Prayers of the Righteous

Hey Luvs!

If you sometimes wonder if God hears you when you pray, keep reading.

All throughout scripture we see examples of answered prayer.

Why then do we sometimes doubt that our petitions will be answered?

There could be many reasons, but I believe one of the primary reasons we sometimes doubt is because God’s timing often times does not match our timing.

Isaiah 55:8-9 in the New King James Version reads:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts

And because God’s thoughts and ways are much higher than ours, sometimes situations that look like unanswered prayer are indeed answered prayer but not in the way you had hoped or expected.

Because the very nature of God is love, you can trust that what seems like “no” or “not now” will work out for your good, even if you can’t see it in that very moment. Humanity is limited, but God knows everything about everything at all times. We must learn to trust His timing.

I remember one time praying to be financed for a certain vehicle. My credit at the time was in the tank so the dealer wouldn’t finance me. A couple months later, my brother suggested I check out a sporty Lexus. It was much nicer than the first car I had set my hopes on, and guess what? I was able to pay cash for it!

I learned a couple things from this experience – patience, perseverance and that God always has a better plan. What seemed like unanswered prayer in the beginning was actually God directing me to a higher way of doing things. It feels really good to not be responsible for a car payment every month, especially during this economic climate.

Beloved, in those moments when you may start to wonder if God will answer your prayers, rest assured that He will. As a child of God, remember that He is watching over you and His intentions toward you are always good.

Today, I leave you with these reminders found in the Word of God.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. — James 5:16

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. –2 Corinthians 1:20

Selah.

Take My 30-Day Gratitude Challenge

Hey Luvs!

I’m going on a 30-day journey and I’d love for you to come along with me.

Where are we going?

I’m glad you asked.

We’re going to a place called Gratitude.

This isn’t foreign territory, but I don’t think we visit this place enough.

You see, when I’m needing to calm my spirit, it helps when I pause and think about all the good things in my life. You know, the things that we most often take for granted like running water, transportation, food, family, friends, health…. you get where I’m going – right?

Just so you know, this journey isn’t intended as an escape from reality. I’m fully aware that America is not great again.

In fact, it’s in peril.

Even as I write this post, there have been civilian protests going on in cities from the East Coast to the West Coast. The National Guard has been activated in several cities all while a police officer who once took an oath to serve and protect has now been charged with murder.

As I watch all this unfold, I’m longing for a new narrative. I believe a journey to the place called Gratitude will soothe my soul, even in the midst of chaos.

So, are you in?

Good.

This is how we get to the place called Gratitude.

Supplies

You’ll need a jar or a bowl; pen and paper. (A personal journal will work fine too).

Everyday for the entire month of June, write down on a piece of paper at least one thing for which you are grateful. You can do this in the morning, evening or anytime you wish. The objective here is to find a moment during the day where you reflect and determine to be grateful for a specific thing in your life. Once you’ve written down your thoughts, place the paper inside your jar or bowl. Do this every day without fail.

At the end of the 30 day period this month, (and yes, I will be checking in with you to see how this is going) pull out your notes and read them aloud.

This exercise has been around for a long time and you’ve probably seen different variations. Yet, the impact is profound. People who regularly express gratitude bring a different energy to the party called life. I’ve written about this in other blog posts too. There’s all kinds of research that supports the notion that people who regularly express gratitude are generally happier people. Their energy is contagious. They attract goodness.

In this hour, we need all the goodness that God wants to pour out. This is a simple exercise that I believe will position you and me to receive treasures from heaven. After all, I believe that’s what we all want.

I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey!

XOXO

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.

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!

5 Promises to Remember

Beloveds,

This is a simple post to encourage you to hold fast to the promises of God. While we are living in uncertain times, the Word of God remains true and unchanging.

If you are experiencing fear in any area of your life, here’s five promises found in God’s Word that you should meditate on.

Be at peace, and know that God has a solution for your every problem.

Selah.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

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