by Tammy Phillips
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
Galatians 1:10 (NLT)
A husband and wife told me that they were notorious for ruining family gatherings because they took turns falling out in the floor drunk. But once they had an encounter with Jesus, they slowly but surely stopped drinking. However, some family and friends, for years, expected this couple’s past behavior to continue. The couple had to continuously walk straight and at times, speak up for themselves. They were no longer the people they had been.
Paul would have understood their dilemma. He was a New Testament mass murderer, zealously pursuing Jesus’ disciples. But he met Jesus on the Damascus Road, experienced intense discipleship and moved on in the ministry God had prepared before he was born (vs. 15). He was aware that his reputation was before him. But in verses 23-24, Paul stated, Continue reading
by Chris Allen
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Luke 23:34 (ESV)
He who never needed it gave it freely. Why won’t you?
When you hear this utterance from the mouth of Jesus, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” our natural minds immediately say, “There is no way I would forgive them, while they’re hanging me on a cross.” The people knew exactly what they were doing, or yet, they should’ve known; they knew the scriptures. The scriptures foretold of the Messiah — the Messiah they had been earnestly praying for, waiting and anticipating for years while under cruel Roman rule. How could Jesus make this decision, how could He extend this kind of compassion when the people had absolutely no compassion for Him? They knew He was innocent, yet they were screaming, and advocating for His demise. The One who never needed forgiveness was willing to give it freely to those who didn’t deserve it. How could He make this decision Continue reading
by Latricia C. Bailey
“Whatever state I find, myself in, I’ve learned how to be secure knowing that God will supply all my needs and will work things out for my good. It will get better . . . God is in control.”
This is the song that keeps playing in my spirit and reminds me of God’s Word in Philippians 4:11 that talks about being content in whatever state I find myself in because God is always in control. The song is in my spirit because we sang it in church during the Installation/Consecration Service earlier this year. It was a great worship service, and the new Chair of the Prince Georges Baptist Association is off the chain for God! He preached from Psalms 119:133, which tells about the Lord directing or ordering our steps in His Word, and to let no iniquity have dominion over us. God is the one who orders our steps, and we need to have ordered steps in Christ, not be like “Chicken Little”, being scared at every little whim or falling apart every time something happens.
The song, Better, also reminds me of being better and content even when my “state” is as an offender. It is easy to be the one who was offended by someone else, but what happens when you are the one who offended someone else? How do you remain content in this state? It is an embarrassing, frustrating, isolated, and lonely place to be in. Sometimes it feels stifling. People can take the position of feeling guilty about offending someone or others, or they can take the position of dismissing it as something the victim should just get over. Another position is to stay neutral and do nothing. Well, the Word of God tells us Continue reading
By Carlyn Paschall
Are you drinking the proverbial poison and expecting the other person to die? That’s what happens when we refuse to forgive. The person goes on with their life, while we are holding the bag of hurt they left behind. Just think, how many people have we, unintentionally or intentionally, hurt with our words or actions? Did God forgive us? When we walk in unforgiveness, we’re actually walking in sin, causing harm to ourselves, spiritually and physically. Continue reading