Accepting Your Assignment

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10 

“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” John 17:4 

You and I were put on earth to make a contribution. You weren’t created just to consume resources- to eat, breathe, and take up space. God designed each of you to make a difference with your life. You were created to add to life on earth, not just to take from it. God wants you to give something back. The Bible gives us the details:

You were created to serve God. The Bible says, God has created us for a life of good deeds, which He has already prepared for us to do. These “good deeds” are your service. Whenever you serve others in any way, you are actually serving God and fulfilling one of your purposes. What God told Jeremiah is also true for each of us: “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work” (Jeremiah 1:5). You were placed on this planet for a special assignment. 

You were saved to serve God. The Bible says, “It is He who saved us and chose us for his holy work, not because we deserved it but because that was His plan”2 Timothy 1:9. God redeemed you and I so we could do His “holy work”. You’re not saved by service, but you are saved for service. In God’s kingdom, you have a place, a purpose, a role, and a function to fulfill. This gives your life great significance and value. It cost Jesus His own life to purchase our salvation. The Bible reminds us that, “God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God”-1 Corinthians 6:20 We don’t serve God out of guilt or fear or even duty, but out of joy, and deep gratitude for what He’s done for us. We owe Him our lives. Through salvation our past has been forgiven, our present is given meaning, and our future is secured. 

What are the good works God has prepared for me?

Many of us would be inclined to answer this question by pointing to specific things Christians tend to do as an expression of their faith. Good works would include: attending worship services, praying regularly, studying Scripture, giving generously from our financial resources, joining a small group, going on mission trips, caring for the poor, working for justice for the oppressed, loving our neighbors, and so forth. These are surely among the good works God has prepared for us. We rightly engage in these activities as people who have been transformed by God’s grace through Christ.

Prayer

Help me, Lord, to walk in the good works you have in store for me. Help me to be open to all that you would have me do. Teach me to see my whole life as you see it. By your Spirit, may I come to see every moment of every day as an occasion to do good works—including good work—for you.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

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It All Starts with GOD

 For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels – everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him (Colossians 1:16 Msg). 

It’ not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this earth, you must begin with GOD. You were born by His purpose and for His purpose. The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point- ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like What do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are my goals, my ambitions, my dreams for my future? But focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose. 

Contrary to what many popular books, movies, and seminars tell you, you won’t discover your life’s meaning by looking within yourself. You’ve probably tried that already. You didn’t create yourself, so there is no way you can tell yourself what you were created for! If I handed you an invention you never seen before, you wouldn’t know it’s purpose, and the invention itself wouldn’t be able to tell you either. Only the creator or the owner’s manual could reveal its purpose. You cannot arrive at your life’s purpose by starting with a focus on yourself. You must begin with GOD, our Creator. We exist only because GOD wills that we exist. We were made by GOD and for GOD– and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only GOD that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead end. 

Many people try to use God for their own self-actualization, but that is a reversal of nature and is doomed to failure. You were made for God, not vice versa, and life is about letting God use you for His purposes, not your using Him for your own purpose. God is just not the starting point of your life; He is the source of it. To discover your purpose in life you must turn to God’s Word, not the world’s wisdom. You must build your life on eternal truths, not pop psychology, success-motivation, or inspirational stories. You discover your identity and purpose through a relationship with Jesus Christ. His purpose for your life predates your conception. He planned it before you existed, without your input! 

The purpose of your life fits into a much larger, cosmic purpose that God has designed for eternity. If I could ask you what makes you angry, joyful, excited or passionate, what would you say? Take note of when your emotions are moved; these times can be a sign of your God-given purpose. I get FIRED up about the godless condition of the world. When I hear about little children being abused, I get angry. When someone tells me a story about loyal love, I am deeply moved. An exquisite arrangement of words on a page fills my heart with passion. A story of someone’s heartbreak grieves me. Talking about Christ stirs me up. When coupled with my talents, these passions point in the direction of my purpose of written and spoken communication about things that deeply impact people on a spiritual and emotional level. 

Pray. Ask God to show you things that move you and make a list. And remember, He wants you to discover His purpose for you more than you do. Lastly, consider that your purpose is not just about you; it’s about what God wants to do through you. Therefore, if you ignore or neglect your dissatisfaction, what others say about you, your gifts and your passions, you are not only betraying yourself, but betraying God because He has called you to a purpose and wants you to walk in it– for your own joy. Also consider that since God has called you, He is completely able to reveal your purpose to you, and He will as you diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). #DiscoverYourPurpose

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Faith VS. Trust

How can anyone not trust a God who loved His creation enough to redeem us from ourselves? To give us the ultimate gift of Christ, knowing that He would be rejected, but knowing His blood would save us? Only our God! Trust Him where you can’t trace Him. Let your faith speak for you. You are blessed. Be a blessing! If we have faith, we know that God can work miracles on our lives that He can protect us physically and heal us. He will provide for our needs and often He will even provide for our wants. 

Most importantly, by faith He will develop His holy righteous character in us in order that we can become members of His family. I am finding that you can’t have complete trust in God without having faith in Him too. You must work with what you got, pray for God to renew your faith and remember that we serve a BIG GOD that can do anything! It’s easy to give yourself over to God, but it’s a completely different story when you’re talking about your husband/wife or children. My faith as BIG as it is, is what allows me to trust God completely so that I can place the lives of my loved ones in His hands.

Even when our family is enduring circumstances that are far from desirable, I know God will take care of us, He always has. I guess faith and trust are lessons we will continue to learn the rest of our lives. The lessons may not always be fun, but I guarantee you they will be exactly what God ordered. God gives us an opportunity to build our faith by trusting Him. We need to learn to praise the Lord as much for a closed door as we do an open door.

The reason God closes doors is because He has not prepared anything over there for us. If He didn’t close the wrong door, we would never find the right door. Once a door close  it forces you to change your course. Another door closes, it forces you to change your course again. Finally, you find the open door and you walk right into your blessing. We can sometimes trap ourselves in doubt and discouragement through judging appearances. Be grateful for the many times our Father has closed doors to us just to open them in the most unexpected places. The Lord won’t always say in spoken words; “Go to the left, now to the right”. Sometimes He will just close the doors that are wrong for you.

We must realize a closed door can be a blessing. Didn’t He say that no good thing would He withhold from them that fear Him?( Psalm 84:11) For example, if you get terminated from your job, praise God and trust Him for the new opportunities that will manifest themselves. It might be another job, it might be school. If that man/woman won’t return your call, it might not be them, it might be the Lord setting up a road block (just let it go). The Lord directs our paths through the opening and closing of doors, but instead of praising Him for the closed door (which keeps us out of trouble): we tend to get upset because “we judge by the appearances”.  You have an ever-present  help in time of trouble that is always standing guard. 

Because He walks ahead of you, He can spot trouble down the road and set up a roadblock or detour accordingly. But through our lack of wisdom, faith, and trust in God, we try to tear down the roadblocks or push aside the detour sign. Then the minute we get in trouble, we start crying, “Lord, how could you have done this to me”? Here’s how it works….When a problem comes to you, no matter how serious or small, God already knows about it. He wants you to trust Him for this problem and the best way to do this is through prayer and reading His Word. You may pray to God and tell Him you trust Him for the problem, but when your prayer is done, you may still feel worried or scared about it. You may not be able to help how you feel but you can help your actions.

So, if after you pray, you still feel worried, pray again and tell God how you feel. You may as well be honest because God already knows how you feel. When you  pray about a problem, try telling  God you trust Him for it. Remember Faith is one thing but Trust is quite another!!! #THeFaithWalk

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The Anointing Of God

Do you have the anointing of God over your life? God has anointed you so that you may be equipped for every good work: to resist evil, to know the truth, to preach the word, to teach the word, to be able to pray, to have fellowship with God. Have you considered yourself to be an anointed Christian? Maybe you thought that only certain people in ministry are anointed? No matter what you have or haven’t thought about if you are a Christian, then you have received an anointing? 

Do you know what this anointing is? Do you know what it means to be anointed? According to the Webster Dictionary, to anoint– is defined as ” to rub oil or ointment on,” to put oil on in a ceremony of consecration”. So, to anoint something or someone is to apply something, in tis case oil is the object. In Jesus baptism, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit that descended as a dove. Jesus was washed in baptism and He was anointed with the Spirit of God. If Jesus needed to be anointed, then so do us. Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit who would teach us all things. ” But counselor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” -1John 14:26. 

1John 2:27 says, “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit just as it has taught you, remain in Him”. The anointing you have received, then, is the Holy Spirit. What does this mean, then that you are anointed with the Holy Spirit? It means that you are anointed for Christian Ministry while you live in this world. It means you have been enabled, entrusted, and empowered to accomplish God’s will. 

God anoints people that love Him more than they love their own lives and that loves others as themselves. As we open our hearts to love others, God’s anointing flows through us. When we close our hearts to others and grieve the Holy Spirit, the flow stops. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is given through people to demonstrate God’s love and power. Christ means the “Anointed One”. Because Christ is in us, the same anointing that He had on earth we also have. The anointing can be stifled if the people refuse to receive it from the person that God is sending it through. 

Things such as pride, envy, bitterness, and unforgiveness against an anointed person can prevent the receiver from accepting it. The anointed person must go to people that can receive it. The anointing is given to heal and restore people, to proclaim freedom to the captives, to open the blind eyes to set people free. The anointing flows in God’s timing which also gives wisdom and is the river of life that flows from the throne through your heart and penetrates other people’s hearts. The free-flowing anointing of God’s love brings joy to God and that joy is felt by the person He flows through. #ThePowerofGOD

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God Wants You To Succeed

You have a vote whether or not you succeed in life. The message of grace takes the pressure off of us and it puts the spotlight of our life on God. Embracing the grace of God does not mean you will not have to do anything. We must add “good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love” to our faith. Who is supposed to do the adding? We are. 

Some mistake the message of grace to mean that God will do everything for you. Others foolishly think that God has no role in their lives and they seek to accomplish everything solely by their own strength. My point is that it is not “all you”. God called you by grace and He expects you to grow in grace as you develop your faith. But if you don’t do your part you will not experience God’s best for your life. God expects you to cooperate with Him.

Peter told us that we are supposed to “confirm our calling and election” (2 Peter 1:10). God provided the calling, but we are supposed to live our lives in a way that confirms it. While God called you by grace, He expects you to pursue the calling by faith. God will not force you to do it. You are not a puppet and God is not a puppet master. For God to fully operate in your life, you must cooperate with Him. 

Successful faith is faith that aligns with God’s grace. God expects us to live by faith (see Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38, Habakkuk 2:4). But faith is not you coming up with something and then attempting to get God to do it for you. Faith is not you attempting God to put a ‘yes” on your plans. No, faith is God attempting to get you to put a “yes” on His plans. God’s plans is for you to learn what He has already given you by His unearned grace and for you to then attempt to receive it by faith. 

This way you live your life by faith and you receive God’s best by faith, but it is still by God’s grace (Romans 4:16). God wants us to succeed in life. It is obvious that God does not want us to fall or fail. God gave us His Son to save us from sin, His Spirit to empower us with the Supernatural, His Word to provide His will and wisdom documented, His grace to do what we could never do on our own, and His calling to the plans He made for us before the world began. God has done His part.

If you are failing in life, it is not God’s fault and you are certainly not living God’s will. God wants you to discover, develop in, and then deploy in pursuit of the manifestation of His divine purpose for your life. If you are not doing that, then it is time to make some CHANGES! #TheTRUESecretofSUCCESS

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Staying Prayerful

How powerful is prayer?  The power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16 declares, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for 3 1/2 years. Again, he prayed, and the heavens gave rain and the earth produced its crops. God most definitely listens to prayers, answer prayers, and move in response to prayers. Jesus taught; I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “move from here to there” and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you (Matthew 17:20). 

How do we tap into it? The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying, but rather the power resides in the God who is being prayed to. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “this is the confidence we have in approaching God that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him”. No matter the person praying, the passion behind the prayer, or the purpose of the prayer, God answer prayers that agree with His will. His answers are not always “yes”, but are always in our best interest.

When our desires line up with His will,  we will come to understand that in time when we pray passionately, sincerely, and purposefully, according to God’s will, God responds powerfully!! We cannot access powerful prayer by using “magic formulas”. Our prayers being answered is not based on the eloquence of our prayers. We don’t have to use certain words or phrases to get God to answer our prayers. In fact, Jesus rebukes those who pray using repetitions, “and when you pray, do not keep babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words”. Do not be like them for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him (Matthew 6:7-8). Prayer is communicating with God.

All you must do is ask for the help. Psalm 107:28-30 reminds us, “then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress, he stilled the storm to a whisper, even the waves and the sea obeyed and hushed. They were glad when it grew calm and He guided them to their desire haven”. There is power in prayer! The power of prayer does not flow from us. It is not special words we say or the special way we say them or even how often we say them. The power of prayer places us in contact with the Almighty God, and we should expect Almighty results, whether He chooses to grant our petitions or deny our requests. The God to whom we pray is the source of the power of prayer, and He can and will answer us according to His perfect will and timing. #ThePowerofGOD 

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Defending Against Temptation

What is our defense against temptation? Most of us have been in a time in our life where we have just had enough, and end up giving into every enticing urge, every hint of desire. Getting out of this mindset requires an understanding of the process of temptation. Though it may not always seem like it when temptation strikes, it is a gradual process. This is a good thing! It means that if we become  aware of it, we can cut it off at any stage. 

Typically, temptation starts in our minds. The tempted person sets up imagined scenarios. God has blessed us with the ability to create entire experiences out of nothing using just our mind, but like so many of God’s gifts, we must be careful not to abuse it. Fantasies may seem harmless if we keep them in our minds and don’t bring them out into the real world, but they can lead us down a winding path, eventually enslaving our minds. We become trapped, unable to spend time with God because we are focused on something else. 

However, there is good news! God is faithful, and when we ask for His help, He can show us how to escape imprisonment. Temptation begins and ends in the mind, so that is where, with God as our general, we wage war on it. Instead of fantasy, we fill our mind with the Word of God and feed on it daily so that our sin will be uprooted and our thoughts transformed. In this way, we are set FREE! 

Prayer: Father, keep my mind steady. I look to Your Word for sustenance and I am filled, I need nothing else. Keep my mind clear so that I can continue my prayer to you. Keep my thoughts pure so that I will be righteous servant in Your eyes. In Jesus name Amen.

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