You are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14 (a)

The Bible, in Genesis, teaches us that one of God’s first acts was to bring light into the world. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:2-4. Bringing light to a world filled with darkness was not only important to God during the creation, but it continued to be a priority to Him. For 400 years Heaven was silent and God did not speak to men. But, at the end of that time of dark silence, God sent Light into the world again. This time, it was in the form on His Son, Jesus. “In him was life; and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:4-5

On this holiday, as we commemorate and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, we find ourselves fighting some of the same darkness that Dr. King fought – injustices and racism. However, the Bible lets us know that there is no new thing under the sun.  “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9.  Nevertheless, I did not think in my lifetime I would see such overt, blatant demonstrations of injustice and racism – especially coming from the pulpit. The very ones that the light of Christ had once shone upon are now discounting that same Light that shines upon others that do not look or do not act like them. It is appalling; it is disappointing; it is dark. They are not the only ones. It also comes from the highest office in this country. Injustice and racism are not the only darkness we face – crime, murders, domestic violence, rape, incest, child abuse, bullying, etc. are daily news stories all over this country.

However, God in His omniscient, infinite wisdom knew that we would be facing this day and these times, and He knew we would need lots of light to overshadow this darkness. Therefore, Jesus left us with these Words in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world.” Jesus also instructed us not to hide our light. “Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Matthew 5:15. Our light cannot be seen if it is hidden; it cannot be seen if we remain silent; it cannot be seen if we are fearful. It does not matter what the opposition says or thinks, we have been given our identity in Christ Jesus and He alone is the only authority in our lives. “. . . but now are you light in the Lord; walk as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8. So, in the midst of the looming darkness over this country and our cities, I challenge the children of God to shine!

An assassin thought he had removed Dr. King’s light, but here we are almost 50 years later still celebrating his light, celebrating his words and celebrating his actions. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day thought they had removed His light, but here we are over 2000 years later, still celebrating His light, celebrating His Words and walking in His light. Shine children of God the world needs our light! Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16.

This little light of mine I’m going to let it shine
Oh, this little light of mine I’m going to let it shine
This little light of mine I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

Ev’ry where I go I’m going to let it shine
Oh, ev’ry where I go I’m going to let it shine
Ev’ry where I go I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

All in my house I’m going to let it shine
Oh, all in my house I’m going to let it shine
All in my house I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

I’m not going to make it shine I’m just going to let it shine
I’m not going to make it shine I’m just going to let it shine
I’m not going to make it shine I’m just going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

Out in the dark I’m going to let it shine
Oh, out in the dark I’m going to let it shine
Out in the dark I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

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In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

We have no problem giving thanks during good times – we are happy; we are healthy; the money isn’t funny; life is good. We also have no problem giving thanks for tangible things we consider good – homes, cars, wardrobes, etc. However, the above scripture instructs us to give thanks in EVERY thing – now that is an issue.

How do we give thanks when we are experiencing trouble in our lives? How do we give thanks when we are losing our stuff? The car has been repossessed; the home has been foreclosed; we can’t make ends meet; we are robbing Peter to pay Paul; the children are rebelling; the spouse is straying; sickness and disease are taking a toll on the body – how do we give thanks when we are going through all of that? During those times, we most often find ourselves stressed and depressed, and being thankful is far from our minds or hearts. As a matter of fact, we do not SEE anything to be thankful about. In those times, we have to make a decision to trust God, and our decision is not based on what is happening in our lives or how we feel; it is based on who God is, and He is BIGGER than anything that we face. (“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4) 

When the scripture directs us to give thanks in all things, it does not imply that we are happy about the situation or circumstance. To give thanks simply means, Lord I trust You! In this space and time where I am right now – whatever it looks like; whatever it feels like; I trust You and I am relying solely on You. We can give thanks to Him because our lives are in His hands and He is the one that delivers us out of every situation. (“My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.” Psalm 31:15)

We can give thanks in difficult times and even devastating times because we know who is ordering our steps. (“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,” Psalm 37:23). The place we are in is not a surprise to God. We can trust Him because He already knows every decision we will make and every step we will take in our lives. He is, “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Revelation 22:13. He is the all-knowing, omniscient God. (“Before I formed you in the belly I knew you…” Jeremiah 1:5). Therefore, we can be thankful in all things because we know who holds our future, and He has promised “that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. Therefore, we put our faith and our trust in His Word, in His Promises, and say thank you. Thank you for the good, the bad, and the ugly; thank you for the joy and the pain; thank you for the sunshine and the rain; thank you for the calm and the storms; thank you for life and thank you even for death; because before death there was life. Thank you Lord for EVERY thing!

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Alignment: Mouth and Actions

Alignment – the proper positioning or state of adjustment of parts in relation to each other. According to scripture, just as our heart and mouth are directly related, so are our mouth and our actions. Jesus asked a question in the parable of the two sons: There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” Matthew 21:28-31 NIV. The chief priests and elders response to Jesus’ question was “The first.” Matthew 21:31. We would give this same response today – the son that did what his father asked him to do – not the one that said he would do it but did nothing.

In Matthew 23:3, Jesus warns about following after those, specifically religious leaders, who only say but not do. Jesus said, “So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” Therefore, aligning our actions with what we say we not only are going to do, but also with what we believe, is a necessary adjustment that has to be made in our lives. If we say we are Christians – followers of Christ – then our actions should reflect the heart of the One we say we follow. This has nothing to do with being perfect, because we were never charged to be perfect. However, it has everything to do with integrity and maturity.

Maturity is defined as having reached an advanced stage of mental or emotional development. Maturity plays a large part in aligning our actions with our mouth. If we are moved by our emotions – what we see, feel, or even think – we will be constantly changing our posture instead of standing firmly on what the Word of God says. In Ephesians 4:12-15, Paul teaches that the ministry gifts God set in His Body are for the “perfecting” of the Body or the “maturing” of the Body, so that we “be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind and doctrine… But… may grow up…”

The definition of integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. On the other hand, hypocrisy is defined as claiming to have morals and beliefs that your behaviors do not reflect. For example, we say we believe or, we are going to do one thing out of our mouth but our actions are the complete opposite. In Matthew 15:7-8, Jesus addressed the hypocrisy of the religious leaders by referring to a scripture in Isaiah 29:13, “You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draw nigh unto me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.’” We know the “right” things to say, but yet we do not know “Him.” We know the “right” things to say, but yet we do not do what is right. There is no integrity in hypocrisy.

To align our mouth with our actions, we must do what we say we believe; and we must do what we say we are going to do. If we say we believe the report of the Lord (John 12:38), then our actions should line up with what we say we believe. If we say we trust God with our whole heart (Proverbs 3:5), then we should not be living in fear and chaos. If we say we believe that we are in this world but we are not of this world (John 17:14), then we should not be following trends set by the world’s standard. If we say we believe the Word of God is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105), then we should be following the Word and the decisions we make should be based on the Word.


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Alignment: Heart and Mouth

How many times do we say things we do not mean? How often do we speak empty words – words with no purpose or words with hidden motives? At a young age we were taught to think before we speak. This lesson still holds true. If we would pause before we speak and make a heart connection, we would speak deliberately with purpose. What comes out of our mouth reveals what is in our heart. David said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:19).

Alignment is defined as the proper positioning or state of adjustment of parts in relation to each other. Scripture demonstrates that our heart and mouth are directly related, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” (Matthew 15:18). Therefore, it is necessary that we adjust our words and our heart so that they are properly aligned. In order for the heart and mouth to be correctly positioned, the heart has to be filled with good things. Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” When the heart is filled with good things, the mouth speaks good things.

Another important adjustment is to bring to an end to saying one thing when in our heart we are meaning something entirely different. We should always remember that God knows the very “intent” of our heart, so regardless of what we say or who we say it to; and regardless if we justify our reason for saying it; God knows what was in our heart when we spoke it – “for the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

For many of us, aligning our heart and mouth with what we believe is a key adjustment. We all know that feelings are ever changing. We wake up happy and by noon someone or something has knocked the wind out of our sail. However, if what we believe is based on the Word of God which is forever “settled in Heaven”(Psalm 119:89), then what we believe does not change. When what we believe is grounded in the Word of God, then we are not moved by what we feel; we are not moved by what we see; and we are not moved by what “they” say – whoever they are. When the doctor gives us his report, we align our heart and mouth with the Word of God and believe and say, “with His stripes, we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). When our bank account is not looking so “prosperous,” we align our heart and mouth with the Word and believe and say, “but my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). When it seems as though our backs are against the wall and we have no one to turn to and nowhere to turn, we align our heart and mouth with the Word of God and say, “if God be for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31); we say and believe, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

When our heart and mouth are aligned, we speak with power. Proverbs 18:21, “life and death are in the ‘power’ of the tongue.” The power comes when we speak what we believe, and what we believe is found in our heart – “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

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Grow Where You Are Planted: Or, Move So You Can Grow!

Many of you may have heard the popular phrase, “grow or bloom where you are planted.” For the most part, it means to grow and/or continue to grow regardless of where you are in life. I understand the “intent” of the saying, but it makes about as much sense as the phrase “you want to have your cake and eat it to.” Again, the concept of the saying is noble; however, the “truth” of the matter is that we are not always able to grow or bloom where we are planted.

If you have attempted any type of gardening, you know that to grow anything it takes a combination of good soil, lighting and water – these all play a significant role in the growing process. Another vital element to the growth process is the season in which you plant. Most seeds, bulbs or plants come with instructions that state the type of lighting required and how often watering should occur, and the best time of the year (season) to plant.

If you put a seed in good soil and water it properly but fail to give it proper light, it will grow but not at the rate it should. The seed’s growth process will be stunted. Likewise, if you put a seed in good soil and give it proper light but fail to water it, it may come up, but it will eventually wither and die. Of course, if the soil is corrupt, it does not matter how much light and water the seed receives, it will not survive until transplanted to good soil and given the proper nourishment. Even in the best of conditions – good soil, proper water and lighting – if the seed is planted out of its environmental element, it will die.

We sometimes find ourselves in the same scenarios as those seeds. We are planted somewhere but we are not receiving the proper elements necessary for our spiritual growth – the Word, prayer, and revelation by the Spirit of God. We also can sometimes find ourselves struggling to grow spiritually, or find ourselves literally withering away on the brink of spiritual death. Just as with the seed, the solution is to identify what we are lacking and rectify it; and that may mean we might have to make a move. We may  have to uproot ourselves and transplant ourselves where we need to be to receive what we need to grow and bloom.

Please note that all seeds do not grow in the same environment. Every seed is specific to its own environment. Because someone else is flourishing in the same soil that you’re not, does not necessarily imply that something is wrong with you. It just may not be the place for you. Find what works for you. Find what you need to help you grow and help you sustain your spiritual walk, and plant yourself there.


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You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and right so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:13-16

As the time neared for Jesus to go to the cross, He began to share with His disciples the things that were about to take place. Mark 10:33-34. After Jesus explained in detail to His disciples what was going to happen to Him, two of the disciples, James and John, approached Him with a request. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” Mark 10:35. When Jesus asked them what did they want for Him to do, They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” Mark 10:37. On first glance, I thought this to be an odd request, especially right after them hearing that Jesus, the one that they called Master, was about to be unjustly accused and sentenced to die a horrible death on the cross. However, it is clear that the brothers were thinking ahead and were attempting to secure their positions in Jesus’ Kingdom when He returned. James and John were very serious about securing these positions. When Jesus asked them, “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” “We can,” they answered. Mark 10:38-39. Could they really? This is a clear indication that they did not fully understand why Jesus was about to be put to death.

This same type of mentality is still prevalent in the Church right now. People are competing for positions – for their “spot” – with no inclination of what it requires to be positioned in the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ response to James and John gives us insight into Kingdom positioning. He told them, “but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” Mark 10:30. The positions in the Kingdom are “to those for whom they have been prepared;” not to them who jockey for them and not even to those who think they are qualified. We can see in the following scriptures that positions in the Kingdom are not for our determining. Ephesians 4:11 states, “So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 state, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of services, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all.” 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, teaches about the different gifts of the Spirit and concludes, “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”

Again, Jesus – the only pattern for our lives – teaches James and John, and the other disciples a Kingdom principle which needs to be taught over and over, and over again today. Jesus said, “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45. You want to be great – serve; you want to be number one – serve. The only position in the Kingdom is one of servant.

In John 13:4-5, Jesus demonstrated to the disciples and to us the greatest act of humility in serving. Jesus being fully aware of His position as the Son of God and the Messiah took off his outer garment and wrapped a towel around His waist, poured water into a tub, and began to wash His disciples’ feet. When He was finished, Jesus said to the disciples, and His Word holds true for us today, John 13:13-16, paraphrased, if being in the position that I (Jesus) am in – above all – if I (Jesus) can humble myself and serve you, surely you can serve each other, because you are not greater than I (Jesus) am.

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Be Glorified

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”  John 12:23-24        

Glorified is defined as to be honored or praised in a very high manner. Interestingly, when Jesus speaks of his impending death on the cross, He describes it as being “glorified.” In stark contrast, we, Jesus’ followers; Christians; would not consider dying as being glorified. We would not consider any type of suffering as being honored. Actually, we think when we are “blessed” with money or material things that those things signify honor to us. However, Jesus, our only example of what our Christian walk should look like, says, I am about to be glorified because my death is going to produce life for many.

Therefore, when we say to the Lord, “God get the glory out of my life,” it is doubtful that we are truly aware of what we are saying. Because, according to Jesus’ example, in order for God to get the glory, some things in us may have to die. In order for us to produce, bringing forth fruits of righteousness, some things in our lives may have to cease. Jesus said it like this, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23. I am also reminded of these words of an old hymn, “Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free, no there’s a cross for everyone and there’s a cross for me.”

What is the cross that Jesus has told us we must take up? We should examine the areas of our lives that we know if it died the Lord would really be glorified in our lives. That area may be our mouths – we just talk too much about nothing. The Bible says we were redeemed from vain conversations. 1 Peter 1:18. Maybe we should consider fasting our words – let them be few, let them be kind, and let them be life producing. Proverbs 18:21. Perhaps we need to examine our egos – wanting to be great; attention seeking. Isaiah 42:8 states, “I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” What would an examination of our motives reveal – what we do, how we do, and why we do. If our motives are not pure, then they need to die because they are ego driven. Or, maybe, we simply need to die to our will and commit to His. Again, Jesus has set the pattern before us with His life. We need only to follow His lead – “not my will, but thine be done.” Luke 22:42.

Every branch in me that bears not fruit He takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 15:2

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Shameless Audacity

Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. Luke 11:5-8

Have you ever “prayed” about a situation and did not receive an answer? How many times have we given up, because we “prayed” about it and it did not happen? Proverbs 13:12 teaches us that “hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.” When we pray and don’t receive what we prayed for, we become disappointed, disheartened and, sometimes, we even become angry. Acts 12:15 states that when Peter was in prison, “prayer was made without ceasing” for him. The church prayed until an angel was summoned to release Peter from jail. The Bible’s teaching on how we should pray for what we need is very different from how we actually pray.

In Luke 11:5-8, Jesus gives us a very simple insight into why some of our prayers are not answered. We simply are not audacious enough; we are not bold enough; we are not fearless enough! We are too timid in our asking. Unlike the person in Luke 11, we don’t ask and keep asking, and don’t stop asking until we get what we asked for. We pray then we let it go. However, Jesus tells us that if we have shameless audacity and do not move off of or give up on what we ask for, we will “surely” receive it. Hebrews 4:16, bids us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We are to approach prayer with confidence knowing that we are going to receive what we need. When we are confident, we don’t give up after asking one or two times; when we are confident, we keep asking until we receive what we need. Confidence says: it is not “if” we are going to receive, it is “when” we are going to receive!

Jesus gave us another example in Luke 18:1-8. The Bible states that Jesus told this parable that we would know that we “should always pray and not give up” (verse 1). The example is of a widow who kept coming to an unjust judge (the Bible states the judge did not fear God and he did not care what people thought) pleading with him to avenge her of her adversary. Imagine this widow, a woman not having the support of a man, boldly going to an unjust judge requesting justice. She was audacious! She did not care that she was a widow and she did not care about the judge’s reputation; she needed what she needed, and she was determined to get what she needed. Jesus said that the unjust judge said to himself, “though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.” Jesus further said, “Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him; will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Verses 7 and 8). Do we have enough faith in our Father to boldly ask and keep asking for what we need, and dare believe that He will give us everything we need! We should exercise shameless audacious faith when making our requests known unto our God!

Additional Scripture References

And so it is with prayer—keep on asking and you will keep on getting; keep on looking and you will keep on finding; knock and the door will be opened. Everyone who asks, receives; all who seek, find; and the door is opened to everyone who knocks. Luke 11:9-10

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

 And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. 1 John 5:14

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Our Hearts’ Posture

It was once said to me that, “the heart wants what the heart wants.” In our flesh, this is very true. However, the Word of God instructs us: “If you then be risen with Christ (to a new life), seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead (have died to this world) and your (new) life is hid with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3. We are explicitly instructed to set our affections; our attractions; our feelings; our love “on things above.” Yet the most preached, taught, and received message in the Church world is about “things on the earth” such as money, houses, cars – stuff – things that are temporary.  Colossians 3:2, AMP, “Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above (the heavenly things), not on things that are on the earth (which have only temporal value).”

In Luke 12:15, Jesus said, “Watch out and guard yourselves against every form of greed; for not even when one has an overflowing abundance does his life consist of nor is it derived from his possessions.” In spite of Jesus’ warning, we, His people, have gotten it twisted. Generally speaking, we don’t “feel” like we are blessed unless we have received a financial or material “blessing.” Somewhere along this journey, we began to covet and desire riches that would afford us stuff and prestige. We confused seeking stuff with seeking His Kingdom despite Jesus’ caution that our lives does not “consist of nor is it derived from” our possessions.

Jesus’ teachings in the twelfth chapter of Luke, clearly and emphatically demonstrated what we were not to seek after, and He also laid out example after example of the Father’s faithfulness to provide for His children. Jesus gave the example of the ravens that neither sow nor reap but God feeds them. He then told us that in God’s sight we are much more than birds. Jesus also gave the example of lilies – how they don’t work, but God dresses them beautifully. He assured us that if God did that for grass, He will do even more for us – His children. Jesus summed it up by stating that we worry because we do not believe. He said, “ye of little faith.” We do not believe God will do what He said He would do, therefore, we bombard Heaven with petitions for the very things Jesus told us not to worry about. In Luke 12:30, Jesus said, “seek not what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be you of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after… Therefore, when we set our hearts to seek for stuff, we are following the pattern of the world. We are not seeking His Kingdom.

Jesus said in Luke 12:32, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Jesus had already explained that the Kingdom consisted of things above, eternal things, spiritual things. This is the Kingdom that He wants us to seek after. This is the Kingdom that the Father takes pleasure in giving to His children. Paul said in Romans 14:17, “For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” This is what we should be seeking; we should be seeking God’s will and God’s way – not assuming, not rationalizing, not intellectualizing, but actively seeking what God desires of us, so that He can do in us and through us what He wants to do.

Lastly, Jesus said to “lay up treasures in heaven where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:33-34. Where are our hearts? What is our hearts’ posture? Is it in seeking treasures here on this earth? Is it in seeking our own plans for our lives; our own selfish desires? Let us turn our hearts again to seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Let’s speak to our heart and tell it that we want our Father and “His Kingdom to come, and His will to be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10.

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. . . and with all your getting, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7(b)

The amplified version of this scripture reads, “And with all your acquiring, get understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation]”. I like this amplified version because it explains how to get understanding – we must “actively seek” it out. Some of us are too passive when it comes to our spiritual life. We tend to go with the flow of whatever is popular: catch phrases, slogans, declarations, etc. Therefore, we seldom “actively seek” out and understand what the Word of God says on a matter. It sounds good and it makes us feel good, and everybody is saying it, so we follow suit. Interestingly enough, just repeating and mimicking others does not produce anything in our lives. However, it does reveal our lack of understanding and it reveals our immaturity.

A clear example of this is the incessant obsession with “haters.” When we take the time to “actively seek” out what the Word of God has to say about “haters,” that would no longer be the focus or topic of our conversation. When we understand by the Word of God that every time someone dislikes you for no reason, disparage your name, questions your calling, your dreams, and your purpose; they are causing blessings to run over in our lives. When we understand this, we would be about our Father’s business – doing more and being more unapologetically.

When haters consume our thoughts, it is a clear indication that we do not know and we do not understand that the Word says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies (haters); you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” Psalm 23:5. Through this scripture, we understand that God blesses us in spite of haters; not only in spite of them, but in front of them. Proverbs 16:7 reads, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies (haters) to be at peace with him.” God assures us that He is in control of even the lives of our enemies. If we really understood this and believed this, we would rejoice when haters rise up against us. We would thank and praise God because we know that He is preparing a table of blessings for us, and He is anointing us for even greater works.

When we truly understand who is orchestrating our lives, we would stop crying over what they say and what they think; and we would stop crying over being betrayed, being misunderstood, and being overlooked. We need to get an understanding of Psalm 31:16, “My times are in your hand.” Whoever; whatever; whenever; however; it is all working for our good (Romans 8:28). For that reason alone, we can follow the instructions of Psalm 110:1, “Sit here at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” Selah.

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