The Greatest Gift…

is Jesus Christ.

It is through Him that we have access to the Father. It is through Him that we are able to pray and communicate with God. He tore that veil. It is through Jesus Christ that we can be saved. He alone, saves. His finished work on the cross defeated death, Hell, and the grave. Christ provides us gentiles with God’s protection, provision and promises.

Jesus Christ is the greatest gift we could ever receive. Through the gift of Jesus Christ, we have access to another important and great gift…

The Holy Spirit.

God’s Holy Spirit cannot be overlooked. His Spirit is our Comforter and as Jesus Christ left the Earth, the Holy Spirit was sent to be our Comforter until He returns.

This gifting is not some ghost hiding in a barn that only appears at night. This gifting isn’t some spirit that roams to scare and frighten, absolutely not! Some call Him the Holy Ghost , others the Holy Spirit. This does not change His function. He is our gift!

When He is eliminated from the conversation about God the Father and Jesus Christ, our Lord, we fail to grasp the significance of the gift left for us. The Holy Spirit is an active and vital part of the Trinity. He is deposited when we receive salvation and He is indeed a gift. Those who come to Christ need to know the beauty and the overwhelming nature of the Holy Spirit.

He convicts to produce change. He comforts because He knows that we will suffer for our faith. He communicates the heart of God. He brings forth good fruit within us. He changes our hearts from stone. He prepares us for the return of Christ. He transforms our mind. He makes us new. He know the mind of our Father.

He is our gift. He is our promise. There are some denominations who baptize with water, others who don’t. But we, who follow Christ, are ALL baptized with the Holy Spirit once we receive and accept Christ.

And this promise, this gifting is not just for us:

“For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:39

Embrace the promise, accept the gift.

Peace and Blessings

From Petition to Praise…

Does your prayer pattern look somewhat like this?

Monday: Lord, please bless me with ______…

Tuesday: Lord, I need ______…

Wednesday: Father, I am asking for _____…

We repeat the same pattern throughout the week and start back over on Sunday. And make no mistake about it, we need to ask for that which we need. We need the restored finances, we need the basic necessities, and we need the reconciled relationships. And our petitions are heard and received by the Father! That’s enough to rejoice right there!

However, have we ever stopped and transitioned from petition to praise? Have we ever stopped asking and start acknowledging the Lord for who He is? Whether the prayers have been answered or not, let’s be committed to praising God for who He is!

Asking for healing? Praise the Lord for the Healer that He is! Asking for restoration? Give God the glory for He is the Restorer! Asking for protection? He’s the Protector! Go on ahead and give Him the praise!

Praise acknowledges the Savior. Praise announces that God gets glory! Praise gives victory to the Lord and not your problems! Praise reminds us that ultimately God’s in control! And praise, in the midst of your petition, is an active working of your faith:

Praise is an amazing demonstration of your faith! Your praise is an active expression of beliving that God will answer your prayer. It’s believing that the Father will meet your needs! As you present your petitions to God, we are believing (faith), that He can and will do it (well, we should be…)! If you are bold enough to petition God for that BIG vision, let your boldness carry on as you give Him a BIG praise! My sister, let your petitions lead you to praise.

As you rest those prayers at His feet, stand up strong and praise God for the answered prayers. We praise Him for His attentiveness to our cares and concerns. Praise God for He is absolutely worthy of your praise. Rejoice and be glad because the Creator of the Universe longs to fulfill your heart’s desires.

Make your petition known, make your praise LOUD.

Peace and Blessings

The Other “g”…

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3 NKJV

This scripture is pretty cut and dry right? And we can imagine what other gods the Lord was speaking of right? Cars, clothes, money, and other material possessions that only have temporary value. We probably are hitting all of the checkmarks there, giving ourselves a good ole pat on the back for not falling for those material things. And we should! So many people fall on their knees for these things, especially that money god.

How about the not so material possessions? How about the spouse we prayed for? How about that child we prayed for? Our parents? Our siblings? Or what about that due date for that bill? Or what about that biological clock that you are reminded of every time you interact with children? How about that medical diagnosis?

Have we given those people and situations “god” status? Are they the object of our worship? Will the world end if we lose those things? Do we, with our actions, thoughts, and words, ask God to bow down to the spouse, kids and biological clock?

An honest and direct introspection by the Holy Spirit may be eye-opening relevation for us all. Perhaps, at one point or another, we have all fallen for one of those other gods. We are suppose to honor marriage. We must honor our parents. We have to care for our children. That medical diagnosis is important cause we want to live and not die. Is it wrong to desire a spouse, a child, or to have our bills paid on time? Absolutely not! God desires to freely to give us all things:

However, those things, people, and situations cannot become the objects of our worship. They do not deserve the place of our Heavenly Father. Love your babies, love your spouse, pursue healing, pursue financial freedom–the Lord wants for us to receive the desires of our hearts! However, He must be at the center of it all. Everything and everyone must rest under Him.

Give your marriage, children, and career to the Lord. Your healing is first found in Him alone. He is the Healer. Medical professions are here to confirm what He does by faith and in the supernatural. Give every obstacle to the One who overcame the world.

Let us be intentional about ensuring that our cares, concerns, calendars, and clocks all bow to Him.

Peace and Blessings

Settle Here Lord.

The Holy Spirit is an amazing gift that was granted to us by Christ as He transitioned to the right hand of the Father. The Holy Spirit is provided to those who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. He is our comforter, guide, and intercessor. He is truth.

How gracious is our Father?! The fact that Christ had to leave us to wait for an appointed time for His return and we were permitted to have this beautiful gift deposited into our very beings. God, the Father, entrusted His Spirit inside of you!

Just so there is no confusion, the Spirit of the Living God is inside of YOU. However, at times our flesh, our desire to control, our sinful nature just doesn’t let Him function in His intended way.

Friends, it is time to invite the Spirit to settle within us.

As defined by the Webster dictionary, to settle is to stay; to establish residence; to quiet and establish order; to arrange in a desired position.

We must ask ourselves if we are allowing the Holy Spirit to do just that in our lives. Are we allowing Him to stay and not be grieved? Are we allowing Him to establish residence? Are we allowing Him to quiet our troubles and establish order in our chaotic lives? Are we allowing Him to arrange us in the proper position submission amd humility?

Or does He just lay there, quietly, waiting to be asked to be the leading force in our lives, to be our guide, to seek the Father on our behalf. Have we invited Him to have His way?

Invite Him to settle. Let the Spirit of God know that He can settle in you. Tell Him to get comfortable because you need Him, because you cannot function without Him, and because He is the gift, given by the Father. Invite Him to be truth. Invite Him into your prayers, home life, work space. Invite Him to be the answer to your trials and tribulations. Let Him truly settle in you.

As you consider allowing the Holy Spirit to rest in you, check out this beautiful worship song by William Murphy titled Settle Here.

Peace and Blessings

The Power of Worship

There is a song called “I Surrender All”. There are numerous versions of the song, all of them are beautiful. Its a worship song that really speaks to the heart. It speaks about giving all to Jesus and trusting Him with our everything.

One version, by Israel Houghton says: “All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give…”

What if worship goes beyond singing, raising hands and crying during church? How do we worship God everyday? Let’s look to the Word…

The Message version of Romans 12:1 gives an enlightening view of worship: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering…”

Let’s consider another version of the same text: The New King James version of Romans 12:1 expresses: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Worship is active, worship happens everyday! Worship is surrendering all: our cares, concerns, and celebrations. Worship is offering every inch of our being and placing it into the Master’s hands.

Because we are living and moving beings, we cannot just do a one time offering. No, my friend, every day, multiple times a day, we must lay ourselves down onto the altar. Every time you wanna yell at someone who cut you off in traffic but choose to be at peace is a sacrifice. Every brag someone has about the work you’ve done but choose to give God the glory is an offering. Every ache that just appears out of nowhere but you choose to think about God’s promise to heal is worshipping Him and not that pain. Sis, you are a living sacrifice. And every time you hand the Father a piece of you, you express that He is greater, He is magnificent, He is holy, He is marvelous, and He is in control.

So uncover those hidden places, give the Lord about that worry, give Him that celebration, He wants it all. Trust Him with your burdens and your blessings.

So, the next time you sing: “I surrender all…” It will be a true act of worship.

Peace and Blessings

Prayers and Praise…

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing songs to God. The other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25

Perhaps you have been told that your words mean nothing, that your voice doesn’t matter. Perhaps you’ve gone throughout life not wanting to speak up because there would be consequences.

Sis, do not believe the lies of the enemy. Your words have power.

Have you ever noticed that the more you complain, the worse you feel. However, when you sing that favorite gospel song or just give God thanks, you begin to feel lighter and the emotions subside. Paul and Silas’ chains and pains didn’t stop their praise, your chains and pains cannot stop yours.

“Suddenly there was an earthquake so strong that it shook the foundation of the jail. All the doors of the jail opened, and…Acts 16:26

Your prayers and praise can break chains! Do you see the power of words in the text? This is not just Paul and Silas’ testimony, it can be yours too! Do your workplace need some shaking up? Use your prayers and praise! Are the kids off the chains? Speak life into them! Is there strife and discord in your relationships? Restore peace and unity with prayers and praise. Are you in bondage or experiencing pain? Break those chains and pains with your prayers and praise.

By faith, you can activate the power of God in your life with your words. Sis, use the authority gifted to you by the Holy Spirit. Declare and decree peace in your home and workspace. Declare healing and wholeness over your body. The next time you want to complain, choose to praise God. Victory starts with your lips.

And life can begin or end with your words…

“Then he brought them outside and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:30

It’s by your prayers and praise that others may desire to know Christ. Let your words serve as a guide, pointing them to the One who saves.

You matter. Your words matter. Your prayers matter. Your praise matters.

Peace and Blessings

The Power of the Morning…

Our mornings are often filled with traffic, coffee, dinging and ringing phones, and rushing to get to our destinations. We rarely have time for much else, how in the world do we fit in quiet time with the Lord?

And then, if we use Instagram pictures and Facebook posts as the rules and regulations for how quiet time should look, we find that we need the following items: cup of coffee/tea, cute pillows, perfect journal, and Bible. Then we need to get up at 6am. We need to take an hour to praise and worship God, sing songs to Him, and read the Word. And then once we do that, we can be on our way.

All of that is nice and wonderful if you are able to do so, but please do not let the pictures and posts set the standard for quiet time with the Lord. Scripture tells us that we simply need a thirst and desire for God. That’s it.

However, there is beauty in seeking the Lord in the morning. Giving Him the firstfruits of our day strengthens us for the day ahead. Giving the Lord a portion of your morning says that nothing else matters, not the few extra moments of sleep, not the coffee, the never-ending notifications, or the million and one things that need to be done. Using the morning to spend time with the Lord sets the standard for the day and sets Him at the beginning of our day.

The morning is the opportunity to cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7), to rejoice in the day ahead (Psalm 118:24), and to lean on Him for all understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). The morning is the moment to surrender completely unto Him. There isn’t a set time, set place, or set order for your praise and worship, just make it authentic and pure.

So no need for the pens, journal or cute pillows. Your heart, willing spirit, and lips are more than enough. And as you seek the Father, laying your requests at His feet, wait expectantly for Him to answer you.

“Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord . Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” Psalms 5:3

Peace and Blessings