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In the Beginning: Freedom

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-2  In the beginning, there was freedom.  Adam and Eve were created with the freedom to choose, but instead of choosing God, they chose to obey their own selfish desire.  Immediately, the human race was plunged into the worst kind of slavery:  slavery to sin and self.  This kind of bondage opened the door for human beings to enslave and oppress each other. The Declaration of Independence was a document that declared freedom from the tyranny of the British.  It was based on the premise that all men were created equal.  But the premise was flawed because equality…

In the Beginning: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  Your works are wonderful,     I know that full well.  Psalm 139 We speak of equality and justice and yet Black bodies and minds are systematically destroyed because society lacks the love and respect every human body deserves.  In the beginning, God created the first human beings. His commandment for us to love Him and our fellow human beings.  This truth is absolute and unchanging. Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in his book Between the World and Me about the systematic humiliation and destruction of Black bodies:  “all our phrasing–race relations, racial chasm, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy, serves to…

In the Beginning: Christ is Supreme

In the Beginning: Christ is Supreme “How you have fallen from heaven,     morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth,     you who once laid low the nations You said in your heart,     “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne     above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,     on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon  I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;     I will make myself like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:12-14 The archangel Lucifer wanted to be supreme.  Because of his arrogance, he was kicked out of heaven forever. The  fall of Satan was the  entrance of darkness into God’s universe. Sin did not begin with Adam;…

In the Beginning: What Does Equality Mean?

In America today equality is a buzzword that includes everything from race to sexual preference.  I want to explore what it means in light of  God’s truth.  In the beginning, we were all created equally in the image of God.  That image has been broken because of sin, but it did not change the fact that we are equal.  However, equal does not negate variety.  We were meant to be unique, yet that did not mean we were unequal. Whether we seek God or not, our equality is still in force.  Every single person born has the choice to  enter into a relationship with God. Once we have decided to engage, we have equal access to all He is.  The Bible says that in Him…

Real Life: Self-Control

Real Life:  Self-Control “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 Control is something we all want to have in our lives.  When that control is lost, we grasp after it until we have it again, no matter what the cost.  In God’s kingdom, the only control we must have is control that is regulated by the Spirit of God.  Power, choice, and surrender are key elements to self-control.  We have the power to act, or not. We can surrender to God’s will, or not.  The resources of heaven are at our disposal every minute of every day to keep us in step with the Spirit, if we that’s what we choose.  There…

Real Life: Faithfulness

Real Life:  Faithfulness “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.”  Lamentations 3:22-24 Faithfulness means trustworthy.  A person who is faithful can be trusted to do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it.  The key word here is trust.  It is dependent on a person’s character.  I know God is trustworthy as I get to know Him more intimately through His Word.  A faithful person can be counted on; they rarely fail to live up to their promises.  We do make mistakes because of our human weakness, but the Holy Spirit within…

Real Life: Goodness and Gentleness

Real Life:  Goodness and Gentleness “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 Goodness and gentleness are like cooling breezes in the blistering heat of summer. In the scriptures they are coupled with patience (forbearance) and forgiveness.  In the depths of pain, the breezes of forgiveness cover the one who committed the offense against us. This fruit is intended to lead that person to repentance. In Romans 2:4, the apostle Paul asks a question of the church at Rome that illustrates what this means:  “Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”  God’s kindness towards…

Real Life: Patience

Real Life:  Patience “…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:2 The Christian life was birthed in the fires of suffering.   Jesus suffered on the Cross to make salvation possible for every human being. The Bible says that He endured the Cross: “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5. As a human being, Jesus suffered excruciating pain.  How did He endure such agony?  The same way we can endure unimaginable pain, both physically and emotionally.  Jesus was on the Cross for six hours, and He was beaten and verbally abused before the first nail pierced His flesh. …

Real Life: Joy

Real Life: Joy “ I have told you these things so that you will be filled with MY joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:11   “And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”  Nehemiah 8:10  In God’s realm, joy is not a feeling or a passing sentiment. Joy is the stronghold of the soul that sustains us through the most horrific circumstances.  It is heavenly in origin, the sweet fruit of the divine.  In Philippians 4:4, we are commanded: “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I…

Real Life: Peace

Real Life: Victorious Peace “ Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your specific requests known to God. And the peace of God, that peace which reassures the heart, that peace, which transcends all understanding, that peace which stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, is yours.” Philippians 4:6,7 Peace is a gift and like any gift, we must take it, open it, and put it to use.  Jesus promised this peace to all His disciples.  The cares and worries of life can bring our hearts and spirits down so that we accomplish nothing for God’s Kingdom.  Our purpose is hindered by anxiety and fear.  Peace begins at…

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