John 2:9 – “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
Here we are once again having crossed the portal into a brand New Year! Seems like the older I get, the faster the years seem to roll around. I don’t know about you, but I am so glad that 2020 is behind me. 2020 was some year for me, as I’m sure it was for you, facing great challenges and hurdles to overcome in many areas! I prayed, fasted, stood firm on the promises of God [which are Yea and Amen] and trusted Him to work things out for my good because I love Him and am the called according to His purpose!
Agree with me, it seemed to be the consensus among many Saints that weapons were formed, tongues rose up in judgment, and all for God’s sake! But He promised us a brighter day! So with that promise deeply rooted in my heart, every time I got a chance to praise Him, I did! Every time I entered into His gates, I did it with Thanksgiving! Every time I entered His courts, I did it with praise! I blessed the Lord at all times and let His praise continually be in my mouth! That was an act of obedience and a sign to God that my Faith was unwavering in spite of what was going on around me! Praise is your weapon and guarantees Victory in Jesus! Listen, I still raised my hands in praise; I still shouted with the voice of triumph; and I still danced before the Lord because I knew without one doubt that if I don’t look back an keep walking, I’ll eventually make it to my destination. Here’s the key. Put all the negativity behind you and concentrate solely on the positive that is forthcoming, and your mind and spirit will be filled with God’s perfect peace!
Who does not want to live in a place of peace when so much confusion, disappointment, heartache and pain is all around you? Let’s see – testing positive for COVID-19, loss of a loved one, job downsizing, car repossession, house foreclosure, credit card accounts maxed out, estranged relationships, African American males unjustly incarcerated, or worse, senselessly murdered in cold blood, wickedness in high places! Can I get a witness? If you’ve not experienced any of those things, keep living! You are either in a storm, just coming out of a storm, or about to enter into a storm. Either way it goes, God is able to speak to your storm and bring you peace!
It has been and still is a struggle, but I’m striving to let go of the past and allow the past to be just that, the past! I’m crying out to the Father to help me forgive those who have wronged me, so that I am free and clear for takeoff in this New Year! Some of us never get off the ground because we have too much junk weighing us down and we cannot sore and be all that God has created us to be! Well it’s a new day, a new month, a new year and a new season! Whatever God is getting ready to do in this season, I don’t want Him to do it without me! God has great things in store for His people. (I Corinthians 2:9) says, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Is there anybody other than me who loves my Jesus! Do you love Him enough to trust Him with your future? Do you love Him enough to give Him your burdens? Do you love Him enough to believe that He has a plan and a purpose for your life and that He will finish every good thing He has begun in you until the day of Jesus Christ?
So … for those of you, like me, who had to deal with unnecessary, unwanted and unwarranted stress and unrest in 2020, understand that Satan’s job is to circumvent your destiny! He wants to kill, steal, and destroy you! He’s out to abort your hope and your dream! Step on the devil’s neck and let him know he cannot stop you block you any longer. Opportunities are endless and God’s favor is unsolicited, unmerited, uncommon and unstoppable! Walk in that thing! Don’t hinder your future by holding on to your past! Pray to the Father, think positive, surround yourself with people of God who are Kingdom Builders and then believe with all of your heart that God will bring it to pass!
I John 2:6 – “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
The bible is very clear. Your walk must align with your talk. If you profess to be a water baptized, blood washed, holy ghost filled believer in Christ Jesus, then you ought to live a life that someone else can recognize that there is something different, something peculiar, something exceptional about you. Usually people watch what you do, rather than listen to what you say!
As a believer, there is an expectation that is placed upon everyone who says they are a disciple of Jesus. A “disciple” is simply a learner and follower of Christ. If you are following the path that He has set before you, then you will not lean to the right or to the left. You will keep your eyes on the prize. And when He says, “Move”, you will move Just Like That!
When you demonstrate love in a world filled with racism, bigotry, hatred, senseless killing, human trafficking, looting, muggers and robbers, the world will know that you are His disciple because you have love one towards another. You may be the only bible someone will ever read! I understand that it is very trying and taxing to love those who are unloving and unlovable. However, we are commanded to do just that. (Matthew 5:44) – “ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” That’s how Jesus lived while here on earth. When He moved, His disciples (learners/followers) moved with Him, Just Like That!
Take introspect of your walk today in the midst of COVID-19 and a Shelter In Place Order. Are you walking as a person who has no hope, no faith and no purpose? Or instead, are you walking and talking to persuade the world, that no matter what it looks like, no matter what it sounds like, and no matter what it feels like, God is yet in control. You are moving solely by the unction of the holy spirit and inspiring those in your home, church, workplace and community to stand fast to their faith because it is the substance of things not seen and the evidence of things hoped for!
Let me challenge you today; Wake up! Get up! Boot up! Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace! Peace in your mind, peace in your spirit, peace in your finances, peace in your relationships, and peace in your body! (Romans 10:15b) – “…How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace…”
Genesis 12:1 – “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:”
Have you ever been so overwhelmed and overstimulated by your present environment and surroundings? You’ve come to a place in your life where you are relieved that you are not where you used to be, and you’re thankful for where you are right now, but in the pit of your belly, deep down in your sanctified soul, you know there is a void, a hunger, a thirst that just cannot be quenched. You sense that there is much more to life than what you are experiencing right now! Some people remain stuck and content to do the same thing day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year and really believe they are living. Not so! They are merely existing! They have become complacent and comfortable in the state they are in and have totally stopped dreaming for a better tomorrow.
Unfortunately, sometimes, something major has to take place in your life to ignite the flame to get you from where you are to where God needs you to be. Think about what’s going on with the COVID-19 Pandemic. You’re either being punished or you’re being pushed! Which is for you? This was the case with Abraham! He had lived his life and was old and settled in his ways and knew that he would be right there in his own country, with his own kindred and in his own Father’s house until the day he died! BUT GOD had another plan! Don’t you just love it! We make plans for our lives all of the time, but it is ultimately God who orders our steps! The key, however, is being in the right position and in right relationship, knowing the voice of God so that when He speaks and tells you to move, you know it’s time to move! God had a purpose, a future and expected end for Abraham. He wanted to take him to a land that he had never seen before. To make him a great nation; To bless him and make his name great so that he could be a blessing.
What about you? Have you grown weary and hopeless in well doing? Have you concluded that where you are today in life, is where you will remain for the rest of your life? Have your dreams been shattered, and your hopes severed? What is God saying to you? That business you’ve wanted to open – It’s time to move! That degree you’ve wanted to earn – It’s time to move! That job you’ve wanted to apply for – It’s time to move! Those toxic relationships you’re in – It’s time to move! Your shallow prayer life that needs building – It’s time to move! Those many distractions that keep you from the Word – It’s time to move! In this season, God is definitely pushing His people to seek Him even the more in fervent prayer!
Leave all the excuses, procrastination, fear and anxiety about the unknown, and when you hear God’s voice say “Move”. It’s time to move; just like that!
I Timothy 6:11 – “But Thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
In (Verses 3-10) Paul condemns the greedy motivation of the false teachers. Paul claims that these people have erred in their understanding of doctrine as well as in their conduct. Paul points out that the false teachers have financial gain as their motivation for living according to God’s standards and that such desires only bring ruin. Let’s see what Apostle Paul is instructing young Timothy to flee from and follow after.
I. FLEE FROM THESE THINGS
In this text, notice that Paul is speaking to the man of God – his mentee, his apprentice, his son in the ministry — which means this advice given was for Timothy and all those who were a part of the first church as well as for us today who are in the household of faith! We, the believers, are not to live by the standards of this world, but by the commandments of God our father. The bible warns us to be in the world, but not of the world! Let’s take a look at some of the things Apostle Paul warns Timothy to watch for: pride, envy and strife, evil surmising, perverse disputing, supposition that gain is Godliness, and the addictive love of money.
II. FOLLOW AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS
Now that you know what to flee from, it’s time to follow after righteousness. Righteousness is simply what God wants for your life! The text says to follow after:
– Godliness with contentment is great gain
– Contentment – we came into the world with nothing, when we leave, we will have nothing!
– Faith – the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.
– Love – the one thing that the world will be able to identify us as disciples.
– Patience – knowing that all things work together for good to them who love God and are the
called according to his purpose (his time and his way).
– Meekness – extend grace to those we come in contact with. If it wasn’t for the grace of God
where would we be!
– Eternal life – the reward we will receive at the end of the race!
You must not live in fear because of what you cannot see (what you do not have); but walk in faith believing God for the impossible! FLEE from FEAR; FOLLOW in FAITH!