A few weeks ago, driving from work (on my home) I got a red-light ticket. Yes, I’m guilty. It wasn’t intentional. I honestly thought I could make it through light before it turned red. I wasn’t necessarily speeding but I was moving at a steady pace that lead me to believe I would make it through the light before it turned red. Yes, I saw the traffic light when it turned yellow which means yield or caution. But, ignored the yellow light. When I got the ticket in the mail, I wasn’t totally surprise. I remembered the incident and especially, the yellow light. Long story short, I must deal with consequences and pay the ticket.
This situation reminded me lot of what happens to us as we go through life. We are just driving and striding along our way trying to get somewhere. I’m hoping it’s to our eternal home in glory! Our true final destination. Along life’s journey we unintentionally run a few red lights even when we see the signs (or the light) to yield. Take caution or slow down. When we ignore those signs in life there are consequences. Sometimes the consequences are severe and sometimes they are minimal, like that ticket I received. It could have been so much worst. What if I was in an accident or caused an accident involving other people? A police officer could have pulled me over and presented me with a ticket with a higher fine amount. What if I didn’t make it home? All of this because I didn’t yield to the yellow light.
The lesson to be learned: Respect the Light. Today, take some time to yield to the “yellow” lights in your life and take time to yield to the light of Christ. I’m not a person that purposefully goes out and runs red lights. It was unintentional but, in my haste, I didn’t think it was that big of deal. Trust that your life and everything that you do is a BIG deal to God. I’m thankful he extended grace, mercy and protection on that day and every other day of our life. That’s enough reason to respect the LIGHT! (John 8:12)
We have all played “Hide and Seek” as a kids. It was a fun game when you were the one hiding but not so fun if you were the seeker. No one ever wanted to get caught and be told “you’re it”. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline we felt knowing we couldn’t be found or if it was the thrill of being chased. In either case, hiding always seemed to be the fun part of the game. Oddly enough, some adults still like to play hide and seek and they still like to hide. But, as Believers the game of “hide and seek” is really different. It’s different because there is no place to hide from God and eventually you want to get tagged “you’re it” by God. When you are chosen by God, you realize you never want to hide from him again! Because in his presence is the fullness of joy, freedom, strength and power. As a matter of fact, you want to become a seeker so that you might be able to tag others and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. When you are “tagging” others for God you are hoping that they want to stop hiding from God and that they embrace His marvelous and miraculous light. Today, let’s commit to be Seekers. Seekers of God, Seekers of obedience, Seekers of faith, Seekers of His promises, and Seekers of His love. If we can keep our eyes on him, He will lead and carry us through anything – this week, this day and this very minute! (Matthew 6:33). Bless you!
Accepting God’s love and grace for me has always been difficult for me. I think it’s because I never believed I was good enough or worthy of that kind of love. This mind set deprived me of the deepest level of intimacy with God for many, many years. It was during a conversation with another sister in Christ that the light bulb went off and I realized that the mere fact that I thought that God’s love was based on conditions or requirements for me to “be good enough”’or “worthy enough” was in direct conflict with the entire cross experience. The fact that Jesus gave his life for a sinful and wicked “people/world” is why we have a right to the kingdom God. A right to experience the fullness of Jesus’ joy and love. It was the cross experience that reconciled us to and with God. We could never be that perfect or do enough to receive such a gift. A gift that mends broken hearts, clears confused minds and protects at all times. I learned to freely and honestly accept all of God’s love and it helped me to forgive and love myself so that I could freely and honestly love others. Keep Love Alive by loving on YOU today! (1 John 4:19) Blessings.
Happy Wednesday! How many of you keep a “to-do” list? If you do, does that list include anything that brings you pure joy? If not, I challenge you to include something everyday that brings you joy. One of the things that Satan tries to do is rob us of our joy. He also tries to take our peace, hope and confidence. But, what I’ve come to learn is he can’t take those things unless we “give in” or “give them” to him. (John 10:10). Satan tries very hard to be a good thief, but we have the best security system – God. He sees all. He protects at all times. He even protects us against what we see and what we don’t see! Add to your “must do” list for the day – what will bring you joy and don’t let anything or anyone stop you from checking if off your list.
The joy of the Lord is our strength and in that strength, we are able to withstand the trials and tests that come our way. That’s why it’s important to have JOY and to deliberately seek it. Satan knows the power you have when you have the joy of the Lord in your life. He knows that you will rest in peace when he’s throwing darts (problems) your way. He knows that you will have the ability to see beyond his schemes and devices. Again, the JOY of the Lord is your strength. Be bless!
Breathe! No, really take a deep breath. Really breathe in and exhale. Every breath we take should be a reminder of God’s gift of life given unto us. Unfortunately, just like so many other God given gifts we received every day, minute or second, we sometimes take them for granted. Probably because we expect those gifts to keep coming or it could be because we are just to busy to think about the “small stuff”. Long work days, to do lists, family, friends, etc., sometimes distracted us from seeing God’s miracles and/or enjoying the fullness of his presence in our lives. Today, I’m reminded of the awesomeness of God in my life by taking a deep breath! I’m already feeling better mentally, physically, and spiritually. He loves me and you so much that he gave his Son so that we might have life and life abundantly! Who does that? Nobody but God! The scripture says in Job 33:4 – “The Spirit of God made me what I am, the breath of God gave me life!” (Message Bible). You have a life worth living! Live your best life for God! Your very breath is a reminder of that blessed life. Enjoy the rest of the day and of course, your bless life.
A few years ago, Eryka Badu wrote a song call “Bag Lady” and shortly after that song was released I remember hearing Bishop Vashti Mckenzie preached a sermon call “Bag Lady”. The focus of the song and the sermon was about all of the things women carry around as they move through life and how we shouldn’t do that. How we need to learn to “pack light”. The song touches all women by listing all types of bags we tend to carry and Bishop McKenzie provided the analogy of how those “bags” (or extra stuff) impact us as women in her sermon. Basically, we were all covered in someway and we were instructed to “pack light”. In other words, we need to learn to release those things that way us down, slow us down, hurt us, keep our arms tired and our hands full. Those things that burden and keep us in bondage. One of the things I thought about that wasn’t really highlighted was the stuff we pick up and put in our bags that don’t even belong to us! The extra stuff that we either want to keep safe or keep away from others so they don’t have to carry it. Today, empty or release your bag. Clean the bag out! Get rid of receipts that can’t return. Get rid of expired coupons (maybe some friends that are no longer friends), empty lipstick tubs (things that you like but no longer have value), gum wrappers (residue from stuff that you no longer need or as long gone) that are sticking to the bottom of your handback. Put the bag down, straighten your back and raise your arms/hands and surrender to God. Matthew 11:30 says, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” and Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken”. Be bless!
How many times do we tell ourselves – “I just want to be happy”? It’s amazing how quickly we go from happy to sad and then debate whether we were ever happy in the first place. Our emotions are real but they are just that emotions.
The definition of emotion is – a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. If our happiness is contingent upon a circumstance, mood or relationship it’s hard to imagine anyone ever being “happy” all the time. So, let’s stop saying we just want to be happy and start asking for joy!
The biblical definition of joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. What a difference, right? The awesome thing about joy is that is provides us strength when our emotions are directing us in a way that doesn’t make us happy. Joy starts within our hearts and it strengthens us – just like our heart beats to ensure that blood flows through our body. The joy of the Lord is our strength and through his strength we are able to get pass the disappointments, sadness, bad relationships, let downs and whatever else takes us away from our “happy state”.
Joy gives you what happiness can not give you – that continual hope, confidence and contentment that allows you to smile (and really mean it) when things aren’t making you really happy.