“Eye (I) Exam”

We all know people who are critical (negatively) of everyone else; they’re notorious for exhibiting harsh judgment towards others. These critics usually don’t work alone, they round up allies, usually others who are just as critical, in an attempt to validate their judgments. Their ultimate goal is to discredit and tarnish the character of anyone whose views, opinions, ethics, looks, etc. differs from theirs (positive people). They only want to focus on the negative and will try to distort everyone’s perception of those who pose a threat to their agendas. Sound like anyone you know? If so, there’s hope, all they need is an Eye (I) Exam.

Negative critical people have fooled themselves into believing they can divert attention from, or minimize their faults, by shining the light on the faults of others; and what’s even worse, is everyone in their circle has this same distorted vision. This band of negative critics has no interest in resolution, they just want to point out the problem (in others), which actually makes them a part of the problem. It is almost impossible for them to see good in, encourage, or genuinely build-up anyone else.

Where do you typically find these vision impaired individuals/groups? In families, on jobs, in social networks, in churches; basically, anywhere you find people.

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5 NLT).

Give yourself an Eye (I) Exam today, and be honest with yourself; search within and ask yourself “What areas do I need to work on.” Notice, it’s not your job to point out others’ faults, otherwise, you are no different from them. However, you can make sure that your own eyes are healthy and the light is shining brightly; then once your vision is improved, you can help others.

 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light (Matthew 6:22 NLT).

So, That Settles It, don’t waste anymore energy trying to prove anything to your critics, and definitely don’t resort to retaliation. Pray that the “log be removed from their eyes.” Focus on passing your Eye (I) Exam, and helping others to see the Light. This is how we build up and encourage our brethren.

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“That Was Then, This is Now”

Ever notice how easily people remember some of the “silly” things you did a long time ago? You may have done something when you were five years old, but even now at age 25, every time you attend a family function, someone reminds you of that 20 year old deed. Sound familiar? This is very common for many Believers because many of our family members and friends find it difficult to accept our new life in Christ because of all the “bad” things we may have done before we were saved; or even worse, maybe you had a spiritual fall last week, last month, or even last year, and there’s someone who insists on holding it over your head. In either case, tell them, “That Was Then, This is Now.”

22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Scripture says, “Any man who is in Christ is a new creature…” (2 Corinthians 5:17), yet many of us are caught between the bitter truth of who we WERE and the skepticism of who we HAVE BECOME. We were liars, whoremongers, drunkards, thieves and robbers, adulterers; we were just plain old Sinners. We are now sinners saved by Grace, a Royal Priesthood, Ambassadors, joint-heirs with Christ, sons and daughters of the King; but for some, especially those who knew us when, this is hard to believe/accept.
Just ask Saul/Paul…

20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?
22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:
24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus (Acts 9:20-27).

It is not our job to try to convince them, or change their minds; let’s face it, nothing we say will change the minds of the doubters. In all honesty, they have a right to be apprehensive. It is our responsibility to walk upright and live according to the Word of God, as He has commanded us to do. It is our transformed lifestyles that will bear the greatest witness of our new life in Christ Jesus.

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).

Let me also say this: Maybe you’ve messed up since you accepted Christ, and feel like you have proven the naysayers right. Listen to me, NO person who has not even taken the first step, by accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, has any room to judge you when you make a mistake or bad decision. As for Believers, we are not to judge or condemn, but restore and strengthen our brothers and sisters who have fallen into temptation and/or sin. We should extend the most compassion and understanding because we recognize that we are saved by Grace, period.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

So, That Settles It, the next time someone tries to belittle you with their “I remember when…” stories of your past sinful life, just hold your head up high and say, “Yes, I remember, but That Was Then, This is Now. I have been redeemed, thanks to the price Christ paid for me and you on the Cross.” Who knows, you may be able to use this as an opportunity to extend the invitation of salvation to that person while you’re at it.

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“Do Season”

Have you felt more motivated and determined to go forth full throttle in your purpose and destiny lately? I believe this is the prodding of the Holy Spirit reaffirming what the word says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). Everyone gets excited about the due (D.U.E.) season, but the path to it is through a Do (D.O.) Season. I believe that’s why we are reminded to “faint not,” because there is something required of us. In order to reap, we must sow. So, my question to you is, what are you willing to plant in order to reap the harvest of your due season?

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

It is the Father’s great pleasure to see you prosper in every area of your life, but He’s not going to do all the work for you. You have to do your part; there is work required of you too. This Do Season is preparing you for your due season.

See for yourself…

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted – In order to pluck up (reap a harvest), you have to first plant something, i.e. working towards your desired career, being prepared for ministry, investing in family, learning to love, etc. You have to do your part; God says He will give YOU power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). He says He will bless the works of YOUR hands (Deuteronomy 15:10). So, get busy, and don’t worry, if there’s something that you are unable to do in your own strength, that’s when God steps in.

A time to kill, and a time to heal – Kill the flesh and its sinful deeds, so that you can hear clearly the instructions and directions from God on which path to take. Allow God to heal you during this Do Season; with healing comes maturity. The worst thing you can do is perfect your gift and neglect character development. You want to ensure that your character will sustain you wherever your gifts/talents may take you.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance – Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). It’s morning! You’ve cried and mourned over past failures and rejections long enough. Get up, wipe your face and move forward! Don’t make the mistake of dying in the valley of regret. Laugh at the thought of the great future with unlimited possibilities that awaits you.

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away – It’s time to reevaluate some relationships. Lose the people who take more than they give, those who don’t believe in you. Get rid of the dead weight, and get with those true friends and accountability partners who will push you and will cheer you on.

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak – Silence those negative voices (yours and the enemy’s) telling you that you can’t do it. Boldly speak up and rebuttal every lie with that which the Word of God says about you.

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace – Become intentional about loving yourself and others. Love that which is right, and hate sin and iniquity. Wage war on every doubt and fear, and embrace the peace bestowed upon you by God the Father, as He graciously guides you into your purpose and destiny.

So, That Settles It. It’s your Do Season. Do whatever is required of you in this season. Do not just sit there and assume this is for someone else; no this is for YOU! Be encouraged and don’t faint, just know that you are being positioned for the coming of your due season.

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“Spoiled Brats”

I recently had to admit something about myself, and once you are done reading this post, you may feel the same…

I am a Spoiled Brat; actually, many Believers fit this title. Think about it, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Spoiled Brats? They are children who typically display behavioral problems, most often stemming from being overindulged by their parents (they get whatever they want), and they’re usually perceived as spoiled. I am embarrassed to say that I have acted this way towards God at times. To be perfectly honest, God has abundantly blessed me. He not only supplies all my needs, but He often does above and beyond what I ask, and for that I am grateful. The problem arises when I don’t get what I want when I want it. That’s when I get a temporary case of amnesia and selectively forget all the things He has done.

I’m sure you’ve witnessed children acting like Spoiled Brats in public; they whine, scream, cry, and yell at their parents when they can’t get their own way. They say things like “You never do anything for me!” Part of the reason for this behavior is because many parents today are not as strict and aim to rule with less of an iron fist than their parents and previous generations. Now, admit it, you too have had those times when you found yourself acting like a kid, pouting at God for not letting you have your way.

News Flash!!! God is the Original Parent and our adult temper tantrums won’t work on Him! Our futile attempts at using reverse psychology on the Omniscient God are useless; trust me, I should know. We have developed this sense of entitlement. I mean afterall, we are joint-heirs with Christ; but, we must remember that the Father is going to ensure we can handle what we’re asking for. If we are not ready, He’s not going to give it to us. If He has something better in store for us, He’d rather we trust His timing and wait.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:8-11).

So, That Settles It, calm down, take a deep breath, remember that God is for you, He’s not against you. Let’s stop acting like Spoiled Brats, remain grateful, and Trust Him. Remember, He is not like man, He can’t lie; If He said it, then He will do it. He only wants the best for His children, and Father knows best.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11).

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