The Grace to Manage Marriage, Motherhood, and Mission

I would love to start this piece with an inspirational quote about being a wife, mother, and pursuing a career. You know the quote I’m talking about. It pops on your social media feed and inspires you to work and love harder. It gets you motivated to get up and start a business, run a 5k, or build your personal brand. Sometimes, it’s even informative telling you how to get sleep with a newborn, get that same baby walking by seven months, and then have them reading novels by a year old.

In fact, I would love to tell you an inspirational secret to balancing relationships and career. But the truth is, and listen closely, the secret is in His strength. I have found that all I have is my reliance on the grace of God and His promise that it alone is sufficient.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

Like no other relationships I have ever been in, marriage and motherhood have activated unimaginable strengths while revealing incredible weaknesses. As for many of you, there are days a nursing baby is in one arm and a laptop is in the other. There are days when nap times are few and far between and I find myself frustrated and exhausted by 2 pm. To top it off, there are days when my husband and I are so in sync that we start and finish our first and second books together. But then there are days we can barely get a long due to some small argument neither of us remembers the cause for. There are days I’m glad I moved to Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia to pursue my career. Then when my grandmother and uncle passed within months of one another I couldn’t help but regret leaving home.

Myth or Mandate?

The reality is, while most Christians hold up Proverbs 31 as the standard for a well-rounded woman whose example should be emulated, few consider what it really takes to replicate her. We often fail to imagine that more than likely she did not become that woman overnight. In fact, I would go so far as to say that she, too, relied on grace to move her throughout the day with wisdom, composure, and love.

As women after God’s heart, we want to be everything we can be to our husbands, our children, our employers, ourselves, and most importantly to our God. The Proverbs 31 woman wanted the same. In fact, Solomon writes that

“she…rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard…She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy…She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

This woman was intentionally rising every morning to cook and feed her family and her servants. Then she’d take care of business earning and income and increasing profit for her household. Only to also take care of the needy in her community.

No woman finds the rhythm to do this overnight. She does not learn these skills in a moment. No, she needed the grace of God to train her and strengthen her over time. So be patient with yourself.

God is gracing you to manage your marriage, motherhood, and your mission.

Managing Marriage

In order for Solomon to say, “her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” there had to be grace for her to grow into all of these roles. She had to learn how to love her husband. This “virtuous wife” as she’s called in the text had the learn how to hear criticism from her husband as well as learn to listen with him. She had to learn how to raise children with her husband, and even build a business with him.

Each of these tasks require a different kind of communication. New language to express needs and concerns. With grace and commitment to the process, any couple can experience the kind of spiritual oneness that God speaks of in Genesis. But the fact of the matter is, we all must first receive that such connection and understanding doesn’t happen overnight. This type of knowledge doesn’t come just because a wedding occurred. This type of joining together, this kind of oneness, only happens when two people decide to truly submit to one another. It comes when two people rely on grace to cover their imperfections.

Managing Motherhood

But not only did God have to give the Proverbs 31 woman the grace to learn how to love and work with her husband. He also had to teach her how to love her children. Most people don’t talk about the transition from being a woman without children to one who is blessed with the gift of motherhood. But it really is a transition that requires a lot of hard work, both mentally and physically.

Children come with no manual, guidebook, or attendant. As someone told me, parenting is the sharpest learning curve you will ever experience in your life. This is because you have to learn your child. You have to take note of his or her tendencies, personality, likes and dislikes, and fears and insecurities. The moment they enter the world you are discerning what strengths and weaknesses they’ve gained from you and your husband. In other words, motherhood is a job that only God can grace you to do well. And I believe He designed it that way intentionally.

Depending on God

See, God looks for our complete dependence on Him. The “strong black woman” stereotype isn’t just problematic because it flattens the totality of black women’s love, hurt, grief, or passions. The “strong black woman” stereotype is harmful because it denies her need for God in everything – even the day to day.

The truth is we need God to help us build our personal brands. We need God to help us strategize for growth in our businesses. We need Him when we feel like our friendships are falling to the wayside, and we need Him when we’re raising babies and beyond. Marriage, motherhood, and mission all require our dependence on God.

If we’re honest, in our own strength, we cannot be everything to everyone. You can’t be the perfect friend, perfect entrepreneur, perfect wife, or perfect mother. But here’s the good news: God doesn’t expect you to be. He created you to need Him. Whatever the world may say, whoever the world may show you to be, every relationship, even the one with yourself, needs God. Let the Holy Spirit speak into every aspect of your life. Let God activate His presence and His power so that you can be all that He has called you to be.

 




An All White Affair

This is the Faith I live by: Salvation gifts me Christ’s robe of righteousness

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, May 13, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

“That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NKJV)

I hope you have a change of clothes handy, because we are going to an all white affair!

Don’t Tell Me What to Wear!

I’m not going to lie to you. I don’t like being told exactly how to dress if I’m going somewhere. If it’s a formal affair I understand the need. Even work uniforms make sense to me. I even understand internationally themed celebrations. I promise I understand all of that. It’s just that, I really don’t like being told that I must wear exactly this or that, or else I cannot come in to an event. Like all white parties, which is why I’ve never been to one. It looks great in pictures. Everyone wearing white hats, shirts, blouses, pants, dresses, dress shorts, scarves, and everything in between. But, it’s just not my thing.

Wardrobe Malfunction

Unfortunately, some of us have my attitude about all white parties. Especially the ones related to righteousness. We admire those whose characters have been washed clean and white in the blood of the Lamb. We love when people are kind, honest, loving, generous, joyful, and have integrity. But for some of us, it’s just not our cup of tea. We admire certain righteous acts, but we have no real desire to produce those acts. And if we’re truly honest with ourselves all that really means is that we have no real desire to be transformed by our righteous Heavenly Father. Instead, we’d rather snub the event host and keep on our own attire like the man in Matthew 22. He decided to wear his own righteous garments to God’s heavenly feast. Not realizing that the righteous robe of God was his access inside.

Wearing Christ’s Robe of Righteousness

God has been so good to us. He has helped many of us recover from our spiritual wardrobe malfunctions and saved us from the consequences of sin. But in order for all of us to experience such a blessing we must be willing to take off our old, corrupt wardrobe and allow God to robe us in His righteousness and holiness. We have to allow God to finish His work in us by covering us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. If you think about it that way, allowing God to give you a change of clothes isn’t all that bad after all. In fact, having experienced the change myself, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by. Let this be the same for you. In Jesus’ name.




Injustice is Everywhere…But Justice is Coming

This is the faith I live by: Justice is coming in Jesus Christ

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, May 17, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

“As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”

Psalm 17:15 (NKJV)

A Threat to Justice Everywhere

“INJUSTICE!” is the hue and cry that must summon the interest of every conscientious person who hears it. Innocents are murdered, while their murderers get off scot free. INJUSTICE! Some powerful people pimp and bend laws in lands around the world to suit their greed. INJUSTICE! Some create wealth on the backs of others forcing them to live paycheck to paycheck. INJUSTICE! The wicked seem to prosper, and the righteous seem to suffer. INJUSTICE!

I could cite many ways Lady Justice peeks above her hallowed blindfold trying to tip the scales in favor of equity only to no avail. It is a foregone conclusion that something is terribly wrong in society today. But God is not asleep. The One who see the secret sins of every person; the One who sees all the good that people do without an expectation of earthly reward; will reward all deeds done in the flesh, openly.

Justice is Coming

The psalmist understood that injustice was running rampant in the land. But, he also knew that the Creator would settle the score one day. We can have this same faith that God WILL avenge the deaths of those murdered with impunity.

God will avenge the honor of those abused and misused for some person’s filthy pleasure. He will avenge the integrity of those who have been lied on and punished for no good reason. God will avenge the blood of martyrs killed for His cause when bloodthirsty priests and prelates appealed to the strong arm of the state to take their lives. And finally, the psalmist well knew that the Creator would finally reveal Himself, in all of His glory, and put an end to injustice everywhere. And on that day it will never raise its ugly head again. Not only this, but He will also restore His perfect image in those who learned to trust in Him. Then He usher us into eternity, where justice will reign forever, and sin will be no more.

By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by. Let this be the same for you. In Jesus’ name.




How God Truly Feels About Sin

This is the Faith I Live By: God forgives sin.

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, May 3, 2019

Audio Link

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgressions of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because delighteth in mercy.”

Micah 7:18

God’s Character

God is not a pouty, embittered friend who holds grudges when you do Him dirty. He is nothing like us. However, He is definitely not pleased when we sin. Every time we choose ourselves over God we wound His heart damaging our relationship with Him. How can we be so callous and casual with sin, when God has invested so much? But in spite of us, God always finds it within Himself to forgive us and enfold us in His love.

God’s Standards

Now, I do not want to give you the wrong impression about God and His view on sin. Yes, He is gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Yes, He is full of mercy for thousands of people; forgiving all sorts of sins. But God will not turn a blind eye and clear unrepentant people of their sinful debts. His grace does not just pardon us. It also empowers us to “go and sin no more.” It is His love and mercy that brings us to our senses and produces the desire within us to repent. But once the desire is birthed it is our responsibility to act. God will not be complicity in our sinful behavior by acting like it doesn’t matter. It does matter. Our sinful behavior has a profound impact on our relationship with God and others. Sin is serious. Sin required the very life of God’s only son.

Our Responsibility

So what’s the least we can do when we sin? I am so glad you asked. The least we can do when we sin is confess and forsake our sins. But that’s only the first part. After we confess and forsake, then we need to embrace the holiness reform plan God designed for our lives. Let us give thanks for the splendid gift of salvation. Let us learn to love like Jesus loved. And let’s begin by surrendering our all to Him so that we are fully enlisted in His service with no reservations.

By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by. I pray this be the same for you, in Jesus’ name.




By Faith You Can Be Dirt And Not Be Dirty

The Faith I Live By: I can be dirt without being dirty

Message Magazine’s Morning Devotional for April 15, 2019

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship” on Spreaker.

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

(Ephesians 2:8–9).

You can be dirt without being dirty! You can be humble without being humiliated. You can be down without being out. You can be low, and yet be exalted. Now that I have your attention, let’s GO!

In The Beginning

Do you realize that God formed your original ancestor, Adam, from dirt? I know, you read that God formed him from the dust of the earth. You get the point, though, right? The most powerful, handsome, stately, and intelligent man ever created was made from dirt! But, it was dirt in the hands of God with divine breath that made Adam a living soul.

He was perfect. His wife, whom God made especially for him, and the mother of all living, was also perfect. She was the standard to which all women would aspire. Created from the dirt, our foreparents were not dirty; when Adam and Eve first stood up in the hands of the Creator they were untarnished, the image of perfection. The moment God finished creating them both He saw Himself in them and said, “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31 NKJV).

Of course, you can see in your own life, never mind the lives of others, that something went wrong. We all have made choices that continually tarnish our characters, but God still loves us! He makes provision to transform us and make us holy despite the challenges.

Mud that Mends

The Bible tells us the story of a man who was born blind. He lived during the time of Christ. To make a long but incredible story short, the Lord used that man’s experience to bring God glory. Without any hesitation Christ picked up some dirt mixed it with his spit and anointed the man’s eyes. Dirt? Spit? Yes! Jesus used the basic element, from which he made humanity, and healed the man. Jesus used dirt, but not to make the man dirty, to the man whole. Christ showed us how mud can mend when the ingredients are in the Masters hands.

Saved From the Inside Out

Consider our sin predicament for a moment. We are helpless and hopeless without God. Without Him, our lusts and worldly habits will take us right to the bottom of the ocean of sin and drown us. But, God gives us eternal life as a gift. In the process, He strips our mindsets of the pride that puts self and all of our wonderful so-called accomplishments first. Christ promises that when we humble ourselves understanding we are nothing more than dirty with the breath of God inside of us that this mindset is what allows God to exalt us.

Dirt cannot be boastful; after all, it’s dirt. It’s when we cherish pride instead of the blessed gift of salvation through Christ alone that we become dirty. Dirt, the essence of our being, is not what will keep us out of Heaven. It’s the dirtiness sin that will do that. But by faith you can be dirt without being dirty! You can be humble without being humiliated. You can be down without being out. You can be low, and yet be exalted. “It is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” When we accept the gift of Jesus Christ, His life, death, and resurrection, by faith, we welcome Him into our lives to transform our dirty vessels into clean vessels made from dirt.

By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by. I pray the same for you, in Jesus’ name.




Single Elegance: Hope That Shines After The Hurt

“My beloved spake, and said…Rise up, my love…and come away,” (Song of Solomon 2:10).
I didn’t want to be single again, but I am. It’s just me again. How do you walk in a phase of your life you weren’t prepared to re-enter? How do you honor God in a consequence that feels so unfair, so painful so undeserved? But here I am, years later, still single; yet, in spite of the losses, disappointments, readjustments and sense of failure, experiencing God’s joy, peace, hope, ability to forgive and accept His ministry of reconciliation.

The empty spaces are filled with Him and I feel free and complete and continue to be amazed at how He is transforming my life and using me in ways that He never could have, had my life not been interrupted. Changed. Transitioned and Transformed.

It was a process, however, a process of experiencing deeper levels of love and forgiveness. I began owning what was mine to own, and letting go of what was not. I started surrounding myself with positive Christian family and friends. Then, I saturated my life in Bible study, prayer and service (2 Cor. 1:4). I learned to be still, I mean really still and quiet, and as I did, I could hear God speaking to me. He was leading and guiding me. Above that, He was my Counselor who has deposited joy and strength into my very soul (Nehemiah 8:10). He holds my hand (Psalms 73:23,24), and He has a surprise in store for me (Isaiah 43:19)! These promises give me encouragement and remind me that there is hope on the other side of hurt.

Rejecting The Sense of Rejection

But there’s a real enemy in the struggle, and the warfare is real! Our enemy wants to distract us away from our focus on God and His promises. In times of difficulty he wants us to believe his lies that we’re unlovable, unworthy and unwanted. But he is a liar and God is greater (1 John 4:4)!

We look like God, and were created in His image. In my painful journey back to singleness, God revealed to me just how He has used me. In a recent conversation with my former pastor, he confessed to me that he and his wife had been talking about me. I was immediately curious about the details. Instead of speaking though, I paused and listened to what he had to say.

My Pastor then explained how amazed he and his wife were at the courage, grace and strength I have shown in dealing with my intense trial. Perhaps God had allowed me to face my struggle to show him how to face his! He and his wife called me the epitome of “Christian elegance.”

Of course, I was overwhelmed and humbled. All I know is that God has allowed certain things to happen in my life because He trusted me to steward those trials well. He wanted to work out His purpose in my life through a painful process to grow/mature me so that He would be glorified in how I responded. I understand that what I experience here on earth is just a small sample of the ultimate spiritual warfare being played out over my life in a realm I cannot see. I feel somewhat privileged to be somehow trusted by God to represent Him and stand as His ambassador.

Stella’s Second Act

I remember having a difficult time and crying out to God for help. He impressed upon my heart to spend time with a special couple who are like family to me. As I entered their home, I was immediately surrounded by love, acceptance and support. The home cooked meal filled my heart with memories of South Carolina days as a little girl, and the safety of their home provided emotional sheltering for my wounded soul. The spiritual counsel made an indelible impression upon my heart.
As we stood in a circle to pray before I headed home, my pastor-friend gave me three life principles that I continue to treasure:

Stay close to God-increase your Bible study and prayer time.
Never give up-always believe that God can!
Always look good!-When people see you they should know that you’re a daughter of the King so eat well, rest and exercise.

These three principles carried me through, when I felt lonely because the house was just too quiet. Or, when I was concerned about my future and my finances, when feelings of sadness would overwhelm me and my tears seemed to have no end, I would read the Word and pray! I would pray scriptures and sing scriptures and as I did, I began to heal!

Weary One, Rise Up!

What is moving me forward is the knowledge that I am loved (Zeph. 3: 17, John 3:16). Let me shout it out: I am loved! I am valued! (Psalm 8:5, Genesis 1:27). My God speaks to me and has told me to rise up! Everything that I have experienced is not wasted and is working together for my good (Rom. 8:28), and has been allowed by my beloved (Genesis 50:20).

He loves me too much to be solely concerned with my comfort, so He has Divinely Ordained an alteration to assist in my transformation process (2 Corinthians 3:18). My latter will be greater than my beginning (Job 42:12) and he has told me that I will rise to new heights in Him. He has also told me to come away and as I have spent more time with Him I have gained a new perspective which has altered my mind and responses.

The definition of elegance is: Style, good taste, gracefulness, refinement, class, taste, chic and sophistication. Initially I looked at this definition and could not see any aspects of myself in the description, but I realize that all of us who have chosen to become new creatures in Christ will display Christian graces which, in essence, are the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23)! I am standing on the strength of Jesus Christ and by his power I am able to stand in silent strength and confidence.

Are you a Christian of elegance and grace in spite of your circumstances? Whether single or married, ask God to give you power to please him in the midst of difficult times.




Grieving With Grace

Stewarding the Heart: Grieving With Grace

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 03.27.2019” on Spreaker.

“And Job spake, and said, Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” (Job 3:2, 3, 25, 26).

Touched by Affliction

I cannot imagine Job’s turmoil as he faced the most difficult trial of his life. Not many of us can wake up to all of our children, livestock, and possessions gone and not find ourselves depressed. Then, while grieving all of those losses, the Lord also allowed Satan to afflict Job with boils from head to toe. Searching for that sin he forgot to confess, Job needed answers. He needed to know why God was exercising such a harsh judgment over his life.

On one of many depressing days, Job found himself hating the very day he was born, and wishing he could find rest in the grave. Grief overwhelmed Job. This burden seemed far too much for him to bear. But while Job could not detect His presence, God was close by.

Grieving With Grace

After the many days of his trial had finally passed, after he endured the foul pessimism of his wife and so-called friends, after receiving a strong answer from the Lord to all of his complaints, Job praised the Lord. He said, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5,6). Ultimately, these trials became the salve that Job needed in order to truly see the mercy, grace, and power of God more clearly than he’d ever seen them before. It was this clarity that shifted Job’s mindset from aspersion in chapter 3 to attrition in chapter 42. 

Yes, it was a hard revelation for Job, but it was well worth it. He finally had a better relationship with God than ever before. When we face tribulations, we should read the words of brother Job to encourage us to be faithful. If he did it, being human, so can we.

Welcome to the privilege of becoming faithful stewards of your hearts. Manage responsibly, in Jesus’ name.




Tall Order: Know Where to Get Power

The Gospel According to Paul: You Can’t Do It By Yourself. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 06.27.2018” on Spreaker.

“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:5–9).

Simple Requirements for Christian Leadership-Right?

I am tempted to share a one-liner as our thought for the day, but do not wish to risk trivializing today’s counsel. Frankly, if I simply said, all spiritual leaders in the faith must be real Christians, that would just about cover it. Ironically, I sat on a panel one time, where even some church leaders said that if we held to the standard in Paul’s counsel, we would not have enough leaders to serve.

What? Since when has God needed numbers to accomplish His will on the earth? One Man, Jesus Christ the Righteous made our salvation possible. David killed the Giant, Goliath, which the entire army of Israel was fearful to attempt. God spread the gospel into all the world beginning with 12 disciples; one of whom had a devil – make that 11. Go figure. Need I say more? Paul gave almost identical counsel to Timothy, and it bears repeating.

Merit-Based Appointments

Notice what Paul did not say as the Spirit guided him through the job description for spiritual leaders. Paul never said that anyone considered for service should generate their own holiness. He never said they needed to be innately holy. He never said they were to trust themselves into perfection. Truth: if any of us, whether man or woman, aspires to the standards written here, we will fall miserably short of the mark, generate our own rules of righteousness, and then oppress others who do not meet our contrivances. That is to say, we would become modern day Pharisees, and that’s not good.

Our thought today is intended to elevate our feeble expectations of our Great God and Father in heaven. It is meant to laud the power and victory of Jesus Christ, the King. It is intended to engender thanks for the blessed Holy Spirit, who seals power within those who are continually submitted to His control. In our own strength, this list might as well have said we needed to make ourselves 70-feet tall and leap buildings in a single bound. In our own strength, it would be impossible to live according to God’s standards of righteousness, let alone becoming humble and submitted enough to lead God’s people.

He Keeps on Giving

What then? What was the point of this exercise? Consider all that God requires of you. Now consider the blessing of the power of God, unto salvation given to all who believe. Do you believe in God, to the salvation of your soul? If you do, Christ will live His life within you, and fulfill all the righteousness of the law in your life until He returns. Take courage in His willingness to give you grace, mercy, and power.

I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, are you?




Mysterious and Marvelous Plan For Your Future

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, May 29, 2017

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 05.29.2017” on Spreaker.

“This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world” (1 Peter 1:10–13, NLT).

Secrets of Salvation

Can you imagine having a message for people you may never meet, in a time you may never live to see, and so important that even the angels are amazed, and you don’t fully understand? Well, this was the case with the story of salvation given to Old Testament prophets for you and all the generations living from the birth of Christ until His Second Coming. It was a secret too wonderful for them to keep to themselves.

There is immeasurable power in God’s plan of salvation (seems we’ve been talking a lot about this lately). He used frail human beings who also needed this message to deliver it with little understanding of its grand import. It was like a mail carrier delivering a small package marked, “handle with care,” not realizing that in it was a check to cover the costs of life saving surgeries for three children whose families could not afford it and insurance would not cover it. All the mail carrier knew was to be diligent and deliver on time. The outcome could not possibly have been known, except by the sender.

Jesus Saves

Over the centuries, our loving God has been kind enough to pull back the layers of His love and how Jesus’ perfect life and ministry could be effectual to save the most hardened criminals, proud religionists, or others addicted to an array of sinful habits. Heavenly angels who never sinned are amazed at the love and power of God. For even their perfect lives are not valuable enough to cover sins against the law, the transcript of God’s character. And they have the privilege of participating in the work of encouraging, protecting, and ministering to God’s people until He comes.

Now it is up to you to experience the blessing of God’s plans for you, share the message of hope to as many as possible and look forward, with faith, to the day our God will be revealed to us. One day soon God will end all sin and suffering. He will end all hunger, poverty, and disease. He will soon keep His promise and return to take His children to a place wherein dwells only righteousness and peace. I hope you look forward to that day. It’ll be here before you know it




What To Do When You’ve Gone Too Far

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, May 8, 2017

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 05.08.2017” on Spreaker.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: According unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: And my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:1–3).

Benevolent But Misunderstood God

God is good! God is beneficent! God is merciful! So, what’s the problem? Why would someone feel as though he or she cannot go to Him and be saved?

We’ve got it all twisted. Some take inventory of their lives and rightly recognize that they are sinners, but wrongly believe their is no hope for them. Or some believe that they will be saved once they tidy their lives and demonstrate their seriousness to God. What picture do we have of God that He’s only able to save certain kinds of sinners? How tiny an estimate we put on the power of the Father’s love and Christ’s sacrifice for us!

One Giant Too Many

As a man of broad character and responsibility, God selected David to lead His people. He stood as the ancient representative of the King of Kings, who would ascend David’s throne supernaturally, long after Zedekiah vacated it naturally. David often served as the measuring stick for righteousness as kings came to rule. This is why his great sin of killing Uriah, taking his wife to satisfy his lust, and seeking to cover his sin was so egregious in God’s sight. To whom much is given, much is required. David, the man who fearlessly and valiantly slew Goliath, was nearly slain by the giant of his own lust.

Here’s something David understood during another difficult time in his life that we must embrace if we ever hope to be saved: “…I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man” (2 Samuel 24:14).

Best Position Possible

David understood that when we have sinned, the safest place to be is in the hands of God. Yes, we must repent. We must confess. Yes, we must submit our hearts to God. And yes, He will abundantly pardon. We cannot make ourselves good enough to earn pardon. Nor, can we tidy our lives to become worthy of His love. We can, however, surrender our wills to the One who can make us holy.

Allow God to make you holy today. Take your sinful self to Him by the power of His Spirit and lay your all at His feet. Allow Him to give you a clean heart and a fresh start. Let Him write your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Go tell others how He can do the same for them. You cannot earn God’s love, so stop trying. It’s a gift to all who believe.