"Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself," Matthew 22:37-39
Hi bro/sis. It's been a while since I've written a blog post, but here we go...
The Holy Spirit said I should title it "Loving yourself". He said that the attitude of our service both to God and people is tied to these two commandments. Do you take care of yourself spiritually, emotionally and physically? We cannot give what we do not have. When was the last time you took yourself shopping/window shopping? When last did you attend an empowerment seminar/event...have you made an effort to empower yourself spiritually, emotionally and physically?
He said the second commandment has an 'as' - love your neighbor 'as' you love yourself. What are we really giving to people? Do you know you can serve even in church with a really bad attitude? Oh! you are there on time, you are doing the do's, all the technical stuff and all - but with a really bad heart attitude! God sees! I had to repent!
Take the time to empower yourself spiritually, emotionally and physically. Do you release biblical declarations everyday? (I'm preaching to myself here too. I have them written down and declare them every now and again but that's not enough!). When last did you take a walk or go for a run? How does your prayer life look like? I'm trying to stir you up for a change! It's great to help and encourage people but are you encouraging yourself? I know what it means to drown inside. You smile at people and all but inside you are screaming for help. It's great to have people stand with you but sometimes God just wants you to walk it out with you and Him for a season.
Think about it. Be blessed.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart,” Hebrews 12:1-3
There is a MASSIVE cloud of witnesses - those named and unnamed in the Bible and those that have gone before us. Are you running WITH perseverance?
There’s hope when you know you’re not alone in this Kingdom race. Jesus endured and finished WELL. The true apostles endured and finished WELL. The true prophets endured and finished WELL. You too can endure and finish WELL. What a word of encouragement.
Sometimes it’s in the persecution (in whatever way or form) that you realize what you’re made of. It is easy to preach the fruits of the Spirit, but more challenging to produce them amid opposition. Let’s be intentional about this. What are you speaking? What are you doing? Watch your character. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you aspects that aren’t Christ-like. After reading the Word of God and praying we are expected to put it to practice. As you make a step, the Holy Spirit partners with you to accomplish God’s assignment THROUGH you. This isn’t about us but all about Him. Will you partner with Him?
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing," John 15:5.
What a privilege and an honor to bear fruit in God's own Kingdom. We can do nothing without Him. The gifts of grace He has lavished on us, we cannot use without Him. In fact if you read 1 Peter 4:10 it mentions that we are only stewards of His grace gifts. We will be held accountable for how well we used them. To use them well, we need the help of the Holy Spirit.
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work, " 2 Corinthians 9:8.
The preceding verses talk about sowing and giving generously. These are the fundamental principles of productivity in God's Kingdom. Jesus came as a seed, giving Himself to the world. Those who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). How productive are you in the Kingdom of God? How well are you stewarding God's grace gifts? If you're lacking wisdom check out James 1:5.
It's time to partner with God. All glory and honor belong to Him. Be blessed.
“He will KEEP in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you,” Isaiah 26:3
The Holy Spirit asked me, “Irene, why do you worry? Do you know this is the reason you’ve been having sleepless nights? Do you not trust in my ability to handle things?”
God can only give perfect peace when you’ve decided in your mind to trust the Lord. Worry in Greek not only means anxiety but describes someone who is distracted, divided, to go to pieces because one’s mind is pulled apart. The Holy Spirit went on to say that “with worry you forget who I am, when you decide to trust you remember who I AM. You remember whose you are and who you are.”
What are you worried about? Worry is linked to prayerlessness, lack of praise and a loss of joy…but thank God for the Holy Spirit who reminds us about the God whom we serve.
Who are you relying on to handle your situation? I encourage you to look at King Hezekiah’s approach to handling a life and death situation in 2 Kings 18 & 19. It’s a pretty long read but I’m a fan of understanding the context. These will help you to put your trust in the Lord and FIX your mind on Him. This life is not about you – it’s about Him. So He is the focus of absolutely everything in your life.
Dear bro/sis don’t be blinded by the enemy!
“He will KEEP in perfect peace him whose mind [intent, purpose, frame of mind] is steadfast, because he trusts in you,” Isaiah 26:3.
The wedding banquet. Wow. The parable of the wedding banquet is quite fascinating (Read it in Matthew 22:1-14). Jesus spoke in parables about the Kingdom of God to those who had a spirit of religion. The chief priests and elders of the people wanted the privileges of being a child of God - a citizen of the Kingdom of God- but weren't willing to accept God's invitation of surrender.
"Oh no Lord, it costs too much! I can't lose some of my friends, those habits, those addictions, those pleasures, etc it costs too much!"
Dear bro/sis it is impossible to sneak into the Kingdom of God. You can go to church every Sunday, attend bible study and even go to bible school, take Holy Communion, wear a cross...do all the do's.
But did you enter the Kingdom of God through baptism and repentance?
Did you really accept God's invitation by way of the cross?
The spirit of religion is so dangerous. God loves you too much to leave you the way you are. Are you serious about accepting His invitation? Are you open to a real relationship with Him? He is alive, living! He sees and talks. If you were to die right now would you be ushered into the gates of heaven by God's angels or into the gates of hell by Satanic angels FOR ETERNITY? The spirit of religion assumes many mediums of getting to God (self effort & good works) but Jesus offered Himself and that is what God is looking for (Matthew 3:16; Matthew 3:17).
Get that dusty bible off the shelf, out of that suitcase, out the trash. Shut the door and have one on one time with God. He is waiting.
I repent. Here I am. I'm sorry for my sins. Take my brokenness. Take me as I am. Use me. Thank you for the finished works of Jesus Christ I hereby make you my Lord and Savior. Today I surrender my entire life to you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Teach me the way I should go. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.
“But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint,” Isaiah 40:31
Those who wait, those who expect, those who look for…it’s for those who WAIT upon the Lord. We sit in the Presence of the Lord and carry all kinds of baggage (anxiety, anger, frustration, pride, fear, terror,etc). It continues to weigh us down the more we continue to worship it [I need to sort this out before that, I fear this and that might happen, I need money for this, I need to raise funds for that, I need to speak to so and so after this and that,etc]. All this going on while sitting in our ‘quiet’ time with the Lord.
The Holy Spirit then said, “Irene, Isaiah 40:31 is about waiting IN WORSHIP. When you wait upon the Lord in WORSHIP, you WILL collect strength from Him. It’s a spiritual transaction. The same principle applies in Matthew 6:33. Waiting in WORSHIP is ‘active’ not ‘passive’”.
Wow! I never saw it like that.
How did you approach the King of Kings this morning? The Lord responds to worship when He is number 1 in your list of priorities. Dear bro/sis, He knows what you need but requires that you:
“Enter His gates with THANKSGIVING and His courts with PRAISE; give thanks to Him and praise His Name,” Psalm 100:4.
There is a way you approach the King of Kings. We serve a God of order. Collect your thoughts and COMMAND them to bless the Lord FIRST. Yes, COMMAND your entire being to bless the Lord.The little details matter to God. He is your Healer, your Provider, the Alpha and Omega, the lover of your soul…. magnify your God and He will give you the strength you need to navigate through your problems.
Wait…. wait in WORSHIP!