Today is Pentecost Sunday

Shalom!

Today is Pentecost Sunday. This is a holy day for Christians everywhere as Pentecost is celebrated as the birthday of the church. Today, I’m sharing a quick lesson on Pentecost.


History

Shavuot (pronounced sha-voo-OHT), which Christians know better from the Greek, Pentecost, is one of three pilgrimage festivals in which Jewish men during biblical times were obligated to go to the Temple in Jerusalem. Initially, Shavuot was a harvest festival, commemorating the ancient obligation to bring the harvest’s “first fruits” to the Temple in Jerusalem as an offering to God. With the destruction of the Temples, it evolved into an event of monumental significance to both Jews and Christians. -Source: International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Coming of the Holy Spirit

The Book of Acts 2:1-41 recounts the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. –Acts 2:1-4 NKJ

The Setting

A multitude had come to Jerusalem to bring the first-fruits of their wheat harvest in thanksgiving to God. It was during this harvest festival that the Holy Spirit descended upon the followers of Jesus Christ as stated in Acts 2:2-4 which says, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

From this moment, early followers of Christ were empowered by the Holy Spirit to relay the Good News about Jesus everywhere. Hence, Pentecost is celebrated as the birth of the church.

Quick Facts About Pentecost

Pentecost comes from a Jewish harvest festival called Shavuot.

Pentecost Sunday occurs 50 days after Easter.

Pentecost fulfills Jesus’ promise to send the Helper and Spirit of truth (See John 16:5-16).

Final Words

I love studying the Book of Acts. It’s one of my favorite books in the Bible. It reads like a Sci-Fi movie, honestly. If you haven’t spent much time here, I encourage you to do so. Today, Pentecost Sunday, is the perfect day to start. You’ll learn about the First Century Church and how the Holy Spirit empowered early followers of Jesus Christ to spread the gospel.

If this lesson has been helpful to you, please let me know by posting a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

The Heritage of the Righteous

Hey Luvs!

There’s an encouraging word for you today found in Psalm 37 and I want you to see it.

This division of the Psalms answers many questions about life and is a response to corrupt world systems.

The message in this Psalm is clear.

The righteous (that’s you!) will be rewarded.

And so shall the wicked… They will have their reward too.

I’ve posted the entire division – Psalm 37:1-40 – here.

Remember, the Word of God is the final authority and it will come to pass.

Psalm 37 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Heritage of the Righteous and the Calamity of the Wicked

A Psalm of David.

37 Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.

For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the Lord,
They shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

12 The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
13 The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn the sword
And have bent their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy,
To slay those who are of upright conduct.
15 Their sword shall enter their own heart,
And their bows shall be broken.

16 A little that a righteous man has
Is better than the riches of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
But the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The Lord knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20 But the wicked shall perish;
And the enemies of the Lord,
Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.
Into smoke they shall vanish away.

21 The wicked borrows and does not repay,
But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth,
But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.

27 Depart from evil, and do good;
And dwell forevermore.
28 For the Lord loves justice,
And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
And dwell in it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
And his tongue talks of justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
None of his steps shall [f]slide.

32 The wicked watches the righteous,
And seeks to slay him.
33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand,
Nor condemn him when he is judged.

34 Wait on the Lord,
And keep His way,
And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
35 I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a native green tree.
36 Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more;
Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright;
For the future of that man is peace.
38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together;
The future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the Lord shall help them and deliver them;
He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them,
Because they trust in Him.

What’s the Word?

I’ve got a question for you.

What are you believing God to do in your life? Have you really thought about what it is you really want?

Do you want more peace?

Are you believing to see your family members saved?

A job promotion maybe?

How about more money?

I believe God wants all these things for you and so much more.

In this season, one of the things I’m believing God for is outrageous favor. Yes, that jaw-dropping favor that will make your enemies scratch their head in wonder.

And when it comes to seeing God’s hand move in my life, I’ve been taught to study the Word and find scriptures that line up with my every need/desire. If I can find it in God’s Word, (and I live a life submitted unto Him) I can have it!

And while the enemy has come in the form of a global pandemic, I’ve reminded God of Psalm 91:1-2, which states:

Psalm 91:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God

91 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High

Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;

My God, in Him I will trust.”

This is my go-to scripture. I believe God’s Word. Since we have been besieged by an enemy that has come to deliver a mighty blow, I’ve quoted this scripture daily over my life and the lives of my family and friends. I have full confidence that God will continue to perform His Word in my life.

Why?

Because God never fails and He always responds to His Word.

And you know what? All is well with with me, my beloved family and friends.

So again, I ask….

What’s the Word that you’re standing on today?

Pray.

So many thoughts ran through my mind this week. When I’m frustrated or even angry, I’m not shy about telling God how I feel. I told God I was angry when I saw images on social media of protestors at our State Capitol, some carrying guns and nooses, rallying against the state’s social distancing orders. I know we don’t all have to agree with our politicians or the decisions they make, but flaunting symbols of racial hatred to make a point is vile and disgusting. I believe people who engage in this type of behavior are influenced by an enemy they cannot see.

After my rant, God had something to say too.

He told me to pray.

Pray?

Yes, pray.

Why?

Because spiritual battles cannot be won by natural means. It’s like fighting blind. The Word tells us as much.

 “Put on the whole amour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” — Ephesians 6:11-12

Everything you see in the natural realm originated in the spiritual realm.

Everything.

The chair you’re sitting in existed as a thought first. Our technical gadgets, from the iPhone to Alexa, all started as a thought in someone’s mind before they were ever introduced in the marketplace.

And so it is when we consider the despicable behavior of others. Who or what is behind the ugliness that we see manifested in the natural?

In this moment, failing to recognize that we are more connected than we are disconnected is like fighting blind. We have more similarities than dissimilarities regardless of race, ethnicity or social status. By failing to recognize this fact we fall right into the hands of the enemy. It’s his job to create distractions that turn our focus to what divides us as a nation rather than what can bring us together. This is a spiritual battle that can only be won with spiritual armor. Assault rifles and other symbols of hatred, albeit intimidating in the natural, are no match for a spiritual adversary.

Sadly, the individual who knows only how to fight by natural means is already defeated.

The individual who knows only how to fight by natural means is already defeated.

So yes, pray.

Pray that blinded eyes will be opened.

Selah.

Before the day was …

There’s a passage of scripture found in the Book of Isaiah that soothes my soul every time I read it.

The Word states, “Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” — Isaiah 43:13.

Why is this Word so comforting to me?

It’s a constant reminder that God is always present, and nothing catches Him by surprise.

Nothing.

God is not shocked by our earthly situations and circumstances. It does’t matter how brazen or bizarre the details. He knows everything from beginning to end.

Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” — Isaiah 43:13.

God already knows the people we will encounter tomorrow; the next day, and the day after that.

He knows.

And yes, God even knew that an insidious virus would arrive on the scene and wreak havoc on both the world economy and healthcare system. Naturally, you may be wondering if God knew that a pandemic was coming why didn’t He stop it from forming? Humbly, I submit to you that I cannot answer that question. I can however tell you with confidence that God has a solution for every problem you will ever encounter.

Before you rise to greet a new day, trust that God is already there. Trust that He has already worked out the details. As a child of God, you can walk confidently knowing that a splendid future awaits you.

You Are Enough

Hey Luvs!

I’m needing some feedback here…. I saw a photo circulating on social media the other day and wondered if you feel the same way I do about this topic…..

The photo was of a woman down on one knee and proposing to a man. Yes, Ma’am. SHE was asking for the man’s hand in marriage. I don’t know the outcome of the scenario. I’m presuming the man accepted, but that’s not my point. And while I don’t minister on relationships, I still have something to say about this business of women proposing to men.

Stop it!

As a woman of God, you must know your worth. It is paramount that you begin to believe what God says about you rather than the garbage the enemy throws your way. We all have our painful stories to share of how the enemy has come to wreak havoc on our self-esteem at times. (You’re too old. You’re too fat. You’re too skinny. Why would anyone want you? Blah, Blah, Blah….)

Nevertheless, I don’t believe God intended for women to propose to men. I can’t find one example in the Bible where a woman took the lead in a relationship and proposed marriage. Plus, men are natural hunters. God crafted them that way. If a man is truly interested in you, he will find a way to pursue you.

“Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her.” — Luke 1:45

I read somewhere that one popular Christian author said she’d rather rake the ocean than propose to a man. That’s my sentiment exactly.

When the time is right, God will send the right man into your life. He will behold you as the beautiful prize that you are. In his eyes, you will be more than enough. You will measure up to more than anything he had ever prayed for or expected in a mate. He will do the proposing!

In the meantime, my prayer is that you become resolute in your stance that you don’t need to take on the world’s way of doing relationships. That means, you proposing marriage to a man is out of the question.

Sis, you are enough. To demonstrate that you believe anything less than this simple truth is not a good look.

If you have something to say about this topic, I welcome your thoughts in the comments field.

God Wants to Give You Peace

Beloved,

I pray that all is well with you. I wanted to share a brief but encouraging word I believe I received from the Lord the other day. This is a timely message as most everyone I know is trying to make sense of the uncertainty that is all around. As I am practicing learning to hear from God, I don’t know if this word is for you, but if it is, please let me know in the comments field.

Here is the download I received from the Lord:

Walking with me will produce peace – the peace that you desire. I will lead you beside still waters. I long to give you peace. Agitation is not from me. The peace that you desire is found by spending time with me.

Beloved, spend time in My Word. Get to know me. My ways. My character. I do not bring confusion. I abhor a lying tongue. You will know my ways when you spend time with me.

I am here for you always. I give you peace. Not like the world.

I am the true Peace. Peace. Peace.

If this word speaks to your heart, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

Blessings!