“Set Your Affection on Things Above…”

fear notkjv

As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, through the storm, he did not sink when he got out of the boat to walk to Jesus, but when he looked at the circumstances all around him, instead of looking on the one who could speak peace be still in the storm, he began to sink. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)

We live in challenging times where keeping our eyes on Jesus will be the only way to be victorious. Our flesh often searches for material answers, when we should be seeking a divine intervention. We have absolutely no control over the future, so it’s important to place our lives in God’s will. He promises to uphold us with the right hand of his righteousness.

I know that at times seeing the turmoil in our world can often bring us down. We may even feel hopeless if we look at the situations that arise. Feeling like we are powerless does not help us to manage our emotions, and yet, we still have a way through the challenges we face: it is through prayer. Our situation may even stay the same after we have prayed; however, our perspective will change in that we learn to trust in God and to not lean to our own understanding. He alone is the author and the finisher of our faith. He has written out every chapter of our lives, and it’s up to us to do the best that we can to stay in the middle of God’s will, so that we may find peace in the midst of our storm.

Trials will come into our lives; yet, God will see us through them. I know that some days it feels that the Lord is no longer listening to my prayers, so in those moments, I keep on praying. It is his pleasure to give us the desires of our heart, but we must acknowledge him in all that we do.

It used to be that I would put other things first in my life besides prayer and communion with the Lord. It was during those times that I was the most miserable and I felt that something vital was missing from my life: after many days of defeat, I realized that I had surrendered my joy. After seeking the Lord in prayer my life changed because the more I prayed, the less defeated I felt. As my prayer life was restored, so was my faith that the joy of the Lord is my strength.

In this week’s Lattereign we learn that Keeping God first in all we do, will help us to stay in the middle of God’s will for our lives.

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God has Not Given us a Spirit of Fear!

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (Matthew 6:25-26)

Have you ever wondered why the more technologically advanced we become, the more complicated our day to day lives have become? It used to be that on an afternoon everyone met outside under the oak tree at the picnic table to shuck corn, or shell beans, or just to enjoy a lemonade or an iced tea. The world didn’t stop spinning because we made time to be with family. I can never recall even one time that I was flustered because I was missing an event on the computer (non-existent); a text from my cell phone (what phone? we walked about a mile down the road to a telephone booth. When I close my eyes I can still remember what the inside of a phone booth smells like); yet, we managed to have a good living.

I remember going to Herman Park in Goldsboro, NC, and getting my feet wet in the wading pool. Then, we went to the center of the park to the fountain. It had an overpowering smell of roses that were long established. Often, usually once or twice a quarter, our Sunday School class would have a hot dog roast in the park. We used to see just how high we could swing in the wood swings. I don’t recall, worrying about what might happen in the future. It was a time to live and appreciate the present. The bible teaches us in Philippians 4:11: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Somehow, we must find a way to redeem some of those precious memories for the next generation. Will they ever know how much fun it was catching fireflies (lightning bugs) at night in a mason jar; or making a bottle cap, rock and stick, fortress for an imaginary family; or drinking straight from the water hose? We survived our childhood, and today, we may feel that we are truly missing something important in our lives; what we could have done, or should have done. Past regrets, are just that: in the past.

When adulthood consumes your life, why is it that we start to doubt ourselves, and we become afraid of the future? The bible continues to help us see that God is in control:

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Matthew 6:27-32)

It is easy to look at all of the chaos in your world today and become fearful. It is a blessing to know the peace of God which passes all understanding. God never intended on us to fail; he invested too much to make sure that we could have access to the throne and eternal life, and if he thought it would be a failure, do you think he would have robed himself in flesh to become our salvation in the first place? The answer to that is, yes, because he loves us, unconditionally.

Here is a well known principle to find God’s favor and get your prayers answered. It is simply to seek the kingdom of God, first, before you have lost another second of sleep over worrying about those things that may not ever come to pass:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:33-34).

I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. I will trust him because he has promised to never leave me, nor forsake me. In all of my circumstances, God is, a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. (Psalm 61: 2-4).

No matter what the circumstances, I choose to trust God. In this week’s Lattereign, we can be assured that our enemies will fall in his presence, so  I Will Praise thee, O Lord, With my Whole Heart.

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Finding Treasure in the Valley

It would be so easy to become fretful after we listen to the onslaught of troubles around our world on a daily basis. I know that if I focus on those events that are devastating too much, I take my eyes off of Jesus who has the peace that I need. I have a limited view from where I stand. I am thankful that God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, and he isn’t limited by time or space. He sees the end of the matter. He knows the plans that he has for me, he knows what it will take to encourage me to turn towards him and not get too focused on the world. It is devastating what is happening in our world, both locally and abroad, yet God is in control. If I can’t feel useful in any other capacity, there is one thing that I can do that will make a difference: pray.

Never feel that your prayers are insignificant or unable to touch God. He inhabits our praises, and our prayers are a memorial to him. He loves when we seek him, because he knows that he is the answer to our every need. Unless we pray, we may not release an answer from God. We have not, because we ask not. The bible tells us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” It takes a step of faith to get our prayers answered, and sometimes, God is waiting on us to take that step. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

I want to please the Lord. The only way to do that is to trust him and believe. This sounds so simple, but because of our limited perspective it may not always be the easiest thing to do. I have found that I always want to be in control of my life, and sometimes it’s hard to surrender my will to his will, when he leads me to let go of the reigns so that he can drive the chariot for awhile.

I have a choice to make: I can keep barreling towards the rocks up ahead, or I can surrender my will to his will, and give the Lord full reign in my life. You see, in those moments where I wanted to charge ahead on my own, the Lord had to block my way, and sometimes even say, no, to the prayers I had prayed.

What I didn’t see was the cliff that I was about to run off of, but God did see it. My obedience and submission to his authority, saved me from utter destruction. You may feel that the Lord is saying no to you more often than yes, but have no fear, because he is working all things out for your good. In this week’s Lattereign we look at Finding Treasure in the Valley.

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Lest we Forget, God is in Control

No matter how much I would like for everyone that I know to live for God, it is the Lord who decides the right timing for that to happen. I am called to pray, and that is what I can do. I must pray and trust that God will draw souls to this truth. Sometimes we get so closely connected to those who we want to be saved, that we forget that the Lord even listens to the desires of our heart. We could get discouraged thinking that maybe God is not hearing our cries, but he knows what we desire.

Are we willing to accept the answers that he gives, in the time that he chooses would be the best for us to receive it? If I had every prayer answered in the time frame that I had laid out for myself, I would probably not be here tonight writing this blog. My life would have been so different if my plans had been fulfilled. Not everything that I have prayed for has been entirely selfless; I admit, so it finally dawned on me that I had to change my whole perspective:

God has to be in the center of my plans for me to be in the center of his will; as a result of waiting on God, he has fulfilled my life in ways that I never dreamed possible. I can be effective in the writing ministry, because I strive to put God first.

Am I satisfied with where this ministry is? I am content; yet, I am still seeking God for opened doors, and I know that God is in full control of that, so all I have to do is trust him to work his perfect plan in my life, and stay in the middle of his will, while he does it.

When situations arise that are difficult to resolve, I can pray and wait for the Lord to let his will unfold in my life. He is never late on fulfilling his promises; but I must pray daily that I’ll not get impatient while he works on my behalf. I used to stress out when the answers I sought didn’t happen, instantly; now, I have chosen to trust in his perfect will to be done. I don’t need to worry needlessly about life in general; all I need to do is take it to the Lord in prayer, and he promises to meet every need.

It is good to be reminded that God is in control. So many people are calling out to the Lord for help; and the Lord is a very present help in the time of trouble. Trust in him; he promises to never leave us or forsake us. No one is exempt from going through trials and tests of our faith; however, I’d rather go through it with God on my side, than without God directing my steps.

In this week’s Lattereign we are called to make preparations for eternity. Sooner or later we will all face it: Don’t Delay Prepare for Eternity I want to be ready.

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Homecoming, 2017

It is admirable that we desire to win the lost, and to do everything in our power to help others to experience this great salvation; yet, no matter how much I fight to do so, I must face the truth; I can do nothing without the Lord, it’s not our responsibility to save souls; Jesus Christ is the only one who made the ultimate sacrifice, who can do that. Sometimes we can get weary if we feel defeated about the outcome of our efforts; however, take heart, Jesus Christ is still in control of the outcomes.

I want everyone to know his power, and if I listen to the doubters, who say that no one wants to live for God these days, I might not reach out to others. But God is still on the throne, and he will always have a people.

Living for the Lord is the most awesome experience that I have ever had, and I want everyone to find their way to the truth. In my christian walk I must be careful to not grow weary when, for what ever reason, souls choose not to accept this precious gift, immediately. God is still working on them. I must keep trusting God.

No matter how much I pray, Jesus Christ is the author and the finisher of my faith. I am called to sow seeds, while Apollos is required to water them, but it is God that gives the increase. I can pray that every seed I sow will fall on good soil and take root and thrive, but in reality it may not be the case. Does that mean that I failed? No, a thousand times, no. I am called to sow the seeds. The Lord will determine the outcome.

I can not make anyone live for God, but I can choose to live for God to the best of my ability and understanding. I know what it’s like to be lost, and thank you, I am found and nothing in this world will stand in my way of serving God throughout eternity, because I have a made up mind; however, I can’t allow myself to be discouraged when some may not follow this truth; it takes time. I will never give up reaching for lost souls; but the best way I can do that, is to be an example of what it is to be a Holy Ghost filled Apostolic christian.

I must not ever look down on those who don’t know him yet; I must lift them up in prayer. The best way to reach some people is to lift them up in fervent, intercessory prayer. Don’t give up when it seems that your efforts are not making a difference. It takes a season of time. There are many souls, that have seen your walk with God through the years, and if you give up, what hope do they have of knowing Christ?

Don’t give up reaching for their souls. It is time to hand over our control, and allow the Lord to do what he does best.

I can’t control what others choose to do with their lives; but I can choose to be the best me that I can be. The joy of the Lord is my strength. It is too close to his coming to take my eyes off of Jesus Christ. I wasn’t called to be a judge. The bible says to “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” so I will turn my eyes upon Jesus, and if I do, I will be able to keep my balance right, my worship right, and my relationship with him will develop into something that is precious. The bible promises, as we lift him up, he will draw all men unto him.

People who pretend to serve the Lord, but don’t, can’t bother me, if I keep my eyes on my relationship with Jesus Christ, and keep doing everything in my power to make heaven my home. I want to hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter in to the joys of thy salvation.” I can do what I can do, and have faith that the Lord will do the rest.

The latest gossip, floating around?– I don’t have time for that, Jesus is coming. Someone not dressed modestly enough for me, and it is a distraction?– God will take care of that; if I choose to turn my eyes toward heaven, then, there’s no more distractions.

Impossible to pray because my prayers don’t seem to reach beyond the end of my tongue?–I’ll pray anyway, until I am able to move past the principalities and powers of darkness. I will choose to trust God, for he is the answer.

We have traveled far in the last 36 years at the Pentecostals of Greenville, NC. I will not stop in this race for we are closer to the finish line than ever before.

Remember that in this week’s Lattereign,  The Best is Yet to Come. 

It’s not too late to join us.

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Commitment is the Key to Victory

It will take more than lip service to build our faith in God so that his will can be accomplished in us. Who are we? I’m thankful that the Lord sees me differently than I see myself at times. My greatest fear has always been that I was not doing enough to be saved to the uttermost; but that spirit came from the source of all lies: Satan. In every situation, he tries to put his spin on it and before you know it, you have listened to the lies he spews from his mouth. Feelings that you are not good enough to be blessed by God. God is no respecter of persons. All people everywhere are invited to receive this salvation that he paid for with his own precious blood. My desire is to be in his presence.

The world is getting more challenging every day, because there is so much hopelessness in it. If only people would realize that Jesus Christ has already overcome the world, so we can put our trust in him. Too often people are fooled with the lies that say they can wait to serve the Lord later in life; yet we know that we aren’t promised tomorrow, and before today has ended, your world could be quite different.

I want to know that I have done everything in my power to please him. I want to make sure that I have done everything required and then some, to reach heaven. Being a mediocre christian, in this hour, is not enough; being just a social christian where all I’m concerned about is the next fellowship and gathering we have to plan for, is not enough for me. Being a part-time believer is not enough; I want to be all in; totally immersing myself in his word and the truth; being sensitive to the spiritual world that I cannot see, so I can make good decisions in the world that I do see. I want to be instrumental in reaching the lost in my family and with those people I may meet for such a time as this.

It is sure that we are living in the last days.  So many signs point to the coming of Jesus Christ; yet, too often we get so wrapped up with the cares of this life, that we neglect to “look unto the hills from whence cometh our help; our help cometh from the Lord.”

We set our goals in the material possessions that this world has to offer us; yet, spiritually we are destitute. Our poverty may not be not seen by others, being masked by all the wealth we have accumulated; however, if the Lord were to shine a spotlight on our soul, what would it show him? Sadly, he may find emptiness; a void. Oh, we may have a few trinkets here and there to appease our whims of validating ourselves; but what would it take to find something of real value in our lives?

The Lord is looking for a people who will worship him in Spirit and in Truth. He desires those who are committed to trust him and to move forward and do his will. There is a short song we sing that sums up all that we need to be doing in these last hours:

Victory victory shall be mine

Victory victory shall be mine.

If I hold my peace, let the Lord fight my battles

Victory victory shall be mine.

There is no situation too bleak that the Lord will not show us his will. Thou O Lord are a shield for me, the Glory and the lifter of my head.

It’s easy to shut off the world and all of its problems when you get overwhelmed with life; but remember that the Lord has already overcome the world. I am thankful that I can trust God to never leave me nor forsake me.

In this week’s Lattereign we find out how the fight this battle that every christian must fight. The secret to winning in this battle is our praise. We Triumph When Praise is on the Front Lines

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Never Forget Who You Are in Christ

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35, 38-39).

Nothing can separate us from the Love of God. We have this promise that he’d never leave us nor forsake us. I have often heard people say that living for God is too complicated; but they fail to see that it is probably the most clear and concise plan that you will ever need to follow in your lifetime. Unfortunately, many Christians choose to make living for God difficult.

Upon conversion, they think of all of the many pleasures of sin that they must give up in order to follow Christ. No longer will there be any fun, because after all, what in the world can a Christian do for fun?  No alcohol, no drugs, no immorality, no ungodly entertainment,” they say. What they fail to understand is that after a person commits his life fully to the Lord, the things that once brought such great satisfaction (a bold lie of the devil) no longer appeals to them.

When you have been baptized in Jesus’ Name, you put on that name; when you are filled with the Holy Ghost and speak with other tongues (that’s Jesus in you), there is not any room for the pleasures of sin that leave a person vacant and condemned to eternal death. We do have a free will, and while we can do what we want to do, our desires change when we become a new creature in Christ. We have the power to overcome sin and defeat the devil.

Before I repented and was baptized in Jesus Name, my life could be compared to a series of storms. Everything was chaos. I searched for something to bring me peace of mind and heart. Many times I would find myself longing to go back to the way things were when I was a young girl. I went to Sunday School, and I took the time to talk to God. We’d take long walks together through the fields behind my house to a clearing by the creek. Through that clearing, his light would shine on me while I prayed. I remember being so confused with what I was supposed to be doing with my life. Surely there was more to life than what I was experiencing. Somehow, just being able to get to the clearing to pray and spend time in communion with God, made me so much better prepared to handle life.

When I left home, I left it all, running away from my own self, I suppose, but it was only for a season. During those years, life was so complicated and confusing to me. As I struggled to survive day to day, I could never completely forget the clearing and the communion with God—I didn’t know about the Truth; I didn’t know that you could live a decent and moral life and be happy—so I continued to search for a way to fill the void in my life. The Lord never forgot me, and I never felt the peace of the clearing until, the Lord moved heaven and earth so that I could find my way back to him.

I will present my body a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is my reasonable service. Life is crystal clear now; the way of the Lord leads to life. It is as simple as this: Jesus loves me and he forgave me. I am truly blessed. Today, he is offering you life and forgiveness. Will you receive it?

No matter what situation you may find yourself in; God is still in control.  In this week’s Lattereign we are reminded to trust in God.

Never Forget Who you are in Christ

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“The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?”

“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.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).

The events of the past weeks with gas prices rising, hurricane victims struggling to survive with many still in critical danger, fires, violence in the streets, depression, a sinking economy, and so many more problems—through all of these things that we are facing—we must continually give thanks.

It will probably be one of the most difficult things you will ever have to do, but we are commanded to give thanks in everything, both the good and the bad. I realize that it’s easier to talk about than to actually be thankful, but we must climb on top of our struggles and look beyond what we are actually facing. It’s like the torrential rains that fell Friday night on the way back from Kinston, NC. We had driven separately to spend some time with friends. On the way home, it was storming so heavily, we couldn’t see the road, but we had no choice but to keep moving. There was no where safe to pull over, and if we did, there was no guarantee that it would stop raining. I did the only thing I knew to do: pray and keep watching for the car lights.

I couldn’t see the road. Period. I knew the way home, because I had driven it many times before; however, all of my landmarks had disappeared. I could barely see my husband’s car lights ahead of me, but that was it. If it had not been for those car lights, I would not have made it home. When you find that you can’t see your way clear; look for the light to guide you home.

In our walk with God, we sometimes drive blindly ahead into unknown territory. Our future may seem unclear as we look out ahead, but if we’ll just keep trusting the Lord and moving forward in his will to do the things that he has called us to do, we will gain a much clearer vision of his plans for our lives as we keep moving by faith towards the light of his word. The Light will make all things clear and precise. We will know what he has in store for us if we learn to obey and to trust. Without it, we might as well be driving in a severe storm without the lights on, because we will not ever find our place in the grand scheme of things.

It will not matter how long it takes you to arrive at your destination of God’s will for your life; what will matter are the decisions that you made to keep moving forward in his will. His will, not our own thoughts, but ones that are wrought through prayer and fasting. Time, and again, he makes a way for us but we don’t acknowledge the blessing or the provision.

You may not have the best of everything, but you’re blessed. I’m learning every day to be thankful for the plans that do go through; I’m thankful for the times that I am able to work; I’m blessed that I have a home; in the grand picture we have nothing to complain about, at all. We’re consumed with things—more things than we could possibly need. Yet, our prayer lives are empty and meaningless. We may pray, but don’t we sometimes pray out of a sense of obligation, not adoration for the Lord? Hello?

God is Still on the Throne. He is Still in Control of our lives. Satan may try to destroy us, and he’ll succeed if we let him, but the great news is that he doesn’t have power over us! We have power over Satan. We don’t have to listen to his lies anymore. We’re overcomers; we’re going to have the victory in prayer; we’ll be able to stand in the evil day.

Nothing, nothing shall separate us from the love of God. Nothing. You can’t mess up too much that the Lord won’t open his arms and welcome you back into his presence. He longs for us to draw closer to him; he inhabits our praises. We have a choice to make: we can yield ourselves to despair; or we can give ourselves to fasting and prayer. gm

Psalm 91 God is my refuge and my fortress

 

Please continue to pray for those in need, and please consider making a financial contribution. Here are ways you can make tax-deductible contributions through UPCI entities:

  1. UPCI Relief Fund. Click here.
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Never Let Go of God’s Promises

“Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly”NIV (Isaiah 60:21-22).

The Lord isn’t slack concerning his promises, yet at the same time, he is in no rush to fulfill a request until it is the appointed time of harvest. All of the details are carefully planned out for answered prayers, and it is up to us to abide in him, and allow those seedlings to take root where the Lord planted them so that they will produce fruit.

The Lord doesn’t deny our petitions when he delays his answer. Rather, he hears us and knows that when the perfected time arrives, we’ll be ready to receive the answer to our prayers. If he arrived any sooner, we may not give God the glory; any later, we may forget to recognize his hand at work in our situation. Sometimes the steps towards our miracle are not at all the way we anticipated it would be, but we can trust that God has the right time and circumstance for the miracle.

He knows the people that need to hear the Truth. He has set us in this place to be a witness. Before we were even born, he knew the steps that we’d need to take in order to get his will accomplished and the answer delivered, but if we really want to reap our full potential in Christ, we must learn to wait on the Lord, get established in the Word, and seek his face.

Faith opens doors in our lives, and without faith it is impossible to please God. If this is true, then many people struggle to live for God, because they don’t believe that their faith will work. Even people who do believe, buckle under the pressure of daily living, instead of bending their knee in prayer asking God to help them to endure. When life gets real, and you see no easy answers; it’s time to wait on God. It may seem that he has turned a deaf ear to your requests, but there are reasons that may not be evident to you for years to come.

Don’t give up on God! Throughout the Bible, men and women have gotten into trouble when they stepped outside of the protection and authority of the Holy Ghost, to pursue their own way. If it seems that your prayers are never being heard, take heart, Joseph felt the same way for all of the years that he was in Egyptian bondage after being sold into slavery. He may have felt abandoned by God, but he never allowed himself the opportunity to dwell on it. He never let it rob him of his victory. He later understood that God’s plan saved a nation in famine.

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience: And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” (Romans 5:1-4).

This week’s Lattereign admonishes us to not give up. Don’t Give up on Your Dreams

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Stay Focused on Your Purpose

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

“Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counselors against them, to frustrate their purpose…” (Ezra 4:4-5).
Every time we set out to do something to further the kingdom it seems that the enemy comes in and tries to stop our efforts just like they did to Judah when they were rebuilding the temple. What will it take for us to continue to move forward?

It certainly wasn’t an ideal situation, because everything had been destroyed when Nebuchadnezzar was allowed to take the Israelites captive and force them to go to Babylon. Then after he saw the writing on the wall and it was interpreted by Daniel, he still had to have pride removed from his heart. He became as an animal for years.
That of course was a long time ago, this was now the “new era” and naturally people had forgotten such extraordinary events. The Israelites made their sojourn back to their homeland which was destroyed: that which belonged to the Lord had been stolen. They had a command from God to rebuild, and a decree to build, permission granted by King Cyrus of Persia, even until the reign of Darius King of Persia.

The problem came about because concerned citizens mistook their tears of joy and shouts of triumph, for a disturbance and they set out to stop the rebuilding. These concerned citizens hired counselors (lawyers), weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, just to “frustrate their purpose.” Even with the opposition, they knew that God had told them to rebuild the temple. They were finally ordered to cease.
When God gives us a calling, and we are faced with opposition, we need to rethink our thoughts about giving up, quitting, or becoming discouraged.

We can depend on God to be faithful according to His purpose, not ours. So many times we never get much accomplished for God because we’re afraid to fail, so we abstain from obeying God.

What we need to realize is that when we abstain from obeying God, we are failing God and ourselves! Too often we rob our own selves out of the blessing and the strength that comes when we completely surrender to God. We’re not our own. We’re bought with a price; and we’re not planning on sacrificing our homeland, only to receive less than God’s best in return.
(By the way, The Israelites didn’t give up; God always makes a way. Read about it in Ezra 3-6)

We have a choice to either live for God, or not. There is no middle road to follow. The government took out prayer in public schools; however, in this week’s Lattereign, I believe that as long as there are students, there will be prayers made. Follow the link to read more: There will always be prayer in Schools.

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