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4

Timing is Everything (My Book Writer's Club Entry)

Last Friday, we kicked off the 2019 season of The Book Writer's Club live at The Body Church in Decatur, GA and on Facebook. Our next meeting is Friday, May 24th, 2019. For that upcoming meeting, all writers are asked to present their book Introductions and Chapter outlines. If you plan on joining the club, don't get left behind. Complete a one-page book outline/ summary and email it to us at thebodychurchinc@gmail.com. See below for the introduction to the new book I'm writing alongside the other authors in the club.

I, the Teacher, was king of Israel, and I lived in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to search for understanding and to explore by wisdom everything being done under heaven. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race. I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind. What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.

Ecclesiastes 1:12-15 (NLT)

While growing up in church I heard The Word of God both directly and indirectly through sermons, songs, prayers, conversations and every other available form of communication. What I heard made sense to me in the context of my Christian reality so I believed what I heard. God answers prayer. Faith moves mountains. You reap what you sow. Givers prosper. Good things happen to those who do what is right in God’s sight. Every Christian is blessed and favored by God. The righteous never have to beg or be put to shame. God rewards the faithful. Wait on the Lord. I could go on and on.

I admit that, in some ways, I was idealistic to say the least, perhaps even naive. In my young mind, life was supposed to work a certain way and very rarely did things happen that shouldn’t. However, with adulthood came a bitterly cold dose of reality. I had to learn relatively quickly that life is full of contradictions. Good things happen to bad people. Bad things happen to good people. You don’t always reap what you sow during your lifetime. Some people live right and struggle through life while others live wrong and have it easy. Promotion is rarely simply merit-based. Your success in life is not necessarily a direct reflection of your level of effort, qualifications or even talent. You see, strange things happen in life and sometimes, we have no easy way to explain them.

Thankfully, King Solomon had the same epiphany during his latter years and that’s one reason why we have the Book of Ecclesiastes. With more supernatural wisdom than any other man to walk the earth outside of Jesus Christ, Solomon still could not understand why reality doesn’t always fit the universal principles of ethics, morality and overall fairness we commonly espouse. Life happens and we can’t control it. I find comfort in knowing that we live in a fallen world and because of that, everything is supposed to be messed up. Yet,, in spite of it all, I’m not hopeless and neither are you. My confidence is in God’s Kingdom which operates by His principles so, even though I live in this confusing world, I live within His Kingdom which is not of this world. That’s really all I need to keep moving forward.

This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me: There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man. Then I said: “Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, And his words are not heard. -

Ecclesiastes 9:13-16 (NKJV)

Apostle Paul was on to something in 1 Corinthians 13:9 when he said we know in part and prophesy in part. Typically, when I taught from this passage of scripture my focus was on the fact that people without money don’t have a voice. It was true in Solomon’s time and remains true now. The poor wise man delivered the city with his wisdom and then faded into the background for no other reason by his poverty. From all indications, city leadership listened to his solution because they were desperate. As soon as they received their deliverance they were done with the poor man. Does that sound familiar to you? It does to me.

Outside of elections, lawsuits, protests, criminal activity and charity, the voice of the poor tends to be ignored. People in poor neighborhoods can complain for years about unsatisfactory working conditions, substandard schools, inefficient Government services, unfair law enforcement practices or general neighborhood blight and get no response. While at the same time let something happen in a rich neighborhood and see how quickly the powers that be respond with solutions. It’s not right and it’s not fair but it’s reality. In fact, it’s human nature and it won’t change until humans change. Yet, God showed me that my perspective on Ecclesiastes 9:13-16 was quite narrow. He has much more to say out of that scripture and it starts with a few pointed questions.

How could the wise man be wise enough to deliver the city from dire straits but not wise enough to deliver himself out of poverty? Why did his wisdom work with such high stakes for everyone else but not in his own situation? I once heard a preacher say that he had the answer to everyone’s problems in the room. It’s pretty simple. He said to exchange problems with someone else in the room and you will instantly find solutions. Of course, he was being sarcastic but he did have a point. We always seem to know what’s best for someone else but don’t exhibit the same level of expertise for ourselves. We like telling other people what they should do to solve their problems but we don’t know what to do to solve our own. That’s ironic, isn’t it?

That same level of irony extends to the premise for this book and is again expressed by King Solomon through a passage of scripture in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

I returned and saw under the sun that— The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:11(NKJV)

If this scripture is not the most misquoted scripture in The Bible, it’s definitely near the top of the list. Other than making up the word helpmeet by combining two distinct words in Genesis 2:18, assuming the word gift in Proverbs 18:16 means special ability and my personal favorite, separating the timing of the return of Jesus from the Resurrection after reading 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, I can’t find a scriptural misinterpretation more egregious. Instead of reading the scripture for themselves, I cannot count how many times I have heard intelligent, well-meaning Christians say the following; “The race is not for the swift, nor the battle to the strong… but for those who endure to the end.”

I’m sure there’s a good reason why someone made that up instead of sticking to the scripture. Like many other made up Christian sayings, it sounds good and it contains a principle that can be substantiated by a combination of actual scriptures if needs be. For instance, in Matthew 10:22 and 24:13 as well as Mark 13:13, Jesus said, in the context of the Great Tribulation, that those who endure to the end will be saved. You can then perhaps connect that with victory coming not by might, nor by power but by God’s Spirit according to Zechariah 4:6. However, that is not what Ecclesiastes 9:11 is saying and it is not even closely related to what that scripture is about. Take a look at it again in another translation.

I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.

Ecclesiastes 9:11(NLT)

Do you want to know the secret to success according to Ecclesiastes 9:11? Timing is everything. After all the wisdom of the Proverbs, life happened to King Solomon and he reflected on the irony of his observations in Ecclesiastes. One such observance he made was the importance of timing. Good things happen when people are in the right place at the right time. In other words, you can do everything else right and still fail if your timing is off or you can do everything else wrong but get your timing right and still succeed. Like I said earlier about how poor people are treated, it’s not right and it’s not fair but it’s reality. You can waste energy complaining about it, trying to change it or being a victim of it or you can choose to accept it and make it work in your favor.

I chose the latter option and that’s what this book is about. Natural ability, physical strength, wisdom, intelligence or skill alone don’t make you a winner. You have to be in the right place at the right time to take advantage of opportunities. It’s time (pun intended) for a mindset change. Don’t just think about what you need to do or how you need to do it to be successful. Think about when. Windows of opportunity open for limited periods of time and the people who jump through them reap all of the benefits. God is no respecter of persons according to Acts 10:34 and though He doesn’t give us equal resources, talents or even time, He does present us all with opportunities. Our failure or success is based on what we do when these opportunities are presented to us.

Let me say it again. Timing is everything.

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4

Why Worry And Stress?

Why Worry And Stress?

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


Matthew 6:25-34(NKJV)

There's so much going on in the world right now. Not only that, there's so much going on in our individual lives. On any given day, many of us have to balance the demands of our relationships with God, family, ministry, career, friendships, health, finances, community and so much more. It's impossible for us to give everything and everyone 100% of our attention and sometimes the demands exceed our capacity to meet them. That's when worry and stress enter the picture.

So what is stress in the context of this discussion?

"Stress generally refers to two things: the psychological perception of pressure, on the one hand, and the body's response to it, on the other, which involves multiple systems, from metabolism to muscles to memory. Some stress is necessary for all living systems; it is the means by which they encounter and respond to the challenges and uncertainties of existence. The perception of danger sets off an automatic response system, known as the fight-or-flight response, that, activated through hormonal signals, prepares an animal to meet a threat or flee from it.

Lifesaving as the stress response is, it was meant to solve short-term, life-threatening problems, not extended difficulties such as daily traffic jams or marital problems. It generally takes some time for the body to calm down after the stress response has been triggered. Prolonged or repeated arousal of the stress response, a characteristic of modern life, can have harmful physical and psychological consequences, including heart disease and depression.

Psychology Today

According to the article, "The Effects of Stress on Your Body" from WebMD, consider the following:

  • Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
  • Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress can play a part in problems such as headacheshigh blood pressureheart problems, diabetesskin conditions, asthmaarthritisdepression, and anxiety.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
  • The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.

In other words, chronic stress is a huge problem in our society and it's directly affecting people's quality of life, making people sick, costing people money and stealing valuable time. It also consumes large amounts of mental, emotional and physical energy without causing any change in the situations that trigger the stress. In other words, it's like running on a mental or emotional treadmill for a prolonged period of time, sapping your energy but going nowhere.

In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus addressed the stress epidemic. On the surface, when the scripture is viewed in the King James Version it seems like Jesus was telling us not to think about our needs. He repeatedly used the phrase, "take no thought" so it's easy to understand if someone assumes that He wants us to not think about things because God will take care of us. As a result, some people are irresponsible and don't take care of their business because they believe God will take care of it.

Some don't work but assume God will pay their bills. Some don't take care of their bodies but assume God will keep them healthy. Some don't prepare for big assignments but assume The Holy Ghost will simply do it through them. Some don't work hard because Jesus finished the work on the cross and human effort is futile. If the birds don't do anything and God takes care of them, why should we? That's what The Bible says, right?

However, the Hebrew word Jesus used was merimnaō which means, "to be anxious or to be troubled with cares". There's a big difference between being a responsible adult who solves problems by executing well thought-out solutions and someone who is anxious and troubled with cares. The former is what we should all be, the latter is what Jesus wants us not to be. When we worry, we expend energy yet do nothing to better the situation at hand. Hence, we make it worse. That's why Jesus told us not to worry.

His solution was two-fold; Seek first the Kingdom of God and the righteousness of God which the Amplified Bible defined as His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God. In other words, when you do things God's way with God's heart, you have nothing to worry about because He takes care of your needs. Let's now explore that a bit. How do you seek God's Kingdom and His righteousness first? You seek God!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7(NLT)

Some mental health experts say that simply talking about your problems with someone else helps you to cope with them. I completely agree. However, that's great for your emotions and mental health but that doesn't solve the problems you're talking about in the first place. How about you take it a step further? Why not bring your problems to God in prayer? He's the only one who can solve them all and He's a pretty good listener. 🙂 He'll also reveal what to do and how to get it right which is exactly how Jesus said you'll get your needs met.

Tell God what you need and be thankful for what He has already done for you. Then, and only then, can you experience His supernatural peace which essentially cancels out your worries. He may not change your situation immediately but He'll change your heart and mind by protecting them from worry and fear. Once your emotions and thoughts are taken care of as His first priority, He'll get to work on your situation.

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:6-7(NKJV)

Never forget that the all-powerful, all-knowing Almighty God lives inside of you as The Holy Ghost. (See Romans 8:9-11) In the middle of a storm, Jesus was sleeping peacefully in the boat while His disciples panicked. What did they do? They simply woke Him up and He put an end to the storm. (See Mark 4:37-39) What storm are you going through? Wake up the Holy Ghost inside of you and release His power and love and receive a sound mind. Don't panic, pray.

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3(NKJV)

If you desire peace in your life, never let your problems dominate your thoughts. Keep your mind on Jesus, the problem solver.

12

God Is Troubling The Water

God Is Troubling The Water
God Is Troubling The Water

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.

John 5:1-8(NKJV)

Once a year, an angel would visit the Pool of Bethesda and stir the water which immediately triggered a release of God's miraculous healing power. Anybody needing healing had one job. Step in the water first! Hence, people simply hung out around the pool waiting for their opportunity. If they missed it, they had to wait a full year for their next chance. However, things changed when Jesus, The Living Water, showed up at the pool. For the certain man with the 38 year sickness, his Day of Visitation had come on a completely different schedule. He didn't have to wait for the angel to show up anymore, God Himself was there. Again, the man had one job. Believe! He did and he received his healing.

God is troubling the water! Our day of visitation has come! We are in a season of miracles and answered prayer! These are all statements we hear from time to time in Charismatic Christian church circles. They help to motivate our intensity during corporate worship, encourage church attendance, inspire devotion to prayer and scripture reading as well as heighten our spiritual expectation. However, are they even true?

Honestly think about it. If every time I see you, I tell you that it's your day of visitation or your season of miracles at what point will you start questioning the veracity of my statements? That's why I strongly resist the urge to make frivolous declarations even if they're positive. I know it doesn't hurt to speak good things over your life but the scripture says in Proverbs 13:12(NKJV); "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."

However, when the day of visitation is really coming, I feel like it's my duty to shout it from the mountain tops. As 2018 was drawing to a close I knew something was going on in the spiritual atmosphere around me. God was gearing up to do some new things and my spiritual sensitivity was heightened. Now I can confidently confirm that what I felt was coming is officially here. The season for miracles is not on its way, it's already here. How do I know? I'm seeing it happen before my eyes.

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26(AMP)

One by one, God is answering prayers in our family and church, some of which we figuratively threw at the wall hoping they would stick. Things we couldn't see could possibly happen with our natural eyes are happening and they're happening one after the other. We posted a list and have started crossing items out the moment God delivers. Not just that, once we realized that our Day of Visitation had begun we added a few more items to our prayer list that would only happen with miracles.

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:8(AMP)

It's impossible to predict how the Spirit of God will move unless He tells us. So without a prophetic unction I couldn't tell you long in advance that 2019 would be a special year. However, I'm telling you now. This is an unusual year. I don't fully know what's going on in the spirit but something is stirring and God is doing something amazing. Not only is the water troubled allowing one person to get a miracle, The Living Water has shown up allowing anyone who believes to access whatever they need.

Jesus said to him, “[You say to Me,] ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes and trusts [in Me]!” Immediately the father of the boy cried out [with a desperate, piercing cry], saying, “I do believe; help [me overcome] my unbelief.”

Mark 9:23-24(AMP)

Do you want to see impossible things become possible in your life? Can you believe God? If yes, then expect God to do what only He can do. Don't miss your hour of visitation like the Jews. They brought Jesus to tears in Luke 19:41-44. Many of them are still waiting for God to do what He has already done. Let that never be said of you. He is releasing angels. He is answering prayer. He is going miracles. He is opening doors. He is inspiring repentance. He is moving. You have one job. Believe God!

8

The Fear Of The Lord

The Fear Of The Lord

Acts 2:43(AMP) - And a sense of awe (reverential fear) came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles (the special messengers).

The best example of The Spirit of Reverential Fear of The Lord took place soon after The Holy Spirit was poured out beyond measure and the early church was formed. He manifested Himself as such and all who received Him had a sense of awe or reverential fear. In this way, The Bible describes one of the clearest depictions of this specific representation of The Holy Spirit and distinguishes it from every other.

This is good news for all Christians because it means that even when we struggle to show honor and respect for God by our actions, The Spirit of Reverential Fear can spur us on. In Acts 2:43, The Bible appears to present a direct connection between the fear of The Lord and the prevalence of signs and wonders in the early church. Could it be that major miracles have escaped the Western Church because people don’t fear The Lord the way they should? Think about it!

Wisdom begins with The Fear of The Lord

Proverbs 9:10(KJV) - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

The Spirit of Wisdom and The Spirit of Reverential Fear of The Lord work together. Wisdom begins with the fear of The Lord. The people who walk in God’s Wisdom deeply love, honor and respect Him. The people who know Him intimately have access to The Spirit of Understanding. So if you sincerely desire God’s wisdom it pays to live a life that demonstrates love, honor and respect for Him.

It’s really not that difficult to understand. God is a person. He desires a relationship built on quality time and adherence to His directions. Those who are willing to give Him what He wants get access to everything He has. One of the most important gifts He can offer us is His wisdom. If walking in the Fear of The Lord would get us this wisdom, wouldn’t you do it? I would!

The Spirit of Obedient Fear of The Lord

Isaiah 1:19-20(NKJV) - If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword"; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

God knows how to get people to obey Him. Isaiah 1:19-20 shows us why that's a good thing. Many of the precious promises we all desire are expressly connected to our obedience to God's directions. We can pray, fast, declare scriptures, bind and loose spirits but if we do not obey God we're wasting our time. As a young Christian, my father taught me that the answers to our prayers are sometimes wrapped in a set of instructions from God. If we follow them without question we'll see the full manifestation. If we don't, we'll continue to wonder what happened to our prayers.

Isaiah 11:1-2(AMP) - AND THERE shall come forth a Shoot out of the stock of Jesse [David's father], and a Branch out of his roots shall grow and bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him — the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord.

Since obedience is so important The Holy Spirit was sent to help. In the same way that He can give us wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel and might, He can help us to be obedient. That’s one benefit that I tap into on a regular basis and you should too.

Meditate on Isaiah 1:16-20

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The Body Bible Study - Stop Fishing In The Shallow

Next Session - Saturday, December 14th, 2013

You are personally invited to join us in Atlanta (Vinings), GA for our exciting, new monthly bible study; "The Body". Our mission is to bring people into The Body of Christ, help them to discover where they fit and show them how to execute their purpose with a burning passion for Jesus! Join us every 2nd Saturday as we address Biblical steps toward discovering and executing The Will of God for your life.

If you're out of town, you're invited to join The Body Online where you will receive access to the same interactive information from anywhere in the world. By the time we're finished you will be well on your way to fulfilling your destiny. Contact us for more details and to RSVP. Invite a friend. Visit us at www.thecrackeddoor.com for more info.

4

The Bottom Line: Fear God And Keep His Commandments

The Bottom Line: Fear God And Keep His Commandments

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. - Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV

It's the last verse in The Bible written by the wisest man in history other than Jesus. At the end of his days, King Solomon made it so simple. Instead of a long checklist of requirements, he summarized God's Universal Will for every human being into two quick instructions: Fear God and keep His commandments.

What does it mean to fear God? In this verse it comes from the Hebrew word yare' which means to “revere and worship Him.” The Amplified Bible also adds the phrase “knowing that He is” to the meaning of the word, which highlights the obvious requirement of acknowledging God's existence before revering and worshiping Him.

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. - Mark 12:30-31 KJV

The Old Testament is full of commandments. Which commandments are we required to keep today in the age of grace? When Jesus was asked to identify the greatest commandment He responded with the commandment of love. What's most important though is that the first commandment says to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Since this love is not just limited to your heart it means that our love for God must be more than emotional.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. - John 14:15 KJV

Those who love God will keep His commandments and His most important commandment is to love. Therefore, it's safe to conclude that God expects all men to operate in His kind of love on the earth. So if you want to know God's Universal Will for your life, combine the words of King Solomon and Jesus. Fear God, love God and love the people God created.

But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.' So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." - Luke 10:29-37 NKJV

Who is your neighbor? The person you show God's love. In other words, anybody can be your neighbor because you can show God's love to anyone. Hence, your duty as a human is to love God by obeying His commandment to love your neighbor as you love yourself. If you can do just that it will transform the way you live and position you to receive rewards in heaven. God's heart is for us to have His heart of love.

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Your Gifts Are For Kingdom Use!

Your Gifts Are For Kingdom Use!

We released our latest video "Supernatural Intelligence" over the weekend. If you have not watched it in its entirety as yet you are missing out. 🙂 Scroll down and see it for yourself. This is a continuation from yesterday's message "Hungry For Wisdom".

Exodus 35:30-35(NKJV) - And Moses said to the children of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31 and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, 32 to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, 33 in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship. 34 “And He has put in his heart the ability to teach, in him and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver—those who do every work and those who design artistic works.

As a young man growing up in the ministry my father taught me many valuable lessons, some of which I teach others today. Near the top of the list is the principle that the most valuable resource in any ministry is the people. We have to always remember that without the right people no real progress can be made. As a result I spend more time praying for God to send us the right people than for anything else.

However, even though all people are important at different times there are certain people who need to step up to get certain things done. For instance, in Exodus 35 it was time for The Children of Israel to build the tabernacle. In addition to the offerings of the general community they needed people with specialized skills to do the actual work. Moses asked for skilled volunteers to step up and they did. Bezalel was one of them. If you read carefully what the passage says above you will see something fascinating.

The Spirit of God supernaturally enabled him with artistic and creative skills to do what needed to be done. In other words, God anointed him with supernatural wisdom for a specific purpose but that was not all. Bezalel had a willing heart. Lord, we need some Bezalels right here, right now because there is work to be done. We don't just want those who are unusually talented but those who are willing to help and reproduce themselves by training others. We don't want any more Christian divas. Divas have no place in The Kingdom. It's time to work so let's work.

Only God gets to be a diva because He runs the show. The rest of us need to be His humble servants. For the limited time we have on earth we should just be thankful for the opportunity to serve God with the gifts He gave us. Let Him reward us in His own time. There is so much work to do in God's Kingdom. Find your place and do your part! We're depending on you.

God bless you!

Some people are born smarter than others!
Some have more experience!
Some work much harder!
However, God gives a select few supernatural intelligence! You can be one of them.

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Ask Donnell - Am I wrong for dancing to secular music?

I received the following question from Carlene;

Hi Donnell, I have been baptised a little while now and I recently attended a wedding of a friend (non-Christians). the music was of course non-christian. I danced and enjoyed the wedding and while I was not indecent, i was concerned whether or not i was sending the wrong message by dancing to non Christian music. Please advise.

Good question Carlene. Some things are black and white in the scriptures while others are not so clear. Since you're not talking about listening to secular music on your personal time I won't address that. I assume that you only feed your spirit with The Word of God and anointed music. However, at a public event like that you have no control over what they play.

Any music that's not gospel is secular so that would include mainstream salsa, classical or even typical wedding love songs from Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder. Does that mean you can't go salsa or ballroom dancing? One extreme is to not be anywhere around any such music that does not explicitly exalt The Lord and stick to Christian music of any genre you need. There is nothing wrong with that.

However, that will only work if you stay home or go to church events because even your Christian friends may play some secular music at their events. The other extreme is to be on the dance floor getting "hot and sweaty" to the latest Nicki Minaj, Kanye West or Lil Wayne hit like you can't hear the rampant profanity or sexual references. If some of those songs don't make you uncomfortable you probably can't hear the words.

So it's really a judgment call that you have to make. You can choose which songs you want to dance to and which ones you won't dance to. That's an approach that can work. A decent song from Stevie Wonder might warrant a dance but the following song from Drake might warrant a trip to the buffet line for another piece of chicken. Nonetheless, it's obvious that your conscience is bothering you about your own dancing. Therefore, we'll first address that.

Ask Donnell - Am I wrong for dancing to secular music?

1 John 3:19-21(NLT) - Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence.

When you feel guilty it's not always because you are in sin. Your conscience represents the voice of The Holy Spirit inside of you. When you're considering doing something displeasing to God He speaks to you about it. He convicts you of sin (John 16:8-9) so that you would be driven to repentance and a change in direction. Once you repent, based on 1 John 1:9, God is ready to restore you.

However, there's also a different voice which only speaks to you after your sin is complete. It's the voice of the devil which brings condemnation. The conviction of The Holy Spirit is designed to push you to God, the condemnation of the devil is designed to push you away. Conviction takes place before you sin, while you're in sin and as long as you have not repented of the sin. Condemnation is really the flip side of temptation and only manifests after you sin. Before you sin, the devil tempts you to do it and once you sin he condemns you for what you've done.

Dancing to secular music at your friend's wedding is not a major issue in the grand scheme of things. You did go to the wedding to celebrate the marriage of your friends so joining them for a little "Electric Slide" or "Cupid Shuffle" won't hurt anything. However, since you have remorse, maybe you did a little more than you felt totally comfortable with. You did point out that they are not Christians and you are worried about how your actions were perceived. Personally, I consider that honorable. Here's how the scriptures address that.

Romans 14:21(NKJV) - It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

1 Corinthians 10:23 (NKJV) - All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

We should always be mindful of the impact our actions make on the lives of others even if the actions are not inherently wrong. If The Holy Spirit in you was grieved by your decision to dance at the party just ask for forgiveness based on 1 John 1:9 and move on with your life. If that feeling of guilt continues even after you repent, it's not the conviction of The Holy Spirit but condemnation from the devil. Therefore instead of sulking over something God's already forgotten just let it go and rebuke the devil in the name of Jesus. Let him take his condemnation back to hell with him.

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God; The Ultimate Investor

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

Matthew 25:14-30(KJV) - 14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Proverbs 6:10-11(KJV) - Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

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The Best Don't Always Win

Ecclesiastes 9:11(NLT) - I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.

Hard work pays but it doesn't always pay well. Work smart! - Anonymous

Do you know that many of the hardest working people struggle all of their lives and never get ahead? You can work as hard as you like but that doesn't guarantee success. Unfortunately for some and fortunately for others, success comes from what you know, who you know, how you're positioned and how you leverage those three factors. It is about strategic moves, strategic connections and strategic preparation. That's what works and it's supported by The Bible!

Watch the video, take notes and share it with others you care about! May God bless you on your journey to success!

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