God uses a Process to Prepare His People

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We have all been there. Getting ready for a new job, new home, new semester at school. When you think about these things, what do you notice about the process we go through? There is a preparation stage. There is a what you do stage and there is a check or audit stage and finally an action stage. All of God’s prophets, great men and women, and leaders go through the same stages just with different outcomes.

In the story of God’s people being delivered out of Egypt, we see that there is a preparation that takes place during the journey in order for the people to go into the promised land. We notice that in that preparation none of the people who started the journey, except for Joshua and Caleb, were able to cross to the promise land. What happened? You would think that at least Moses should have been able to finish the journey of crossing over but he didn’t make it either. Many times we suffer the same outcome. During the preparation phase we falter and instead of continuing, we give up and let go of our dreams and stop following the course that God had set us on.

Now that the next generation made to the promise land, their next step was to do. They had to take care of business. God told them to conquer and that’s what they started doing. But it wasn’t just about conquering the surrounding people, it was also about conquering their own fears, insecurities, guilts, and other things that will later ignite God’s wrath due to their disobedience. Everyday we must conquer our fears, our insecurities, our weaknesses, and other things in our lives to help us get to the next level. As a great leader said in his book,”Madness – Your ability to achieve your dreams is in direct proportion to your willingness to make sacrifices”

What are you willing to sacrifice in order to obtain the preparation necessary to become the leader God has called you to be?

Are you self or God sustained?

sermon-1-abrahamic-covenant-01-16-638If God is our provider, why is it that we depend so much on what we earn? True He has given us the strength to work and He also states in His word that he who does not work will not or should not eat.

One of the hardest things to do is trust in someone or something that one cannot see. Most christians talk about God providing for their needs but it seems to be only by word of mouth because their actions speak something totally different. I can speak this way because that used to be me. I relied so heavily on what I could do that I didn’t allow God do what He wanted to do. In every one of those instances I saw my life changing for the worse. I have since then learn to trust God in almost everything I do. I say almost everything because I still seem to do things on my own without consulting with Him.

I am currently going through something very difficult and many times I find myself still trying to do my own thing and it gets me in more trouble than when I let God do His. I guess one of the hardest things to do is to let go. When you’ve done something for so long and then you to try to allow God to govern your life, that is one of the most painful but rewarding moments in one’s life.

Are you still trying to run things? Or are you allowing God to run things?

 

Life

Life is defined as the period between the birth and death of a living thing. In this span of time that you are existing in, what have you learned? What makes you tick? What makes you frustrated? What makes you happy? And what motivates you to move forward?
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As for me, I have learned that the small things are what cause
  • Anger
  • Distress
  • Frustration
  • Dissolution
  • Walls in Relationships
I have also learned that it is easier to
  • Blame someone else for your mistake
  • Point the finger at someone
  • Judge others
What I have learned about God
  • He is always in control
  • Allows situations to build character
  • Never betrays
  • Is merciful beyond my comprehension
  • I have learned that in helping someone else, God helps me in return
  • Blessings happen when you don’t expect to be blessed
  • I am only here due to His grace
What have you learned? It would be great to hear from you.  Leave comments below.

How much do you love?

good1 What are you willing to do for your neighbor? What are you willing to sacrifice for those you don’t even know?

Selflessness is a rarity these days. We are more concerned with ourselves than anyone else. It is what is taught in the schools and the workplace.

There are those who would give their place to others or stop and help someone else without expecting anything in return. The story of the good samaritan comes to mind but not because someone stopped to help the injured man on the road but because of the actions of those who are said to be the leaders of a nation and did nothing and just walked away.

If we have the capability to serve and help others as we would like to be served and helped, why is so hard to do so? If you really dig deep, you will find the answer to be something you would not expect or maybe you would – PRIDE. We are too proud to lower ourselves to a servant’s role. We think it to be the lowest form of humanity or think of it as a slave. But Jesus says that who ever wants to be great in heaven will be the servant of all here on earth.

Are you willing to let go of your pride and help someone with whom you have no contact or don’t even know?

Rejoice?

Rejoice-Always What is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions REJOICE?  What does it mean to rejoice?  Is it possible to rejoice in the midst of problems and situations?

Well, let’s see if we can shed some light on the matter now. Welcome once again to Thoughts of Expression.  I have been thinking about this word rejoice for a few days now. And looked it up in the dictionary to get a better understanding of what it is about the word that just impacts.  Here is the definition that impacted me the most: “Middle English (in the sense ‘cause joy to’): from Old French rejoiss-, lengthened stem of rejoir, from re- (expressing intensive force) + joir (experience joy.)” Notice the red letter words. This Old French word really hits the meaning that the bible also gives when it comes to rejoice. Expressing intensive force of experienced joy, WOW. Other words that mean rejoice are: happiness, pleasure, joy, delight, elation, jubilation, exultation, celebration

The verse in the picture says to always rejoice. Now how is that possible? Pope Francis had this to say,”We are not called to accomplish epic feats or proclaim high-sounding words, but to give witness to the joy that arises from the certainty of knowing we are loved, from the confidence that we are saved.” So what does it mean? It means that as followers of Christ, we are to show the world that it doesn’t matter what happens in our lives, we will have joy, it doesn’t matter what situations we find ourselves in, we will have joy because the Jesus told us from the beginning that we will suffer because of this world but He had already conquered the world.  This means that our problems are already solved, situations have already been taken care of, so we are just waiting for the end result and that in itself gives you joy, a cause for rejoicing, a cause for jubilation.

So I will leave with this exhortation from James, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

God bless you and rejoice for He loves you and has already given you the victory.

New Year’s Resolution

new-years-resolutions-tipsHappy Tuesday! Hope everyone is having a wonderful day. How of you had a list like the one here when January started? How many of these or those that you have are you still actually working on? This is the 19th day of January and many have already given up on their resolutions. If you are one of those people, don’t worry you are not alone. One thing I can say is that it is still not too late to start going after what you only need to do but should do for a better way of life.

Our main problem is that we tend to think futuristic.  This is not a bad thing to think about your future but we should concentrate more on the now because it is the time and space we occupy at the moment. The bible says in Matthew 6:34, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” In other words, think about the right now, the things you should accomplish today, the todo list you need to get done today, the exercise you want to do today, the book you want to read today, etc. and you will accomplish more than any other time in your life.

As a wise turtle once said, “You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” This has a lot of truth to it. But in this age we are more concerned about what was and what will be that we forget about what is.

Hopefully this will help you take another stab at your resolution and allow you to keep going and not stop. The end result will be its own reward.

Don’t Give In

560193f01d6c28e54ad16f1e9a58b372This is the second full week of the new year. If you have made a resolution and find yourself already showing signs of slowing the momentum down, Don’t give up. Great things take time. And all things worthwhile are not easily attained. This is just a little bump on the road.  You can do this.

Many people give up too soon and then find themselves wishing they had just stuck it out a little longer.  This may seem, to many, like a short time and wonder who would actually give up so early? There are many because from the beginning of their journey all they’ve had have been obstacles.

In Galatians 6:9 (NLT) it says, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Many of us get tired of continually doing what is right, keeping our word, staying focussed, staying on a program, etc. But don’t give up and don’t give in. Your reward is soon to come.

So keep working at your pace but keep working. Stay focussed and make short strides or accomplishments and reward yourself for getting there. Soon the ultimate prize will come your way.

Happy New Year

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A new year has begun and many are excited to finally get started on  a goal or a resolution. We all start with great ideas of how we may want to change ourselves, our situations, or even status.

What goals have you set for yourself? What accomplishments are you looking forward to achieve? What about yourself are you going to change? We all make these types of resolutions.  We want to read more, lose weight, get out of debt, travel, etc.

In Matthew 6:34, it says “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Now this doesn’t mean that we don’t set plans in motion for our future, what it does mean is that we need to set attainable goals so that we are not stressed about trying to achieve them and instead enjoy the journey getting there.

There is a quote from someone that goes – “We don’t PLAN to fail but fail to PLAN.” This is true in so many levels.  So if you want to truly accomplish the goals or resolutions you have set for yourself this year.  Make sure that you set goals that are realistic and write down the steps that will allow you to get to the end and celebrate every milestone along the way.

Have a Prosperous & Happy New Year.  God bless you and please leave your comments and any ideas or goals or resolution you wish to share.

The Greatest Gift

giftChristmas time is upon us and many are buying gifts for a loved ones, friends, or an acquaintances. If I were to ask you, what has been the greatest gift you have ever received?  What would that be? What is the meaning of Christmas?

When we look at our current state in society, what is the meaning given to Christmas? Saying Merry Christmas to people now offends them and happy holidays is given in its place. Christmas is a time of giving but not just about gifts that are purchased. We have to give of ourselves in all of what giving is suppose to be. I love the following excerpt from an article written by John MacArthur:

The answer may just surprise you.

For many, Christmas is the time to think of Jesus Christ as a baby in a manger. While the birth of Christ is a special and miraculous event, it isn’t the primary focus. The central truth of the Christmas story is this: the Child of Christmas is God.



God in a Manger

Christmas is not about the Savior’s infancy; it is about His deity. The humble birth of Jesus Christ was never intended to conceal the reality that God was being born into the world.

But the modern world’s version of Christmas does just that. And consequently for the greater part of humanity, Christmas has no legitimate meaning at all.

I don’t suppose anyone can ever fathom what it means for God to be born in a manger. How does one explain the Almighty stooping to become a tiny infant? Our minds cannot begin to understand what was involved in God’s becoming man.

Nor can anyone explain how God could become a baby. Yet He did. Without forsaking His divine nature or diminishing His deity, He was born into our world as a tiny infant.

He was fully human, with all the needs and emotions that are common to us all. Yet He was also fully God–all wise and all powerful.

For nearly 2,000 years, debate has been raging about who Jesus really is. Cults and skeptics have offered various explanations. They’ll say He is one of many gods, a created being, a high angel, a good teacher, a prophet, and so on. The common thread of all such theories is that they make Jesus less than God. But the biblical evidence is overwhelming that this child in the manger was the incarnation of God.

One passage in particular, written by the apostle Paul, captures the essence of Jesus’ divine nature and underscores the truths that make Christmas truly wonderful.

Colossians 1:15-20 says,

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For. . . all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

The meaning of Christmas should not be belittled.  The word Christmas is “Christ for the Masses”.  It is for all and if you reflect on it you will see the true meaning. This is one of only two special days celebrated by all the world.  Why do you think that is?

So Merry Christmas and may the joy and love that come attached to this season find you infused with its meaning, “The Gift of Salvation from GOD”

Am I truly Sacrificing anything for Christ?

tumblr_kvc72qqp2p1qzlgb3o1_r3_500 What does it really mean to sacrifice yourself for Christ? Can we truly say we are giving up everything for Him? Can we even say we are sacrificing anything for Him? Why the questions of sacrifice?

What does it mean to sacrifice? According to the dictionary, sacrifice means “an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy or more valuable.” When we look at this definition of the word sacrifice, we can say yes, we are totally doing that but if you dig deep and you now move that definition in terms of your relationship with Christ, how are we doing now? Are other things more valuable to you than a relationship with your creator?

I was reading the testimony of Dr. Nabeel Qureshi in his book, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” when he left Islam for Christianity, he truly sacrificed everything. He was no longer part of his family. He was no longer part of his community and he was longer anyone to everyone else. Our beliefs many times will be challenged at best and mocked most other times. But if we look at what the bible says Matthew 16:25-28, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? 16:26 Or yourself? also in 16:26b.

Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.” 

So I leave you with a question. Are you currently serving God with everything you have or is there something you still need to surrender to Him completely?