Who’s your daddy?

For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.  So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! 

John 8: 44 – 45

Our characteristics often reflect those of our parents.  How we are raised plays a big role in our conduct as children, and even adults.  If we are all children of God, our character should be similar to the characteristics of Christ…………..…. Right? 

This passage really kicked me in the gut.  I didn’t like it at all.  Am I an illegitimate child?  Who do I belong to?  Do my words reflect the words of Christ?  Does my behavior reflect the character of Christ?   Jesus described the devil to the crowd and told them they belonged to him.  They were not God’s children because they simply weren’t behaving like God’s children.

Their behavior and reactions to truth told a completely different story.  Verse 44 states the devil hates the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, it’s consistent with his character.  After reading that, I couldn’t help but ask myself who does my character align with?  Does it align with that of my Savior or my enemy?  Because I am a follower of Christ, sin brings conviction.  But, for those who are not believers, the truth of sin can sound alot like hate.

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The evilness within members of the crowd could not stand to hear the truth.  Therefore, their minds twisted to make them feel as if Jesus was wrong and they were right.  Gosh! If they could only remove the cataracts from their eyes to see they were still slaves to sin.

I can honestly say I’ve been in the seat of the crowd.  Whether it be my language, attitude, or actions.  When called out, depending on the sender, I responded negatively.  My attitude was “who do you think you are” , “whatever”, with an eye roll and/or “it’s not that serious”.

BUT, because I was still stuck in my mess, my only reaction was negative.

I was upset with people for even bringing up my actions.  When in reality, I should have asked myself why my language, attitude and actions were sinful.  BUT, because I was still stuck in my mess, my only reaction was negative. I was blinded by my sin.

We see these types of reactions on Social Media daily.  There are so many servants of Christ broadcasting their Sermons and Ministry online.  The comments section always make me somewhat nauseous.  Evil always finds a way to creep in.  As Christians, we shouldn’t wonder why so many are offended by a Minister simply speaking the truth.  If the Minister says, fornication is a sin.  There is an uproar!  If the Minister says, homosexuality is a sin.  There is a colossal uproar!  If the Minister says our body is a temple and we should cover ourselves, there is an uproar!  It is literally impossible to preach the truth to evil without resistance.  Those who are causing the uproar belong to a different father.  They are illegitimate.  They don’t belong to Christ.  They hate the truth.  They are comfortable in sin.

What has sin blinded you from?

They have no idea they are slaves to sin and sin has blinded them from seeing the truth. Their reactions are natural.

What has sin blinded you from?  Sin has definitely caused me to have cataracts.  This is why it’s so important to stay in God’s Word.  This will help us see clearly and defeat the enemy.  As soon as those “illegitimate” children made the choice to not follow Christ, the enemy began to change their character, thoughts, and perceptions.  Even if they were brought up in church.  Evil began to “raise” them as soon as they made their choice.  Next time you see this huge social media string filled with illegitimate children just type “Who Raised Ya” in the comments with this scripture attached.  LOL.

I pray I always welcome correction and recognize my sins.  Because I am NOT an illegitimate child, I am able to recognize when I am no longer in God’s will.  His Holy Spirit will convict me and let me know I am straying away from my true purpose and God’s will for my life.  I don’t want to be comfortable in my sin.  I don’t want to be like the angry crowd…..mad at Jesus for simply speaking truths.  

Every single day we should ask ourselves this,

“Are my actions aligning with the character of Christ?” 

If the answer is no, well then, we might need a DNA test. Our actions should align with the character of Christ.  If they don’t,  we should ask for forgiveness and proceed to walk in righteousness.  That’s the beauty in being a child of God.  Jesus walked this earth.  He knows all about temptation and weaknesses of our flesh.  He will forgive us every single time we fall.  I choose to never forget that He died, not only knowing my past, but knowing my present and future sins.  He loves us that much. 

So, I have to ask, who’s your daddy?  Does your behavior align with the character of Christ or do you need a DNA test?  We are no longer slaves to sin!  Our shackles have fallen. We simply have to choose Christ everyday.  I pray you make the same daily choice as I have to live set free.  Step out, walk in righteousness, and align your actions with those of our Father.

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Purpose doesn’t settle

I Samuel 1: 1 – 8

There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the lord of Heaven’s Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the lord at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas. On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children. And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the lord had given her no children. So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the lord had kept her from having children. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat. “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”

I met with a group of strong women a few weeks ago.  This group is a part of the I’m So Worth It – Atlanta Chapter founded by Ms. Harris.  Look her up. She’s awesome!  We studied I Samuel and the scripture blessed me in so many ways.

Hannah was such a strong woman. She followed the desires of her heart.  She also prayed earnestly.  She was ridiculed, mocked, and hurt by those around her.  But, she didn’t let that deter her from going after what she truly wanted.  After all, who gave her such a strong desire?

One of the focus points of this story is in the 8th verse.

“Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children?  You have me – isn’t that better than having ten sons?”

When I first read that verse, I began to feel bad for Elkanah. Did Hannah’s sadness cause him to feel worthless? Did her lack of fulfillment cause him to feel as if her love for him wasn’t enough?  Why was he not enough for her?  It’s so easy to fall into this trap.  The enemy loves to “guilt” us into feeling bad for others who do not understand our passions and  true desires.

Who is your Elkanah?  Elkanah is that person in your circle.  He is someone you love.  He can be your best friend, sister, brother, father, or mother.  Elkanah is someone who loves you, but for some reason can’t understand what God has laid on your heart to do.

I like to jump outside of the box into the “what if” world.  What if Hannah said, you know what Elkanah, I should be grateful.  I love you. You are more than enough for me.  Who am I to want more?  If God wanted me to have more, I would have it by now.  I should be thankful for my portion and stop reaching for the stars.  This desire in my heart is nothing more than a dream. Does this sound familiar??

If Hannah, stopped pursuing her desire where would Samuel be?  Yes, disobedience delays destinies and obedience fulfills prophecies.  But, walking away from the desires of your heart can also have a devastating effect on not only yourself, but the future.  Don’t delay your destiny by choosing to settle.  Purpose does not, can not, and will not settle.

Hannah pushed through Elkanah’s attempt to guilt her.  The more focused she got on Christ and the harder she prayed, the more the enemy attacked. He even attacked her through a man of God.  The priest watched Hannah as she prayed.  Because of how she prayed he thought she was drunk.  Of course! Something must be wrong.  This woman was praying with no noise coming out.  How quick do we assume to know someone’s story because of their type of prayer or praise?  Eli was wise enough to understand when Hannah explained.  Others of us, aren’t as wise.

I’ve been in that seat before.  You know, I think we’ve all been there.  We’ve watched another Christian shout, scream, pace back and forth, wave their hands, or sit in their seat rocking.  And we’ve said “it doesn’t take all of that”.  I can definitely say that I’ve made that exact statement.  The nerve of me judging someone else’s praise.  But, truth be told, we have no clue as to why someone is praising God that way and it’s honestly none of our business.  We are busy watching them and they are steadily getting closer to their breakthrough.

I watched others while I remained in the same broken place

I watched others while I remained in the same broken place.  Whenever we begin to earnestly seek God for our deliverance we will pray to him in a way that is very unique. It is our personal prayer and praise to God.  Only He truly understands it. It’s not for others to understand.  Eli didn’t try to interpret Hannah’s prayers. After she described her actions he simply told her to go in peace.

In the end, Hannah received what she prayed so hard for.  The biggest part of this story, for me, was the pure fact that she refused to settle.  She didn’t settle for what Elkanah was offering.  He simply wasn’t good enough.  She deserved more.  She desired more.  How many times do we let others guilt us into settling for less?  If you loved me, you would do this…. If you really cared for me, you would let me …….  Each time we give in, we are straying further and further away from our hearts desire.  Psalms tells us to take delight in the Lord, and He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalms 37:4).

If you have a desire to be married, a desire to have children, a desire to teach, or a desire to preach you should continually push towards it.  Pray like Hannah! Ignore the Elkanah’s in your life.

Your destiny is incapable of settling for less.  Hannah could not settle for just Elkanah.  Her heart would continue to be broken every day because she had not fulfilled her purpose. Our purpose in life must be fulfilled.  Your purpose creates your destiny. Refuse to settle! Resist Elkanah! Stare him straight in the face and let him know he’s not good enough!  Pray like Hannah!  PUSH like Hannah and watch your purpose blossom as your destiny is fulfilled.

So, who’s your Elkanah? Will you allow him to convince you that he’s “good enough”?  Or will you follow through with the desires of your heart?  I dare you to pray like Hannah and PUSH because your purpose won’t settle for anything less!

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I thought I was Free!

John 8:31 – 38

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.  A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message.  I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”

There’s a famous quote that says “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” Some attribute this quote to Harriet Tubman. Regardless of who made this statement, it is very true. Christ talks about setting us free. Those who follow Him and remain faithful will know the truth and the truth will set them free!

Do you ever see arguments in the comments section on social media about Christianity? As Christians, we are easily able to see the truth and recognize when we fall short. Our discernment is a blessing. But those who are still slaves have cataracts. They can’t see and have no idea of their bondage. They are just like the crowd Jesus was ministering to.

The immediate response from the crowd listening to Christ was rejection. They refused to believe they needed Christ to set them free. Based on their limited understanding they were not slaves.

I wonder how many people could have been set free that day if they only knew they were slaves to sin? How many people would have walked into heavens door if they only recognized their bondage? It’s hard in today’s world to get people to understand and recognize their sins. Everyone is so comfortable in their sin. Churches seem to preach against certain sins and forget others. We love to talk about fornication, adultery, and blasphemy. But we forget about un-forgiveness, lies, coveting, and other sins we commit on the regular.

Christ lets us know in this scripture He has set us free! He made it very clear. He simply said “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.  A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” This statement is so HUGE! I almost missed it. Christ literally set us free because he is the Son of God. He, and only He, has the authority to set us free.

Typically, as a slave, you are owned by a Master. Because you are a slave you are not a true member of the family. Paul lets us know we are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:15-18) This message is so clear. But it’s easily missed if you refuse to believe you are a slave. In order to be set free we must first recognize and be truthful about who and whose we are.

Sin is literally bondage. It ties and weighs us down. But, Christ sets us free. When we are slaves to sin we are following a different Master. In this passage Christ calls out the crowd and tells them they are illegitimate. He let them know they were being led by a different Master. Their father was not the same as His heavenly father. The crowd turned up against Jesus once they heard this. They grew more and more angry as He threw the truth in their faces.

I see this every day and all day in life and Social Media. It’s hard to recognize the truth when you are tied down in sin. There’s a saying that reads “Truth sounds like hate, to those who hate the truth”. The enemy hates the truth. Christ told the crowd there was no room in their hearts for His message. There was so much hate in their hearts they did not have enough room to accept the truth.

Hate is too heavy a burden for me to carry. Anytime I feel weighed down and feel negativity on the horizon, I know I need to do a heart check. What have I been filling my heart with. Have I been reading the Word of God? What am I watching on TV? Am I spending more time on social media then with God? Am I moving closer or farther away from my purpose? Is my heart filled with the love of Christ or have I filled it with everything else?

So many questions! It’s so easy to forget that Christ has set us free. Why continue to take orders from an evil master when we have an opportunity to leave the plantation and make our own journey? I thought we were free!

God has given us the authority to Live Set Free! So do it! There are so many times I begin to fall off the trail. But then I begin to say to myself, “I thought I was free”. If I’m free, why in the world am I committing the same sins over and over again. Why am I not in the Word of God? Why is my mind straying away from the heart of Christ? It’s so easy to forget. The enemy loves to distract us and make us feel we are too busy. This is when he attacks. All of a sudden, we are too busy to read the Bible. But for some reason, we still find time to catch our shows and scroll through social media. We must never forget that Christ has set us free! Everyday we have to remind ourselves to live set free! We must make daily declarations that we are no longer slaves to sin. We will remain truthful to the teachings of Christ and walk out His Word every single day.

So, who are you following? Have you been set free or are you still bound by the shackles on your feet? The chains can be broken once you open your eyes and see they are there. Can you see them or have you let sin give you cataracts?

Christ has given each of us the ability to Live Set Free. Just do it!

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Transparency Moment

Romans 8:28 – 30

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

Ok, I know walking into your calling is hard.

How do I know?  Well I struggle with walking into my calling every single day.  There are so many distractions.  They come in so many different forms, which makes them very difficult to recognize.   I typically don’t recognize them because they come in the form of something I love, like my gym time, my boyfriend, or my “me” time.

One of the main questions I’ve dealt with was how can I walk into my calling without being talked about or criticized?  Can this be done? What I’ve realized is …. well…. it can’t be done.  There is no way to walk into what Christ has called you to do without being talked about and criticized.  This is probably the scariest thing for me and hard to admit.  I mean how can a grown woman actually worry about being talked about.  Well let’s dig a little deeper.  Most adults are not afraid of “strangers” talking about them.  I honestly could care less about strangers feelings towards me.  The criticism that hurts the most comes from those who love us.  Those who are supposed to be on our side in support of our calling.  That criticism is the criticism most are afraid of.  Including myself.

How can you tell someone, I’ve been called into ministry.  Ministry is more than simply preaching.  What happens when you were raised under the notion “women can’t preach” or “women should not stand in a pulpit” or “women should sit down and let men run the church”? How do you stand up and say well I’ve been called to be active in ministry?

The Holy Spirit convicts me daily if I’m not walking into my calling.

The Holy Spirit convicts me daily if I’m not walking into my calling.  How do you tell the person you love the most that you know without a doubt God has called you for greater than this basic human vessel you were born into?  He has so much more.  Easy…… just do it!  It’s easy for someone to say you shouldn’t do this or that.  It’s harder for them to say it when they see it being done.

God has given me the ability to speak with impact.  He has given me the ability to communicate to those who are hard to reach.  He has given me discernment. He has given me understanding. He breaks down scripture in a way that should be shared with more than just myself.  What has He given you.  I know He has given you so much! The Holy Spirit expects us to not only learn from his teachings, but to spread that information to others who may not have the same understanding of His Word.

Yes, walking into your calling is hard.  Criticism hurts. But there’s another fear that we often forget about.  The fear of failure.

What happens if I go into this thing and I absolutely suck?  What happens if I stutter the first time I speak?  What happens if my message isn’t clear? What happens if it’s not received?  Others might ask, what happens if I write my book and no one reads it? What happens if I sing and I hit a wrong note?  What happens if I design my gown and they hate it? Anytime similar fears pop into your head I want you to quickly realize your design / your book / your song / your speech / your calling may not be for everybody.  I’ve come to the realization that I’m not everyones cup of tea….and that’s ok.

I’ve come to the realization that I’m not everyones cup of tea….and that’s ok.

If you are chosen to speak in front of 50 people and only one soul receives the message, then you have done your job. That one soul is the soul that was meant to be reached.  God can place you in a crowd of 1,000 people with the purpose of you reaching one who is closest to the edge. God loves us so much! Because at one point in our life we were each that “one”. Each time one of those fears pops into my head, I just have to remind myself I was once that “one”.  Reach one, teach one. But you can’t do any of that if you sit still.

There’s a reason why my motto says “walk into your calling” instead of “sit into your calling”.  There must be action behind our steps. Yes, the Holy Spirit will tell you what to do and when to move……….but you have to move!  You can’t sit still and expect to accomplish anything.  So I beg those who are just like me to GET UP!  WAKE UP! and WALK!  Better yet, RUN!  Run into what God has called you to do.  If you are still searching ask the Holy Spirit to direct your paths. Ask Him to tell you exactly what He wants you to do. And He will do just that. BUT the key is to believe Him when he says it.  Our faith must be strong, our character must be strong, and our vision must align with his.

My Prayer:

“Lord, please don’t let me distort your vision to match mine. Your vision is so much greater!  I want to walk into my calling. Please give me the strength I need to walk into your calling. You know exactly what I need to bring everything into fruition. I thank you for guiding me and I request that the Holy Spirit continues to fill me up daily and guide me into what is right and lead me into what you have called me to do.”

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God’s Vision is More!

John 4:46 – 54

As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick.  When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die. Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?” The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.” Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home. While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well.  He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!”  Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.

 

I love this story of deliverance!  This story speaks on patience, deliverance, and obedience wrapped in a nice bow.  We live in a world that wants everything right now.  We lack patience.  We want everything delivered quicker, faster, and based on our timing.  We are pretty much……. spoiled.

In this story, there was a government official with a sick son.  He knew about Jesus and sought him out.  He pleaded with Jesus twice to heal his son. The first time he simply asked.  The second time he told Jesus when he needed to do it by saying “Lord, come now before my little boy dies.”  For some reason the official thought Jesus had to make his way immediately to his child in order to save him.  His faith was weak.

Jesus didn’t do exactly what the official wanted Him to do.  The official’s faith was small.  He underestimated the power of God.  He doesn’t have  to do things our way to get the job done.  He’s the Almighty and can do anything at anytime and anywhere.  The official got anxious and frustrated with Jesus after he asked the first time.  The second time he added “Now” to his request.  He gave a specific demand, as if God doesn’t control time!

Who are we to make demands? Better yet, who are we to give God instructions?

How many times do we give God a deadline? I’ve done this so many times!  We often cry out to the Lord for healing, deliverance, and break through.  We tell the Lord we need it right now!  We make our demands, aka “requests”, and attempt to rush God and give Him instructions on what He should do for us.  We even have the audacity to tell him when we need it done.  We say stuff like “Lord, I really need you to increase my finances by the end of this month.”  Our deadlines are laughable!  How are we going to give the Alpha & Omega a deadline?  He is the inventor of time…

After the official made his requests, Christ had mercy on him. He told him to go home and confirmed his son would live.  I find it interesting the official immediately went back home.  He didn’t continue begging Christ to come with Him.  He didn’t second guess what Jesus said. He took Christ at His Word and went home.  He was obedient.  Are we that obedient?  Gosh! Am I that obedient? When we pray for healing or deliverance do we follow His instructions.  If we are praying for the Lord to deliver us from eating unhealthy and the Lord instructs us to fast and remove all chocolate from our diet for a month, do we still buy snickers at the snack machine at work?  Do we follow God’s specific instructions that will lead to our deliverance?  Or are we impatient?   Do we continue to beg during prayer and take no action to bring forth His deliverance?  Faith without works is dead! We can learn a lot from this begging official.

On his way back his servants met up with him and let him know his son was healed.  Based on the timing, he was healed as soon as God said.  BUT, that is not the best part of the story.  The best part was the deliverance.  Because of his son’s healing, his entire household believed in Christ and was saved.  If the official’s son was never sick, he would’ve never sought after Jesus.  Sometimes our storms are put there not only for us to find Jesus, but so that others can find him through us.  Our storms prepare us to be His vessel!

So, I ask…….who’s not being set free because of your disobedience?  Because the official shared Jesus and His testimony, his entire household was saved.  The official initially came to seek healing for His son.   He knew Jesus could save.  He knew Jesus had the power to work miracles. But his faith was small.  His vision was small.  He couldn’t see pass the healing of his son.   God’s vision is so much more that we can imagine.  God’s vision not only included the healing of his son. God’s vision included obedience that brought about healing, healing that brought about a testimony, and a testimony that saved an entire household. The official was only thinking about his son. But God’s vision included his entire home.  His vision was so much bigger!

Christ wants to heal, deliver, and bring about your breakthrough.  But, please understand, He wants to do so much more.  Your healing is just a small part of this huge design God has for your life.  Increase your expectations because God’s vision for you is so much more.

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Do you know Him?….

Mark 14:66-72

Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.” But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, “This man is definitely one of them!” But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.” Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” And immediately the rooster crowed the second time.  Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept.

Standing up for Christ hasn’t gotten much easier since Peter denied Him thousands of years ago. Christians are still being persecuted in countries.  In the US, Christians are also being persecuted.  We might not be executed in the streets daily, but we are persecuted online and on social media for standing on the Word of God.  If we speak against a sin the world is comfortable with, the back lash we receive is tremendous.

In this scripture, Peter denied Jesus three times just as Jesus predicted.  We can understand why Peter denied Christ.  He was scared. He was being led strictly by his flesh and emotions. We can relate to him because we are also often led by our flesh.

The first time the girl asked Peter if he knew Jesus, Peter pretended as if he had no idea what she was talking about.  How many times have we done that? I know I’m guilty of pretending like I’m clueless.  A co-worker asks, “Do you think it’s ok for me to cheat on my husband because he’s cheating on me?” To avoid proclaiming Christ and having a conversation that will lead to them knowing who I represent. I would pretend to not really understand what they are talking about. I would say something like “I’m not sure”.  But in reality, I know the answer to her question, “No” and “No!” But sometimes we feel it’s easier to pretend we don’t know something instead of taking that opportunity to proclaim Christ and stand on what we know to be true.  These are missed opportunities to proclaim Christ. Are we failing tests because we’d rather pretend to be clueless?

The second time the girl asked, Peter denied Christ again.  Now we know, most people don’t let us get off that quick with our “I don’t know” answer.  If you are truly a follower of Christ, they know there is something about you that stands out.  They know you have an opinion. They can see Him in you and are curious.  Will you outright deny Him, when they confront you?  Your co-worker could say, “I’m gonna tag you in my FB post so you can read all about how he got caught up. I know you probably think I shouldn’t cheat on my husband.  I heard you go to church every Sunday. So I know what you think!”.  Do you take the opportunity to stand for Christ at that time?  Or do you concede to your flesh and say, “I don’t have an opinion”, which, in essence, is denying Christ a second time.

The third time the girl asked, Peter cursed to get his point across.  I can imagine by this time Peter was not only afraid, he was annoyed.  Who is this little girl asking all these questions trying to get him caught up?  He’s just trying to chill and not get killed.  Peter’s flesh lashed out at the girl.  Hoping, that if he cursed they would surely know he wasn’t with Jesus. Because Jesus would never speak in such a manner.

Now I can imagine if my co-worker kept bugging me, asking me for my opinion, I might go off. My flesh would want to say anything to shut her up and get her off my back.  This happens so often!  We deny Christ by not taking our stand for what is right. We shy away from the conversation that would let the world know who we represent and what we stand for.

How can we save the world without showing them there is something to be saved from?

The Word of God isn’t all daisies and roses. The Word speaks of love and grace, but it also talks about hell. How can we save the world without showing them there is something to be saved from?

How many times have you denied Christ today?  My prayer is to never deny Christ.  Denials in today’s world can appear minimal and you may think to yourself, “I’ve never denied Christ.”  But…

  • Do you call out your friends, when you know they’re wrong?  If you know your friend is stepping out on her husband.  Do you reach out to her in love and let her know what she is doing goes against the word of God?  Do you reach out to her and let her know the consequences of adultery? When she tells you about their romantic evening; do you use that opportunity to represent Christ or do you shy away from taking a stand?
  • Will you show your support for a Christian minister who is bashed because they preached about adultery, fornication or homosexuality?  Why not? When your friend tagged you in the post, did you like it?  Did you proclaim to be a child of God and support what the Word of God proclaims or would you shy away from taking a stand in love?

If you’ve done anything similar to these things, you have denied Christ. He gives us so many opportunities to take a stand. But we don’t because of fear.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)

We  are scared we will lose our friends, our reputations, our followers, and sometimes even our family members.  Let’s not forget, this is a battlefield!  Every day we must be ready to take a stand in love on the Word of God. Holiness is still right and wrong is still wrong.  God will give you the power to overcome fear!

So many times we are afraid to take a stand because we ourselves are guilty of doing the same thing which is wrong.  I can testify to this. How can we be a witness when we are still tied down in our mess?  If this is you, stop denying Christ.  You’ve not only denied Him to the world, you’ve denied Him to yourself.  Do you know Him?  Sometimes we have to check ourselves.  Are we denying Him because we really don’t know Him or are we denying Him out of fear?

The amount of regret that hit Peter when he realized he denied Christ three times just as Jesus predicted was unbearable.  He shed tears thinking about what he had done and what he promised Jesus. He told Jesus, he would never deny Him! (Mark 14:31) But when the test came, Peter failed.

Peter’s denial makes me think of all the tests I failed because of my fear to take a stand on the Word of God.  When I became a Christian and turned my life over to Christ, I made a promise to follow Him and serve Him until death. But I have failed in so many ways. Thank God for His grace! Even though Peter failed this test he passed so many others.  Will you choose, as of today, to represent Christ 100%?  With each test, with each social media post, with each friend, I will represent Him. I will stand on His Word. The world will know who I am, who I represent and what the Lord has said!

I choose to do just that from this day forward. I may lose some friends. I may be talked about. They may even try to pull up my past.  But, that won’t stop me from standing on the truth!  I dare you to be like Peter. Accept the failure of denying Christ. Cry if you have to.  But use that failure as fuel to represent Him like you’ve never done before.

The Word says everyone who denies Christ on earth will be denied by Christ in Heaven (Matthew 10:33).  Don’t deny Christ.  Let the world know, without a doubt, you know Him through your words, actions, and daily stand on the Word of God.

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Check your vitals….

Mark 7:15 – 23

It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.” Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you?  Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.) And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you.  For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder,  adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”

“It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you. You are defiled by what comes from your heart.”

We focus so much on our outward appearance.  Before we go to church, work, or school we make sure our hair is laid and our outfit is on point.  Some of us even put forth an effort to workout and be physically fit.  But we fail to focus on cleaning our heart.

Christ tells us it’s more important to focus on what is going on within our hearts then what we actually eat.  God designed our bodies to remove what we eat naturally.  Christ described it by saying “food passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer”.  But the things that come out of your heart can have an everlasting and devastating effect on your life.

Our heart stores every thought.  You know, those “clap backs” we say in our head.  Christ tells us evil thoughts come directly from our hearts.  He describes things such as sexual immorality, theft, murder, greed, deceit, envy, slander, and the list goes on.  What are you hiding in your heart? Is it the word of God or does it consist of one of the subjects described by Christ?

The majority of us can relate to at least one of the “vile” things Christ described. But we know that Christ is a healer. He can cleanse our heart.  I love the song “give me a clean heart”.  The song asks Christ to give us a clean heart so that we can serve Him. If he fixes our heart we can be used.  But, how can he use us if our heart is hardened and unclean?

What goes on within our hearts can eventually come out of our mouths.  It can destroy our witness.  What has been on your mind lately?  Are you thinking good things?  Are you focused on the will of God?

Things in this life will not always go our way.  We may not get the promotion. Your friends may turn their backs on you.  When things don’t go your way do you focus on revenge?  Are you jealous?  Do you covet what others have?  When that friend turns out to be your worst enemy, do you focus on how to get them back?  Do you “clap back” at every person who speaks negatively towards you?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time for you to check your vitals and complete a heart check.

Christ urges us to focus on our heart.  He knows everything!  He knows how important it is for us to be healthy.  If we eat healthier we may live longer.  But He wants our main focus to be on our spiritual hearts.  What’s the point of eating healthy to live a long life if you die with a filthy heart?  Our hearts are vital!  They are vital to us physically and they are vital to us spiritually.

Where does your mind wander when you are alone? Where does it go when you are upset?  If you are struggling with your thoughts, lay your struggles at His feet.  Ask the Holy Spirit to clean your heart.  He wants to cleanse you from every “vile” thing stored in your heart. He wants to remove the build up of junk and fill it with love, joy, and peace.  Give Him the opportunity to make you new.

If your physical heart has build up the end result could be a heart attack and even death.  Christ wants you to know if your heart is filled with vile things a spiritual heart attack could be on the horizon.  Those things will eventually defile and destroy you.  So, check your vitals to detect your heart problems. If your heart has build up, clean it out! We don’t want to have a heart attack… Because, as we know, that can kill you.

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If you suffer from a spiritual heart disease, ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse your heart and focus on this treatment plan provided by the Apostle Paul.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” – Philippians 4:8