Who’s “on” FIRST?

In this new year, do you desire something new? A better you? A better life? A better way of living?

What do you do “first” every day?

Do you PRAY first or WORRY first?

Do you begin your day feasting on FEAR or FAITH?

Do you wake up worshiping God with songs of praise or singing along with the common place seductive & deceptive lyrics of today?

Do you give priority to what the popular voices in our world are saying or what the prophetic promises of God’s Word are eternally speaking?

Do you spend more time on Facebook than in The Greatest Book of all books?

Is your life filled with destructive drama or life giving peace?

Are you seeking a position, power, prestige or self-gratifying pleasure over God’s presence and purpose in your life?

Have you been happy with your previous ways of living your life?

Have your daily choices and habits led you to MORE JOY, FREEDOM, REST and PEACE?

Are your own habits and choices working well for you? Well, this post is not for you.

But if you are tired of your own ways, your own choices, and your same old results, I challenge you to surrender to something NEW.

Only a fool keeps doing the same thing over and over expecting new results.

The GOD who formed you and KNOWS EVERYTHING about you, and LOVES YOU MORE THAN ANYONE YOU’LL EVER KNOW, is able to make ALL THINGS NEW for you.

Take TIME to realign and submit to The Master’s plan and His sovereign design. Let God write your story all for His glory.

Begin fresh and anew today to put God and His Word first in EVERY area of your life. Prioritize prayer – talk to God FIRST every day before anyone else.  WAIT, be still and listen to God to speak to you through His Word FIRST before listening to anyone else.

Seek to obey and do things God’s way. Go higher by going lower. Humble yourself and receive the greatest reward of all.

In God’s presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand, are pleasures that last forever (Psalm 16:11).

In God’s kingdom, surrender leads to success by God’s standards. The kingdom of God is about living life by God’s good and right standards and being filled with the PEACE and JOY of God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

God’s standards are based on His Word and not our own thoughts, philosophies or ideas.

God’s Word trumps the opinions of men.

So, who’s on FIRST in your daily life?

Is it you, another person, another agenda or is God and His plan really first in your heart and life?

 Jesus told us the FIRST and greatest commandment:

 You must love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:29-31).  

Preaching this message to myself too!

A Prayer:

Lord, help us to seek first Your Kingdom, Your will, Your purpose, Your plan, and success according to Your definition. May we FIRST fully surrender our hearts – the place where everything in our lives starts. May we love you FIRST with ALL our hearts. As we keep seeking first to know You more and to promote all that is good, pure and lovely through our lives, may you fulfill Your promise to meet all our needs. Amen.

#SeekGodfirst

#Prayfirst

#TurnfirsttoGodandHisWord

#silenceothervoices

#surrendertoGodsstillsmallvoice

#submittoGodsWordovereveryotherword

#feastonfaithoverfear

#seekGodswill

#seekGodspurpose

#seekGodsglory

#thebelieversfirstpriority

#PrioritizetoputGodfirstineverything

#surrendertoGodsplan

#seektosucceedbyGodsstandards

#Reorderyourlife

#challengeyourself

#humbleyourself

#golowerandgohigher

#BestNewYearsresolutionever

#Happynewyou

#Hemakesallthingsnew

#Whosonfirstinyourdailylife?

#LoveGodfirstandforemost

The Greatest Words of all:

Matthew 24:35; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 5:8, 10:17, 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 34:1, 96:1, 139:13-18; John 3:16-17; Isaiah 43:18-19; Revelation 21:5

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What Child is This?

He came as a child although He is The King of kings. In order to receive from Him we must come in childlike faith to receive the salvation He brings.

As I reflect on the lyrics to many of our timeless and treasured Christmas songs, I am reminded of the powerful truths penned so many years ago that carry the true Christ-centered message of Christmas. Amidst all the business of the season, the gifts most needed are the peace and joy that knowing and worshiping King Jesus brings.

God’s PRESENCE is the best PRESENT of all! MERRY CHRISTmas!

Sharing one of my favorite renditions of “What Child is This?” by the gloriously gifted artist, Andre’ Bocelli:

I’ve created choreography to this song and repeated sharing it through various dance groups and students since 2009.  I’ve printed the original lyrics below written originally in 1865 and published in 1871 by William Chatterton Dix from Great Britain. Dix was an insurance company manager who suffered a serious illness and depression. During this time, he experienced a spiritual renewal that led him to write several hymns including the timeless and treasured lyrics of “What Child is This?” – lyrics printed below.*

Christmas is all centered around the birth of Christ, God’s greatest gift to the world.  A gift of endless love, amazing grace, and everlasting Truth that brings joy to the heart and sets captives free.  May the presence of His love, peace and JOY be yours not only at Christmas but every day of the year. When you experience the Christ of Christmas, every day can be THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

*What Child is This? (Lyrics written by William Chatterton Dix, 1865)

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

Chorus:

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Two (2) Verses below not recalled often today:

(1 of 2)

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
(2 of 2)

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Repeat Chorus…

…This, this is Christ the King…

Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby;
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Repeat Chorus…

…This, this is Christ The King…

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story wereastonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Luke 2:6-20

Grace to Grace 



God give us grace. 

Let us take our rightful place

– humbly submitted to You,

as all our pride is totally erased.

May we arise in boldness 

– empowered by Your Spirit, 

as we daily seek Your face.

Strengthen us to 

defeat our enemy and all his lies, 

as we run with mission towards

finishing our race.

Keep us focused on the prize of Heaven

as we follow all Your ways.

Your love, Your light, Your truth,

Your freedom – help us always to embrace.

All our lives are for Your glory, 

so we will trust You with our restoration 

stories.  

Let us reach out as You lead us 

to bring others to Your grace.

Thank You Lord for this day!

Thank You Lord for Your grace!

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Accuser or Advocate?

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Accusers bring condemnation. Advocates bring liberation.
Don’t be an accuser; be an advocate.  Imitate Christ Jesus. 
Silence the voice of the accuser.  Listen to the voice of your advocate, Jesus, the lover of your soul.  
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1
The more you seek your own way, the more you become a slave to sin and to yourself.
The more you seek after God, the more you become a servant of His ways. (see John 8:34)

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Shake It Off


#unshakable #kingdomofGod  #standfirm #Shakeitoff #Iamnotshaken #Heavenawaitsus

When our lives are planted on the solid ROCK of Jesus, and His Word and Spirit are deeply rooted within us, only the things that can be shaken are shaken.
Life brings many experiences that shake us to our core and often break our hearts. Some of these “shaking experiences” are purposefully used to make us stronger; others God desires to use to help us boldly shake off what is not pleasing to Him or serving His plan and purpose.  When we don’t, He may allow for them to be shaken off of us.  

As citizens of God’s unshakable kingdom, we are not to be shaken. 

Shake off whatever it is that’s hindering you or keeping you from moving forward with God’s plan for your life. The future only gets better in God’s unshakable kingdom.

Just a few examples of some things we all need to shake off:

  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Offense
  • Pride
  • Complacency 

The Holy Spirit will show you your specific list if you ask Him.


So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time—he’s told us this quite plainly—he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.” The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered. Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire! 
Hebrews 12:25-29 The Message

With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort. 1 Corinthians 15:58 The Message

Even the things that God is allowing to be shaken are working together for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose and plan. See Romans 8:28.

He only is my rock and my salvation; My fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged. Psalm 62:6 Amplified

Let Freedom Reign!

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Let us declare our independence from fear of man, bondage to self and the strongholds of addiction, materialism, and sin, and celebrate our dependence on the FATHER OF LIBERTY.  
The heart of God is freedom.  Freedom to be the son or daughter of God you were created in His image to be.   The AUTHOR OF ALL TRUE FREEDOM AND LIBERTY, our ALMIGHTY CREATOR, God, not only calls us to a place of freedom, but paid the price for us to live in freedom through Jesus’ laying down His life for us on the cross.  This is AMAZING GRACE THAT LEADS TO AMAZING FREEDOM AND LIFE!  When you live and walk in this place of freedom, you are free to love and honor God and to love and serve others.  
#HappyIndependenceDay #DeclarationofDependenceonGod #Letfreedomreign #celebratefreedom
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
 
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” (Jesus, John 8:36)
 
Many in our nation sing songs of freedom, but are far removed from truly experiencing it.
They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.  (2 Peter 2:18-19)
“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  (2 Corinthians 3:17)
 
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.  Galatians 5:13 (The Message)
#freedom
Let freedom reign!
Part of the American revolution was birthed for the purpose of obtaining freedom “of” religion, not freedom “from” religion.  The spirit of this longing that so propelled the pilgrims was the desire to worship God freely.  Our Heavenly Father desires relationship with us over religion and rituals.  Surrendering completely to the One who made us and designed us to worship, brings ultimate freedom, joy and life everlasting.  It’s the ironic kingdom principle that spiritual freedom begins with surrender.  When we freely choose not to  worship our Creator, inevitably we begin worshiping other people or things, and this ultimately leads us to a place where many other things reign in our lives.  For many, this leads to a place where bondage reigns and rules, and not a spirit of freedom.
Let His freedom reign in your heart and life today!
 
#wheretheSpiritoftheLordisthereisfreedom
#letfreedomreign #letfreedomring 

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It’s all good. Not!

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There is a common phrase that sounds like truth.  The phrase, “It’s all good” sounds like a good, positive quote, and it is that. “It’s all good”?  No, it’s not all good.  I like Pastor Steven Furtick’s quote, “It’s never all good.”  This is truth. 

It’s NEVER ALL GOOD, BUT GOD WILL WORK “ALL THESE THINGS TOGETHER FOR GOOD” IN MY LIFE AS I TRUST HIS PLAN, FOLLOW HIS CALLING, AND LOVE HIM WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

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There are always things in our lives that are not good.  Some are very painful, sorrowful, and difficult, to say the least. We all experience things that are “not good” in our fallen world.  This doesn’t negate the truth of Romans 8:28. However, this promise applies to Christians and not to those who just claim the label, and are not truly following Jesus Christ and His teachings. 

All things are not good, but God takes “all things” (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and “works them together for good” to and for who?  To those who love God and are the “called according to His purpose.” 

Lets face it, we see many people whose lives are filled with things working together not for good.  Actually, some things are working together for the perpetuation of all that God defines as NOT good.  Those who are not trusting God, have not answered the call to follow Him, and are not lovers of God, cannot expect for all things to work together for good.

Who can count on and experience the Romans 8:28 promise?  Those who love God with all their hearts, have answered the call to follow Him, and desire His purpose to be fulfilled.

It’s NEVER ALL GOOD, BUT GOD WILL WORK “ALL THESE THINGS TOGETHER FOR GOOD” IN MY LIFE AS I TRUST HIS PLAN, FOLLOW HIS CALLING, AND LOVE HIM WHOLEHEARTEDLY.

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. All power to Him forever! Amen. (1 Peter 5:10-11)

#itsneverallgood #allthingsworktogetherforgood #Romans828 #truth #trustGod #followJesus #answerHiscall #lovetheLordwithallyourheart 💜