenges every aspect of my ego. Summarily, everything that goes on outside of me that affects my core – people, places, things, situations – are BEYOND my control. Acceptance gets me into an awareness that God controls every aspect of what goes on outside of me PERFECTLY (whether I want to believe it or not) and I AM NOT GOD.  The doors close and the train leaves the stop quickly speeding towards the next one.

“Courage to change the things that I can” – Finally something that I can do. The action of acceptance does not stop. In addition , I now call on God to provide what  I can physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually utilize to affect change in effort to achieve peace at all these levels – COURAGE. It enables me to honestly assess all that is going on at my core – what I am feeling, how I am thinking and most of all HOW MUCH I AM TRUSTING IN GOD VS TRUSTING IN ME OR OTHERS.  Courage is necessary in order for me to make whatever changes that are necessary within me that puts God back in His proper place -1st.

Why is this such an important life principle? All month I have delved into courage to gain a greater willingness to get all that courage affords me. I am a fearful being on so many levels. So to arrive at the place where I can honestly seek the Lord’s presence from day to day, and continue to experience the power that His presence does supply, offers me a vast supply of courage. The courage I write about is based in TRUST, HOPE AND FAITH IN THE CREATOR OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH, who created me. It just seems so apparent to me that one of the biggest problems we face in our core is keeping God engaged in our day to day affairs. A daily surrender to the finished work at Calvary is not an obstacle when you realize your need for a Savior.  The Apostle Paul made a simple but profound declaration in Philippians 4:13 “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME.”

The train doors close again as it speeds towards the destination. Along the way, my countenance has changed. I am now eager as I realize I am almost there. It is amazing at how quickly I have gone from 34th – downtown feeling all out of sorts and “off” – to 168th street – uptown Harlem – on top of my game, resting in the peace of God which is far beyond what I can possibly understand. Peace is at work because I called on God, requested “serenity now”, actively engaged acceptance and willingly utilized courage. But as the doors open at my final destination I am still in need of “The wisdom to know the difference.” Having the blessing of peace continuously at work in and around me requires a continued presence of wisdom. Wisdom to assess those things that are in my control and out of my control. The wisdom to know when I need to get back on the “aa” train.