A Voice for all generations

TRIBUTE: A VOICE FOR ALL GENERATIONS… THEN, NOW AND THE FUTURE

On January 15, 1929, a baby boy was born to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King and given the name, Martin Luther King, Jr.

The timeliness of his arrival was in proportion with his mission and purpose predestined by God before the foundation of the world.  Therefore, his growth and development into manhood and his advanced matriculation in education were necessary to meet the urgency of mankind’s need to hear what God had to say and wanted to do for generations to come.

To the unenlightened Dr. King was just an intelligent man with great oratorical skills who just wanted a public platform.  Many honor him only for his fight against segregation and inequity in the Deep South.  For many, observance of the holiday simply means recognizing a great civil rights leader.  Yet, for some, he was a voice that condemned the ugliness of racism smeared in the faces of coloreds and Jews.  To others, he was the voice of greatness— an icon to the rise of “black power.” To the degenerates who thrived on hatred and segregation, he was a dangerous threat to the kingdom of darkness that must be annihilated.

However, I know for me; he was ‘the voice of the Lord’ back then, now, and in the future! He was the voice of the Lord back then because segregation and injustice were worn like badges of honor, and celebrated with pride. Although public segregation is no longer, Dr. King’s message is the voice of the Lord now because the seeds of segregation are still being harvested in soils of ignorance, and injustice is a mockery. We see it acted out in the judicial system like the characters of Broadway productions. We see crimes of injustice committed by law enforcement agents, who are the very ones sworn to uphold the law and protect the citizens.

I was only sixteen years old when the news of his brutal assassination was announced at the small segregated school I attended in Louisiana.  To this day, I recall the emotional upheaval this news brought throughout the school as well our small community of labeled underprivileged “coloreds.”  In particular, I remember my own emotional outbursts.  It was a ‘gut-wrenching’ queasiness I’d never felt before. 

I believe the prophetic within me (not yet recognized or released) grieved for a truly prophetic voice silenced by a nation rebelling against God’s will for humanity; addicted to hatred and committing heinous acts of violence against its fellowmen.  I didn’t know then, but I know now that the spirit of heaviness overshadowed me because the resounding effects of an audible voice inspired by the Holy Spirit would be silenced forever.  This man was the voice of the Lord for all times!

I’ve read the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. several times.  But each year, it becomes clearer that this man was born for such a time, even as this.  His voice still echoes throughout the portals of time, and reminds us of the need for change—change that results in spiritually transformed hearts and minds—changed lives that conform to the standards of GOD ALMIGHTY, and attitudes that align with biblical principles and Christ’s command to love one another.

His messages, his courage, and boldness to speak out against the ills of society were in alignment with righteousness. However, his voice is being drowned out by the shouts of commercialization.  And unless we continue on the path of righteousness, his message will be diluted with watered down religious rhetoric, and no power to bring about change.

Dr. King’s messages were focused on man’s greatest needs; and 50+ years later, the needs are still great— justice, peace, and equality. God created all men equal, in His image and His likeness. Yes, we’ve come a long way.  The election of the first African-American man as president of the United States was a giant step on the path to progress, but we still have a long way to go until we all come into the knowledge of God’s will concerning justice and equality for all men.  Since the election of Barack Obama, there has been no shortage of racial slurs, subliminal messages, innuendos, jokes, jesters, and outright disdain expressed regarding his leadership.  These expressions of disdainful criticism reveal the secrets of a heart out of sync with the heart of God—discontented and disconnected.   Therefore, in order to meet man’s greater needs for justice, peace and equality are to have a new heart experience with the God of love, peace, and righteousness.

Dr. King preached peace and nonviolence.  This message is relevant today because man still longs for true love and spiritual peace. When the threat of war, violence and hatred dominate a society, peace and love become bywords, and God’s commands become grievous! God is love!  Therefore, just as the need was great years ago when Dr. King began fighting the good fight of faith, it is even greater today.  He preached peace because Christ paid the ultimate price for our peace—peace with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  When men are not at peace with God, there can be no peace with his fellow man.  Consequently, wars, crimes, and violence are inevitable in a depraved society.   But, there is hope because with God all things are possible.

In a message on Peace, in 1964, Dr. King said, “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.  This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”1

Dr. King understood that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Because Christ is our hope, he declared boldly and with tenacity, “Let freedom ring.”  He understood that freedom is the reward of knowing Truth.  Dr. King knew that when America embraces the Truth, we would be free at last.

He was confident in his mission and sincere in his message.  He was not intimidated by men to conform to their systems of injustice, ungodly beliefs, and immoral values.  He stood courageously in the face of opposition to deflect the darts of unrighteousness that penetrated the concrete walls of pride, hatred, and selfishness.

On nonconformity, in 1963, he said, “This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists.  Dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless Calvaries.  The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.”2

Ultimately, Dr. King’s mountaintop experience afforded him a privilege few will have in their lifetime—to see the Promised Land.  I believe seeing the Promised Land gave him the assurance, confidence, and hope that we all must live by daily—that God’s kingdom will come, and His will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, although he wouldn’t live long enough to see it come to pass.

On April 3, 1968, Dr. King said, “Well, I don’t know what will happen now.  We’ve got some difficult days ahead.  But it doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop.  And I don’t mind.  Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I’m not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God’s will.  And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I’ve looked over.  And I’ve seen the Promised Land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land.  And I’m happy, tonight.  I’m not worried about anything.  I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”3

I believe this spiritual encounter enabled Dr. King to release everything and everyone into the Master’s hand—his life, his family, his work, his country, and this world.  He had answered the call of God on his life.  He had done the will of God. He had lifted up his voice like a trumpet in Zion and sacrificed all for the Master.  He had fought a good fight and finished his course.

He had presented his body as a living sacrifice.  He was pressed on every side, and oftentimes felt forsaken; yet, he didn’t conform to this world. Instead, he was transformed by the renewing of his mind.  He understood the good and acceptable and perfect will of God for his life; therefore, he proclaimed it to the world without compromise.

Today, the greatest honor we can bestow upon this man of God would be to surrender our lives to the will of God as he did without fear of man who can kill the body, but rather fearing Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt. 10:28). Today, the greatest honor we can bestow upon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to yield our members as instruments of righteousness for the Master’s use as he did—not as perfect beings, yet denying all for the Kingdom with the understanding that we are the righteousness of God in Christ.

I ask the question, often, “Lord, will there be another voice that will take up the cause of Your Kingdom without expectation of human rewards, accolades, and notoriety?

Who will be the voice of the Lord?  Let it not be the voice of one man alone, but many that will be heard as one voice.

I pray, Let the Church (the Body of Christ) be the voice of the Lord.  Though we are many members, let us declare in unison as one Body, “I am the voice of the Lord.”

Reposted. All rights reserved.

© 2007-2008 Queen E. F. Phillips. All rights reserved. NOT-FOR-PROFIT use only requires prior written permission from the author.  Credit must be given to copyright owner.  Reprinted and updated.

©2010 QEP Enterprises. All rights reserved. NOT-FOR-PROFIT use only requires prior written permission from the author.  Credit must be given to copyright owner.

©2012 Queen E. F. Phillips. Revised edition. All rights reserved. NOT-FOR-PROFIT use only requires prior written permission from the author.  Credit must be given to copyright owner.

 © 2017 Queen E. F. Phillips. Revised edition. All rights reserved. NOT-FOR-PROFIT use only requires prior written permission from the author.  Credit must be given to copyright owner.

 

 

 

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Living by Faith: Easy?

Living by faith is not as easy as many would have you to think. When we read and study the Bible, we find that it was not easy for Abraham until he had an undeniable experience that proved to him that God keeps His promises.  It was not easy for David. He penned his way through the troubles of life.  He wrote over and over in powerful poems of praise and worship, some of the most beautiful ever written.  In some he asked the real life questions, experienced the real life struggles, voiced his disappointment and expressed his discouragement.  It was not easy for the disciples.  They were called by the Master but afterward uncertain of their decision to give up everything to follow him. After his death, they felt alone and afraid not knowing what to expect even after Jesus had tried to prepare them.  As a matter of fact, it was not easy for Jesus.  He had his share of troubles. His family didn’t believe in him. He was under constant attack from the religious leaders. He was even betraying by those closest to him.  He was tempted in his humanity, and relied totally on his Father to strengthen him through prayer and obedience.  

However, the most important thing noteworthy in these “faith walking characters is consistency. They were consistent their belief that no matter how great the struggle, or the trouble, the Father’s will and purpose were more important, and that He would bring His purpose to pass.  In the case of the disciples, Jesus himself set an example of being consistent in looking to the Father, and doing what the Father told him to do and say (John 14:24). 

If living by faith was so easy, there would be no need for us to put our “trust” in the Lord.  Truth is there’s no magical formula to make our troubles disappear, even after long nights of crying out to the Lord.  Although He promises never to leave us or forsake us; and that He will deliver us out of all our troubles and afflictions, the truth is that He does it according to His set time.  Therefore, until His purposes for allowing the trouble, or until His working all things out in the background, according to His good pleasure,  is complete, we have to live through it, “believing” that He will come through…things will work together for the good…And until then we must say as David: “In you O LORD, I have taken refuge…; be my rock of refuge. In you O Lord do I put my trust.” Until then we must continue saying as Jesus did, “Nevertheless, not my will but yours.”  This equates to living by faith, confident that no matter what life brings, the purposes of God shall prevail and I must make the decision to trust Him at all cost. And as He reveals His character in the midst of our experiences, we are empowered to trust Him more and more.

He understands that in our frailty, living by faith is not easy. Yet, it is through our confidence and trust in His power that He commands us to do so. “For without faith, it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Consequently, my confidence in Him and wanting to please Him, I yield myself, which is the hardest part, so that living by faith is easy.

Personal Essay: Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On January 15, 1929, a baby boy was born to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King and given the name, Martin Luther King, Jr.

The timeliness of his arrival was in proportion with his mission and purpose predestined by God.  Therefore, his growth and development into manhood, and his advanced matriculation in education were necessary to meet the urgency of mankind’s need to hear what God had to say and do for generations to come.

To the unenlightened Dr. King was just an intelligent man with great oratorical skills and a public platform.  Many honor him only for his fight against segregation and inequity in the Deep South.  For many, observance of the holiday simply means recognizing a great civil rights leader.  Yet, for some,  he was a voice that condemned the ugliness of racism smeared in the faces nonwhites and Jews.  To others he was the voice of greatness— an icon to the rise of “black power.” To the degenerates, he was a dangerous threat to the kingdom of darkness that must be annihilated.

However, I know for me; he was ‘the voice of the Lord’ back then, now, and in the future! It was the voice of the Lord back then because segregation and injustice were worn like badges of honor, and celebrated with pride. Although public segregation is no longer, Dr. King’s message is the voice of the Lord now because the seeds of segregation are still being harvested in soils of ignorance, and justice is a mockery. We see it acted out  in the judicial system like the characters in a Broadway production. We see crimes of injustice committed by law enforcement agents, who are the very ones sworn to uphold law and protect the citizens.  We see it among politicians whose interest is self rather than their constituents.

I was only sixteen years old when the news of his brutal assassination was announced at the small segregated school I attended in Louisiana.  To this day, I recall the emotional upheaval this news brought throughout the school as well our small community of underprivileged “coloreds.”  In particular, I remember my own emotional outbursts.  It was a ‘gut-wrenching’ queasiness I’d never felt before.  Perhaps, like that of receiving the news of my father’s death.

I believe the prophetic anointing within me (not yet recognized or released) grieved for a true prophetic voice silenced by a nation rebelling against God’s will for humanity; addicted to hatred and committing heinous acts of violence against its fellowman.  I didn’t know then, but I know now that the spirit of heaviness overshadowed me because the resounding affects of an audible voice inspired by the Holy Spirit would be silent forever.  This man was the voice of the Lord for all times!

I’ve read the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. several times.  But each year, it becomes clearer that this man was born for such a time, even as this.  His messages still echoes throughout the portals of time, and reminds us of the need for change—change that results in spiritually transformed hearts and minds—changed lives that conform to the standards of GOD ALMIGHTY, and attitudes that align with biblical principles.

His messages, his courage, and boldness to speak out against the ills of society were in alignment with righteousness.

Dr. King’s messages were focused on man’s greatest needs.   And 42 years later, the needs are still great— justice, equality, and peace.

God created all men equal, in His image and His likeness. Yes, we’ve come a long way, but we still have a ways to go until we all come into the knowledge of God’s will concerning justice and equality for all men.  There are still too many subliminal messages, innuendos, jokes and jesters, which reveal the secrets of an evil heart overflowing with hatred. Therefore, above all, man’s greatest need is a new heart.

Dr. King preached peace and nonviolence.  This message is relevant today because man longs for true love and spiritual peace. Wherever there is war and violence there can be no true love.  God is love!  Therefore, there’s an even greater need today—a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He preached peace because Christ paid the ultimate price for our peace—peace with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  When men are not at peace with God, there can be no peace with his fellowman.  Consequently, wars, crimes and violence are inevitable in a depraved society.   But, there is hope because with God all things are possible.

In a message on Peace, in 1964, Dr. King said, “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.  This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”1

Dr. King understood that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Because Christ is our hope, he declared boldly and with tenacity, “Let freedom ring.”  He understood that freedom is the reward of knowing Truth.  Dr. King knew that when America embraces the Truth, we would be free at last.

He was confident in his mission and sincere in his message.  He was not intimidated by men to conform to their systems of injustice, ungodly beliefs, and immoral values.  He stood courageously in the face of opposition to deflect the darts of unrighteousness that penetrated the concrete walls of pride, hatred and selfishness.

On nonconformity, in 1963, he said, “This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists.  Dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless Calvaries.  The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of  a nonconforming minority.”2

Ultimately, Dr. King’s mountaintop experience afforded him a privilege few will have in their lifetime—to see the Promised Land.  Seeing the Promised Land gave him the assurance, confidence and hope that we all must live by daily—that God’s kingdom will come, and His will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

On April 3, 1968, Dr. King said, “Well, I don’t know what will happen now.  We’ve got some difficult days ahead.  But it doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop.  And I don’t mind.  Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I’m not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God’s will.  And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I’ve looked over.  And I’ve seen the Promised Land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land.  And I’m happy, tonight.  I’m not worried about anything.  I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”3

I believe this spiritual encounter enabled Dr. King to release everything and everyone into the Master’s hand—his life, his family, his work, his country, and this world.  He had answered the call of God.  He had done the will of God. He had lifted up his voice like trumpet in Zion, and sacrificed all for the Master.  He had fought a good fight and finished his course.

He had presented his body as a living sacrifice time after time.  He was pressed on every side, and oftentimes felt forsaken; yet,   he didn’t conform to this world. Instead, he was transformed by the renewing of his mind.  He understood the good and acceptable and perfect will of God; therefore, he proclaimed it to the world without compromise.

Today, the greatest honor we can bestow upon this man of God would be to surrender our lives to the will of God as he did; yield our members as instruments of righteousness for the Master’s use as he did—denying all for the Kingdom of God.

I ask, “Lord, will there be another voice that will take up the cause of Your Kingdom without expectation of human rewards?

Who will be the voice of the Lord?  Let it not be the voice of one man alone, but many that will be heard as one voice.

I pray, Let the Church be the voice of the Lord.  Though we are many members, let us declare in unison as one Body, “I am the voice of the Lord.”

Reader, will you join me?

© 2007-2008 Queen E. F. Phillips. All rights reserved. NOT-FOR-PROFIT use only requires prior written permission from the author.  Credit must be given to copyright owner.  Reprinted and updated,.

©2010 QEP Enterprises. All rights reserved. NOT-FOR-PROFIT use only requires prior written permission from the author.  Credit must be given to copyright owner.

Appetite for Righteousness

“Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation)  are those who hunger  and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God),  for they shall be completely satisfied!” [Isaiah 55:1,2]    —Matthew 5:6

 


seafoodI love seafood! I could eat it everyday.  My favorites are catfish and shrimp—blackened or deep-fried, grilled shrimp or shrimp scampi with side dishes: dirty rice, potato salad, cole slaw, with all the trimmings, i.e. green tomatoes, tartar sauce, and hush puppies! Hmmmm…

 There’s this certain seafood restaurant I really like going to because they serve up giant platters.  I eat and eat and still have enough for a doggie bag. Wow! The thought excites my taste buds.  Funny! I can’t recall when my appetite for seafood peaked to this degree. Perhaps I’ll never remember but what I do know is when the cravings hit me I gotta eat until I’m completely satisfied.

Truth is, seafood is really not filling.   Although it’s my favorite dish, it only provides short-term satisfaction.  In a couple of hours I’m hungry again.  In addition, it wouldn’t be wise to eat it everyday.  I’d still deprive my body of a healthy and well-balanced diet if I only satisfy my cravings for seafood. Therefore, I must develop an appetite for other nutritious foods in order to ensure complete satisfaction. 

 The same is true with the spiritual appetite. If you crave for uprightness and to be in right standing with God, you can experience complete satisfaction while enjoying His favor and salvation.  Spiritual satisfaction comes by feeding your mind and soul (spirit man) with the Word of God, prayer and meditation, worship, loving, giving and serving  others. 

 The best place to start developing an appetite for righteousness is during personal devotion in the privacy of your home. As you acquire a taste for spiritual food, it is observed by others in and outside the home—marketplace, church, and community.  People will notice your healthy attitude, positive outlook, and seasoned conversations caused by your constant and consistent exercise of faith. Once you develop an appetite for spiritual food you are dissatisfied with just snacks.  Eating snacks is just a temporary solution for hunger, and requires constant nibbling because your hunger is never really satisfied.

 The reason some Christians don’t have an appetite for righteousness is because they have not developed a taste for what’s really nutritious.  They enjoy eating snacks and junk food, which only satisfy their cravings for a very short period of time.  Being a “snack” junkie is a characteristic of a child’s appetite. Children have to be trained to eat healthy while they’re young.  They must be fed nutritious food so that they will grow and develop as well as develop good eating habits.

 Perhaps you know adults who still dislike vegetables from their childhood. They never acquired a taste for them.  And because they would spit them out religiously during feeding time, their parents gave up and stop trying.  Consequently, the child grew into adulthood with poor eating habits.

 When your diet consists primarily of junk food, you lack the essential nutrients to become strong, healthy, and vibrant.  Your brain becomes a “twinkie” stuffed with puffy whipped cream (not to mention the 39 ingredients in Twinkies).

 You look good outwardly, but you have no substance—your thought process is all fluff. You get the picture? In essence, you’re at a higher risk for sickness and disease when you don’t eat healthy.

 So it is with your spiritual diet. When you do not have an appetite for righteousness, thus eating poorly, you become spiritually malnourished.  You become spiritually weak and unfit to handle life’s challenges. However, because you made the decision not to eat a healthy spiritual diet you suffer from a lack of peace and prosperity.   

 Surprisingly, many Christians would rather be prosperous in one particular area.  Of course, I want it all—naturally and spiritually— in every aspect of my life.  In fact, John’s prayer recorded in his third letter to Gaius was that Gaius would prosper in all things and be in health, just as his soul prospers.  This lets us know that God desires for us to be well, and do well in every way as we journey through life.

 In other words, He desires that you “succeed in reaching our goals, potential and purpose.  As you succeed in your (soul) spiritual journey of faith, you should expect to succeed in every aspect of life. This is God’s desire for His children.  Of course, this requires being discipline and responsible. 

 For example, you should eat a spiritual balanced meal daily, and get proper exercise.  Truth is, you need more than one (1) good meal a week (on Sunday). Your appetite should be for righteousness, which will satisfy the soul.  If the spirit man is completely satisfied then you are able to control the lustful appetite of our flesh (sin nature). 

 If you seek to satisfy your carnal nature more than your spirit man, you cannot please God; therefore, you become weak, and defenseless against satan’s attacks.  Most of all, you become hostile to God because your “twinkie” mind is controlled by carnal thoughts (Ref. Romans 8:5-8). Being hostile to God is a danger zone. 

 Ask God to give you an appetite for righteousness.  I encourage you to discipline yourself and change your eating habits.  Eat a daily serving of the Word of God.  Come into His Presence and let the pure water of the Word wash you clean.  If you enjoy the spiritual food you will be blessed, fortunate, happy, and spiritually prosperous; you will certainly be satisfied. 

 Dearly beloved, as much as I love seafood, my appetite for the righteousness of God is greater.  What about you?

 

 

 ©2007 Queen Phillips, A Majestic Publication, Majestic Publishing Ministry.  All rights reserved.  Permission granted to distribute for nonprofit purposes only with credit given to copyright owner.