What Are You Afraid Of? I Choose to Walk in Faith.

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1-2).

“Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O Lord God  of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear,  O God of Jacob. Selah” (Psalm 84:4-8).

Stepping out in faith requires that you be willing to trust God to bring to pass the things that you can’t see. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Long before the Lord supplied the property for our church, we began to pray for a building. It has been a miraculous journey. When it seemed that all hope was lost in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd, in 1999; the Lord reminded us who was in control. He wasn’t worried about the outcome: he is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. When the Towers fell in 2001; the world watched events unfold: we turned to the Lord who is sovereign. When we learn how to trust him to lead us, he promises that he’ll lead us into all truth. We celebrated our first Sunday in the new building on March 7, 2004. Today, we just keep moving forward.

“Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

Have we forgotten the God that we serve? There is nothing impossible with God. No situation is out of his control. When the storms come, we must learn to trust him. Maybe you have forgotten or you are so overwhelmed with the pain and frustration that you can’t see God at work through the turmoil. When I face the storm, I find him in my prayers. Sometimes, I don’t even know how to pray I am so consumed with the problem, but if I’ll remember to worship him he begins to work out his perfect plan in my life. Keep moving towards the light of his presence.

In the still of my night, I find him embracing me. I shall not fear the darkness. Although every sign tells me that it’s hopeless, I still hold on to hope that he is sovereign and he has already answered my prayer even before I speak the problem in prayer. It takes time. When I feel so impatient waiting for your promise, Lord, calm me down enough that I enjoy the day that you have prepared. Take me back to simplicity, life before schedules and deadlines, when we’d catch lightening bugs in the backyard and put them in mason jars. I miss it, and yet, I thank you for today.

We have not been promised tomorrow, and yesterday is just a memory, but the only thing that I desire from you is another today. A moment in time, now. In my now, let me not miss opportunities to share about your goodness. Jesus Christ: His mercy endureth forever. Life is too short to spend lamenting over what might have been. Let me live in the now.

I am thankful that the Lord chose us to be different than the world: “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

Obedience is better than Sacrifice.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38-39).

In this week’s Lattereign, my desire is to be a light: Let Me Be a Light.

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God Will Make You a New Heart

The Lord will establish you

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ”  (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5).

“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye” (Ezekiel 18:31-32).

We have some control over our heart. Ezekiel tells us to make a new heart and a new spirit. The Lord is a gentleman, and he’ll never impose himself on unwilling vessels. We must actively invite his presence into our lives. We are blessed in that God allows us to worship him with our whole heart. He has never forced anyone to worship him. It’s always been a free choice.

How can we make ourselves a new heart and a right spirit?

David asked the Lord to create in him a clean heart and to renew in him a right spirit; while the Israelites were commanded to make themselves a new heart and a new spirit. David had a relationship with the Lord that included prayer, worship, and commitment. He wasn’t a haphazard Christian barely getting by with the leftover blessings from other saints who happen to worship. He initiated worship, and because it pleased God; David danced with all of his might.” When it was time to pray, David was in his place. He knew how to yield his own spirit to the Lord. He allowed God to do as he willed in his ministry. God himself shaped David into a vessel worthy to be used.

The Israelites, on the other hand, had time and again complained bitterly about the hard trials in their lives. It was just too hard to live for God. If only they had listened to the prophet and obeyed God; but they didn’t heed the warnings, and they were ushered back into captivity. If they didn’t learn their lesson while they were in captivity; they wouldn’t learn to be satisfied with God’s provision of manna on the road to the Promised Land. They were so out of touch with God that they played with the world through idol worship. It was necessary for God to command them to make new hearts and spirits before the Israelites would be allowed to carry God’s Spirit. We must never handle the Anointing frivolously, but in total reverence.

It’s necessary for our walk with God to cost us something if it’s going to have lasting value. Obtaining a new heart and a new spirit doesn’t just happen with prayer and church attendance. It takes commitment and sacrifice to make a new heart. Today, invite God into your heart and begin to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

In this week’s Lattereign, we learn about the privilege of prayer. Privilege of prayer

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Courageous and Consistent Faith

“Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I swore unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou  mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:3, 5-7).

The Lord delivered all the enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:44-45).

Why do I continue to doubt God’s promises? Every time I become confident in where God leads me; I lose my direction because I take my eyes off of my destination. “Joshua had assisted Moses for many years and when Moses died he was responsible for leading over two million people into a strange new land and conquering it.”  Out of 12 spies, he and Caleb were the only two who believed that God could help them conquer the land. Instead of trusting God and following God’s plan, the rest of the spies doubted God could give them the promise.

Time and again, God gave Joshua the words to give to the people to be strong and of good courage; he repeated his promise to be with them, and his command for them to be strong, four times in chapter 1 alone. I counted! If you read it once in God’s word it’s important; when you read it twice in God’s word, it’s doubly important; how many times does it take to realize that the Lord will do as he says? He can’t lie, nor is he slack concerning his promises. It’s not enough that he commanded us to be strong and to not be afraid; no, the Lord didn’t stop there; he said that he would go with us no matter where his will takes us. It’s up to us to follow the plan—not try to figure out God. His ways are much higher than our ways, he knows the beginning from the ending and his will is unquestionable.

“Just do it and stop worrying,” I tell myself. God has given us an opportunity of a lifetime; much like the opportunities given to the Israelites—a land of promise that’s flowing with milk and honey and everywhere that the sole of our foot treads, belongs to us—yet, we still question who, what, when, where, why, how, and should we follow the plan? I believe that the Lord is telling me to follow his will and to leave the rest of the details in his hands.

If I’ll release the control, God will work out his perfect will in my life. It all belongs to him anyway so why am I trying to get ahead of God instead of just following the plan? He said he wouldn’t fail me or forsake me and he’s commanded me to be strong and of good courage. He said if I’d do all according to the law that I’d prosper. I can’t be effective if I’m not courageous because God commanded it for me, it’s part of the plan. I must be courageous and consistent in my faith if I desire to see results.

In this week’s Lattereign we realize that we can gain our power by just believing in the Promise. The Power of Believing the Promise

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“We are More Than Conquerors”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:35-37).

The world may disappoint us and turn their backs when we struggle, but we can always be assured that the Lord will never leave us, nor forsake us. He is always fighting for us as we trust in him to lead us through his will. We must prepare for the battle that we will face and in Ephesians he details how we can protect ourselves:

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand, Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 5:13-19).

When we set goals in life, and follow through on a consistent basis to try to reach those goals; we can reach a level of peace that can’t be matched by any other means. If we will simply do God’s will and do what’s right, then, we can trust God even when our circumstances look bleak. People try to do the best that they can. In the church, we maintain an Apostolic lifestyle on a daily basis, and sometimes we are faced with obstacles that we can’t avoid. In these times, the Lord calls us to prayer. It is only through prayer and confidence in Jesus Christ that we are able to overcome the obstacles. They may seem like boulders in our thinking, but the Lord knows the plans that he has for us; and when the boulders come, we have a God who can break them apart, or give us the knowledge to climb over, or work our way through them.

When we are faced with dire circumstances, he is wise enough to let us work through it on our own; then, he helps us along the way. When we weep before him out of troubled frustration, we are learning how to lean on a God who understands and is faithful to us. Do not be discouraged when trying times come. It is a reminder to us, that God is able to deliver us. There is nothing that we need that he won’t supply, if we will only believe. Not everything that we go through will be pleasant, but it is so necessary to build our confidence that the Lord can and it will provide everything that we need. He gives us compassion for others. For when we overcome discouraging times, we also are able to build enough faith to touch God when we pray for others.

If we can stay true and faithful to God and to ourselves, we will be more than conquerors through his Word. We must pray and seek his will for our lives until he chooses to deliver us from the obstacles that block our path. We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord. May the peace of God restore you to spiritual health.

In this week’s Lattereign we are urged to not give up on God. Don’t Give Up on God!

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Trust God’s Plan for Your Life

The world is so uncertain, today, that people may be losing their confidence. It would be easy to just give up hope of ever having a better life than the one you are struggling with now; however, the Lord admonishes us to trust his plan for our future. We may not understand how it will work out, but if we will let God direct us, it will work out in his will.

There have been times that life throws situations in our path that seem impossible. It requires our total trust in the Lord to work out the details. I admit that I am not great at following the plan because often I want to see what’s ahead and by always stretching to see what is in the distance, I forget to see how God’s hand is at work in the present.

The Lord has given us an open door and our directions are to walk through it. That does require our faith to walk through the door into the unknown, but isn’t it worth it to follow Christ?

It’s time that we pay attention to the very things that truly matter: love, hope, trust. I know what it’s like to be lost, and thankfully, I know what it’s like to be a child of God, safely in his arms. Daily I learn to lean on the Lord, and I found out a long time ago that I’m nothing without the Lord. He is my strength, my fortress, my high tower, my prince of peace, and he is everything to me.

When the chaos of the world tries to overshadow your confidence in Christ, always remember that God is a very present help in the time of trouble and that he will never leave us or forsake us.

 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

In this week’s LattereignHe Promises Us Strength if we Wait.

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Get Ready because we’re “Moving Forward”

If you have ever had too many projects going at one time, you can relate to the overwhelming feelings that tends to wash over us when we’re unable to focus.

If every priority is urgent and needs to be completed first, it can paralyze us to the point that we are unable to even get started. I was beginning to feel that way with my desk. I don’t have a picture but you can image being unable to see the surface because of piles of paper and notebooks. The piles of work yet to be completed became a distraction.

Thankfully, I also have a husband who knows all the signs of this type of dilemma, and he helped me move the desk which required completely clearing it and starting over. I am in awe at how drastically a small change of focus can restore my spirit. I still have mountains of work, but they are now prioritized. I will be able to complete one thing at the time.

In the spiritual world, there is a clearing of the desk. We are moving forward because the Lord is making all things new. It’s been a mountainous journey for a while, but we’ve held on to our faith, and our promise that the Lord will prevail in our lives if we will trust him to lead us through the trials that we must face. I see his hand at work and there is a stirring of the spirit. The Lord is moving mountains and pulling down strongholds, and the end result is freedom to worship and grow. After forty days of prayer, we are beginning to reap the results. We shall be victorious.

In 2 Timothy 4: 7-8, Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”  

In this week’s Lattereign, It’s Time to build a Foundation, because a strong church begins with a strong foundation.

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Come Unto Me and Take the Time to Pray

“Come unto me all ye that  labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall  find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35).

It is good to pray together because there is strength when two or three agree in prayer. It is good to capture fragments of time within your busy day to talk with Jesus Christ, the bible says to pray without ceasing.

It is also good to come together in worship and praise,

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4). However, there is more to learn.

Although we have the best of intentions—to grow closer to the Lord—committing to obey the Lord in every area of our lives is one of the most challenging obstacles facing Christians today. We’re overscheduled and undernourished in the richness of fellowship with Jesus Christ. Before we were inundated with technological advances in our society, people actually carried on conversations. It was commonplace for families to gather on the back porch or outside even under the stars to talk. I remember sitting out on the porch until way after dark, and I promise we didn’t run off to our rooms in front of a video game or computer screen.

Times have changed; but, God has not changed. I’m thankful that we can gain the victory over our time in prayer. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God, and he’ll never leave us nor forsake us. Are we hungry for his presence?

It’s time to separate ourselves into a solitary place of prayer. All of our day to day dilemmas can be eradicated if we learn to use our weapon of prayer.

It’s his desire that we spend time learning to listen to his voice that will speak peace to our souls. Relationships take nurturing. If we neglect to pay attention to the most precious gifts that the Lord has given to us, we’ll miss out on some of the greatest blessings. Too often, when the glory of the Lord arises in our lives, we’re too preoccupied to embrace it and let the light of God’s love shine into our soul. We may ask God for his anointing and for direction in the decisions that we must make; but too often, we do our own thing, and then expect the Lord to get us out of trouble when it doesn’t work. Thankfully, he is merciful and understands that we are like sheep, so he helps us to find our way back into his will and presence.

I have heard it said that our time—two hours and forty minutes of every day—belong to the Lord. This time is usually spent getting to church or studying a Sunday school lesson, or even writing the Lattereign. When I step back and see it through the Lord’s perspective, I find that I’m guilty of not spending enough quality time with Jesus. I’m BUSY being a Martha, but the Lord desires me to be a Mary, and to sit at his feet and learn of him. So it is time that I turn over my life fully to Jesus Christ and allow him to direct my steps in his will.

This week in the Lattereign we learn that we must Seek Him That he May be Found

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Is There Anything Too Hard for God?

When will we learn to trust God? I know that sometimes life happens and I get overwhelmed to the point that I don’t know what to do first. When I feel this way I must remember the scripture that is found in Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Who am I to question the God of the universe?

I understand that in the world we are living in, independence and a bit of ambition are normal; not so much in the church. While we need to be independent and ambitious at times, we also must learn when to submit to the will of God. If we are always talking, we are not listening to that still voice that encourages us to wait on the Lord and he’ll bring it to pass. Trying to do our own thing becomes a tug of war between what the Lord desires and what we want.

There’s a story about a young enthusiastic runner who was always eager to participate. He ran hard and put his whole body, soul and mind into running. He was marked for greatness, but being a great runner wasn’t enough for him. He craved being the center of attention, and if he accomplished that, he thought that every dream he had would be fulfilled.

He was scheduled to run in the championship races along with others on his team. Instead of thinking how he could help his teammates, he couldn’t help thinking that he was the best runner that ever entered a race, and he promptly forgot that he was part of a team. At a crucial time in the race, he looked back to see how many people were watching his gazelle like talent, and he lost his balance and fell. The race was over for him.

It’s important that we learn to wait on God. He will fulfill the desires of our heart, but it will be in God’s timing not ours. Sometimes, you may have to wait for your answer to materialize, and it will require prayer and supplication. How badly do you want to serve the Lord? Remember that it cost the Lord his life. We are not our own, and Romans 12:1, admonishes us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Oh, we think that serving God should be grandiose, not something as insignificant as cleaning a bathroom. The Lord desires true worshipers; people who aren’t afraid to humble themselves. Are we willing to be that one who will learn to trust God?

In this week’s Lattereign, we are commissioned to Set priorities in 2019 

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“With Great Mercies will I Gather You.”

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

“Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear;” (Isaiah 59:1).

Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 106:1).

“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9-10).

There’s no other way that our God could gather us than with “great mercies.” We didn’t deserve salvation, but he willingly robed himself in flesh and walked among men, knowing that soon he would become a living sacrifice for our sins. Sometimes we take for granted how great God is in our lives. We come to church and worship with our whole heart, give our tithes and offerings, support the building fund, give our time, and serve God. Can that be considered true worship? The Lord desires for us to worship him in Spirit and in Truth. God is great and greatly to be praised. Let’s give our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength to worship. God is faithful to us and his mercy is everlasting.

Our church continues to grow as we reach out to the lost. In the Sunday School, the Lord encourages us to keep reaching out for our children with the gospel. Every week we share the word, plant a seed of hope, and tell about God’s salvation; we don’t take that responsibility lightly, even though sometimes we may not see immediate results. I believe that we’re doubly blessed because we have faithful attendance in Sunday School, and committed teachers and parents who see the value of studying God’s word.

God’s mercy provides us a shelter when the storms in life become too intense. It gives us to drink when we are thirsty for the living water. God’s mercy outlasts the empty promises of a world that has slipped farther and farther away from the Truth. God’s mercy holds wayward children while they weep bitterly for forgiveness. God’s mercy carries the ones who continually reject and deny the name of Jesus, (The alternative is letting go of these souls to be lost for eternity.) God’s mercy can’t be measured or bought by undeserving sinners, but it is given to them freely when the Lord chooses to do so. God’s mercy endureth forever. God’s mercy is extended when we struggle the most to live independently. God’s mercy gathers his children unto himself and loves them for eternity. God’s mercy endureth forever. God’s mercy understands us and it will overcome all obstacles if we’ll trust. God’s mercy provides eternal hope.

In this week’s Lattereign, we can be assured that He shall direct thy path.

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There is a Time to Just Trust God: The Time is Now.

Dear Lord,

Today, I come to you determined that no matter what, I will praise you. It’s past time to just trust you to lead me through the path that is laid out before me. You promised that you would never leave me nor forsake me, and today, more than ever in my life, I hold you to that promise. I know that you are a faithful and a loving God who knows what is best for me; but forgive me; sometimes, I wonder if I have the faith to believe in your promise. I know that all men have a measure of faith, and it only takes a grain of mustard seed type of faith to have prayers answered. Still, I pray that you help my unbelief.

The days may be dark and the path that I must walk may sometimes be hidden, yet, I will trust you as I walk in faith.

I know that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, and by instinct, I dodge the attack instead of standing boldly against it. The scripture, “his grace is sufficient” rings through my spirit and I am able to stand strong even when the enemy comes in like a flood. I can have confidence that you are working all things out for my good.

As others struggle through their storms, I pray for their peace and strength to endure. I know that the joy of the Lord is our strength, so I pray that you will give us joy. Many times I don’t understand your plan, but that’s okay, because I know that you are faithful, and every day I am learning to trust you more.

In this week’s Lattereign, we learn that His word is forever settled in heaven.

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