Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15 NIV)
There have been times when I looked at the nightly news and there was a Murder of someone’s family member, I was able to empathize, but I was unable to Sympathize. Eventually, I came to identify and understand people victimized by this tragic way of losing a loved one. I now had a change of heart and started to realize that when they mentioned the death on the news, you want the reporter to keep talking about your family member. But instead, they go on to the next story, and it just seems so cold; that one’s family members death is followed by the local weather. You start to wish the reporter would be able to spend a few more minutes talking about how your loved one impacted the world around them.
In this text, Paul was writing to the Roman Christians who were experiencing persecution, and just reminding them not to pay evil with evil, but also rejoice and mourn with fellow believers when they are going through good times as well as difficulties. One of the Eulogist at my family members funeral said something to me that resonates to this day; sometimes it does not matter how they died, it is more important how they lived. That was the balm in Gilead for my spirit, to think on the good things; during all that chaos, there was a rainbow shining that enabled me to rejoice even though it was a time of mourning. We do not know what tragedy we might experience in our lifetime, so it is good not to be callous when others are going through the storm clouds of life. If we just live a little, we are going to have experience’s that break our heart, and we will want someone to cry with us. But do remember, when there is no one, God will heal your broken heart and dry your tears. I am grateful that I serve a God of comfort, who has taught me how to comfort and support others during their storm. Remain encouraged. God bless you always.
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. (Psalm 40:13 NIV)
Lately, I am noticing an increase in heroin addicts near and around my office and an increase in the homeless population. These individuals belong to somebody; someone gave birth. I cannot begin to tell you that I know their story, but we all have a story, maybe not their story but by the Gods grace, we have been delivered from something or someone. This is an opportunity for us as believers to witness and encourage someone that our God can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, knowing that our God has delivered many from drug addiction and have lived to tell their story. Let us not look down on people, the only reason to look down is to help someone up, who struggles with addiction, some of us are just “neat sinners,” we do not wear our struggles on our sleeve, or so we think. We have addicts in our family, and we have associates whose children are struggling with drug addiction. Some of us struggle with substance abuse; let us continue to be a beacon of light in a dark world, and as a disciple of Christ, our Lord can heal, deliver and set free from all addictions and struggles. We must continue to pray and not look down on people struggling with drugs but let them know the Lord loves us despite our addictions and struggles. If you allow the Lord to be the captain of your ship and navigate your life, you are more than a conqueror and victorious, and the Lord can heal and mend those broken places in your life if you would give him a chance. Ask, and ye shall receive knock, and the door will be open. When the doors of the church were open on Sunday morning after the sermon, we would sing “Come to Jesus, just now, he is able just now, only trust him just now,”…… the invitation is always open to turn your life over to God, the master craftsmen. God bless you, remain encouraged.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1st Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)
Sometimes in life when we can find a quiet moment, it is good to reflect and look at our lives and give thanks. We can get so busy sometimes raising children dealing with conflict, trying to handle every aspect of adulthood that we often forget to pause and give thanks to God for all things. Sometimes I like to sit in my living room and reflect upon how far the Lord has brought me; knowing that all things were not good but all things have worked together for my good. The storms that have come in my life have been for correction and growth. I want the Lord to know that it was not of my own doing, but by his grace, I am grateful for his blessings. When I was a staff nurse working in Hospitals and nursing homes, I was responsible for caring for people who could not do anything for themselves, something as simple as scratching their nose, if they felt a tickle, therefore by the grace of God go I. So, I just need sometimes to give thanks to God for all things. As a preacher of the gospel, I remind the congregants when you begin to think about the goodness of Jesus, begin to thank God for how he brought you through every valley and every storm when you thought you were not going to make it the Lord kept you and would not let go. When you were close to losing your mind, and did not know which way to turn, God kept you. So, I encourage you sometimes to take the time and reflect upon your life and the many blessing you have, trouble will come, but through the clouds are many rainbows of God’s presence and amazing grace. So, let’s remember to give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you. God Bless you and stay encouraged, the Lord will make it alright.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 NIV)
There are times in life when we may have unintentionally disappointed a family member or a friend. They may have had an expectation that we handle a situation the way they wanted it to be dealt with in their mind. We may have been available, but it was not good enough, they may have expected us to give more of ourselves. I have been in this situation a few times in my life. I have friends who felt I should have dropped everything and ran to be by their side. Again, that’s what they wanted. I was available, but not to the extent they wanted me to be. I have a business, a family and I am a Pastor of a church, I would have wanted more understanding of everything going on in my life. You get to the place in life where you learn how to please God, and not man. In this text, the Apostle Paul was letting his enemies know, that maybe before his conversion he was seeking man’s approval, but by the time of his preaching to the Galatians that was no longer the case. I encourage you today, seek Gods approval of your life. Do the best you can and if it is unacceptable by man standards, do not worry yourself for the Bible tells us in the Gospel of Matthew, and do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. God Bless.