Tag: #scripture

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide:Running Away From Duty

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide:Running Away From Duty

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide:Running Away From Duty Part 1

“The word of the Lord came to Jonah, son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Niveveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went about and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.” Jonah 1:1-3 NIV

As we begin our lesson today on Jonah, Let’s get a little background on Him: his name means dove. When Jonah was a boy, he became very ill, and the prophet Elijah cried to the Lord, and the Lord heard him, and he was revived. The book of Jonah does not identify the author, but the work is accredited to him.

The first chapter of is about a prophet on the run from his duties. Jonah obviously knew the voice of the Lord because he was running.  Here in chapter one, God gives Jonah a direct command. No, he was not asking him what he would like to do. God told Jonah to “arise and go.”

In my view, Jonah’s run, stemmed from a couple of areas: first he knew the lord was gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Secondly, the thought of the Lord being merciful toward the people of Nineveh, made him angry. In Jonah’s eyes these people were not worth the trouble. To Him, they were an ungrateful, ruthless, warlike, and full of selfish ambition as they worshipped idols with no respect for God. Not to mention they were a direct threat to Israel.

Jonah felt I believe that it was his actual duty NOT TO GO. So instead, he would go into the boat and hide from God. How many of you know, that we can’t hide from Him? But our prophet was shrouded in emotional turmoil, unable to see beyond himself and his opinions, lead him to believe that he could just skip out on God. But unknown to him friends, there would consequences and repercussions from his current choices.

Jonah made it to the getaway vessel, paid his fare and went down to the inner part of the boat. Now that the boat was out on the seas, a rockin and a reelin, Jonah could feel sleep beginning to kick in on him. His eyes were getting heavy and then he fell asleep. All that running had worn him out.

But look at the power of God. The Lord sent a great wind upon the sea. I believe the crew had seen a lot of things, but there was just something not right in this storm to them. At that time all hands were on deck, but where was Jonah?  The ship’s captain, a Pegan woke up a sleeping Jonah, telling him to pray to his God.

In his mind, he knew that this storm was because of his action to run. He eventually fessed up to the captain and crew, who now knew he was the reason for the storm in the first place. Wanting the seas to still it’s roar, but at what price. These men were not killers. They were a crew without choices and at the mercy of God as they threw Jonah overboard. Can you say Man Overboard? Amen!

Remember friends, we are each others’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.

Abraham & Isaac

Abraham & Isaac

The Lord will Make a Way Somehow

“Take your son, your only son, whom you love-Isaac-and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Genesis 22:2 NIV

Growing up as a kid, there were lots of decisions my parents made that I didn’t understand. As a child I trusted, that wherever we were (new city, community, or church) I was safe, because we would be together. As a kid there was security in that for me. Naturally I would dream about what my new school would be like. Would I make friends? I hoped to have nice teachers too. I thought about things like our new church home, and what the people were like. Would they love my family, like Mr. Christ did? Would there be kids my age or just adults and babies who can’t talk.

When Abraham and Sarah were old God gave them a son. I see Isaac, as a loving son, who loved his family. He trusted his daddy. Did you know that Abraham waited 25 years for the gift of a son? Abraham trusted God’s promise, and in time he had a son to spend time with and pour love into.

One day friends, God told Abraham to do something that no doubt had him scratching his head. God told him to take his son Isaac to a special mountain and give him as a sacrifice. Maybe for a fleeting second, he thought about the bad humor of God in that request. Maybe?

Can you see Abraham taking a deep breath as he slows his row, to think for a minute. He remembered that God promised that Isaac would have a family. If he was to be a sacrifice, then how would he have his own family one day? Here we see the season salt of wisdom kicked in his mind. He knew God would make away somehow.  He did not know how, instead he believed God would keep his promise.

Nevertheless, Abraham obeyed. Early in the morning he and Isaac, two helpers along with their supplies on a donkey, began their three-day journey. Can you imagine the conversations they shared? I am sure Abraham’s mind was on his son the whole way. When they arrived, only Abraham and Isaac went up the mountain.

Here we see an inquisitive Isaac, who paid attention to the things around him as he noticed there was something missing-the sacrifice.  He asked his daddy, where was the lamb to sacrifice to God? Abraham according to the scripture said, “my son, God will provide himself a lamb for the burnt offering.” Here again it’s obvious that Isaac had no idea that he was to be the sacrifice.

Abraham built the altar and got ready to offer Isaac to God, but a voice called from heaven and said, “Abraham, I see that you were willing to do what I said. You do not have to offer your son Isaac.” There in the thicket was a ram caught for the sacrifice.  Abraham called the place, “the Lord will provide.”

To me this story wasn’t really about sacrifice, but instead faithfulness and the provision of an on-time God. What he says, He will do! Trust him friends, He will make a way somehow. Amen.

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we were helping them up.

Bring Me My Coat

Bring Me My Coat

Bring Me My Coat

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. Genesis 37:3 NKJV

Ooh Wee, are you having your share of that wintery mix friends? When I got up this past Monday morning, I started by looking at some of my local news, but it wasn’t telling me much, so I looked out the peep hole on the front door, and all I could see was a blanket of white snow. I then tightened my robe a little tighter, telling myself, I aint going out there. This was going to be a stay-at-home kind of day. However, if I had to go out, I got my coat and accessories to help keep the chill off. As I think about our lesson on Joseph’s coat of many colors, I asked myself what does a coat do? Its job is to protect and cover. Let’s investigate this story shall we.

When Joseph was 17 years old, his father Jacob gave him a beautiful coat. However, this coat came with plenty of obstacles.  I see it like a soap opera right off your television screen. It has all the Young and the Restless drama, plenty of Days of our Lives jealousy, a large amount of All my Children betrayal, and its share of young bratty kids, yes, I am talking about General Hospital.

Joseph was conceived in Jacob’s old age and the coat of many colors symbolized favor.  It was also the beginning of sibling rivalry brought about by the favoritism Jacob showed Joseph. My grandparents had 8 children; growing up I remember asking my grandmother who was her favorite child was. She told me, all of them. My grandmother went on to explain to me, that she had enough love for each and every one of them and that her love was never going to change.

Joseph had the coat for a little while but there were several things that lead to the coat getting destroyed.  It would be safe to say the brothers saw him perhaps as a bit of a tattle tale. As he would bring bad reports back to their father about them. Joseph would also tell his brothers about his dreams showing they would bow down to him one day, suggesting Joseph would rule over them. Can you see how this could be perceived as a unary moment by Joseph, as he rubbed his dream in their faces?  Which only led to them hating him even more.

Again, Jacob sent Joseph out to the fields to check on his brothers as they work. Remember, Joseph had already brought back one bad report about some of his brothers, so they weren’t happy to see him coming. They came up with a plan to kill him when he arrived. However, the oldest brother, Reuben, talked them into throwing him into a pit instead of murdering him. But before Reuben could rescue him out of the pit, his brothers sold him to a passing caravan of Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver.

Now that the deed was done, what would they tell their father? They dipped the robe in slaughtered goats’ blood and brought it to their father, asking him to identify it. Their father did see it was his son Joseph’s coat thinking a fierce animal had devoured him and he was torn to pieces.

In the end Joseph took the way up. After the death of their father, Joseph’s brothers were afraid that Joseph would seek his revenge on them. But he was not that attention seeking kid anymore, he was a changed man. Friends when life doesn’t seem fair, consider His response to his brothers:

 “Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:19-20 NIV

It’s a reminder to me to continue to keep my seat and save my energy for prayer, worship, and praise. Into God’s capable hands do I put my everything.  No matter what life’s weather may bring, God has the right kind of coat for every season in our lives. Amen!

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.

No, Not Right Now

No, Not Right Now

Together with kindness and in understanding, let’s take this time to self reflect. I am here to inspire, encourage, and remind you that God has given us the most important weapon we have to fight the enemy, His Word.

Now let’s dress our soul like we dress our bodies, EVERYDAY!

No, Not Right Now

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

You’re not the only one God has said no to you know. I have had my share of NO’s too. My journey to becoming an author was meant with plenty of opposition along the way. Sometimes I was the one standing in the way. I chuckle when I remember the Lord, saying to me that he was going to put me on a book writing journey. I remember saying to him, Lord you sure you are talking about me. During those early development stages, I had no idea how this was going to come to be. All I really knew was he chose me for it. Then my question was, how? I looked at some publishing companies that accepted work from new writers such as myself. Back in 2019 after working on what I thought was a READY and COMPLETE book, I submitted my work. The response letter I received from the publishing company was full of pleasantries, that concluded with No, I wasn’t the right fit, no, because of a lack of experience, and No, I was a risk. It hurt, cause I thought I had it right, the Lord knew I wasn’t ready, and somewhere deep down inside as I thought things through more slowly, as always he was right. I still had plenty of work to do, not just the manuscript either. I had to get me in order as life continued to happen all around me. I had to stop running, I had to stop thinking it’s my way, I had to get beyond opinions as I step out of my familiar box, began this new journey God had given me. This was going to be my preparation time for the next couple of years. I used that no to prepare my manuscript for God’s glory. This was about me, but then again it wasn’t. As a servant in God’s army, it’s not about what I want, but I am I willing to trust God to share what he gives me, the way he wants. Amen!  Life went on happening, a year and plenty of revamping work later, I heard back from that publishing company asking me to consider self-publishing with them. As I look back on these humble beginnings in hindsight God’s NO was the right call. I wasn’t ready. I knew that God had given me this work to do, his way and in his time. There were days I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I had to STOP and LISTEN to what the Holy Spirit was saying. Moving on out of my own way, to just have faith in the only thing I had, God’s Word. I heard him saying to me, I have been with you this far, I am not going to leave you now. Continue to trust me and what I have given you, you don’t know how to get there, I will show you how.” February 2022, I published my first book, Out of the Belly.

There were plenty of no’s in the scripture too.

  1. No to entering the Promised LandNumbers 13, 14 and 20:2-12
Because the Israelites did not believe in God’s power and disobeyed, and Moses failed to follow God’s instructions when bringing water from the rock, God did not permit them to enter the land He had promised.
  2. No to cursing the IsraelitesNumbers 22-24
When King Balak asked the prophet, Balaam, to curse the Israelites, God refused to curse them. Instead, He blessed them, not once but three times!
  3. No to building His temple1 Chronicles 28
David has plans to build a temple for God, however, God tells him “no”. Instead, God designated David’s son, Solomon, to build His temple.
  4. No to Paul’s travel plansActs 16:6-10
Paul and Silas are planning to travel to Asia Minor to preach when God stops them and sends a vision to Paul. As a result, they travel to Macedonia instead.
  5. Even Jesus petitioned God Matthew 26:39 to rid Him of His suffering the night before He died on the cross and God said no.

For those of you who are experiencing God’s NO right now. Maybe it’s about your career goals, starting a business, homeownership, marriage, children, school, family issues, or maybe it’s just the dating scene. There is so much we cannot see and because of that we must rely on the all-seeing eye of God, who wants nothing but good things for us. We must trust that whatever decision he is making for us, it’s for our good. We are not going to always understand, but that’s where our faith must come into play. Whatever is for you friends, you are not going to miss it. You can’t force yourself in places you’re not meant to fit in. Like a puzzle with a strange piece, it’s just not gonna fit. Amen.

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.

When We Pray Together

When We Pray Together

Together with kindness and in understanding, let’s take this time to self reflect. I am here to inspire, encourage, and remind you that God has given us the most important weapon we have to fight the enemy, his Word.

Now let’s dress our soul like we dress our bodies, EVERYDAY!

When We Pray Together

Psalms 20:1-9 NIV

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!

We have all been there, distressed, needing the Lords help, and desiring victory over our circumstances. Psalm 20 has two parts, the assembled people and King David’s pray for victory in an impending battle. The people pray that God would bless the king during the fight.

David prays to describe his confidence in God. David and the people of Israel are trusting in something far more effective, and reliable than human armies.  Here lies the power of a prayerful people who have come together on one accord to get things done. Not in their own strength, but the strength of the Lord through faith. There is nothing like coming together with other believers in prayer.

When we pray together, we experience God’s presence.

When we pray together, we become impactful when we lift each other up.

When we pray together, we unlock the doors of our hidden potential.

When we pray together, there is a change in the atmosphere affecting the very condition of things around us.

When we pray together, there is evidence of transformation.

When we pray together, we are louder than any operatic vocal performance or brass jazz band ensemble. He hears us. The Word says, “for where two or three gather are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20 NKJV

Remember we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.