Thursday, May 10, 2012

Whose Report Will You Believe?

There are only two agendas or two parties: God's and the devil's. Which one will you believe and follow?

Years ago when I was nineteen or twenty years old I was faced with a similar question. It was Black History month and I was the youth minister and learning a lot about African American history in preparation for our youth program in honor of Black history month. After all my research and preparation, I had to ask myself, "Who am I?" In the end I did a personal monologue with God as part of the program addressing: "Who am I?" It wasn't unlike the question: "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" My monologue went something like this: "I am a woman, I am Black; I am a Christian," I mused out loud. "Do I dissect myself? No. I am all those things, but first and foremost, I am a Christian. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17)."  The apostle Paul says it again this way, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

There are only two choices though the world would have you believe otherwise. There are only two kingdoms and one was doomed from the beginning. There is the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. The battle, no, the war, is a spiritual one. Don't lose sight of that and get caught up in the devil's agenda to confuse and divide us. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood." When Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees about Caesar and who we should pay taxes to in Matthew 22:15-21, it was a religious and political ploy and tactic of the enemy to take the focus off the real issue of light and darkness. Don't get caught up now with the devil's tactics.

This is not a political race we are currently confronted with, but another one of the devil's spiritual ploys. It is a race against spiritual forces of evil. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12).

Satan is certainly raging. "Be self-controlled and alert..." God tells us in 1 Peter 5:8, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour" with his schemes. Again, don't get caught up. Don't get side-tracked. Stay alert. Pray and continue to be prayerful.

Finally, "Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then, you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).

A Messenger.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thought Provoking Friday

What does Jesus mean by, "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life"? (John 12:25 NIV)

I would love to hear your responses. (Also, I know some may be tempted just to attach Matthew 10:38 or Luke 9:23 as a response. Please note, those are the same instances just recorded differently and not really answering the question in layman terms or in everyday language.)