I believe this can be the global churches finest hour to rise up and demonstrate to the world who God is. God is love.
We can go love our neighbors. If we cannot leave the house, we can reach out online. If we can go to the grocery store/pharmacy, we can leave care packages on porches. We can be kind. We can refuse to hoard because God is our provider. We can check in on people. “How are you? I heard you were laid off, do you need anything?” We can pray for the sick. My dad cannot go in hospitals or nursing homes right now as a Chaplain so he has been going to the parking lot to pray. We can pray over businesses and if we have money get gift cards from them. We can share Jesus online and gather people to worship through technology. If we have enough, we can share. We can cease spreading negativity and look for ways to lift others up!! We can look for ways to be a blessing in word and deed.
God is love. Love looks like something. It looks like someone-Jesus.
I find no where in the Bible where it tells me to think only of myself and go sit down idle waiting on Jesus to return. I find passages that encourage me to GO be light, GO love my neighbor, GO be a blessing, GO share the Gospel, GO be an example. We lead by example. Our sermons may make people feel good, yet the way we demonstrate what we believe leaves a lasting impression on people.
I told my brother last night that loving Jesus, following Jesus transforms the way we live. We begin to care about who and what God cares about. God cares that people are hungry, scared, uncertain, in great need. If I claim to love Him, what moves Him moves me. We are united in love.
Yesterday for We Will Rise worship gathering we did reverse offerings. They received money, not me. I do not take up offerings for me for teaching the Gospel. What good am I taking money from people who may not be able to eat when I have enough? Blessing them was the priority. It warmed my heart they nominated others in the community instead of just themselves. Love is looking out for others.
Arise and shine! Arise and shine!! Arise and shine!!!
We cannot do everything; we can do something!
If you have a grocery need, or know someone in need, the giveaway is this evening. My not for profit is doing a grocery giveaway. Go to http://www.OperationGodisLove.org.
Peace is not the absence of a storm or adversity. Peace comes in the presence of Christ. He is the one the winds and waves still obey. If He does not calm the storms around us, He calms the storms within us.
An encouragement I sensed from Jesus for the world. Certainly weigh it, test it against the word of God and character of God. Shalom.
“Beloved, I have come that you may have peace. Peace that surpasses your understanding. It will fill your heart and mind as you trust in Me. I love you and I am not unprepared nor unqualified to care for you in any and all circumstances. I am the Alpha and Omega. I have stood with My people through plagues, severe persecutions, wars, and turmoil since they began. I am the one who has the superior wisdom and all power.
I am the one who is speaking above the storms. The media cannot be your source. Sink into My word, My words, and surrender your fears at My feet. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. I disarmed every principality and power, spirits of wickedness in high places. I hold all authority. The Father and I still hold ALL power! We have never been defeated.
Do not allow the evil one to rob you of the peace and joy I paid to give you. Listen, listen, listen…turn your ears to heaven. Lift your voices to heaven. Turn your heart to worship. Worship is war song. It reminds the evil one that he has been defeated. When you worship in spirit and in truth it recalibrates your atmosphere, your soul, and body. We do not encourage worship out of ego. The Father and I know that worship releases heaven in your realm. There is no sickness, death, fear, or sorrow in heaven.
The Lord your God is all powerful. You do not need beg for help. Those who are united with Me through faith come BOLDLY before our throne of grace in times of need. It is your inheritance. I AM your provider. I AM your healer. I AM your peace. I AM your joy. I AM the all sufficient one. I AM your Deliverer.
Break your agreement with the spirits of fear and anxiety and command that spirit to FLEE! Your inheritance is peace despite the circumstances.
Those united with Me will bear fruit in every season. You are not defeated nor backed into a corner unless you come into agreement with the defeated one. I defeated him. I defeated death, hell, and the grave.
Lay down the idols that cannot save you. Place your trust in Me. Some trust in their bank accounts, their leaders, themselves, their spouse, their pastors, their military, yet behold only those who place fully in God will see themselves rise above the storm instead of sink into despair and poverty.
I have the power to take what you have and multiply it! I still have the power to send provision from heaven and call it from the sea. We are still working miracles.
Break up any seeds planted of unbelief. Your faith opens up a realm of the supernatural. Let your faith rise above the storm. Speak what heaven is speaking. Do not come into agreement with the reports of mankind. Mankind sees in part and knows in part. I SEE all, KNOW all, and stand ABOVE it all.
We have listened to mankind cry out for revival, yet leaned on their own strengths and agendas. We will do it our way. We will pour out glory over neighborhoods and communities. We will transform hearts and not a single person will hold the glory. Idols will fall. Demonic systems will fall. Religious systems not built on the foundation of My Kingdom will fall. My Kingdom will remain.
Those who worship in spirit and truth will see things in their day they could not even imagine. The trumpet has been blasting for years to turn, ‘Turn back to God.’ Mankind in their rebellion built monuments and idols to worship. Those idols cannot save!!! They cannot save.
I sent spokesmen and spokeswomen to blast the trumpet, ‘Turn from these idols. They seek to destroy you.’ Many were ignored. The earth began to shake and quake under the demonic idols of the land. For the evil one seeks to devour your world. He has been after worship since pride entered his heart. Mankind’s agreement gave him authority. I took back that authority and gave it to the sons and daughters of God.
I am not punishing the world. The demons beyond the idols are exercising the rights they have been given through human worship and human agreement to attack the world. When times are good, many sons and daughters of Adam turn their faces from us, ‘Who needs God?’ They blatantly sin and mock the precepts of God. Oh yet when crisis falls upon the earth, the same some ones cry out, ‘Where is God? Why did God allow this? Help us God!’
We are merciful. We hate to see the world suffer. Creation is groaning and crying out for the sons and daughters of God to arise to be light, to shine our light into the darkness. I tap on the shoulders and hearts of My friends and children of God to participate in My agenda for the world. Some ignore Me. Some buck the words of the Father in pursuit of self comfort and selfish ambition. My heart cries out ‘Wake up!!! A storm is coming. Wake up! The world needs what we placed inside you. Do not go to sleep.’ Some hear Me. Some ignore Me. Yet I stand in truth, love, mercy, and justice seeking whomever will listen and turn.
Turn to Me, I love you. Bring your heart to Me, I love you. Lay down your idols, your busyness, your selfish ambition, and listen. Seek first the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is advancing. Come into agreement and alignment with heaven. Heaven is speaking. Heaven is pursuing you. I am pursuing you. Look at Me! Will you listen and turn your heart to Me? Turn, turn, turn! My heart is here looking for your full heart. Come to Me!! COME!”
May you and I turn to God and surrender. God is speaking to turn. There can be idols in Christian culture. The things and people that are clung to and trusted more than God. Let’s turn. God alone saves. Turn from idols of busyness, self, selfish ambition, comfort, pleasure, people, politics, worship of ministry/ministers/church/family, entertainment, and anything else. May the reverence for the Lord return to us.
God you alone are God. May we find our identity, security, and comfort in you! Please forgive us for choosing any other god. They cannot save. Jesus is LORD! And His Kingdom will reign for ever and ever!!
I have seen panic and terror in the eyes of people on the streets. My not for profit has still been out serving the poor, feeding the hungry, clothing those sleeping outdoors, and praying for the sick at the Free Clinic. People need hope. You and I need to remain calm.
Tonight I am sharing an email blog post from my business website written in response to the coronavirus. I hope it blesses you!
How do we navigate through the challenging seasons of life without breaking down or completely losing it?
I believe it requires some focus and intentionality to maintain peace, hope, and even joy in the midst of uncertainty.
Our world is responding to a global crisis. Due to the easy access to information, people are inundated with bad news, negative reports, and are not being provided much hope (an expectation of good). My desire is to provide you with some hope and tools to navigate through the season.
An acronym for hope can be, “Hold On Pain Ends.” I want you to note that just as the seasons in nature change, so do seasons in our lives. There can be seasons that feel like a winter and others that feel like a spring or summer.
In the beginning and middle of hard times, it can be challenging to have a vision of better times or an expectation of good. As stated before it requires some focus and intentionality.
I want to share with you some tips that helped me during a 17-month long challenging season. It was one of the most difficult seasons of my life and just ended last summer. We expect the current global crisis with coronavirus to be much shorter. 🙂
These are some tips that helped me tremendously.
Tip 1: Limit exposure to negativity.
What we feed grows, what we starve dies. Find something positive to read, listen to, and positive people to talk to about your thoughts. In this current situation, you may need to avoid watching the news. We were not created to take in so much negativity and bad reports. If you are a person of faith, focus on meditating on the promises of God.
Tip 2: Start a gratitude journal.
One thing that I believe helped me keep my mind right during my 17-month challenging season was taking time to document things I was thankful for each day. Gratitude helps our brain produce feel-good hormones. Start by thinking of 3-6 things daily. Anything good that occurs, write it down. Focus on the good. It could be 1. I have clean water. 2. I have food. 3. I have a friend. 4. Someone cares about me. Be intentional about gratitude/giving thanks.
“A National Institutes of Health study found that when you express kindness or feel gratitude, your hypothalamus floods your brain with dopamine. This gives you a natural high, motivating you to do good and express gratitude even more.”
Tip 3: Practice kindness.
Just as stated above about gratitude, expressing kindness releases dopamine (feel-good hormones) in the brain. Not only does expressing kindness help the brain get out of stress hormone mode (fight or flight, cortisol, and immune system suppressing hormones), but it also helps get the focus off self and off things that cannot be controlled.
Many of us are working from home, some have been laid off, or the business is suffering. There is minimal to no control over what is occurring externally. We can exercise our will to be kind to others. We do not have control over every event. We do have control over how we respond.
Some ideas: Find someone to reach out to and ask them how they are doing, if they are okay, be kind at the grocery store, share, cease hoarding (operating with a scarcity/poverty mindset), be a blessing, ask neighbors if they need anything.
Tip 4: Write out your thoughts and feelings.
Thoughts and feelings trapped inside the head can lead to less than rational realities and behaviors. People are panicked, therefore they are not using logic or rational thought. It does not make sense for me to purchase 20 gallons of milk that will spoil or 500 rolls of toilet paper. Scared people show you their worst and operate under a “me-first mentality.”
When the thoughts and feelings are written out, it helps significantly. Once you write it out, read it. What is the story you are telling yourself? Process your thoughts and feelings. Before you react, press pause, and get your mind right. Just because others are panicked does not mean you or I need to panic.
Tip 5: GO outside! Fresh air helps.
Even though many events and venues are closed, the sidewalks are not, the backyard is not, and the freeways are not. It was such a blessing today to go outside. I saw people riding bikes, taking walks, and walking their dogs. It is good for the mind and body to get moving. Exercise, talk a walk, go for a drive.
“…taking a walk outside will help the brain produce endorphins, which are neurotransmitters responsible for regulating mood. Both being outside and walking can work together to create positive changes in the overall state of mind.“-Advanced Neurotherapy.
None of us will bypass all adversity. The key is to learn how to navigate well through adversity. We may have an array of thoughts and feelings regarding the situations, that is human and normal. We process those thoughts and emotions. We seek solutions and look for what we can do.
The other key is to learn to manage our responses to adversity, challenges, and hard times. We do not have to allow others to pull us into their storm. We can pull them into our peace.
This too shall pass.
Hold on pain ends.
Keep your mind healthy by focusing on positive things.
Focus on anything that is going right.
Focus on what can be done.
Look for ways to help and bless others.
Process your thoughts and feelings. Write it out.
Get some fresh air.
Get moving if you can.
Take time to rest.
Continuing to keep you and your families in my prayers. We will get through this together!
P.S If you know someone suffering a hardship/food crisis, check out the grocery giveaway through my not for profit Operation God is Love. USA residents are eligible.
Is it possible to love a Nation and it’s people without setting foot on it’s soil? I believe so; God loves the Nations. When our heart beats in tandem with His, it is possible to love strangers. The Bible speaks of heaven including people from every tribe, tongue and Nation. God holds each Nation in His heart.
The heart of God is so vast beyond measure, so grand. If we could stretch His heart out over the world, it would wrap around the earth millions of times over! His love is so deep, so wide, so full, and oh so beautiful!!! ❤️💯
Africa, we are coming to love you and bless you. We are coming to speak life over your land. We are coming to see the sick healed, the oppressed set free, the hungry fed, the hurting comforted, and the Gospel (good news of Jesus) shared.
God placed Africa in my heart. When I was quite young, God started talking to me about the Nations. He spoke of where I would go, what I would do, and it was more than I could comprehend. I still wrote it down and pondered the words of a loving Father.
Has God placed a Nation or people group in your heart?
Then I began dreaming of being in the Nations. God was restoring the land. I see Him healing the sick, the lame walking, colonies of the dying coming to life. I dreamed of running across the continent of Africa with views of lush waterfalls, green grass, and fertile soil. My heart exclaimed loudly, “Africa shall be restored!”
In that dream, I ran into a missionary in Africa named Heidi Baker. She ministers to the poor all over Africa and has planted thousands of churches there. We hugged; we smiled. We each had our part of Africa to love! The mission was love. The mission was and is Jesus.
It is something when God knits a Nation, the Nations in your heart. It beats with passion and zeal for perfect strangers. You think of them with delight and joy. Why? They are the delight of the Father.
I recalled being at a youth event and Reinhard Bonnke spoke over us, prayed over us, “Africa will be saved!” My literally burned with passion. Does your heart burn with passion to see the lost reunited with the Father? I saw faces of people who would come to intimately know the one who is love. God is love. I felt heaven’s pulse and heartbeat. I felt the longing for those disconnected from God’s heart to come home.
We were created by love (God), to be loved, then to love. The world is looking for a true encounter with love. The agape love of God is much needed!
Maybe you will not cross the seas into the Nations. How about crossing the street to a neighbor?
We cannot do everything. We can do something! We can be the hands and feet of Jesus in a hurting world. Some of us will go into the Nations. Some of us will go across the street or into the marketplace. The key is to abide in God’s love and go! Take love outside the four walls of weekend services.
God knit the ones you love into our hearts! Fuel our passion for those you love!
P.S if you wish to join us in Africa Oct 8th through 20th 2020, please grab an application from OperationGodisLove.org.
It is quite easy to be critical and judge. It is so easy to throw stones at other people and not see the plank in our own eyes. Why? We see in part and know in part. We can think we know and know nothing. God does not simply see the behaviors of humanity; God sees why people do what they do.
How many of you have been harmed greatly by someone who seemed to not get what the problem is? How many of you have been harmed by a professing Christian? Ah, it stings a bit more when they claim to love Jesus and do not love others right? Yet there is a part of the puzzle God sees that we may not. God sees how much of His love they have actually received. We can only give away what we possess.
We tell people to love God and others. “Love God, love others, love yourself last.” This mantra has led to loads of dysfunctional and sometimes codependent relationships. “I will love myself last and God will be so proud.” Well, it sounds noble. The problem is that is it is not biblical.
The Bible says we love because God first loves us (1 John 4:19). The starting point is God. God is love (1 John 4:8).
God is the source of agape (unselfish, sacrificial, unwavering love). This love is the highest of all loves. It trumps eros (romantic/sexual), philia (brotherly love), and storage (family love). Jesus stated His disciples would be known by their agape love (John 13:34-35). This love is the 1 Corinthians 13 type of love.
The next step is receiving God’s love, then giving that love back to God and loving our neighbor AS we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). We will not be able to love God or our neighbor if we do not FIRST RECEIVE agape from God. “God here I am in need of your love, help me to receive the fullness of your love for me,” is a great starting prayer.
It is so vital that we learn how to receive love from God and believe God loves us.
Our thoughts matter! We will not out behave our thought life. Those who think they are the scum of the earth tend to treat others poorly. Those who have not fully accepted they are profoundly loved and accepted by God tend to struggle with loving God, themselves, and others. Your greatest adversary lacks God love. The person who mistreated or abused you lacked God love. The people who dishonored you, they lacked God love.
We cannot give away what we do not possess.
When we move beyond judging behavior to recognizing the root, compassion fills our heart. We move from being critical to praying the other person knows intimately the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of God’s love. We can only reveal to others the God we know. We can only honor others when we have experienced His honor and approval.
When people ask “How could you sit with the homeless, they are so dirty and gross?” I think, “How could I not? I see someone God created with great love. Under all the dirt, is a treasure.” I can honor what society calls, “The least of them,” because I know how much God loves me. If I were dirty and on the streets, I would anticipate God sending someone to love me. I am greatly loved, so are they, and so are you.
Jesus was able to move in high levels of compassion because He was one with the Father. He was not led by His flesh. Jesus knew how greatly He was loved, therefore He could take the lowest place. He could honor the least, last, lost, sinners, and lepers of society because He knew His worth. Those who do not know their own worth or value will not be able to see yours or anyone else’s.
One of the greatest revelations I had from God regarding people was during a season I was being grossly mistreated by Christians. God spoke to my heart, “People will not treat you any better than they treat me. People can not give you what they do not possess.” I recognized in that moment people say they love God, yet if you observe them, some do not honor, cherish, respect, obey, listen to God, etc… For some people, God is their sugar daddy or fire insurance. Loving God to gain something from Him is not loving God.
You can tell quite a bit about how a person feels about themselves by how they treat other people.
You can also gain insight into how people will treat you if you look at how they treat God. If God is only pursued to gain something, that is how they will treat you.
I am learning not to take things personally. How people behave, myself included, is a reflection of the inner condition. Those who know they are loved, love well. Those who try to “fake it til they make it,” tend to hurt tons of people because their love is shallow or deficient.
Before we throw stones, get offended, or hurt by people, pause. Press pause and ask God for His view point of the person, situation, and what is not as visibly seen.
I had a friend chat with me about missing friend gatherings. More than my introversion, there is normally a reason aligned with everything I say no to. Instead of taking on offense, he asked me about it and we talked. His heart grew with compassion.
The evil one will tell you to judge, jump to conclusions, criticize people, be nasty, look for all the things the other person is doing that could be wrong. Love moves us deeper into compassion. Maybe, most likely, there is something more going on than meets the eye.
May you and I sink deeper into compassion. It is a fruit of God’s love.
“…when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd,”-Matthew 9:36.
I hope to release book 4, Killing Insecurity, either later this year or 2021! I hope it leads many into freedom. God longs to see us live bold, confident, and FREE!!
P.S You can support our mission to love the homeless, poor, and victims of human trafficking by supporting our new merch store. Go to empoweredandfreemerch.com.
The dying AIDS patient who deepened my awareness of God’s love…
I have this thing with Jesus where if He asks me to do something, my heart melts under the weight of His love. I find Him mostly irresistible. Often He calls me to do things my base personality probably would not run towards. Like the day I met John (not his real name). John was covered in sores (scabbed over), dying, and sad. I stopped for John and tears filled his eyes as he told me there was no hope for him. The way he lived, the diagnosis, no hope. I felt led to pull John into my arms and hug him. Tears flowed freely from his eyes.
Could I be contaminated by John, sores covering his body, tears and saliva flowing? It did not matter in that moment. What mattered was John feeling the deep embrace of God. “John God sees you and loves you. Your life matters greatly to God. John there is always hope with Jesus.”
That day with John wrecked me. Who wanted to touch John? Most people avoided eye contact with Him. God wanted to touch John. There is no fear in love. I have attempted to love many people in my lifetime who could not see God’s love or responded poorly to love. Yet love (God) keeps calling me to love.
So my encouragement is abide in the one who is love, Jesus. When you do, love will FLOW out of you in abounding ways. No striving, abide in Him (cultivate intimacy with God). It won’t matter if you are highly introverted, or not into loving strangers. He will love through YOU! God is simply looking to love the world and it starts with me and you!
My prayer is our hearts receive more of God’s love and we give it away! The world needs love, love, love!!!
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You above Your companions with the oil of joy,~Hebrews 1:9.
God is not stuffy, stoic, nor boring. God knows how to celebrate and have a good time. Pleasure was God’s idea; sin perverted pleasure and a religious/Pharisee spirit tries to dampen any fun with God. God is fun. There is more pleasure and enjoyment in God than anything He created.
I used to examine people who got so excited about God in wonder…until I got to know God for myself. Knowing God elevated my joy quotient significantly. Knowing God has been the greatest joy of my life. Words do not adequately express the beauty, majesty, and mystery of God.
What if I don’t feel joy?
Joy is not a feeling based on what is happening. It is an overflow of abiding in the One who is joy. Jesus stated plainly that abiding in Him brings forth abounding fruit. That is why we can go through a challenging season and still have joy. Paul wrote many celebratory letters from prison. God is good even when life is not going the way we desire. Focusing on who God is, takes the focus off our momentary sorrows.
Paradise is not just a place. It is a person. God is pure JOY. In His presence as the Psalmist proclaimed is the fullness of joy.
You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand,~Psalm 16:11.
Including part of my devotion this morning. My hopes are that joy bubbles up out of your spirit! God loves you and being with God bring joy.
“Go back as far as you can in prerecorded history, back to the dawn of the universe, and there you’ll find joy. The Creation is characterized by celebration (Job 38:6-7; Proverbs 8:22-31). Turning to the time of the New Testament, Christ is characterized by joy (John 8:29; 15:11). In the parable of the lost son, heaven in the present is characterized by joy, feasting, music, and dancing (Luke 15:11-32). Finally, looking forward to the future, John shows us a picture of heaven (Revelation 19:6-9). It will be a feast, where the people shout, “Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give him the glory!” (verse 7).
The story of faith begins and ends in joy. And in between, there is joy. Joy permeated Paul’s life, even in the place you would have least expected it—in prison (see the book of Philippians). For more than twenty centuries, Christians have been exhibiting joy. There have been sad, even morose, Christians, to be sure. But the ones who have inspired us have been marked by joy…
Anyone who gets in touch with God gets in touch with joy. All true joy is derivative. It doesn’t originate from the world. It doesn’t originate from us. It originates from him. And when we get close to him, it rubs off,”~from the Marked by Joy devotion on YouVersion