“Hidden Treasures”

Have you ever asked God for anything? Did you get it? Was it exactly what you wanted? Have you ever received something that initially looked totally opposite of what you asked for, only to look back after a while and admit how glad you were that He sent you what you needed and not what you wanted? I am learning that many times when God gives us something, it doesn’t always look like what we expected. God has a way of sending us Hidden Treasures.

Example: You asked God for a promotion, but instead you lose that job. You asked God for a mate and you give Him your long list of requirements only to meet and find yourself in love with someone who is nothing like what you asked. Why do you think that is?

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith 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. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

God, Who is infinite in His Wisdom, will give us what looks like a mess, but hidden under the chaos is an even better version of what we requested. I believe He does this in order to ensure we do our part (we do play a part in our own blessings).

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? (James 2:14 NLT)

I’ve been praying for my family to become closer and that we spend more time together. Well, this Thanksgiving I got just that, except when I walked into my brother’s house (our host this year), initially all I saw was chaos. There were  about 20 kids running around and playing, family members who hadn’t seen each other in forever were exchanging salutations, music was blaring, food was everywhere, etc. Compared to my normal quiet only me life, that was chaotic, but through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, before I allowed my natural sight to control my thoughts, emotions, and actions, I took a step back and realized this is exactly what I asked for; it wasn’t how I pictured it, but it was what I asked for. Everyone there had an amazing time and everyone felt welcome, that was priceless!

I had to do my part, which was to see it as the blessing that it truly was, a Hidden Treasure.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

So, That Settles It, purpose in your heart to see the Hidden Treasures in every mess you are presented with. Choose to see it (Spiritually) even before you see it (Physically). Remember, God ALWAYS gives us far more than we can imagine!

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…(Ephesians 3:20)

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“Thankfulness”

I love this time of year; a time of families getting together eating massive amounts of food and desserts and reminiscing about old times (usually the same stories every year). Then there’s the kick-off to the holiday season, all the hustle and bustle, shopping, crowds, malls, spending money, etc. In the midst of all of this, let’s make time for Thankfulness. I’m not just talking about gifts and material items; try expressing Thankfulness for the things we take for granted. I have listed some wonderful gifts we have been given, but we have a tendency to take for granted…

~Life

~Breath

~Strength

~Hope

~Faith

~Forgiveness

~Mercy

~Grace

~Love

~Joy

~Peace

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

To those who may not have family or friends to spend time with during this time of Thankfulness, my prayer for you is that God send you a surrogate family and some great friends. In the meantime, be encouraged; another option is to be a surrogate family or a friend to someone else and you both will be blessed.

Let’s Pray:

Father God, Thank You for every blessing You bestow upon me daily. Thank You for giving me the victory through Christ Jesus. Help me to always remember that I don’t have to look hard to find a reason to express my Thankfulness. My hope is that I will grow to be able to give thanks in all circumstances, for I know that is Your Will concerning me. I will endeavor to continuously come into Your presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise to You with songs of praise. Thankfulness is flowing from my heart. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen.

So, That Settles It. Enjoy your holiday with family and friends and even after the holiday is over, remember to be intentional about expressing Thankfulness every day.

Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 7:12)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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“The Least…”

Are you considered The Least in your family, or as some would say, the “black sheep” of your family? Do you feel like The Least in your office among your co-workers? Are you considered The Least successful, The Least educated, or The Least attractive among your friends? If you answered “Yes,” to any of these questions, then this week’s blog post is just for you!

Funny thing about God: He specializes in promoting and using The Least. Just ask Gideon…

Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”
“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am The Least in my entire family!” (Judges 6:11-15 NLT)

Notice, even though Gideon saw himself as The Least, God saw him and addressed him as “Mighty Hero.” Because of his insecurities, Gideon kept asking God for signs that He wanted to use him. Have you found yourself in a similar situation? You know, God hand picks you to do something mighty for His Kingdom, but because you don’t feel worthy (according to man’s standards), you need confirmation after confirmation. You want to give God ample opportunity to realize He made a mistake…He didnt! He Chose YOU!

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. (John 15:16 NLT)

What am I trying to say?
It doesn’t matter how you see yourself or how others see you! What matters is how God sees you! Maybe your perception is distorted because of past failures, opinions of others, rejections, shortcomings, etc., but His Word is Truth! I suggest you become familiar with it and learn to see yourself as He sees you.

Let’s Pray:
Father God, Thank You for not seeing me as man sees me, or even as I sometimes see myself. Lord, I ask You to keep me in remembrance of Your Word. You said I was created in Your image and likeness. You said everything You made was good, and that includes me. So, even during difficult times when I may feel like The Least, give me a gentle nudge and remind me that You are with me and if You are on my side, that’s greater than anything I may face, even my insecurities. I am grateful that I am somebody to You; that I matter to You. Thank You Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

So, you may be considered The Least among mere men, but to God you are a Mighty Warrior. You are More than a Conqueror! And He’s not like man, He doesn’t lie. If God said it, then That Settles It. Embrace it. Walk in it. He is sending You! Selah.

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“Dirty Wedding Gown”

Imagine this: A groom on his wedding day is waiting patiently for his bride to walk down the aisle in a beautiful gown that she has gone to great lengths to keep hidden from him until this special day. The doors open and standing there is his would-be bride in a Dirty Wedding Gown.

If God were to return now, would He find His Bride in a Dirty Wedding Gown?

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Now, as you know, my sole purpose for writing this blog is to encourage people on this journey of becoming the best version of ourselves. A big part of that process involves pursuing holiness and allowing God to cleanse and purify us. We are to be adorned as a bride waiting for her groom. But, sadly the Body of Christ as a whole is so dirty, if our Bridegroom were to come today we would not be prepared.

Just think about it: Many brides begin preparing for their wedding at least one year prior to the wedding date. They don’t/can’t wait until the last minute; that would be disastrous. With that being said, we can’t afford to procrastinate, believing we have more time; we don’t know that!

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24:36).

One of the first things the bride-to-be does is commence the search for the “Perfect” wedding gown. She wants to WOW her groom and guests when they see her. Her Bridesmaids work closely with her when she is getting dressed that day to make sure the dress picks up no spots or wrinkles. There are even certain things she will not touch or handle once she is dressed. Not only that, but usually, she will diet, exercise, and make other necessary lifestyle changes as she prepares for the big day. In that same manner, we as the Body of Christ, His bride, should make those necessary lifestyle changes; change our diet, and start eating more of the Word of God and less of the bread of idleness. Let’s also become more intentional about exercising sound judgement in every area of our lives.

Let’s Pray: 

Father God, Thank You for being the Best Husband to Your Bride the Church. As we prepare for Your coming, equip us to live a life pure and holy before You, presenting our bodies as living sacrifices unto You. Let us touch no unclean thing. Our desire is to be ready and not getting ready when You return. We want You to find us without spot or wrinkle and patiently awaiting the arrival of our King. This is our prayer, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

So, That Settles It; make a decision and a declaration that you will stand with me as we cleanse ourselves in preparation of our Bridegroom. When He comes, He will not find His Bride in a Dirty Wedding Gown, but instead He will find His Bride adorned in white and we shall rejoice!

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints (Revelation 19:7-8)

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“How Many Masks Do You Have?”

As we all know, yesterday millions of people celebrated Halloween; and there were all types of costumes and different kinds of masks. Though I do not observe this day, I am surrounded by those who do, and every year I wonder how many people are trading one mask for another for this day?

I am inclined to believe that most people have worn or wear some kind of mask at some point during this life; whether it’s the mask of happiness, contentment, confidence, wealth, good health, strength, self-control, etc. So, I pose a question: How Many Masks Do You Have?

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT).

No one, except God and those you’ve allowed to see the real you, knows that you wear masks. You would have everyone else think that what they see is what they get…Not So!

I believe many of us feel we have to wear masks because we are more concerned with what others will think, than we are about being true to ourselves and receiving all that we need. For example, you have worn the mask of strength so long that even though you are extremely weak in your current situation, you have convinced yourself that you just have to deal with it by yourself. You can’t let people know that you are not as strong as you’d like everyone to believe, which means you can’t ask for help, or confide in anyone because then your cover will be blown. Then you will have to admit that you haven’t really had any strength for a while, but that you were wearing a mask. Add to that, you have been weary so long that you can’t remember the last time you were genuinely happy, but no one can know; so when needed, you swap the mask of strength for a mask of happiness. You are careful not to leave home without them, or any other masks that you may need to change into throughout the day. How Many Masks Do You Have?

Fake it til you make it…

I cannot forget to mention those of us who are too impatient to go through the process of transformation. We don’t want to wait for God to finish the work, so we take as much as we can, and then we try to fake the rest. Like forgiveness: we know the right things to say to convince others that we have forgiven them (we may even quote some scriptures), but in our hearts there is unforgiveness and bitterness, and if not dealt with, sooner or later, that mask is coming off! This is especially true for those of us Believers who wear masks of self-righteousness (thinking we look righteous), and foolishly believing we can convince the world that this is what pleases God…Not So! Remember the Pharisees? They were so consumed with looking clean on the outside, that they did not put much effort into actually being purified from the inside out, which in turn would have made them better altogether.

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity” (Matthew 23:27 NLT).

Let’s Pray: 

Father God, thank You for hearing and answering my prayers according to Your Perfect Will. Lord, my desire is not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Transform me from the inside out. God, mold me and shape me, making me competent and equipped for every good work. I decree I will not have to fake it because I am surrendering my life to You Lord, so You can finish the work You started in me, sculpting me into the Best me. In Jesus name, Amen.

So, That Settles It. Accept yourself where you are, as you are. Love yourself enough to confront the man/woman in the mirror and ask yourself: How Many Masks Do You Have? Then, boldly and unapologetically take off those masks, surrender to God, let the beautification process begin, and allow Him to complete it.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

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