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THE PRIVILEGE AND RESPONSIBILITY OF PRAYER

Everyone born in this world has the awesome privilege of communicating with God, the creator of the universe. He is no respecter of persons; He allows us all to approach Him with our praises and concerns. Most importantly, He hears each one of us though millions maybe talking to Him at the same time.

What I’ve come to love about this communication is that everyone can communicate in their own manner and God hears them. He does not discriminate and pick someone’s emotional prayer above another person’s quiet prayer, but instead He notes the sincerity of all our hearts. So, I am thankful for the privilege of coming to God knowing He wants to hear from me and He is always listening. Also, He truly misses me when I fail to speak to Him.

When God was creating man, He said and did this, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26-28). He gave man the responsibility and authority to manage the earth for He was not going to do man’s job. By expressing our worldly concerns to Him and getting His help and direction, we can subdue and have dominion in the earth realm. When we pray, we can rest in the knowledge that we are covered and have the backing of a higher power, and when we speak, we are to speak with authority the Word and thoughts of our creator. We can do the job on earth because the Great One is in us. All of this happens because we know the privilege and responsibility of prayer and we follow these three life changing words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”.

STOP COMPLAINING AND START PRAISING

Let’s start the year off correctly; stop complaining. It is so easy to find fault and complain about everything from the start of your day to when you go to bed at night. Even worse if you are a constant complainer, you don’t even realize that you complain all the time.

If you are a constant complainer, people around you often tune you out because they know most of your conversation will be negative and based on what you are feeling, not what is happening. Also, your presence changes the atmosphere and not the right way.

So, here are a few things that you can do to change for the better in 2020. Speak slowly and think about what you are going to say before you speak. When you feel things are not going in the way you desire, think of others in a worse situation and be grateful you are not in their shoes. Remember the scripture found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “ In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Lastly, on New Year’s Eve, this is what my pastor suggested for believers to do this year when they find themselves in trouble and don’t know what to do and say, or about to say the wrong thing, lift both of your hands up. This is a signal to God, “I’m over here,” “I need your help,” “I surrender God, come and see about me.” Guess what I’ve been doing it since that time and I believe I am getting help. So, I close this blog recommending that you join me giving thanks and raising your hand.

THE YEAR OF THE MOUTH

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year festival, which also marks the start of the Jewish New Year. According to the Hebraic calendar which is different than our Gregorian calendar, the year is 5780, and it is the beginning of a new decade or kingdom era. In Hebrew, this era is known as “Pey,” which means “voice” or “mouth.” As God’s ambassadors, our voices must be heard this decade. We must unlock God’s kingdom plan and align heaven and earth.

Additionally, prophets are calling this time “The Year of the Mouth.” for believers are to proclaim, announce, publish, or declare decrees for all to Hear
When believers declare they are with confidence saying or stating something in an official or public way and the decree they make is an authoritative order having the force of law behind it. For with the knowledge of Ecclesiastes 8:4a, “Where the word of a king is, there is power,” believers speak with boldness and confidence.

Because we understand kingdom principles we realize the words God spoke to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 51:20, “Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms,” is the same words He is speaking to us. We are the vessels that He is using on earth in this present time and the mandate that He gave to Adam in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” has not changed.

Those of us living in America use the Gregorian calendar which starts our new year on January 1; so, we are a bit behind those that were aware of “The Year of the Mouth,” but thank God it is not too late to begin declaring the decrees of our Father.

With this fact in mind let me close my last blog of 2019 with this decree for your life found in Ephesians 1:17-19, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.” God richly bless you throughout 2020.

IMMANUEL

It’s that time of year again when the world celebrates Christmas. Most families will give gifts to each other and come together for a Christmas meal, and unfortunately, the real reason for the season is often overlooked. Supporting this fact is a recent statement I heard a clergy say, “If Christmas happens to falls on a Sunday, church attendance will be down.”

In my blog “THE REASON FOR THE SEASON” which I posted on December 19, 2015, I shared this information, “Many biblical scholars have questioned the exact birth date of Jesus; however, the first celebrations of Christ’s birth were initially grouped with Epiphany, one of the earliest feasts of the Christian church which was held on January 6. The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on December 25th.”

Libraryspot.com states more than160 countries celebrate Christmas. A few countries refer to the holiday as Family Day, while some countries like Pakistan and Jordan designate December 25th as an official holiday only for Christians. Furthermore, I assume the name “Family Day” was given because more emphasis is placed on family gatherings than on the birth of Jesus.

For true believers the actual birth date is not important, what is important is that the prophecies found in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” and Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” happened as recorded in Luke 2:10-14, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

Though others may forget and some overlook, don’t allow yourself to be included in that number. Remember, that God so loved us that He sent His Son to be born a citizen of earth and through Jesus’s death to redeem us back into right relationship with God. Jesus is forever our Immanuel, our designated King of this earth and we can celebrate Him not only December 25 but every day of our lives.

EVENTUALLY, REAPING WILL COME

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Once again, this week, as I was reading the story of Jacob, I was reminded that our actions have consequences that can be good or bad for us.

Jacob’s father Isaac was old and blind; therefore, he desired before he died to give his son Esau who was his oldest child, the blessing of the firstborn. He told his son to prepare for him his favorite meal so he could eat and afterward, he would bless him. His wife Rebekah heard what he said and arranged a deceptive plan with their younger son Jacob for him to get the bless instead of Esau.

After Jacob successfully deceived Isaac and obtained his brother’s blessing, Esau pledged to kill Jacob when their father died; hence, Rebekah had Jacob leave Canaan and go to Padanaram under the pretense of getting a wife. Upon arrival in Padanaram, Jacob meets his mother’s relatives and falls in love with his cousin Rachel. He agreed to work for her for seven years, which he did; however when the wedding took place, his father-in-law deceived him and gave him Leah the oldest daughter and not the one for whom Jacob worked.

Jacob was tricked because the wedding took place at night, and he could not see when his bride was brought to him in her bridal attire. Just like he deceived his father, who could not see, he was tricked because he could not see. Jacob switched himself for his brother and Laban switched Rachel for Leah. Jacob used Esau’s clothing to trick his father and now his father-in-law uses the bridal attire to trick him. It took seven years for him to reap what he had sown. Jacob was upset with his father-in-law for deceiving him and denying him what he had rightfully earned but he forgot he tricked his father and took from Esau what was legally his.

The lesson that Jacob learned is a lesson for all of us, especially when our actions are harmful to others. You may not reap negativity or hurt immediately, but eventually, reaping will come. So it behooves all of us to follow the motto of this saying, “Do the best you can, to all you can, while you can.”

GIVE THANKS

In my lifetime, I’ve had the privilege of travel to countries where a large percentage of citizens are suffering from extreme poverty, and they don’t have what I consider the basic necessities of life. I receive monthly literature from organizations that support those that don’t have the civil liberties that we do in America. For many years I worked in a hospital where I witnessed first-hand the results of diseases, some of which were incurable. Additionally, for the last fifteen years I’ve done a weekly bible class in a nursing home where I minister to people who wish they were not confined to that nursing home. All of these experiences and exposures have helped me to give thanks for when I see the plight of others and know that their situation could be mine, I bless and thank God for His continued kindness to me.

Since many of us take things for granted, let me share some of the things for which we can thank God for throughout our day, starting in the morning when we wake up. First, give thanks because you could have passed into eternity during the night. As you get out of bed give thanks for the use of your limbs and senses (hearing, seeing, feeling, and smelling) being intact. Thank God nothing happened to your home while you slept during the night. Thank God for the clothes and shoes that you have to wear. Thank God you have indoor plumbing, which provides you with a bathroom and kitchen. Thank God for the food that you eat and beverages you drink throughout the day. Thank God that the food and beverages were not poisonous. Thank God for employment and transportation services (car, bus, or train). Thank God for means (phone and internet) to communicate with people. Thank God for his guidance and protection throughout the day, and especially thank Him because He brought you back home safely at the end of the day.

Finally, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I can follow this directive because God is with me in every situation, whether good or bad, He is there to lead and help me, and for this I give Him thanks.

BREATHE LIFE

God formed man, not haphazardly but with precise thought. He created man and gave him skin to cover his body, two hundred seventy bones for structure, support, shape, and protection of vital organs, six hundred muscles for movement, and most importantly along with the above, organs to function in the eleven systems (circulatory, respiratory, digestive, nervous, endocrine, reproduction, skeletal, urinary, nervous, and integumentary) utilized in the human body.

At the completion of this masterful creation, God breathes into man’s nostrils the breath of life and man was morphed from a lifeless mass into a moving, living, and thinking person. The man was given responsibility to be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and have dominion in the earth. Additionally, as a representative of God’s kingdom he was supposed to be a reflection of the culture and lifestyle of God on earth.

Due to disobedience and sin, man fell from his original state and did not fulfill his designed purpose in the earth. However, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, believers have the ability with the help of the Holy Spirit to function as we should on this earth and to follow the example of our Creator.

As recorded in Ezekiel 37, the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel was taken in the spirit to a valley of dry human bones. Ezekiel was told to walk amongst the bones and then asked, “Son of man, can these bones live?” God told him, “Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord,” which he did and the bones came together with sinews, flesh and skin, but they had no life. Therefore, God told Ezekiel to “Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” Again, Ezekiel followed the instructions, and breath came into them, and they lived and stood up upon their feet.

Just as God breathed life into man, and Ezekiel speaking the Word of God caused men to live, we, believers have the responsibility and privilege to also breathe life into individuals who are suffering, hopeless, and wishing they were dead. Please know, your positive, directional, creative, healing words can change lives, but lest you doubt this, let me remind you and close this blog with a question and scripture. First the scripture found in Proverbs 18:24a, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Lastly the question, “How about being a builder of man and not a human wrecking ball?”

TRANSFERENCE OF SPIRITS

Mark 5:9-13 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

Luke 8: 30-33 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

The above two scriptures found in Mark 5:9-13 and Luke 8:30-33 recorded the encounter of Jesus with a man possessed with a legion of demons and revealed how they were transferred to swine. This was done because demons wanted a body from which to function, and since none was present they requested to go into the swine.

Ideally, demons that are disembodied spirits will seek to possess, repress, oppress, suppress or depress you, and they hoover in the atmosphere trying to influence the susceptible. Unfortunately, they operate in groups, and they attack in every way they are able. They don’t care that you are a believer; to them, you are a prime target.

At your place of employment, have you ever been in a chaotic environment where there was a great deal of arguments taking place, and when you finally got home in the evening the atmosphere in your home appeared similar to your workplace? Have you listened or been around people who used foul language and when you leave them you experience their language coming out of your mouth? Well, that is because of transference.

Another example of this is seen in our country. As of 10/1419, it has been noted that since our president has been in office he has told 13435 false or misleading claims. Because he does it so often and many times have no need to do so, I have come to believe a lying spirit has possessed him. It is therefore not surprising that those around Him who at one time were known to be honorable and truthful persons are now lying and twisting the truth. Why again is thing happening? It is a transference of a lying spirit.

In conclusion, to help you in your Christian walk, I have included a list of the leading demonic spirits and where they are mentioned in the scripture. Beware of them, learn how they operate, and, most importantly, resist and rebuke them; don’t allow them to be transferred to you, your family, or your home.

Demonic Spirit list is:
Spirit of Jealousy (Numbers 5:14; Proverbs 6:34)
Spirit of Lying (2 Chronicles 18:22; Jeremiah 23:14)
Spirit of Familiarity (1 Samuel 28:7; Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
Spirit of Perversion (Isaiah 19:14; Proverbs 14:2; Proverbs 23:33; Acts 13:10)
Spirit of Heaviness (Isaiah 61:3)
Spirit of Whoredom (Hosea 4:12; Ezekiel 16:28-39)
Spirit of Infirmity (Luke 13:11)
Spirit of the Deaf and Dumb (Mark 9:17-25)
Spirit of Fear (2 Timothy 1:7; Job 4:14)
Spirit of Bondage (Romans 8:15; Exodus 6:9)
Spirit of Antichrist (1 John 4:3)
Spirit of Disobedience (Ephesians 2:2)
Spirit of Slumber (Romans 11:8)
Spirit of the World (1 Corinthians 2:12)
Spirit of Divination (Acts 16:16)
Spirit of Error (1 John 4:6)
Spirit of the Devil (Revelation 16:4)
Spirit of Seduction (1 Timothy 4:1)
Spirit of Sorrow (1 Samuel 1:15)
Evil Spirit (Judges 9:23)
Unclean Spirit (Zechariah 13:2)
Broken Spirit (Proverbs 17:2)
Blind Spirit (Matthew 12:22)
Spirit of Pride or Haughtiness (Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 13:10)

RUNNING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION

Most of us are familiar with the story of David. He was born into a family of seven brothers, and some historians believed his mother, unlike his brothers, was a concubine. In the family, he was the youngest brother, and therefore while his older brothers got enlisted into King Saul’s army, David was at home watching the sheep.

During a war with the Philistines, David’s father sent him to check on his brothers, and it was there that David encountered Goliath and killed him with a slingshot, a stone, and Goliath’s sword. This act of bravery landed him in the king’s army, where David found favor with King Saul, Saul’s servants and the people. Eventually, due to David’s military successes and prowess, King Saul made David, an officer in his army. All was well with David until after a military campaign; the women began to praise David in a song more than they were praising King Saul. From that time forward King Saul viewed David differently and attempted to kill him twenty-one times.

David had to leave the king’s palace, his wife, Michal, his family, his friends, and his best friend, Jonathan. David was on the run for approximately eight years. During this time David went and hid out in the Cave of Adullam, and God sent word to David by the prophet Gad to return to the land of Judah (Praise) which he did; however, in time with the continued attempts of King Saul on his life he became more and more fearful.

David always had the divine protection of God, but after his last encounter with King Saul, he allowed the fear of Saul to grip him, and he convinced himself that one day Saul would kill him. Instead of consulting God, David ran, and he ran in the wrong direction.
David left Israel, went to the land of the Philistines, and joined himself and his men to King Achish, the King of Gath. The king gave David and his company housing in the town of Ziglak, and the bible recorded that during the sixteen months that David was there, he did not communicate with His God. David and his men pillaged and killed the people of the surrounding nations and lied about their exploits to King Achish.

David came to his senses after Ziglak was burnt to the ground by the Amalekites, and the women and children were taken captive while he and his men were on the military campaign with the Philistines. With their families gone, David’s men talked about stoning him. The Bible says, “David inquired of the Lord,” and God said. “Pursue for thou shalt surely overtake them and without fail recover all. Following God’s instruction, David pursued, and he and his men recovered their families, their goods and the spoils of the Amalekites. When they returned to Ziglak, David was informed of the death of King Saul and Jonathan, and once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord told him to, “Go up, unto Hebron.”

As I previously stated, David was on the run for years, and God protected him. When he feared what a man could possibly do to him rather than the power of God who protected him from a lion, a bear, Goliath, and numerous attempts on his life, he ran in the wrong direction. Consequently, David, the mighty psalmist became a murderer, a liar, and a deceiver. God permitted him to experience loss of family and home, and hear the plot of his murder from his men to restore godly communication and relationship.

If you are presently running in the wrong direction and are no longer in fellowship with God, I urge you to be restored to your rightful place in Him. Stop running in the wrong direction because it is going to bring you pain and not the true happiness and protection that God provides for those that trust Him. Learn from the life of David, do the good things that he did, and not the bad, don’t run in the wrong direction.

NO, DO-OVER

After having several conversations this month with individuals, I once again feel compelled to write a blog concerning the rapture. Unfortunately, the individuals with whom I spoke felt that living a life that does not meet God’s standards is alright. They felt their, “I do what I want” is okay. They felt God was pleased with them, and they were in a right relationship with Him even though they disobey His Word.

This philosophy seems to be permeating our culture. The scripture found in Judges 17:6 that revealed the actions of the men that lived during that time could be witnessed today. It says, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” However, the scripture found in Additionally, they believe they are exempt from the words of God, “Thou shall have no other gods before me.”

So, I’m shouting to all that will hear, “No, do-over.” The rapture is only going to take place one time. The trumpet of God is only going to sound once, and then comes the rapture where the body of Christ will rise to meet Jesus in the air. Two scriptures that herald this event is 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 -17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” and 1 Corinthians 15:52b, “ For the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Now is our opportunity to make our calling and election sure. Jesus is not going to come again to rapture those who did not go up during the first time. Please note, the book of Revelation, which reveals end-time events, does record a second rapture. Those people who are not part of the rapture have an opportunity to accept Christ during the tribulation, but they will do so under great persecution. And if you study Revelation you will know that you do not want to be living on this earth during the tribulation.

Isaiah 5:14 which states, “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.” This scripture is for those that choose to do things their way and think their way of thinking is greater than God, and according to this scripture, there are many people in this category because hell was enlarging to accommodate them.

We live, and after our death, we will not be reincarnated. Hebrews 9:27 states, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” so, for all of us we better do our best with the help of God to serve Him with all our heart, soul and strength now while we are yet alive because this is the time to do it. Remember, “NO, DO-OVER.”