And Now a Word from our Sponsor! I Kings 13:29-30

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Honestly, reading this passage angered me!

(Quick Summary for those who are unfamiliar with the passage).  As I followed the journey of this Prophet (only identified from his location), I admired his courage and obedience, as he stood before Jeroboam and delivered the prophecy given to him.  Furthermore, we watch as Jeroboam, angered by the prophecy, lifted his hand against the messenger of God and discovered it to be a bad idea!  The prophet is defended and protected by the Lord, and is obedient in that he refuses to eat and drink with the King who was in rebellion to the Lord.  He was obedient in taking a different route, and on said route was confronted by an older prophet who lied to him, claiming that the Lord had instructed him differently.  He listens to the older prophet, and thus finds himself disobedient, and suffers death by an attack of a lion!  

I was angered because the young prophet, in respect of the older prophet listened, trusted and followed him.  I know, The Lord gave him STRICT INSTRUCTIONS!!!!  I know!  I know!  I know!!!!  BUT…….His journey was interrupted by an older prophet, who commanded him to return with him, under the authority of the LORD.  His claim was that an Angel of the Lord sent him, much like he was sent by the Lord with a message to Jeroboam.   In defense of this young prophet, WHO would dare give a WORD in the name of the LORD when it wasn’t given from Him?  lions-1024x682

I know, The LORD gave him STRICT INSTRUCTIONS!!!!  I know!  I know!  I know!!!!  BUT the Older Prophet lied to him!!!  The young Prophet knew to fear the LORD and assumed that the older Prophet would too, thus he believed his fellow servant.  It seems  in all this, the old Prophet should have been punished for leading the young prophet astray, but instead, the young Prophet was punished for listening to his elder.

Is this fair?  I know, The LORD gave him STRICT INSTRUCTIONS!!!!  I know!  I know!  I know!!!!

Have you even been mislead?  Have you ever been mislead by someone you Trusted? Someone you Respected?  

It turns out, that the first task was to Speak to Jeroboam, and the second task was to not to listen to the Old Prophet. God knew that their paths would cross.  He knew that the Prophet would seek him, and lie to him!

Could it be that the LORDS instruction to not eat or drink in the Bethel was an instruction specifically to keep him from dining with the old Prophet.  Seeing as though he was in the city of Jeroboam, one could suggest that he was not chosen by the LORD to deliver the message because He had demonstrated in the past the same characteristic that he displayed to the young Prophet on the road.  It could be that the Lord was protecting the young Prophet not just from being on Jeroboams payroll, but from the influence and mentorship of a servant who had misused his power and position for his well being.

Though unfortunate; the LORD holds us responsible for the WORD that He gave to us.  In our time with God, He prepares us for our journey, and for the events and encounters we will have in pursuit of being obedient to the assignment He gives us.  Though He doesn’t announce and or give specifics to the exams, we can all attest to the fact that God prepares us, and we are armed with enough to conquer all we encounter.

I found it most interesting that the LORD protected the young Prophet twice in the passage, once in front of Jeroboam, and the second on the side of the road with the Lion.  Though the Lion killed him, he was assigned to protect the corpse until the older Prophet retrieved him and gave him a proper burial. 

All in all, I contend that the worst part of the last moments of the young Prophets life was not death by the Lion, but receiving word of his death from the very person who mislead Him.

 

 

I named this blog, “And Now a Word from our Sponsor” because of the scene under the oak tree.  It reminded me of the interruptions we experience while watching our favorite programing.  Advertisers use these moments to sway us to purchase their products, often exaggerating and or falsely advertising their performance and usefulness.  They pressure the viewer into purchasing in a small window, because they are aware that the more thought spent on contemplating the purchase, the less likely the viewer is to make purchase.  They use as many false testimonies and also claim to be recommended by experts in the field, who are actors and actresses paid to play a role in convincing the audience to purchase the item.  We must not make choices hastily, because quick decisions often lead to our destruction. 

 

Give me Legs, or Give me Life……

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Today, I had the pleasure of ministering at a Senior Complex. It was a simple message (Matthew 28:20) encouraging the residents and ensuring them that the Lord was with them. Though I was there to minister, a resident ministered to me.  There was a gentleman, 72, who had both of his legs amputated. He shared with me his story and confirmed the message that was shared.  He shared 2 nuggets with me:

1. He said when he was on the operating table, having his legs removed to stop the spread of Gangrene, he saw standing beside the doctor an angel of the Lord.  He said he was overcome with peace because he knew that things would go well and that he would make it through.  He was encouraged by the presence of the Lord because it confirmed that the Lord was confirming His Word to “Keep Him.”  I thought about how my grannies and grandpa’s would speak that same language.  We throw things away these days as they loose value and effectiveness and are quick to replace and cast aside, but our forefathers knew what it was to “Keep” something, thus their understanding of “Keep” far surpasses our understanding.   Lord, give us this same understanding so that we can appreciate things, life and you all the more!!!!
2.  He said that he considered the importance of his legs in his life, but knew that as long as he had God with him, he could function without his legs.   His faith was active before the surgery, during the surgery and after the surgery.  His faith enabled him to see past the hardship, and to see himself continuing to prosper in a different circumstance.  He learned how to walk once, and through God, he would be able to walk again.  The power of God is evident in His ability to adapt us, not just to “Keep” us.  We don’t just have to be content in a situation!  As long as God is with us, we can excel in a situation.
3.  He said that he watched a man slightly after him die from Gangrene because he could not see his life without his legs, despite his attempt to share with him.  He said he watched a man perish holding on to his legs which were facilitating his death!   This man mistakenly equated life with legs.  His declaration, give me legs, or give me death!  I wondered how many of us are facilitating our death by holding on to the very thing that is killing us?  He realized that even in having his legs removed, God was adding, and renovating his body to face the next phase of his journey.He said the truth is that he misses his legs, but he was right in that he knew that life was possible without the things that once gave him a sense of comfort and normalcy!
WHAT ARE YOU HANGING ON TO? WHY WONT YOU ALLOW THE MASTER SURGEON TO REMOVE WHAT IS CONSUMING YOU?

Walking into A Blessing; Psalm 1:1-3

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On a leisurely stroll through Facebook, I was asked to look at a scripture by one of my little sisters, Psalm 1:1-3, that started a great conversation which I would like to share in this blog.

“Blessed is the man who…”

“….walks not in the counsel of the wicked”

I was first drawn to “walks not” in the passage.  The walk that is listed is one of personal choice.  In life, we have counsel that is both “brought” and “sought”.   Brought  is the counsel that comes to us via the way of others that volunteer their advice/two cents towards the circumstances we face, while Sought is the advice or counsel we gain by seeking those we believe has the wisdom we need.  In this, this passage highlights something about our true self.  I have found in my own life times when I was brought unwise or wicked counsel, but also times when I sought counsel that was wicked (let’s define wicked in this blog as counsel that is against the will of God). walking  The counsel that is brought is often rejected because it’s is received as unwise generally because of the source, but the counsel that is sought is more often than not taken because it generally validates and or confirms what we desire to hear.

Yes, believers look for validation, and at times said validation is not in alignment with what God desires; because it is sometimes received and retrieved from a source that is not aligned with God’s will.   This is where the “walks not” resurfaces! It surfaces because the advice we seek has to be from a source of counsel that is in alignment with God’s Word and not just in alignment with your desires.  We have to seek counsel that will keep us on the path God has laid for us, and in this we can walk the path that leads us into blessings.

I wondered how many of us have “sought” our way off the blessed path?  Could it be that our lives could be layered with one blessing proceeded by another blessing with our decisions.  Maybe there is more to seek ye first the Kingdom?  As opposed to looking at it from a vantage point of ecclesia being the collective body of Christ as a local, and not the mobile unit of self going therefore into the world.  Seeking God’s will in our lives is Seeking the Kingdom, and all that accompanies putting God first accompany it.

The Hunger Pains…of Mismanagement

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Inspiration:
(4 year old couldn’t find shoes)
4 Year Old: Daddy, where are my shoes?
My reply: I’m responsible for you, not your shoes! You have keep up with what I give you.

As I got into the car, I thought the shoes to be out finances/resources myself to be God and my child to be us.

I began to wonder how many times we have mismanaged, misplaced, squandered, given away, torn can’t find the match to what God has provided to cover is not just for that day but for weeks to come.

In truth, like children, we often find ourselves with our hands and heads up with put voices raised asking God “Where are my shoe?” We grow frustrated looking for them and other times don’t bother to search because we know our careless ways towards his provisions will render search unfruitful or laborious.

Are you careful cursing your resources? Some of us take care of them, but have them spread so thin that when its time to place them together, or departure is delayed. Are your working a plan and structuring your resources? Are they stored in a safe place? Are they being monitored? Have your restricted access to your resources? Where are your shoes?20140307-164806.jpg

I hear God saying to us, I have supplied all of your needs according toy riches in glory, but you are always short and in a tight because you are spending August provisions in May because you didn’t manage well in February.

We must get a handle I. Our resources. Though God had a cattle on a thousand hills, his process of the. Release of said resources are His and His alone. Though there are times when the rain s at our cry, there will be days where out voices are parched. Manage your resources tonnage the crying that your days of praise for what has been provided will not out number the cries from the days of your created lack from your poor management.