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He Has Risen!

Matthew 28:6

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week, leading up to Easter. During this time, write down some things that you will totally abstain from during Holy Week:
This is a ritual whereby many people give up something for a period of time in anticipation of a celebration of new beginnings.
Here are some things you can choose from, that you might consider giving up:
Intangible:
Winning an argument
Talking negatively about others
Lamenting missed opportunities
Resentment toward someone
Anxiety about the future
Focusing on your perceived weaknesses
Repeating gossip
Anger and resentment
Un-forgiveness
Hatred
Jealousy
Grudge
Greed
Fear
Doubt
etc.
Tangible:
– Favorite foods
– Drinks
– Meat
– Poultry
– Fast Food
– Favorite TV Shows
– Facebook
– Twitter
– Instagram
– Video Games
– Over-excessive Use of Cell Phones
– etc.
Holy Week is not about giving up something that you enjoy in an effort to somehow please God. You’re to also give up something that’s holding you back. The benefit of such a practice is that you give yourself time to create new habits which will enhance your soul’s expression and bring about great blessings, peace and joy.
 Holy Week
 
Happy Holy Week!

 

When you are experiencing severe trials and tribulations, this is usually the time when you are at your weakest point in your life. You may have given up some sinful habits in the past; but because you are riding through a bad storm, you may have become weak again. As a result, this may have caused you to revert to some of those sinful habits that you gave up. Although this may be true, you can go before the throne of grace with confidence and receive grace and mercy in your time of weakness (Hebrews 4:16).

Whatever the situation is that may have caused you to feel broken, weak and alone, His grace and mercy will bring you through. When your spirit and heart is broken, that is when God is most present in your life (Psalm 51:17). When you are weak, His grace is sufficient for you, as His strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). You may not feel Him, but you are not alone. He will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

“Your Grace And Mercy” (Courtesy: Mississippi Mass Choir)

Why Worry When You Can Pray?

The thought of worry may be the first thing that comes to mind when you are facing difficult times in your life. As human, it is natural to experience different emotions when you are faced with difficulties in your life. However, if you allow God to take control; he will guide you in the right directions. Therefore, cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved (Psalm 55:22).

There may be anxious thoughts that flood your mind as you navigate the difficult situations in your life; but anxiety will only allow you to be stressful and lose focus in moving forward. You should instead cast all your anxieties on the Lord because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

“The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble” (Thomas Watson).

The notion of falling out of love is so common among people these days. There are times when a married couple is separated or has gotten a divorce, and their frequent excuse is that they have fallen out of love. The idea of love often gets played out, as people use the word, “love” very loosely. However, love is unconditional. It is not merely an expression of words, but of actions.

In this life, as soon as some people are facing some form of trials and tribulations, they want to give up on God. It is very difficult to face severe storms in life, but God will never give up on you. Therefore, he would expect the same in return. The scripture asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (Romans 8:35, ESV).”

Run to God when you are facing tough times, do not run away from him. He will carry you through the storm when no one else will. God’s love for you is unconditional. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13, ESV). As the world celebrates Valentine’s Day, it is a good time to think of all the loved ones around you that have made a difference in your life. It is even a greater time to think of the one who gave you life, by laying down his life for you. Isn’t it a wonderful time to fall in love all over with him again?

Are You In A Season of Isolation?

When you are in a season of isolation, God will allow people to leave your life, as he prepares you for a new assignment, a higher level of anointing, a new blessing, or a renewed purpose in order for you to embark on what he calls you to accomplish on this earth.

At first you may be disappointed and heart-broken when people you thought would have been there with you, decided to leave your life. Although this may be true, you should instead count it as pure joy, because now you can walk in your purpose and become more successful in who God has called you to be, without having them around as hindrance. If they were a part of God’s plan for your life, then he would have allowed them to stay and accomplish this plan. However, God cannot use people who will not contribute good to your life; but would contribute evil instead.

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19, ESV).

Whom Do You Trust?

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7, ESV).

There are two circumstances in life when you know who your true families and friends are:

  1. When you are going through trials and tribulations
  2. When God starts blessing you

When you are going through trials and tribulations, you will know who will stay true to you, as you ride out your storm. These people will be with you in the storm, and they will be with you after the storm.

When God starts blessing you, some people will be happy for you; however, others who have bitter, hateful, and jealous spirits will certainly not be happy for you. Jeremiah 17:9 warns that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? These people do not care what you were going through while you were facing your trials and tribulations. Instead, they are looking at how God has begun to bless you, after you have passed your test and rode through the storm with Jesus alone.

That is why you should put your trust in God, because he never fails. In doing so, it will save you a lot of disappointments and heart breaks. You do not know what is ahead of you in life. Therefore, trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Each of us has a story that God is writing for our lives. But are you content with the story that God is writing for your life? In 1 Corinthians 7:17, you are reminded that each person should lead the life that the Lord has assigned and called them to lead.

Some people are always seeking to obtain more. They can never be content because their desires are not godly. In 1 Timothy 6:9-11, there is a warning, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

The thought of looking at other people’s lives and wishing it were your own is not being content. When you are content, you are satisfied with your own achievements and purpose in life. There is great gain in godliness with contentment (1 Timothy 6:6).

What if an angel appears to you, and says, “Hail, thou art highly favored and the Lord is with you.” Wouldn’t this be the most happiest moment of your life? Yes, it should be, because God is getting ready to do something powerfully significant in your life.

This is exactly what happened to Mary, Jesus’ mother (Luke 1:26-38).  She was highly favored among all the other women, not only in her city of Nazareth, but the entire world. This is so, that God chose her to be the mother of Jesus. He made this decision, because He knows Mary would be committed to the task he had given her. He also knew that Joseph was the perfect man to be called the father of Jesus. Together, they would nourish the Christ child through all the obstacles they would go through, so that God’s purpose could be fulfilled on earth.

Don’t get this all twisted. God loves everyone, but He knows who He can trust and depend on. He knows who will stay faithful, even when things seem like they are impossible. Notwithstanding, the faithful and favored person still holds true to God’s promises. This person will not runaway from the task when things get rough, but allows God to work through the situation for His glory to be manifested.

Being favored in God’s sight means He can trust you. He can tell you a secret, and you don’t run around telling the whole world, including the devil. He also knows that you seek Him and His Kingdom first, over your own agenda (Matthew 6:33).

God knows that you are obedient, and will follow instructions, even when others think you are not doing the right thing. He knows that you are humble. Therefore, when He blesses and favors you, you will be a blessing in giving Him glory, and not boasting to bring glory to yourself.  He also knows that you are a sinner, saved by grace, but you try to walk in a holy manner.  Furthermore, He knows that you have built a rock solid relationship with Him. In addition, you stay connected to Him through prayer, fasting, reading His words and worshipping Him in spirit and truth.

With that said, finding favor in God’s sight is not rocket science. It’s about keeping a covenant with Him. He needs people He can trust and depend on.

By and large, this new year, think on what you can do for God’s Kingdom, by putting His agenda first. In so doing, all things that you seek, He will give to you.  Not only so, but He will bless and highly favor you.

The world is certainly not where you should build your hopes, because it is unstable. The pandemic, racial tension, political unrest, wars, natural disasters, and the economic downturn are just a few signs that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19). You should live with eternity in mind, as the world is not your lasting city, but you seek the city that is to come (Hebrews 13:14).

Although you are looking forward to your heavenly home, God has given you a purpose in this world. Life on earth is short (Psalm 103:15-16), so you should endeavor to run the race that is set before you with perseverance (Ecclesiastes 9:11). Remember, the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:17).

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