Spiritual

Who is a Fool?

 

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No one likes to know that they are considered to be a fool. People generally pride themselves on being wise. This has resulted in an increase in the population level of education. We have become so consumed with becoming subject matter experts that majority of us are drowning in debts. The idea of having a degree and obtaining the things we desire seems to define who we are. As a matter of fact if we should be asked the question “who are you?” many of us would not be able to define ourselves outside of our possessions,  the various titles that we occupy and roles we play. Being counted among the wise is the order of the day.

I am in nowise against acquiring knowledge, especially from an educational standpoint. As a matter fact, the word of God admonishes us to be wise. It makes us aware that wisdom is the primary thing (the most important). However, the Bible does not define wisdom as it is defined by the standards of the world. Being wise according to the word of God begins and ends with the fear of the Lord. Not fear in terms of being afraid or terrified, but fear in terms of having reverence for God. It, therefore, means that if we do not esteem God and His words, then we are fools.

In the book of Luke, a story is told of a man who had great wealth and stated that he would tear down his barns and build bigger barns to store his possessions. This man was described as being a fool. Even though he had the status to be counted as a wise person and the knowledge to gain wealth, he was still considered to be a fool. Why? Because he did not fear God. As a matter of fact Luke 12:21 states “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” If one does not have a rich relationship with God then that person is a FOOL.

Today I want us to examine our relationship with God. Do you have a rich relationship with God? Do you speak to Him regularly throughout your day or do you only speak to Him when you are having a crisis? Are trusting Him completely with your life and allowing Him to lead you? Does God have the reigns of your life?

Do not let status and possession cause you to be counted among FOOLS!

 

01.12.17 Dr. R.A.

Spiritual

Shine

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Let your beauty shine from within

Until it radiates outside forming a glow

A glow that cannot be unnoticed

Because it shines so bright

Drawing others near to experience the light

Don’t let it be masked by the experiences of life

But rather let it illuminate every darkness in sight

And when asked how can this be?

Point everyone to the cross at Calvary

For truly it is because of the cross that your light was revealed

Otherwise, you would grope around in darkness and could not be seen.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Shine

Spiritual

Shameless Persistence

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As humans whenever we are in need we do not like to make it known. If we should choose to reveal our need, then it will be to a very close friend or relative. Many of us would rather do without something than having to ask for it, and if we should be courageous enough to ask then we do not like to repeat such an action. As a matter a fact we become even the more reluctant if we are faced with opposition.

I have had experience in dealing with individuals who have been recently unemployed. These individuals become very discouraged because the tides for gaining employment has changed and requires multiple application to be sent virtually. This process often results in them not receiving feedback for a period of time which further encourage the feeling to quit. I have had to employ my tool of encouragement assuring them that if they continue they will get a positive response and that it does not matter the amount of “no’s” that they have received all that is important is that one “yes.”

Often we take the same approach in prayer. We believe that since God knows us and our needs, then we should only ask once and receive that which we seek. As such, I believe that many times our prayers are not answered because we give up too quickly. We allow pride and shame to settle in our hearts which blocks us from receiving.

A story was told in Luke 11 about a man who needed bread for his friend who had visited in the middle of the night. He went to his neighbor who was his friend and asked, but the friend responded “do not bother me. The door is locked for the night and my family, and I are in bed. I can’t help you”. This shows that there was a definite obstacle in the path of this man’s need being fulfilled.  He could have chosen to walk away because of shame. Nevertheless, the story continued letting us know that although this man’s neighbor would not give him bread for the sole reason of being his friend if that man continued to knock long enough his neighbor would give him whatever he needed because of shameless persistence.

Persistence means to continue a course of action in spite of difficulty or obstacle. Therefore, it seems like we need to employ the tool of SHAMELESS PERSISTENCE! Shamelessly pursue the course of action regardless of the challenges that we are faced with. If Hannah did not shamelessly persist in prayer, then she would not have given birth to Samuel. Yes, it was a fact that she was barren and her adversary continued to expose her insecurity and mock her. What she wanted seemed impossible to the natural man, however, she believed in the ability of God to do that which seemed impossible – therefore she received. She was even derailed by the priest when making her petition known. Nevertheless, she persisted, and she received her heart’s desire.

This year for answered prayer SHAMELESSLY PERSIST with the tool ASK.

A- Ask (for everyone who asks, receives)

S- Seek (everyone who seeks finds)

K- Knock (everyone who knocks, the door will be opened)

 

1.9.17 Dr. R.A.

Spiritual

Confidence

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We spend our lives looking to build relationships with others that can be trusted. At the initial state of meeting an individual, we approach them with caution. Every action and speech from that individual are under heavy scrutiny.  If they do something good we analyze what is the motive behind their action. Peradventure they do something we consider “wrong” then we “write off” that individual like a terrible accident. Life’s experiences have taught us to use amber lights when dealing with others. This could be classified as a natural instinct in self-preservation. We make considerable efforts to prevent our vulnerabilities from being exposed. Our preservation instincts have resulted in us manifesting the mantra ‘trust is earned not given’.  As such every person we meet is guilty until proven innocent.

This attitude has been so deeply ingrained in us that often when we approach God, we serve Him “prove who you are” on a platter.   We indirectly demand “prove that you love me, prove that you are for me.” At the onset of the slightest disappointment, we run away from Him and question whether or not He really does care. Although we may believe that this is the right approach to life I dare to say there is another way. The other way is to trust God without reservations and watch Him do exploits in our lives. Have confidence in God!

In the Book of Luke chapter 7, we read a story of a Roman officer who had a slave who was sick and near death. This officer heard about Jesus and miracles that He was performing. The stories that he heard build his confidence that he sent to ask if Jesus could come and heal the slave. When Jesus was on His way to heal the girl the officer sent some friends again and expressed he was not worthy of Jesus coming to his house as such He should speak the word and the servant would be healed. His trust in Jesus’ ability was at the peak that without having met Him or seen Him perform miracles, he was confident that Jesus could be relied on.  He had more confidence in Jesus that even those who had seen Him perform miracles after miracles.

My prayer is that as believers we will have confidence in God like this Roman officer – that we would possess”GODFIDENCE”. That we would dare to believe God at the very word that He speaks. Why? Because God can be trusted! His words will never return unaccomplished. Whatever He speaks will come to pass! Yes, at times we may have to wait for the vision to be manifested, BUT it WILL come to pass. No matter how impossible it may seem, it will come to pass. Yes, you may not have experienced Him working personally, but that does not lessen His ability. Have Godfidence and watch Him do it.

As we go throughout our day let GODFIDENCE be on display!!!

 

01/04/17 Dr. R.A.

 

 

Spiritual

Stand Firm

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It is human nature to build things as building represents growth and progress. However, when building there is a process that has to be adhered to in order for that which we are constructing to remain through the test of time. The most important step in the process I believe is laying a foundation. Laying a foundation requires much effort as one will need to get beyond the surface level and encounter dirt and grime which not everyone wants to confront. This process is crucial especially in building relationships. Relationships will not last unless its roots are anchored beneath the surface. Many of us like starting relationships but are not will to put in the effort that is required to maintain those relationships. Sadly, this type of behavior is transferred even in our relationship with God.

In the Luke 6, the question was posed as to why do we keep calling Lord, Lord when we do not do what the Lord instructs.  It proceeded to relate a parable of building a house one which had a foundation and done that did not. The one without foundation easily collapsed as the tides of life crashed upon it and was laid in ruins. The one which stood firm, however, had to follow a series of steps. The first step was to come – COME to God not leaving any part of ourselves behind. Bring ALL of our fears, dreams, hopes, insecurities, emotions, needs, etc., and lay them at His feet. Allow Him to examine all of the data presented and add, subtract, divide and multiply accordingly, like the master mathematician.  Secondly, we are to LISTEN to His teachings – give ear to the instructions that are being given as it will lead you into clear paths. Paths that will cause you souls to be refreshed and your life to flourish. Listen to His teachings as His words are like the honeycomb – sweet to the soul and health to the bones. Thirdly, is to follow the teachings – FOLLOW His words as they are a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. His words will empower you to live above sin and to live a healthy and prosperous life. Follow His teachings even in adversity as He will come to your defense and supply all of your needs.

To COME, LISTEN, and FOLLOW  will enable you to STAND FIRM when the floodwaters rise and crash against your house.

 

1/3/17 Dr.R.A