We All Need Love


Human beings love in various ways. The variants stem from the origins of physical and emotional love which spring up in the flesh. In addition, spiritual love shows up in multiple manifestations as it is produced exclusively in a regenerated spirit.  Therefore, when we hear someone say “I love you” it is necessary to discern whether their love originates in the flesh, spirit

or both.

1Johnn 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1Johnn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Love is a powerful emotion stimulating our beings from the annals of our soul and spirit.  Physical manifestations, whether overt or covert, can cause a man or woman to act out their character to the point where their behavior is almost animal like. This is extreme but true. The same scenario applies when emotional love creates all kinds of unwarranted, unrealistic expectations and demands on “loved-ones” absent of any rationality. This example is best realized when we love someone emotionally to the degree that “I don’t want them to be in pain – physical, mental, emotional – and suffer” is a driving expectation absent of any acceptance of God’s Sovereignty. Physical and emotional love originate in our souls where the seat of our intellect and emotions are.

The soul is the part of a human being that God gave life to when He “breathed the breath of life into him and man became a living soul.”

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Every human being’s flesh is controlled by the soul. The soul is realized in our thoughts, desires and feelings. It is a spiritual mistake to connect soulish tendencies with spirituality. Every human being is capable of love whether they are saved by grace or not.  What is most important to understand is the soul is where sin originates in us all. It is Satan who uses our souls to manifest sin in us. He uses our thoughts, desires and feelings to draw us away from God. Our mistake is when we trust our thoughts, desires and feelings to be Godly leadership when it is actually Satanic. See what James says:

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away (from God) of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

Physical love and emotional love aka eros and phileo respectively, are natural tendencies. Unregenerate souls produce them. But when a human being hears the gospel of Jesus Christ -He came to save sinners from the penalty of sin which is eternal spiritual death by shedding his blood and being crucified, dying and resurrecting from the grave – and faith in the gospel originates, his/her spirit awakens from a deadened state because of the sin of our flesh.

Ephesians 2:1-10 confirms this:And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the]mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

We all need a daily infusion of the LOVE of Jesus Christ in our spirits. His blood that was shed has the POWER to cleanse us, save us and renew the spirit within us. Adam had this spiritual connection with God before the human race was infected with sin. From then to now man’s spirit is dead and in need of revival. Man’s spiritual renewal is through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Christ which raised Him from the grave – in our revived spirits making it alive and occupied with God’s Sovereignty that produces an unlimited supply of AGAPE LOVE. The epitome of Godly spirituality is the regular experience of agape love.

Agape love is spiritual love as it can only come from God – man can NOT manufacture AGAPE love without a revived spirit. A revived spirit, makes the mind renewed (i.e. the soul is now under the control of the spirit now indwelt by the Spirit. A renewed mind manifests new life that is lived in our human bodies as a result of new spiritual life being infused in us daily.   Ultimately, we can know, feel, receive and give spiritual love that overrides human love. Spiritual love never fails. WE ALL NEED HIS LOVE!

Blessed Delay


 

 “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.  Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalms 27:13-14

Delayed
Delayed (Photo credit: Aquila) WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THERE IS A SUDDEN DELAY?

Recall a time when you were in need of DELIVERANCE and instead of an “IMMEDIATELY” result, you encounter a significant DELAY. Nothing is more dreadful than having to wait for a particular outcome you KNOW you need. The difficulty you face as you MUST “endure the hardships” of the circumstances can work in one of two ways:

 

 

1. The delay can distract you from the plan and purpose of the circumstance. This personal response fuels hopelessness and despair as you move away from God.  You will find human alternatives that can serve you like band aids on a bleeding wound.
2. The delay can propel you towards the plan and purpose of the circumstance. This personal response fuels hope and faith in God through prayer and reading and studying His Word. "His word is a lamp unto your feet and a light to your pathway." DARKNESS OR DESPAIR WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HINDER YOU. You will find His power and peace to preserve you while you "wait" and His Heavenly purpose will ALWAYS be revealed,BLESSED DELAY results in His Faithfulness.

I am blessed to have the gift of “waiting on the Lord” in my spiritual arsenal. However, I did not always consider the delays that God allows as a blessing. In fact, there was a particular delay in my life in which I thought I was receiving NO additional Godly intervention. I believed that it was God’s will for this particular matter  in my life and HE WAS NEVER GOING TO ALLOW FOR CHANGE. I WAS SO WRONG! While this was a painful reality for me to accept, it FORCED ME TO DRAW CLOSER TO HIM BECAUSE OF A PERSONAL NEED FOR HIS POWER TO SUPPLEMENT MY POWERLESSNESS. “His STRENGTH IS PERFECT WHEN OUR STRENGTH IS GONE!” Through the process of getting closer to Him He eventually allowed for MORE change. “GOD’S DELAY IS NOT A DENIAL.”

The more I realized #2 at work in my life the more HOPE I REALIZED AS IT WAS MANUFACTURED IN MY SPIRIT DURING THE BLESSED DELAY. All the while I could experience the goodness of the Lord through His continual provision for me, His peace in me and His plan for me. The essence of Him presiding over the “NEED” also manifested in the lives of my loved ones all around me. The song writer wrote “He Keeps On Doing GREAT Things For Me.” Ultimately, the presence of HOPE in my spirit yielded a fertile ground for SEEDS from the WORD OF GOD to cultivate IN ME. 
You too can experience “THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING.” HAVE FAITH IN HIM and ALLOW for a BLESSED DELAY in your life. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart. PLEASE WAIT ON THE LORD!
 

 

 

 

Honestly


http://www.google.com/imgres?q=Negative+low+tide+wikipedia&hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1777&bih=861&tbm=isch&tbnid=xZBYWxg5x9NDIM:&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Negative_low_tide_at_Ocean_Beach_1.jpg&docid=GaQMz-lKL9XS9M&imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/Negative_low_tide_at_Ocean_Beach_1.jpg&w=1777&h=1826&ei=x1QJUbnKKIy49gTmhIFw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=1034&sig=113556108977662286551&page=1&tbnh=190&tbnw=196&start=0&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0&tx=317&ty=334
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A Heart to Serve


Practice Love This Holiday Season
Galatians 5:13
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another.

Not Outside Then Inside………


God gave us the cogent example of the Pharisee in the Gospels to demonstrate how human wisdom and human interpretation of God’s word leads to spiritual blindness. The Pharisees were experts in the letter of the law but they did not have a clue about the significance of Christ – whose identity originates in the Old Testament to prophets like Moses, who wrote the Torah.

Consider the lesson contained in the reaction Christ demonstrates towards the Pharisees.

Cup and Saucer
Cup and Saucer (Photo credit: Cookieater 2009) WHAT GOES INSIDE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE BEAUTY ON THE OUTSIDE

If you too are so focused on keeping your outside clean for others to think you have it all together, yet you continue to neglect God’s goodness to your spirit, through his love, forgiveness, grace and mercy at Calvary, then, like the Pharisees, you too are guilty of hypocrisy.



Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law — justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others.
 23:24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel!
23:25 "Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites!You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside may become clean too! (NET Bible)

Perseverance Pays


 

English: Perseverance Street
English: Perseverance Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia) exists on 4 continents.  Mark this on your life’s road map!

 

There is nothing better in life than getting the big payoff. All of the struggle, heartache, difficulty, uncertainty and sleepless nights become a learning curve when you get to the solution.  What happens as a result of the payoff is the purpose of the perseverance. You learn that the very thing that you were struggling to realize – “winning” – and all the effort required was NECESSARY for you to grow.  No matter what the test, if you hang in there and keep the faith, GOD IS USING EVERYTHING HE MUST TO MATURE YOU INTO WHO HE WANTS YOU TO BE. 

 

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

When you like the results – THANK GOD!

 

When you DON’T like the results – THANK GOD!

 

When you are confused about the results

 

THANK GOD ANYHOW!

 

THE MORE THANKSGIVING GOD GETS,

 

THE BIGGER THE PAYOFF. 

 

IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER!

 

Love Is Giving and Receiving a Clean Slate


 

 

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son. That whosoever believes in Him should  not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

 

Try Jesus. He satisfies!

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.

 

Hope & Faith


The Stone of Scone in the Coronation Chair at ...
The chair is only as secure as its substructure

It feels like Christmas today. I have waited patiently for this day to arrive and thank God it is here. As I developed the thematic content for ConquerorShots in January, I got excited then about today’s post. From now on 3/1 will forever be “Hope & Faith” day. You see, we have a progressive transition that is God-ordained.

 

All of my anticipation about this post is fueling my fingers to hit these keys because I no longer have to hold this in. I pray this blesses you all.

Hebrews 11: 1 is often referred to as the “introduction to the Hall of Faith.”

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

Hope and faith are clearly defined here. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason for us to misuse these Heavenly gifts UNLESS you are not in agreement with this verse.

Faith is the “conviction of the truth of anything, belief.”

For an example let’s look at the simple act of sitting. When I was a kid, I witnessed my cousin Michael – a tall 6’7″ 300lb solid public figure – sit in a chair which collapsed in the process. The atmosphere was full of celebration and excitement because we were eating Sunday dinner and we had a chance to see our loved one who’s music was being played on the radio hourly. He was most definitely festive because of the meal he was about to eat on the plate he held in his had while chosing what resin chair to sit in on the porch. Without question he was “convinced” that he was about to sit down and “throw down” eating,  after being on the road for weeks performing. My other cousins and I were already seated and eating which made his entry into the scene so natural. He never considered the idea that he was about to “hit the deck”.

As he positioned himself in the chair, the legs of the synthetic material began to buckle outward. It all happened so fast! He sat down, the chair could not hold him and he hit the porch floor as his plate went up and the food landed on him and the porch. It was a total disaster of the worse kind. His faith in the chair failed him. It was unable to hold him up because of the force associated with his stature. It was a lesson for all of us to behold.

We are taught from childhood to sit. In fact, “timeout” is designed to make us sit down, to quiet down  rambunctious activities. Our instinct is to find a seat and sit. The decision to sit in the chair is based in the “conviction” of the truth that it will hold us up. It is a belief that we naturally realize. Yet we do not have to acknowledge our faith in the chair until the chair is not working for us i.e. it is unable to supply us with the rest from standing we need.  At that point,  panic sets in as the thought of the consequences of the chair’s failure yields horrifying circumstances from us hitting the ground. The acknowledgement is based in the fact that “faith failed us.” The expectation was to experience rest, relaxation and comfort. Instead, we are embarrassed, uncomfortable, possibly injured and so on. Faith is the substance………

The word substance in the verse is contained in the overall Heavenly blessing of this passage. It provides us with insight that is often overlooked. Simply put, faith is the “substructure or foundation”  or “confidence, firm trust, assurance” of what your hoping for. This idea is best understood when you consider the structure of a home. The substructure has to be strong enough to support the foundation, infrastructure and superstructure, of the home. It is the firm bedrock for the adjoining structures to rest on securely. The essence of our faith and the confidence of my hope NEEDS a constant attachment to “The Rock” which is CHRIST.   The evidence……………

We are constantly in search of proof to validate truth, whether we are honest about the pursuit or not is irrelevant. Back to the chair example, the reason we can so readily have faith in the chair is because of the continued success we have experienced over the course of a lifetime relative to the chair’s  ability to provide us with rest off of our feet.  When Mike got up off the floor he did not say “I am never going to sit in a chair again!” Instead, he cleaned himself off, got  another plate of food and went inside and sat at the dining room table to eat instead. He was not going to be so foolish as to STOP trusting in the chair to do for him what it was designed to do.  Christ came to this world to save sinners, through the death at Calvary, the burial and resurrection. Long before He established his earthly ministry, He was established as The Rock of our Salvation.

There is no better proof of the essence of His power that is greater than the FACT that He is the Son of God who arose from the dead and ascended back to His rightful place at the Right Hand of the Father where He now intercedes on our behalf.  No matter how messed up life may become, He NEVER FAILS!  HE CONQUERED THE POWER OF SIN AND DEATH AT CALVARY. Proof is further accomplished after we accept this SELFLESS act of salvation personally. I don’t know about you but the life that I now live is SOOOOO MUCH better than the life I use to lead. The difference? The power of sin is NO LONGER reigning over my life – HE IS! Even though we CAN’T see Him!

The evidence of things not seen. “Things” is so misunderstood and taken for granted. It is EVERYTHING THAT IS ALREADY DONE in God’s plan>The results are eternal but everyday I get a glimpse of the proof from the time I open my eyes and realize my lungs an my heart are working, my legs and my arms are still functional, my 5 senses are still in tact and He is present – providing, protecting, and purposing all of the events of the day for my good.  These “good works” that God ordained EVEN BEFORE I TOOK SHAPE IN MY MOTHER’S WOMB, are the “THINGS”. What a MIGHTY God!!!!!

 

What A Mighty God We Serve


Can your heart identify to these words? “He is so good to me, oh yes. He gives me victory, oh yes! Oh what a mighty God we serve…….He opens doors for me, oh yes. Doors I’m unable to see, oh yes. Oh what a mighty God we serve.” I woke up with this song of my youth. This tune is not the popular version we know today but one that seems to have vanished from the archives. I learned it in the 70’s.

Hope is the principle we are focused on this month. Yesterday I had a belief in the Giants victory that was fueled by hope. I am sure many of you did as well. At half time they were behind and the Patriots seemed to be gaining momentum going into the third quarter. I remember tweeting after a failed drive that “it was clobbering time” in the Giants camp. (I am a Fantastic 4 fan too!) To my surprise I was right. The game shifted and the Giants went on to win in the last 2 minutes of the game. What an exciting game but it also serves as a lesson in the benefits of HOPE.

My statement was fueled in hope. I hoped that the defense would prevail because of their history. I hoped in Eli being the better leader because of his history. I hoped in the receivers being in sync with Eli and running the field because of their history. The Giants did not start out the season on top but the history of the season yielded significant evidence to fuel my HOPE. We got to see the Giants, in all their splendor, win the game, the trophy, the rings and the celebration began. OH WHAT A TIME!!

Mighty Mighty (song)
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Romans 5:2 reminds us “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” HOPE is vital because of the process of justification at work in my life. It is necessary to do a daily assessment of the HOPE in my life. There may be times when I have nothing “going on” to hope in. If my heart and mind is not settled in “rejoicing in HOPE of the glory of God” I could find myself hopeless in certain situations. Hopelessness is a direct result of a conquered lifestyle.

I continue to WAKE UP  to the fact that “WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS”  in all my affairs. You have a best friend in Jesus that has affixed you into the Body of Christ so perfectly that you are victorious from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep.  All you need is a heart and mind that is settled in “rejoicing in Hope of the glory of God.” My HOPE in the Giants winning the super bowl was realized and lasted for one day and it was AWESOME!!!!

OUR HOPE IN THE GLORY OF GOD REVEALED TO MANKIND AND THE WORLD IS GOING TO LAST THROUGHOUT ETERNITY – IT WILL NEVER END!!!!!!!!!!

Can u hear me shouting????????  SHOUT WITH ME!

We are all CONQUERORS in Christ.