Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Word For You...

This morning while cleaning the kitchen I had my praise & worship mix going, having myself a grand time with the Lord.  Those moments are the best, aren't they?  Well, in the midst of my worship I heard the voice of God so clearly.  It was so clear that I looked around to see if someone else had magically appeared in the kitchen with me.  He imparted a word in my spirit, and I believe in my heart that it's specifically for someone reading this blog today.

The Lord says:

"Your pain has not been in vain. The things you have endured in life were so that I could strengthen and mature you. The people who have hurt you, and are not/have not been in your life are incapable of understanding who I have destined you to be, and are therefore an unnecessary component to you reaching your full potential in Christ. Let them go. Let go of your pain, shame, guilt, and disappointments of yesterday, for they are only hindrances used by the enemy to keep you shackled in your mind. Declare today, 'I have the mind and spirit of Christ, and in Him I am to live, free to love, free to launch into my destiny.' Your best days are ahead, but you'll never see them if you keep looking back, or continue to allow yourself to be stuck where you are. If you take my hand and fully give me your heart, your worries, your cares, your fears, your insecurities...I will give you peace, joy, grace, and life more abundantly." 

Whoever you are, I pray that this word from the Lord connects with your spirit, and empowers and encourages you today.


~May you live in His love.~

Thursday, April 19, 2012

God's Not Mad At You, He's Mad About You

There's a saying that's been on my heart a lot lately.  It says, God is not mad at you; He's mad about you, and madly in love with you.

I can remember a time in my life when I believed that God didn't like me too much.  Although I professed to be a Christian, I often willingly did things that were contrary to His word.  The life I lived behind closed doors was contradictory to holiness and righteousness.  Even though I often pleaded for God's forgiveness, the weight of my guilt and shame made me feel that God was angry with me for continuously falling short.

After breaking promise after promise to straighten up and fly right, I felt that God had gotten tired me and His love had waxed cold.  But that wasn't so; that's just the way I felt...what the enemy made me believe.  What I didn't realize back then is even though my actions didn't always line up with my desire to be pleasing to God, He yet extended His grace to me.  Even in my sin, His grace abounded the more. (Romans 5:20)

He wasn't mad at me; He didn't cut me off; He didn't throw me away, but He continuously loved me.  He knew that underneath all of my mess was the holy, righteous woman He destined me to be before the foundation of the world.  Despite all of the sinful, displeasing things I did (Trust me, I can write a book about all the stuff I did.) His love was constant.  He loved me deeply and unconditionally, and never held any of my wrongdoing against me.  He forgave me, and cast all of my sins into the sea of forgetfulness.

Although I engaged in premarital sex...

Although I was addicted to pornography...

Although I filled myself with alcohol...

Although I harbored unforgiveness in my heart...

Although I wasn't always honest...

Although I had a baby out of wedlock...

Although I shacked up with my boyfriend...

Although I hated those who hurt me...

God was never mad at me, but was always mad about me and madly in love with me.  I'm so grateful for that.

The same goes for you.  No matter what you've done in the past, or what you're struggling with at this very moment, God is not mad at you.  Because He is so rich in love, grace, and mercy, He yet loves you madly...deeply...unconditionally.  He loves you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

Now don't get me wrong, by no means am I insinuating that continuing in anything that is contrary to God's standard of holiness is okay simply because He is gracious towards us. (See Romans 6)  As children of God, we are called to be holy and represent Christ in all areas of our lives, and that is what we should strive for each and every day.  However, God understands that, as imperfect people, we make mistakes and have struggles.

And in spite of your shortcomings, mistakes, bad choices, or whatever the case may be, God is not mad at you; He is mad about you and madly in love with you.  He's not holding any guilt over your head, neither is He holding on to what you did yesterday.  His love for you far exceeds that, and His plans are to prosper you, and give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Follow God's example, and forgive yourself. Let go of the guilt and stop being mad at yourself. Ask God to help you love yourself the way He does, madly...deeply...unconditionally.

~May you live in His love.~

You Are God's Masterpiece

"For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."  (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

What is a masterpiece?  According to the dictionary, a masterpiece is defined as a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship; an artist's or craftsman's best piece of work.  Most times, when people think of a masterpiece they consider things like Leonardo Di Vinci's Mona Lisa or Michelangelo's Statue of David. Both Di Vinci and Michelangelo, artists with outstanding workmanship, are known among the greatest of all time, and the art aforementioned are considered as their best pieces of work.

The Mona Lisa is such an amazing creation that it is considered as one of, if not the most, valuable works of art in the world.  It's value is priceless.  I give it to Di Vinci; Mona Lisa exemplifies impeccable artistry.  However, there's another Master artist to which not even his greatest work can compare.

The artist I speak of is God, and one of His most outstanding works of art is YOU.  You are God's greatest expression of artistry, your value is priceless, and the uniqueness of your creation cannot be compared or duplicated.  You are a masterpiece, strategically designed by The Master Craftsman whose hands are only capable of creating perfection.  The works of God's hands are beautifully flawless.

Everything about you was carefully articulated by God, and absolutely nothing about you is a mistake.  You were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), marvelously constructed in the image and likeness of our wonderful Father.  He marvels at your beauty.

You are His reflection.

You are His love.

You are His choice.

You are His gorgeous, priceless, incomparable daughter...nothing and no-one can change that.

You are God's masterpiece and He has a master-plan for your life. He has purposed you to do good things in the earth.  Good things that only you, His one-of-a-kind gem, can carryout.

You are the cream of God's crop...He doesn't make 'em any better than you!

~May you live in His love.~

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

He Loved You and Chose You...

Hi blog family!

I'm on a bit of a hiatus, taking some time to focus my attention on some things the Lord put on my heart concerning another level of ministry and other life changes.  I don't know if it's because I'm only weeks away from entering a new chapter of my life - my 30s - but I felt an urge to take a step back to reflect, refresh, and refuel.  I can't really explain what God is doing in my life right now, but He's further shaping me into the vessel He created me to be so that I will continue to carry out His mind-blowing plan for my life.

So if you don't see me around Facebook or Twitter, or here on the blog, just know that all is well and I am pressing into the presence of the Lord as He equips me to be used for His glory.

Right now, I'm stopping through to share a quick word of encouragement with you.

It comes from Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT).  It says, "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."  

I want you to know that long before the creation of the world, God knew you, He loved you, and He chose you.  Long before you were ever conceived in your mother's womb, the Lord loved you and chose you as His own.  He already knew about the mistakes you'd make, yet He loved you.  He already knew about the struggles you'd have, yet He still chose you. He already knew you'd slip up and fall down, yet it still gave Him great pleasure to love you and have you as His child.

I don't know who this is for, but know that God's love for you is not contingent upon how good you are, how pretty you are, how educated you are, how wealthy you are, or any other quality you may or may not is an unconditional, uncircumstantial, untainted, perfect love.  There's nothing you can do to gain it, and there's nothing you can do to lose it, because nothing can separate you from His love.  God loves you; in all of your imperfection, He chose you.  Why?  Simply because that's what He wanted to do.

Through the blood of His son Jesus Christ, He sees you faultless...a perfect reflection of Himself.  He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

In your pain...God loves you.

In your shame...God loves you.

In your insecurities...God loves you.

In your guilt...God loves you.

In your mistakes...God loves you.

In your brokenness...God loves you.

And there's nothing you can do about it...embrace the Father's love for you.

~May you live in His love.~

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Your Pain Won't Last Always

A few weeks ago I was clearing out a closet as my family prepared for a move, and I came across a handbag that I’d totally forgotten I owned.  I was so excited, because I remember it being one of my favorites.  I felt like I had found a hidden treasure!  I even did my little happy dance to celebrate my awesome find!  When I opened it up to see what was inside, I discovered something else I’d forgotten about – a journal.  “Wow! I haven’t seen this in forever” I said to myself.  I couldn’t remember the last time I’d written in that particular journal, so I was curious to find out what was inside.  I sat in the middle of the empty closet and began to read.

I read the first entry, dated May 27, 2008, and immediately began to weep.  I’ll share it with you…

Today is a very emotional day for me.  I’m feeling extremely melancholy, and I have the slightest idea why.  This depression is so prevalent today, and I can’t muster up the strength to even fight it or hide it.  I keep telling myself, “Keisha, just get over yourself and snap out of it.” If only it were that easy.  I feel as if I am at war with myself…like the person I am and the person I know I should be are at war.  They are trying to kill each other, and neither is ready to surrender.  I don’t know which one is winning right now, but I am so tired of the up today, down tomorrow cycle.  I am tired of ME!  


Friday, April 6, 2012

He Will Raise You Up

After putting my kids down for their nap this morning, I curled up on my sofa with my Life Application Study Bible.  "Ok, Lord. What will you have me read today?" I said.  I opened my Bible, and its pages fell to John 11, where it tells the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  I've heard, and read this particular story many times, and each time I am amazed at the mighty power of our Savior.

In this passage of scripture we learn that Lazarus, Jesus' friend and the brother of Martha and Mary, was sick.  When Jesus learned of Lazarus' sickness, He did not immediately go to see about him or heal him, as Martha and Mary had hoped.  Lazarus died.  Four days after his death and burial, Jesus went to Lazarus' tomb.  Jesus called out to Lazarus, who was dead, to "come forth" and he was raised from the dead.

Amazing, right?!

As I was reading that this morning, I thought about how we're often faced with sickness in our lives - whether physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or psychological.  As soon as pain hits us we call out to Jesus, as Mary and Martha did, hoping that He will immediately come to our rescue and heal us on the spot.  But, just as in Lazarus' case, He doesn't always rush to deliver us before things get really bad.

Jesus waited until Lazarus died, and had been dead FOUR DAYS before He showed up. It was after the situation couldn't get any worse and seemed a total loss, that Jesus showed forth His mighty power. Lazarus was can't get any worse than that.  Oh, but when Jesus came on the scene He gave life to that which had died.  My God!

One of my favorite scripture from this passage is the 4th verse.  It says, "But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”  This is what I want to use to encourage you today.

Your sickness; your pain; your marriage; your debt; your depression; your sorrow;  your struggle...will not end in death.  It may be at its worse, and it seems like there's no chance of resuscitation.  You may be wondering why the Lord hasn't come to your rescue yet, and you feel that if He had come when you first prayed about it, things wouldn't have gotten so bad.  It looks dead.  It feels dead.  But guess what?  There's still hope.  Jesus is coming to speak life to your dead situation, He's going to cause you to come forth, and the Lord will be glorified.

The resurrecting power of Jesus Christ will manifest in you, and everyone will know that nobody but the Son of God could do such a miraculous thing.  Glory to God!

As we commemorate the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, let it serve as the assurance that even when it appears that enemy has won, the power of Christ will always prevail.  Just as Jesus raised Lazarus, and as He rose from the grave, so will He raise you.

Til next time...

May you live in His love.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sin Is A Choice

The moving process is finally over! I unpacked our last few boxes yesterday, and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  Now we're all settled in, and things are beginning to regulate again.  Thank God!!

On to today's post.

Yesterday, I read a story online about someone in ministry who slipped in sin and had to give a public apology to her supporters and those who look up to her, in hopes that her mistake won't lead them astray.  As I read some of the comments that followed the article, it all made me feel some kind of way.

The story I read is that of Sunday Best winner Le'Andria Johnson, who announced to a crowd in Philadelphia that she is pregnant.   Alot of the commenters were applauding her for being real, and talked about how people shouldn't judge her because "we all fall down, but we can get back up."


I'm going to be honest.  I was disappointed after reading this.  Although my intent is not to condemn her, or anyone in her situation - I was an unwed mother when I had my first son - but, at some point we, as mature believers and followers of Christ, have to stop using we fall down, but get back up, and saying we slipped when our secret sins are uncovered.  Yes, we fall, but we don't have to...God is able to keep us from falling. (Jude 1:24)

When Jesus died on the cross, He freed us from being slaves to sin.  And just because we now live under grace, and we know that God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, does not give us a pass to continue in sin once we profess to live Christian lives.  Romans 6:1-2 says this, "Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?  Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?"

Since we are no longer slaves to sin, that now means that sin, like everything else we do in everyday life, is a choice.  Sure, we may be tempted, but even in temptation, we don't have to sin.  Jesus was tempted, but He chose not to fall into its trap.

I think what it comes down to, for me, is that the life you profess to live publicly, should be the same life you live privately.  

I'm going to get off my soapbox, but I pray that the body of Christ will begin to live the life we preach and sing about, not only in eyes of others, but in the eyes of the Lord who sees all things, and knows the true intent of our heart.

Yes, our God is rich in mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, and love, but let's not blatantly crucify our Savior afresh by falling continuously in sin.  Let us all be slaves to righteous living. (Romans 6:18)

Recommended Reading: Romans 6 

~May you live in His love.~