It’s a Love Thing

LoveThingWell, tomorrow is the big day! My local church has been announcing plans for an annual event sponsored by the Marriage Ministry, which I am not a part of.  I admit, I have not been fond of Valentine’s Day for a long time. I’m sure you can guess why.

Thankfully, my attitude toward it has changed drastically, although my situation remains the same. Since I let go of my painful past and no longer host pity parties and engage in low self esteem hangout, my perspective is different.  Still, I must be careful not to allow negative reflections of my past or present to be the focus of my thoughts.  If I allow my mind to go back 20 years or dwell on one day, I open myself up for an emotional takeover, and hence, be convinced that I am a victim because of my singleness.  Thank God, I know now that that is a BIG lie from the father of lies (Satan) to deceive many women, young and old. As a result of being deceived, many women make unwise and foolish decisions that put them on a wrong path to living destructive lives.

By the amazing grace of God, I choose to believe my life is complete in Christ! I am convinced that God’s plan and purpose for my life is much bigger and better than I can even imagine. Furthermore, I am persuaded that my singleness is His will for me at this phase in my life. Therefore, I am content.  Rather than allow special events for married couples, seeing aisles filled with candy and carts of roses and TV commercials stifle my spirit and excitement about life, love, joy, peace and happiness, I am able to celebrate them. I can honestly thank God for them and pray God’s continuous blessings in their marriage and relationship.

I choose to celebrate my own “Love thing!”  It’s a relationship that gets better each day. Just to let you know how much my Jesus loves me, today I received an unexpected check in the mail! And no, I am not going to buy myself any roses or MP900440960candy.

Praying that you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day celebrating and enjoying it with the one you truly love.

It’s a LOVE Thing!

Just Do It!

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. —James 1:22

Attending Sunday morning worship services weekly and going to Bible study religiously can easily become habitual, with no life-changing results. Attendance is a good thing, but the ultimate purpose should be to experience change—spiritual growth. This is what James wrote about. We are not just hearers of the word, but doers.

When James, the brother of Jesus, wrote this letter the believers from Jerusalem had been scattered throughout Judea, Samaria, Phoenicia, and to Antioch in Syria and Cyprus. This scattering was due to persecution under Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-5), which began with the stoning death of Stephen. James’ letter addresses practical issues for Christians to demonstrate a lifestyle that exemplifies their Christian faith. James instructs and motivates Christians to develop a mature and consistent faith and to show how Christians can have a loyal friendship with God and with each other.

In essence, James is not writing about how to become a Christian, but instead how to act like a Christian; in other words “practice” what you preach. Having all the correct beliefs about Jesus Christ is not enough. Even demons believe. Real, life-changing faith should produce action. James is specific in his description of the spiritual actions expected of Christians. The primary concern expressed in James’ letter is that readers mature in their Christian walk of faith.  And the way to DO that is to apply biblical principles, and obey His command. Conclusively, just do it! James’ words are just as easy to understand today; but the question of the day is: Are we doing what he says? What kind of behavior characterizes our spiritual lives?

Too often Christians choose to compare their works and spiritual growth to the actions of others who profess to be Christians. Apostle Paul addresses this misconception in Galatians 6:4-5 (CJB), So let each of you scrutinize his own actions. Then if you do find something to boast about, at least the boasting will be based on what you have actually done and not merely on a judgment that you are better than someone else; for each person will carry his own load.”

Be sure to keep attending Sunday morning worship services and scheduled Bible study religiously, just make sure your habitual attendance is producing habitual change in character and conduct. Then you’ll be well on the path to “powerful living” by doing (obeying) the word, not merely listening to it and deceiving yourselves.

God is on our side!

Oh, how I love the word of God.  I have put my hope in God’s word; therefore, it is my comfort in sorrow.  It is my strength in weakness.  It is my light in darkness. It is my song of victory!

 Do you recall how it made you feel when you knew someone was on your side?  A more modern term now is “got your back.” There’s a sense of boldness, defiance, and confidence that escalates when you know someone’s got your back, and you don’t have to face the enemy alone. 

 I recall my school days when occasionally I’d get into an altercation with a peer.  Thankfully, it was not a way of life for me.  Nevertheless, it was the seldom occasion that being an only child was a disadvantage.  However, I did have an ally that I could depend on.  I knew my cousin, Joe, was on my side, and was well able to throw a good punch in my defense.

Usually after-school showdowns were planned in advance.  Advance planning allowed for a build up of assurance and confidence as well. It helped you to prepare mentally.  Although this was many years ago, I still recall the positive affect that having support had on me when facing a challenging encounter.

 Consequently, when I read Psalm 124, I could easily relate to how the Israelites could prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for worship.  What an assurance to know that God is on our side.  This particular song was one that the Israelites sang as they made their pilgrimage to the temple centuries ago. Yet, it is relevant today.

These are difficult times, and yet glorious times for the people of God.   How reassuring it is to know that God is on our side.  God’s got your back! We don’t have to face the enemy alone.  He has provided an arsenal for defense, and a physical location that we can gather to be restored, or regroup, and refuel to continue walking in purpose and pursuing destiny.

 Ah! The Temple. The Church House. The House of Prayer. The Sanctuary. God’s house. The local assembly…. Or, whatever you choose to call it.  It should be the place where Christians gather—the Church—the “called out” gather in one place with one purpose—to experience the Presence of God.  It is the place where “like-minded” people of faith come to give thanks and praise to their God for being on our side, and not allowing the enemy, or the storms of life overtake us.

 Each week, as we prepare for the Sabbath Day of worship, we should plan in advance through meditation, prayer and devotion, and private worship.  And when we meet our sisters and brothers, we will be ready…having one mind; assembled for one purpose—a corporate worship experience as we reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of our God saying with one voice, “If the LORD had not been on our side…Praise be to the LORD! Our help is from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth.