“What Kind of Bread Do You Eat?”

As always, at the beginning of every year, people start off with the mindset to make healthy lifestyle changes; whether it be in the form of exercising more, eating less, joining Weight Watchers, counting carbs, or one of many fad diets. Some of my co-workers have decided to join Weight Watchers and they discuss how they are going to expend their points for the day. One co-worker in particular, expressed how hard it is for her in the beginning because she has chosen to cut back on carbs, Bread in particular. She has even researched which kinds of Bread are better for her during this transition to healthier living.

These discussions caused me to ponder the choices we as Believers have concerning the types of Bread we eat. So, my question to you this week is:

What Kind of Bread Do You Eat?”

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27

Many of us are guilty of eating the Bread of Idleness; whether in our personal lives or in our spiritual walk. We must stay mindful that our laziness doesn’t just affect us, it affects all of those connected or assigned to us.

Eating the Bread of Idleness – Personal Life Scenario: In the workplace if we are guilty of being unreliable, doing just enough, and just plain laziness, it causes our co-workers to work twice as hard. Our lackadaisical attitude adds more stress to our teammates.

Eating the Bread of Idleness – Spiritual Life Scenario: As Ambassadors of Christ, it is our responsibility to share the gospel whenever the opportunity presents itself. So, when we are lazy, selfish, self-centered, and self-serving, we forfeit the chance to share the Bread of Life and extend life to a dying world.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:51

So, That Settles It. As we continue our journey to make this our best year yet, let’s self-evaluate and ask ourselves, “What Kind of Bread Do You Eat?” Let’s live every day with a hunger and thirst for righteousness. As we ask God to give us our “Daily Bread,” let’s not be stingy with it; let’s share it with all men!

Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart [if you are righteous, wise, and in the hands of God], for God has already accepted your works. Ecclesiastes 9:7 AMPC

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“Extreme Makeover: Spiritual House Edition”

I absolutely love HGTV, especially the Extreme Home Makeover shows. These talented men and women can transform a shabby run down shack into a chic and coveted sanctuary. Have you ever thought about everything it takes to build or rehab a house? There’s the foundation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, roof, wiring, plumbing, and so much more.

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psalm 127:1

Ask any builder and he will tell you, the most important part of building a house is the foundation. 

I am learning that the best thing we can do is let God do the building. Many of us want to hurry up and let the world see our finished product, but the problem is there is no firm foundation. It’s not long before cracks begin to appear; cracks in our character, in our integrity, and in our walk. We want everything in a hurry. You’ve seen those houses that went up quickly and they look beautiful, but the homeowners complain early on about foundational problems, leaks, cracks, and more. That’s what we don’t want to happen with our Spiritual Houses.

When we allow the Lord to build our houses, we recognize that we don’t have everything it takes to get the job done on our own, we need help. That way we are not laboring in vain; we are not working tirelessly and seeing minimal or no results. God will work to clear the land first. His Forgiveness, Grace, and Mercy removes those things that are not pleasing to Him, the things that have been hindering us: people, bad habits, addictions, character flaws, etc. As He is clearing out that spiritual debris, He’s laying the foundation. That’s where we come in; when we study the Word, worship Him, spend time in His presence, and submit our lives to Him, this solidifies the foundation. The more stable the foundation, the more equipped we are to endure any storm.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Matthew 7:24-25

So, That Settles It. Whether you are a new convert allowing God to build your Spiritual House for the first time, or you are just in need of some foundational adjustments, congratulations. It may not start out looking pretty, and other problems may be exposed once the work begins, but once He’s finished, no one will be able to deny the remarkable results of this Extreme Makeover: Spiritual House Edition.

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“Fear Not”

Many of us will do great and mighty things this year. With that being said, if we are not careful we could become fearful. Fearful of the unknown, fearful of failure, or fearful of not knowing how to handle swift success. If you believe that this is your year of acceleration and good success, then make these two words your daily affirmation: Fear Not!

You’ve heard it before, and it is so true. The enemy hates people who are focused on fulfilling their purpose in the earth. He’s okay if you have greatness on the inside, but have given up on fulfilling your destiny; because if you quit, you no longer pose a major threat to him or his kingdom. But, if you have decided that neither quitting nor failure is an option for you, then you leave him no choice but to pull out his favorite weapon: Fear.

Fear thou Not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)

I know the scripture says, “God did not give us the spirit of fear,” (and that’s true) but if we are honest, because of some prior setbacks or failures, it’s probable that we’re a little fearful of blowing it again. Add to that the fact that many of the things that God desires to do in us and through us are so great that the very thought of them scares us. But, He says, “Fear Not;” so we will just have to do it unafraid.

This year will require more boldness and confidence in God than ever before. When He is backing us, it’s impossible to lose or fail. Our hope is in Him and He says,  Hope will not make us ashamed.” (Romans 5:5)

So, That Settles It. Look in the mirror, tell yourself, “Fear Not!” Even if you still feel a little nervous, do it anyway! Make this your best year yet!

So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6 NLT)

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“This Means War”

Okay, we made it through the first week of this new year. Have you broken any of your resolutions yet? Do you feel like you messed up, like you blew it already? It’s okay. Some may think, “It’s only been a week, cut yourself some slack.” While others may question, “You couldn’t last one week?” Take heart, this is not a new thing, it’s a human thing. The same is true when we mess up in our spiritual walk, when we allow the flesh to rule. There’s only one thing left to do: Tell yourself, “This Means War!”

So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (Romans 7:14-25 NLT)

Is this just as confusing to you as it is to me? Sort of: Yes I can. No I won’t.

But the truth is, this is how many of us feel at times. We know what to do and we want to do what’s right, but for some reason, we still fall short.

If we are not careful, we can live a life that’s too human (fleshly). See, as born-again Believers, we are to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. Hence, the struggle: We were born in sin and shaped in iniquity; so there is a constant war going on inside of us (Spirit vs. Flesh).

Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Matthew 26:41 NLT)

There are steps we can take to ensure Victory for the Spirit:

1. Hide (the Word) – Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11)

2. Kill (the flesh) – And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)

3. Don’t Quit – If you mess up, confess, receive forgiveness, forgive yourself, repent (turn away from it), and try again. For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. (Proverbs 24:16)

So, That Settles It. There’s a war going on, but you are not alone. Stand your ground and declare, “This Means War!” We will get through this year together and come out Victorious because we are More than Conquerors!

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“Living the If…Then Life”

It’s good to see so many people excited about this new year and all the promises they’ve heard in the days leading up to it. Great! You should be excited, but I want to ensure that you receive everything you are hoping for, so I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

There are terms and conditions associated with receiving the Promises of God; we have to do our part. There’s an “If…Then” attached. If we do something, Then it will provoke God to do something (reciprocity). Let’s take a look at Living the If…Then Life.

Even so faith, if it hath not works, (then) is dead, being alone (James 2:17).

When you endeavor to live the If…Then Life, it is a demonstration of your faith in God as well as your obedience to Him.

If any of you lack wisdom, (then) let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5).

If you want forgiveness, Then

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

If we confess our sins, (then) he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

God has given us specific instructions concerning everything we need or desire of Him. If you want to receive them, Then you will take heed and obey.

If you obey God, Then

If ye love me, (then) keep my commandments (John 14:15).

If ye be willing and obedient, (then) ye shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19).

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, (then) ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7).

But (if) seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and (then) all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).

Likewise, this same principle works when we walk in disobedience. It’s a two-way street…

But if ye refuse and rebel, then ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it (Isaiah 1:20).

So, That Settles It. As you begin the best year of your life, purpose in your heart to live the If…Then life. Now is a great time to start! If you apply these principles, Then the possibilities are endless. Oh the benefits of having a relationship with Almighty God!

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