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Monthly Archives: August 2017

August 24, 2017

Don’t Cry

Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession—a woman’s only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, “Don’t cry.” Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, “Young man, I tell you: Get up.” The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother. Luke 7:11-15 Message Bible

This woman was a widow and now she was burying her only son. I can’t imagine the walk of pain she was enduring that day. All of her hopes, dreams and future were now being carried away in a coffin. Have you ever been on a walk when you feel as if the most treasured thing in your life or dream feels dead?

Have you ever had something in your life look dead? Maybe your relationship with God or your  marriage, your dream, your job or your finances? Well, Jesus says “Don’t cry.” He is the only one who can breathe life back into what is dead. Sometimes what you are willing to let die in your life can He step in and now revive.

HE NOTICES OUR PAIN

Even though we feel no one can understand the weight of what we carry or how overwhelming it can be there is always one who can, Jesus. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke and in other translations it says “he was moved with compassion”. Compassion means more than to pity or feel empathy for someone but this word “compassion” means to “suffer with”. Come along side of someone and take action. It’s one thing to see someone and feel bad for them and another thing to notice and do something about it. Jesus wasn’t feeling sorry for her but took action to change her situation. You are not alone. He notices your pain and wants to touch what is dead and bring life back to you.

HE SAYS “DON’T CRY”

Jesus tells the widow not to cry. He wasn’t saying she couldn’t show emotion but that the story wasn’t over yet. She is in the moment while Jesus knows the outcome. He wants us to surrender it to Him and believe He can resurrect anything He wants to live again. We must know that if God gave it to you then no one can take it from you.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

HE TOUCHES THE DEAD THING

Until you are willing to surrender everything it will be your responsibility to keep it alive. Once you are willing to let it die can God can step in and revive. I am sure this mother wasn’t a terrible mom who caused the death of her son but yet he is dead. Sometimes things in our life come to a horrible end and not because we did anything wrong but He wants to be the one responsible for making it happen. Everything we have belongs to Him and He allows us to manage and enjoy those things in this life. Our children belong to God first and He has only entrusted them to us to train and enjoy. Our marriages are for our enjoyment and teach us relationship, perseverance and experience the joy of loving one another yet both individuals belong to Him first. Your promise is for your good yet to accomplish His purpose in our lives and in this earth. Your job is your livelihood but also to help further the kingdom of God. If you are struggling then you cannot add to His purpose the way He desires. He wants you to succeed more than you want to succeed. Determine to surrender today everything which looks dead and allow Him to speak life to it.

HE COMMANDS PALLBEARERS TO STOP

We must allow God to call some things in our life to stop. The attitudes, perceptions or ways of doing things that are causing us to bury our hope and our dream. We need to stop and assess the situation especially in the darkest moments and look at it as an opportunity to trust God, stand strong and look to Him. For some, this is the only time we reach out to Him when we are in desperate need of Him. Allow God to speak to the things that are causing areas in our life to die and let him do the rest. Are there things in our life carrying away the dead thing that God wants to stop the precession?

HE RAISES THE DEAD

Think about the thing in your life that looks dead or is barely breathing. Is it a ministry, a relationship or something you had wrapped in possibility and now it’s laying there as nothing. It’s in that moment when we have done everything we know to do and yet we see no growth, no acceleration or potential. You start to question everything, was it God? Did I miss it? What was I thinking? Nothing ever works out! We have to resolve that if God wants it to live, it will. Let Him touch the dead thing and decide whether it lives. It’s not a give-up attitude but a surrender attitude. Acknowledging Him to be the life giver and the only way it will happen is because of God!

THE DEAD SPEAKS

When Jesus touched the young man he sat up and spoke. What happens when the dead thing begins to speak? What will it say? When God does awake that which was dead be sure it speaks of God’s power, grace and truth. It is a testament to the God we serve and it displays His everlasting love towards us. People don’t need to see perfection in our lives. Not everyone can identify with a Christian who hides trouble or failure but someone who can go through and yet come out better can definitely give hope to the person struggling. Let your life speak to someone who feels dead and is in search for someone who can bring life.

JESUS GIVES IT BACK

We must be confident of God that He is not trying to rob us of a good life. He isn’t trying to take our joy. It is the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy. Once He breathes back into what is dead He presents it back to us to maintain and do again. That is what is so beautiful about God is that He wants us to have life and have it more abundantly. Stay surrendered, put all of your dependency on Him and He will always guide and navigate you through in victory! Surrender the dead thing and watch God breathe life into the dead marriage, the dead finances, the dead relationship, the dead heart and whatever else seems over in your life and watch Him resurrect!

Mirrors

It was Sunday morning and I was supposed to be praying with team members before church. I was there in body only; my mind was on Housewives of Atlanta. At the time, it was a new show and I had just finished binge-watching season 1. I stood in prayer and thought, “I can’t believe that NeNe said that!” And then I felt convicted. I was supposed to be praying, and my mind was on the Housewives. I stopped watching the show because I realized that I was using TV to escape.

The eyes are powerful and we are often led by our eyes; hence multimillion dollar ad campaigns. Over the years Coca Cola, Microsoft, Kia, and Jaguar have each paid for an eight million dollar Super Bowl commercial. In 2011 Chrysler paid 12.4 million dollars for a two-minute Super Bowl commercial. Millions are spent on television commercials because we are captivated and consumed by what we see most.

When our eyes are constantly on entertainment and social media we can easily be lost in a world that doesn’t even exist. We are immeasurably influenced by what we see. Looking back on my teens and early twenties I am astonished at how much I allowed pop culture to influence my life. I loved music videos and I started to aspire to be like the people in the videos, whether I wanted to admit it or not. I wanted to be the girl who didn’t care what anybody thought, and did whatever she wanted. I wanted to be pretty girl that stole the spotlight when she entered the party. Then I wanted to be the person throwing the exorbitant parties. I did not simply “grow out” of this; my aspirations changed because my eyes were soon on something and Someone else.

When I rededicated my life to God, one of the first verses I learned was 1 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Let’s break this down a little:

  1. When I look at God, it is with an unveiled face. There no longer has to be any separation between me and Him because He died on the cross.
  1. When I look at the glory of the Lord it’s like a mirror. It’s like a mirror because I am made in His image, and when I look at my Father, I should look like Him. I should see Him in me. There should be evidence that He is working in me and through me.
  1. As I sit in my Father’s presence, I am being transformed by the Holy Spirit and going from glory to glory. When you have a moment, read the Vine’s extensive definition of the word glory. Glory is the nature, character, and the acts of God manifested. Going from glory to glory means walking, talking, thinking, loving, and acting like my Father. I want to look like Him.

How can I see God? Soon after learning 1 Corinthians 13:8, I was I taught James 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror. The word of God, and Jesus are one according to John 1:1;14. Therefore as I read the Bible I see God! James 1:23 says that the word is like mirror, which means that when I read the word I can see the parts of me that look my Father and the parts of me that don’t. I then get to choose what I am going to do with what I see. Am I going to pretend I don’t see character issues, cyclical patterns, or wounds. Or I am going to submit to God, sit in my Father’s presence, and allow Him to transform me as I choose to keep my eyes on him.

We are to behold God and His word continually as our mirror. Interestingly, anything that we look at long enough becomes a mirror, because as we constantly look at something or someone we inevitably, even if subconsciously, choose whether or not we want to mirror their actions. Thus, we choose to keep our eyes on God and His word. The more I am transformed by Him, the more I am light and the more I love like He loves. God’s loving-kindness brings us to repentance and into relationship with Him. Therefore I want His loving-kindness flowing in and through me so that I can lead my family, friends, and anyone I know to Him.

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