The Lord Is Not A Spectator!

Posted on

Psalm 35:1b

Most of us are familiar with the behavior of spectators, because at one time or another, we’ve been one.  Whether at a graduation, sporting event, professional boxing match, and sadly in a church pew, we were present only to witness the event.

We were not on the program.  We did not participate.  We were not on the field.  We were in attendance only to watch what was going on.

We were spectators.

Sadly, in this age, when someone is being brutally assaulted and crying out for help, instead of onlookers intervening, they are more likely to pull out their cellphones to record the violence.  They pulled out their phones because they were only in attendance to watch what was going on.

They were spectators.

However, when David found himself in the midst of a battle, he cried out to God (recorded in Psalm 35:1b, “Fight against those who fight against me.”  David knew he could ask for God’s “backup,” because David had previous experience with God.  Look at what David declared in the 27th Psalm, verse 5, “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.”

My friends, whoever has the audacity to rise up against you, do not fear.  Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Believe me when I tell you…when the Lord shows up, He’s not showing up to watch you suffer!

The Lord is not a spectator!

 

 

You Can Do It!

Posted on

Philippians 4:13

Almost seventeen years ago, the Lord set up a divine appointment between Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore and myself.  Dr. Baltimore–an internationally-known evangelist and church planter–was in revival at a church I was serving as a musician.

The Lord had laid upon my heart to plant the Rehoboth Open Outreach Ministries, but I was afraid.  I was happily serving as the Assistant to my pastor, Bishop John H. Gilmore, at the New Hope Institutional Baptist Church, but I knew God was summoning me for a ministry for those with “special spiritual needs.”

At the conclusion of the service, the Lord said, “Go speak to him.”  I said to the Lord, “I don’t know this man.  Plus, he doesn’t have time to talk to me.”

Nevertheless, in obedience, I walked up to him, introduced myself, and shared with him what the Lord was calling me to do.

Dr. Baltimore grabbed my hand, looked me in the eye, and spoke these four words that are still ringing in my ears:  You can do it! 

By faith in the Lord Jesus, I did it!  Rehoboth Open Outreach Ministries was birthed in 2001, the Rehoboth Christian Church of NY was planted in 2004, and the Rehoboth Christian Church of VA was planted in 2017.

The YouVersion Bible App’s “verse of the day” is declaring the same message on this morning, found in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

My friends, this is a simple declaration for those of us who have given our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Whatever God has called you do–whatever gifts He has given to you–do not be afraid to go forth.

The Lord Jesus will give you the strength, courage, and resources to get it done.

Believe God and get going!

You can do it! 

 

 

Stand Up!

Posted on

Numbers 23:19

At places people gather for long periods of time–airports, train stations, doctor’s offices, churches, etc–there are seating areas available, because unless we’ve been trained to do so, most of us get tired of standing after awhile.

Sadly, there are believers who have grown weary of standing on the promises of God, and have decided to sit down.

Someone reading this right now is sitting down.  You are sitting on God’s promises for your business.  You are sitting on God’s promises over your relationship with your spouse.  You are sitting on God’s promises over your ministry.  You have grown weary of standing, and you have chosen to sit down.

I have a word for you this morning:  Stand up!  [Do it in the natural–stand to your feet!]  For the Lord put this word in the mouth of the prophet Balaam, recorded in Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent.  Has He said, and will He not do?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

My friends, God is not a liar–satan is!  Whatever God said He is going to do in your life,  He is going to do it!

Psalm 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”  By all means, rest for a while when you get weary of waiting, but after you’ve rested..

Stand up!

 

 

Reach Forward!

Posted on

Philippians 3:13

As we are fresh into this new year, many of us are excited about what this year will bring.  I have heard several “prophetic declarations” for 2018″:  The Year of Manifestation; The Year of Restoration; and my personal favorite: The Year of the Remnant!

My friends, it is a beautiful thing to have expectation for whatever God has spoken over your life; however, it is impossible to look forward and backward at the same time! [Try it sometimes at your leisure.]

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the believers in the church at Philippi, he wrote these words, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”

To apprehend something means to grasp it.  In other words, as anointed as the Apostle Paul was, he admitted his inability to grasp or gain full control over every aspect of his life.  Likewise, you and I have issues we are still struggling with, questions left unanswered in our minds, and relationships we prayed over that are still broken.  The more we look over the situation, the less sense it makes to us.  Our issues crossed over into 2018 right along with us.

While the Apostle was in a situation I am sure he was having trouble grasping  (he was incarcerated in a Roman jail), he penned these words to the believers, “but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” 

In spite of his circumstances, the Apostle made a decision.  Although in jail, he was not going to waste his valuable time lamenting over what was! He may not have had control over much, but he said, “one thing I do.”  He made a decision to forget those things which were behind and reach forward to those things which were ahead!

People of God, you have some things ahead!  The psalmist declared, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11)

Look forward.

Reach forward!

 

 

 

There is a word: Get Your Swimsuit Ready!

Posted on

Isaiah 35:6b-7a

I woke up this morning at my usual time (5:30 am), expecting to perform my usual morning routine. I donned a new pair of fuzzy bedroom slippers (my granddaughter’s Christmas gift) and headed straight for my favorite appliance: The coffeemaker.

As the brown liquid began pouring into the carafe, I began to notice my fuzzy slippers seemed to feel strange. I looked down, and to my dismay, there was water all over the floor. The dishwasher–which runs overnight–had overflowed.

Not one to get upset over trivial issues, I grabbed the mop and began cleaning up the water. As I squeezed the water into the sink, the Lord began to speak: Overflow!

After completing my unplanned morning chore, I reached for my Bible and found Isaiah 35:6b-7a, “For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water;”.

My friends, I want to share this word of encouragement with you.

You may be facing a wilderness situation, where everything appears dry, barren, and lifeless. Nevertheless, if you remain faithful through your trial (it’s only a test), your “waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and parched ground shall become a pool!”

Come on! Believe God with me!

Get your swimsuit ready!

The parched ground shall become a pool!

The Battle Is Not Ours, It’s Theirs!

Posted on

Proverbs 3:30

The words found in this wisdom literature of the Old Testament reads, “Do not strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm.”

Think about it.  How much time have we wasted, striving or battling with people without cause.  We had no idea why we were fighting against someone. We may have actually liked the person, but we strove against them anyway, without cause.  [For the record, because someone felt disrespected does not justify a “cause.”]

Furthermore, the scripture says, “…if he has done you no harm.”  The key word here is you.  

Not your cousin, you.  Not your best friend, you.  Not your boo, you.

No one did anything to you, but you jumped in anyway!

As believers, Scripture instructs us not to jump in other people’s battles when the individual they are battling with has done us no harm.

Instead of joining in the fray, Jesus declared in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

Therefore, if we are not willing to strive for peace and pray for the restoration of broken relationships, then we need to mind our business.

The battle is not ours, it’s theirs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stand Firm!

Posted on

Psalm 125:1

The year 2017 has ended.  For some, it has been the worse year of your lives; for others (like myself), it has been a relatively good year.

As I reflect upon the events that took place in my life in 2017, everything wasn’t perfect.   Like you, I had my personal struggles.  However, I continued to stand firm through it all by simply trusting in the Lord.

The psalmist declared in Psalm 125:1, “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.”

My friends, those of us who place their trust in the Lord–not man, not money, not our friends, not our degrees, not the stock market–are like Mount Zion, known as the mountain of God.

Hills have bee flattened and valleys have been covered with earth, but every mountain that God created is still standing firm and shall abide forever.

In 2018, be like “Mount Zion.”  Be determined that nothing will “move you” to give up or give in.

Abide forever under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1).

Go forth…

Stand firm!