Just read this article in Complex on "The 10 Worst Lottery Win Disasters". The fact that some of these multi-million-dollar winners' lives were worst off AFTER hitting the jackpot, literally saddened me inexpressibly. I must say that I finally comprehend why we must be tempered (be ready) before receiving certain blessings. I fully understand why Paul said in 3 John 1:2, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." We cannot prosper beyond our soul. There are certain blessings that if we received them now, we'd literally lose our minds.
God has made many promises to bless us, but in our waiting period, He's yet preparing us to receive it! It is not in God's will that a blessing causes us to shipwreck or turn away from Him. We are supposed to overtake the blessing, and not the blessing overtake us! So in our waiting, we should allow God to reshape us, build our character, work on our attitude, create in us patience, kindness, humility, SELF-CONTROL, etc. Then when GOD sees that we're ready, we will "prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." God bless...
QUESTION: "I have a relationship with God, but I don't feel like I have to go to church every Sunday. Is this wrong?"
RESPONSE: Think of it in terms of a relationship. The more we love someone, the more we want to spend time with them and enjoy their company. King David had a very close relationship with the LORD. He once said, "I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD!" (Psalm 122:1) Because he truly loved God, just to be in His presence brought David great joy. So instead of asking, "Is it wrong to not attend church every Sunday?", we should ask, "How much do I truly love God?"
I purposely support secular entertainers that acknowledge Jesus Christ in their craft for 3 reasons:  It's a blessing to see them even acknowledging Jesus Christ, the King of kings, LORD of lords.  If more people supported their Christian endeavors, they would feel compelled to continue to do so more frequently. And , Celebrities are human beings just like us. We make mistakes just like they do (maybe more), the only difference is that their mistakes are publicized in the media (while we can pretend that we're perfect).
Romans 3:23 says that "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." We have NO room to judge celebrities, bash them or try to discern if they are sincere. We're ALL in desperate need of a Savior, and the good news is that we have one. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the WORLD, meaning: EVERYBODY, you, me, celebs, drunkards, adulterers, murderers, homosexuals, liars, etc. He loves us so much "that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11).
**There's no room to judge, only room for love.**
While Jesus was being crucified on the cross, He said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) Jesus was asking God to forgive the very people who had mocked Him, spit on Him, beat Him, yanked out His beard, stripped Him naked, put a crown of thorns on His head, nailed Him to a cross and were gambling to see who will keep His clothes.
If anyone had the right to hold on to a grudge, it is Jesus, an innocent man who never sinned (2 Cor. 5:21). He said to, "Love your enemies" (Matt. 5:44), and He exemplified His preaching by pleading for His assailants.
In our own strength, true forgiveness is impossible. But "all who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God." (1 John 4:15) God is love, and with Him dwelling within our hearts, we are given HIS ability to love. Through HIM, we can forgive them that hate us, that parent who abandoned us, that significant other who walked out on us after the baby was born, that person who murdered our loved-one, that person who molested us as a child, etc. If anyone understands executing forgiveness in the midst of pain, it is Jesus. Turn to Him for strength, and He will help you (Philipp. 4:13). God bless...
Recorded in Matthew 19:16-30, is a Rich Young Man who meets Jesus and asks Him, "what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" Jesus asks the Young Man has he kept all of the commandments, and he replies, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Then Jesus told the Young Man to give up everything; sacrifice everything and follow Him. But he could not do it, and he "went away sorrowful" because he had too much to lose.
This guy believed in Jesus right up to the point that it was going to cost him something, and then he bailed. (This causes me to wonder if he really believed in the first place). Sometimes, a hard decision comes our way, but in that moment it shows us what we really believe.
"A faith that costs nothing is worth nothing." - William MacDonald
It is Jesus' intention that we enjoy life to the fullest (John 10:10), but often times, this is prevented by a sense of 'tunnel vision'. Many of us buy into the idea that if we can just achieve/obtain this ONE thing, we'll finally be satisfied. Internally, we say, "once ___ finally happens, THEN I will be happy." With this mindset, we don't truly enjoy life, our loved-ones, or even our walk with Christ; all because our vision is shrouded by what we don't have yet. All the while, life is passing us by.
King Solomon was a great man, indeed! In his lifetime, he achieved leadership (king of Israel), he was the wisest king to ever live, was very wealthy and had many women (700 wives and 300 concubines). But after attaining all of this, Solomon concluded that it is "vanity" and "chasing after the wind" (Ecclesiastes 1).
True fulfillment is found in Jesus Christ alone. "We are complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10). In His presence there is fullness of joy; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). We must learn to rest in the fact that the LORD is our enoughness, remember that He has great things in store for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and lastly, we must simply... STOP STRESSIN'. "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4). In His timing, He is orchestrating all things for His glory and for our good. So live!
As a writer, my objective is to provoke thought. As a minister, my objective is to encourage you to Christ. As a disciple, my objective is to do these things in love.