A few years ago, I started a gratitude jar on New Year’s Day. It was similar to a gratitude journal. I had written one thing I was grateful for each day and penned my experience on a small piece of paper. Then, I dropped it in the jar.
Well, each day whether it was morning or night, I would add something to the jar I was grateful for. I didn’t exactly collect 365 pieces of paper by the end of the year but I did manage to fill up the jar at least three quarters of the way.
On New Year’s Eve, I dumped the jar and all the folded pieces of paper scattered across my bed. I began to read all the things that I did or went through the whole year. I had a flood of emotions of how faithful the Lord has been to me. I acknowledged the richness that life has to offer despite the challenges and difficulties. I even forgot some of the events and activities that took place such as the funny moments as well as the unexpected surprises. it gave me a fresh perspective on how to approach life and how to appreciate every moment given to us.
When you shift your perspective, it can transform your attitude. I’ve learned to appreciate the little things as much as the bigger things in my life. When you change your perspective on how you look at your life, you change your world. As the saying goes, “Gratitude is all about your attitude.”
I’m sure we all have something to be grateful for as we finish off the last quarter of this year. Hold onto your faith and keep trusting the Lord for whatever you need in this season. He is faithful.
Many people feel their voice doesn’t matter. We have an obligation, responsibility and right to speak up when we experience or witness injustice, abuse or mistreatment in our homes, workplace, community or in the world. For far too long, people are silenced, shamed or bullied because of their opinions or beliefs. We should value other’s opinions whether we agree or not. You should, however, use wisdom and discernment to analyze and dissect data or any information you receive.
There’s always something to learn from someone’s point of view or perspective so you should not be so quick to shut them down.
An ignorant man does not take instruction from wise counsel. Prov 12:15
When you are silenced, your power is stripped away from you. You can no longer communicate or express your thoughts and feelings, exchange information or learn from others. The enemy understands the power of your voice because the Lord spoke the world into existence. [Gen 1]
Your words activate life or death. Whether written or verbal, there is weight in your words. You can transform a person by speaking negatively or positively. Be mindful of the words you speak to yourself and with others.
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a foundation send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. James 3:10-12
We must also protect and secure our history, culture and identity as an individual, society and nation. We must ensure that our history isn’t stripped away whether it be good or bad. For whence a man does not understand his past, he no longer has the ability or knowledge to understand the present. He will not have the ability to understand the foundation or know his origin. He will not have the ability to glean from the lessons learned.
Dummying down or blinding the eyes of a society is dangerous and decreases the diligence, strength and power of a nation. We can’t afford to be silenced. We need to stand in unity for the common good over the tyranny and suppression that has taken over the culture. We can no longer afford to sit idle as a defenseless bystander. We are equip and more than capable to defeat the giants that continue to mock and taunt the foundation of our democracy and values.
May our eyes be open to the truth and may we have the wisdom to discern, question and analyze what we hear. Lastly, may our hands be used to plow the land, rebuild the foundation and repair the damage in harmony for the restoration of America.
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1 Kings 18:21
21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
1 Peter 1:20-21
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
I Peter 5:8
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
1 Peter 1:2-4
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:20-21
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesare a Phillipi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Whom do you say that I the son of man am? And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus said unto him, “Blessed art thou Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven.”
The Lord desires for us to know Him by His Spirit and by faith. He wants us to learn his true nature, character and identity. We can only learn of him through reading the scriptures and developing a relationship with Him through prayer and worship. We cannot afford to be misled by false doctrines.
The Body of Christ is positioned to be a witness for Christ and to build, edify, and lead others to Christ. We have no more time to waste. This world is moving fast and things are rapidly changing and shifting.
The Lord will administer and appoint the servants who truly know and understand Kingdom principles and walk according to His commandments and laws. If you are walking in His authority, He will release divine instructions, blueprints, and visions of His plans and purposes.
The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 1 Corth 3:20
We can rest assured that no plot, scheme or plan of the devil will stop or block the power of God.
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The access to the Kingdom will be given to the faithful servants with additional responsibilities and position with due diligence, discernment and wisdom.
Power and authority comes from the Lord and not from the works of our hands. Within each day, we should reference the Lord with Thanksgiving and praise.
Intercession of the Saints
In the Book of Nehemiah, the remnant were greatly afflicted and the walls of Jerusalem was broken down and was on fire. Neh 1:3 It was similar to the world we live in today.
Nehemiah’s position, as a cup bearer, served the King. Nehemiah was very sorrowful after he heard what had happened in Jerusalem. He prayed for the children of Israel thy servants, repented and interceded for their sins.
6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I praybefore thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.
7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Neh 1:6-7
He submitted a request to the King to go into Judah to build the city. Nehemiah received favor and the King granted his request.
9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. 10 Now power, and these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great by thy strong hand.
The Kingdom Mandate
All the tools and resources lie within you. The Kingdom mindset operates according to the Spirit. You can’t fake it till you make it. You will not be able to copy or duplicate it. It is divine. It is Holy. It is sacred. It is consecrated unto the Lord. There is no competition, jealousy, envy or striving. There is no such thing as a hustle mindset in the Kingdom.
Having clean hands and a pure heart grants access to dominion and authority in the Kingdom of God.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Eph 5:3-5
20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20
Kingdom Over Culture
In the last days, false prophets and doctrines will be prevalent. We should be selective of what we choose to watch or listen to. We should choose Kingdom over culture. The church is emulating the world and there’s a fine line between the two. People are compromising to fit into the world to be accepted instead of shining the light of Christ. If Christ wasn’t accepted, you know that you won’t be either. It will take a tough skin, a surrendered heart and a made-up mind to follow Christ throughout life’s high’s and low’s.
There are some Biblical movies and TV shows that are altering or changing the story line of the scriptures all for the sake of entertainment and revenue.
This type of entertainment is only leading people into confusion and false doctrine, especially if they are new to the faith or possibly interested in learning more about the Bible. It’s best to go directly to the source, “The Bible” and also find a spirit-filled church where you can fellowship with other believers.
When you are led by the Spirit, you have the ability to discern the environment. Unfortunately, not every church is teaching sound doctrine. If the teachings are watered-down gospel or half-truth, it’s not the real deal. A half-truth is a lie, so don’t be deceived.
Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you will continue to grow in understanding. The more you learn of Jesus and develop in the faith you will gain strength and endurance so don’t be discouraged. The Holy Spirit is your teacher and comforter and will lead, protect and guide you into all truth. God’s love and infinite wisdom is everlasting.
2 Corth 4:4-7
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
“10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John 14:10
17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?
20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:
11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.