Archive | September 2014

“Lord, make me to know my end and (to appreciate) the measure of my days-what it is; let me know and realize how frail I am (how transient my stay here). “ (Psalm 39:4)

UnknownHello! How are you? How was your week? Right now I find life a bit hectic-which is why I chose the above scripture. This scripture caught my attention because it blatantly states how we should measure (appreciate) our time here on earth. I don’t know about you, but, I know I have taken many things for granted –consciously or unconsciously I have taken life and my time here for granted. We always think we have more time than we do. The fact is God has given each of us a certain number of days and we are not promised tomorrow. “Behold, You have made my days as (short as) handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in Your sight. Truly every man at his best is merely a breath! Selah (pause and think calmly of that)! (Psalm 39:5)

I think it could be frightening for ourselves to know this truth when we haven’t confessed our sins to God; and frustrating to try to share it with those who don’t want to know about it. There are many people who do not believe in an after-life and think when you die-you die and go into a void of some sort. I guess that is comforting to those who do not want to face God Almighty and find out if there is a heaven or a hell. But, I assure you, they will find this our first hand at that point. (It is appointed for a man to die and then the judgment) People do not realize how short time really is because they think they are truly in charge of their lives.Surely every man walks to and fro –like a shadow in a pantomime; surely for futility and emptiness he is in turmoil; each one heaps up riches, not knowing who will gather them. And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You.” (Psalm 39:6-7)

We all know we will die one day. But, do we really put our hope and expectation in God all the time? If we don’t, why is that? Sometimes I think it is our own unbelief that stops us. You know what I mean? It’s when we take our eyes off of God that we get in to trouble. What should we say to God during times like this? “Deliver me from all me transgressions; make me not the scorn and reproach of the (self-confident) fool! I ma dumb, I open not my mouth, for it is You Who has done it. Remove your stroke from me; I am consumed by the conflict and the blow of Your hand. When with rebukes You correct and chasten man from sin, You waste his beauty like a moth and what is dear to him consumes away; surely every man is a mere breath.” Selah. (Psalm 39:8-11)

 What can God do? “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not Your peace at my tears! For I am Your passing guest, a temporary resident, as all my fathers were. O look away from me and spare me that I may recover cheerfulness and encouraging strength and know gladness before I go and am no more!” (Psalm 39:12-13)  We get into trouble when we live our lives without God in it. We say He is, but we really like go about our own business and sort of give Him a “heads up” to our plans. “Come now, you who say Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. Yet you do not know (the least thing) about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are (really) but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears into thin air). You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that (thing). But as it is, you boast (falsely) in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong. So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:13-17)

As you walk Every Day with Grace, Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),  Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) Know that each day is a gift and that life should be lived to the fullest with Jesus. Seek His will for your life and let Him show you all that He has for you because we do not know what tomorrow may bring. Let your life shine with God’s will for you.

 

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12)

image005Hello! How are you? I hope all is going well. Today is September 11, 2014. It has been 13 years since the horrific attack on the United States. I’m sure no American anywhere expected this to happen on our soil. Mostly because we are supposed to be the most powerful nation in the world and had “security” in being an American. Sadly, I also believe that as Americans we can be very arrogant in our citizenship which is why we were so taken aback (to say the least) at what happened. Now there had been smaller attempts against us in the (recent) past, but nothing in comparison to that day. Think about that…people immigrate from all over the world to still come here. We have so much alleged freedom and opportunity that people are constantly coming in illegally to get what our country has to offer. We are experiencing legal issues regarding this area of immigration right now. That could be another topic for another day.

 I do believe that God has shown the United States much mercy before, during and after 09/11. People actually started going back into the churches and temples looking for God in all of this tragedy. People may have thought this was the beginning of an apocalypse. Who knows? Most likely everyone undoubtedly thought it was just going to be another average, ordinary day- just going to their jobs. Who would have thought the unimaginable? Who knew that was the last day many families would never see their loved ones? Who knew that was the day they were going to literally meet their maker? Who would have thought? Why would they? America did not have any cause for this type of attack. For many on that day, that was the Day of the Lord for them.  

image001 2 The great day of the Lord is near—near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry. That day will be a day of wrath—a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers. (Zephaniah 1:14-16) 

There is a whole generation of children who are being raised without one or both parents from that day. I just want to say to those who will always carry their sorrow, please know that God has promise for you because He is “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” (Psalm 68:5) God does not renege on his promises, or goes back on His word because He is not a liar. “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19) The terrorists thought they brought the Americans to their knees on that day. In a way they did. But, not in the way they thought. Many were brought to their knees and turned to God in prayer. I will say that this tragedy made people do some serious soul-searching; it made take a long, hard look of their lives and lifestyles. Maybe for the first time, people realized that they were not just doing things “their way”, they were actually sinning against God. That’s why there was such an urgency to go back to church. People realized that their lives could end at any given moment and they weren’t sure how where they would they for their afterlife? How can they be guaranteed heaven? Worse yet, what if they wound up in hell? What was their answer? Where do they go? Who has the answer? More importantly, WHO is the Answer? Some people turned back to God, and some found Him for the very first time; and they called Him by name…Jesus. “The name above all names.” “Emmanuel-God with us”.  (Philippians 2:9-11) “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

For those who have always known Jesus; for those who came to know Him because of this tragedy; and for those who want to know Jesus, need to know that there is an assurance that God will always take care of His own. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” (Roman 8:image001-131-34) Nothing can take us from His hand and nothing can His love away from us.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 Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who 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 created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

As you walk Every Day with Grace, know that God is here for you know now. But you also need to know that as His people, we need to be ready and prepared for when Jesus returns because we do not know when He will return. Many people may perhaps have thought Jesus was returning on 09/11 even though it started out as just a regular day.  We need to keep watch because Jesus will return to this world and His Word is true.  My advice is to continue to live for Him, but keep watch for His return. “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)image003

“Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” (Mark 13:133 ESV)

If you need prayer, or would like to join in prayer with a church; you can contact Times Square Church Tuesdays nights at 7:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time at www.tscnyc.org.

 

 

 

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

images-2Hello! How are you? How is the beginning of your September going? In spite of all the “hustle and bustle”, everyone who has kids should be back to school and getting back to business as usual. I know a few people who “milk”every second of their summertime, but their kids don’t necessarily acclimate to a routine right away. This could be very stressful for everyone involved-parents, kids, teachers, bus drivers, etc… Who would have thought there would be stress while trying to achieve rest? Unrest does not only effect the body, but, it also effects the soul.

For those who are truly seeking God, the first requirement is to come to God, come to Jesus. People always think they have to get “cleaned up” first or make themselves right before coming to God, but nothing can be further from God’s truth! God says “come”. He didn’t say “Come when you are no longer a sinner”; or, when you think you are good enough for Him…He says to “come now” because YOU ARE a sinner. “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; here is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12) God does not discriminate as to who can obtain salvation and eternal life. His love and mercy is extended to anyone and everyone. And, to ensure that there is a bridge between Himself and mankind, He sent His Son to die on a cross to shed His blood for whomsoever would receive God through His Son, Jesus.“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whomsoever would believe on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (Joh 3:16-17) “On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)

God accepts us as we are. He does not ask us to change before coming into His presence. Truthfully, it is after we come that He begins to change us and gradually (yet continually) conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus. But, that transformation begins after we repent (turn from) our sins. First, we come; then we repent; and then begins our transformation into the image of God’s Son, Jesus. God sees and cares the burdens and struggles we carry. He sees our anxiety and restlessness-it actually hurts Him to see us live like that. The problem with living like this must create a tremendous amount of pressure and tension.  That’s why He wants to give us rest. He wants to carry our burdens, but that could only happen when we release them and give them to Him. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.“(1Peter 5:7) When we give Him our burdens, we are surrendering our lives over to Him; we are putting our trust in God and acknowledging that HE KNOWS better how to love us, care for us, and how to teach us how to go through our struggles so we can apply His ways into our lives.

I also want to add that being weary and burdened is not a one time thing. Can you relate to that? I know many times when I “feel” strong or rested, I take my struggles back and carry them again until they wear me down, All the while God is saying “No! No! No! Come to me when you are weary and burdened and I will give your rest.” He doesn’t want me to be so weary that I am being pulled down and looking down and not looking up and keeping my eyes on Him. The enemy of our soul will do whatever he can so that we will not focus on God, trust God or love God.  The reality is this-God is a loving Father who sees everything we do and everything we go through. “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13)

Please know that most people are walking around carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. We are living in stressful times as a society, as a nation; and God is being pushed out of the way more and more because of an Anti-Christ spirit that is very real and very prevalent on this planet. That’s the bad news I’m sorry to say, but it is the truth. The good news is “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 Joh 4:1-4)  “If God is for us, who can stand against us?” (Romans 3:3)

As you walk Every Day With Grace, I want to encourage you that there is God who loves you, cares for you, and will carry your burdens for you if you just come to Him willingly as He extends Himself with open arms to you and an invitation to be yoked into His salvation for all eternity. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)

In His Love,

Melody