God Has Put Eternity In Our Hearts

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He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

This scripture tells us that our souls have a hole in them that only God can satisfy. Our deepest desires can only be quenched and satisfied by the One who created us.

Romans Road To Salvation

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The Romans Road to Salvation can teach you how to share your faith with people who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is a method that allows us to see a few things in action:

  1. Why We Need Salvation
  2. How God Provided for Salvation
  3. How to Receive Salvation
  4. The Results of Salvation

The Scriptures that The Romans Road uses are:

Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9-10 – because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Prayer of Salvation also known as the Prayer of Faith

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Resource: http://www.allaboutgod.com/prayer-of-salvation.htm

Pray For President Donald Trump

How do you reconcile what is happening in our World and Culture with our faith in God through Jesus? Is God looking and listening to the cries of his people? How come so many of His called faith leaders, preachers & teachers and those endowed with great gifts and abilities are opposed to one another for the cause of God – as if we know his every move (Even though Scripture records that his ways are not our ways and that some of his plans will continue to remain hidden – Isaiah 55:8-9 and Ecclesiastes 3:9-11)? How come Democrats, Republicans and Independents are brazened with starkly different views for the people of America? And is there a difference between facts and truth, especially when facts become twisted and truth becomes a  blur for the sake and gain of certain people groups?

If the concern is over:

  • Righteousness vs Sinfulness
  • Injustice vs Justice
  • Rich vs Poor
  • Bigotry, Racism, Sexism and Homophobia vs Tolerance
  • Nationalism vs Globalization
  • Black vs White
  • Liberals vs Conservatives
  • White Supremacy and Privilege vs Minorities
  • United States vs Everybody
  • Islam vs Christianity

Then we haven’t scratched the surface or began to chop away at the root causes. It’s easy to point out the symptoms of our societal woes but it’s a lot more difficult to diagnose and prescribe healing and treatment to the disease. Bandaids will no longer work, our country’s fever is coming to a boiling point and something has to give or blow.

It’s also easy to think that we are ALL on the same team – humanely and spiritually speaking.

Scripture records in Ephesians:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
– Ephesians 6:12 ESV

There is a world we cannot see and it is filled with constant warfare between the powers of darkness and light for dominion of Earth and the souls of men. These powers are very real and if we are not careful we will foolishly fight these spiritual forces of darkness with our human understanding, flesh and blood.

Consequently, I’m convinced we can do more in the way of praying for ALL people, President Trump and our Elected Officials vs cursing, protesting and arguing our points on social media and in our pulpits at the new executive orders that have been handed down. Now, will there be a time for demonstrations and protesting? Yes, because our President isn’t Jesus and he’ll make decisions that don’t have God’s heart at the center. Is there place for peaceful demonstration? Yes, it is embedded in America’s DNA. But my point is, faith in God requires action in prayer.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

– 1 Timothy 2:1-4

You may or may not agree with everything happening with our current administration and or protests. You may deem the other side unlawful, unconstitutional, bigots, religious zealots, the lost liberal left, self-righteous, deserving and or undeserving. Justice to one group may feel and appear like injustice to another. American to one group may seem un-American to the other. These are very real facts. But the truth is, if we pray we cannot go wrong! When we pray to the God who moves mountains and saves men souls he has a way of reminding us that he still sits on the throne and nothing happens on his watch without his careful eye paying attention to every detail. In addition, this doesn’t mean trials, indifference or tribulations won’t come and try to shake us – they will! On the contrary, we pray so that we’ll lead peaceful, quiet, godly and dignified lives in every way. I believe that prayer changes outcomes, wins battles and transforms the hearts of men more than shouting, cursing and demonstrations. Now, history proves that nonviolent civil disobedience demonstrations have there place. Billions of people wouldn’t have rights if it weren’t for powerful demonstrations.

A Few Powerful Demonstrations Include

  • The 1930 Salt March for Indian independence from England led by Mohandas Gandhi
  • The 1963 March on Washington for racial inequality led by Martin Luther King Jr and other leaders
  • The 1989 Cape Town Peace March led by Archbishop Tutu, Mayor Gordon Oliver and others that fought against apartheid and the tyrannical South African government later freeing a jailed Nelson Mandela

But make no mistake, it starts with prayer. Prayer invites God into our situation to show himself to be God.

More, when we pray for ALL people this is pleasing to God! Now, praying for ALL includes those you do not agree with! Praying for ALL people may include but are not limited to:

  • The white pastor who doesn’t talk about social justice or social engineering but fancy’s himself with concepts and principles of white supremacy
  • The black pastor who only concerns himself with God’s grace and not God’s holiness
  • The rich man who doesn’t bother himself with the poor but only that which pads his pockets
  • The liberal who loves gay civil rights but hates and is intolerant toward your conservative views and rights
  • The politician whose policies oppress the poor, strip widows of help and hurt children but will give his friends tax breaks because they create jobs
  • The immigrant who peaceably lives next door to you and says hello at every opportunity
  • The white police officer who loves black people by show and recognition of his awards in an urban area but is targeted because of his uniform
  • The black male who wears hoodie walking through a residential area with Skittles only to be targeted by a white male whose bizarre behavior has become more and more apparent for all to see that there was something more to this one-sided story

And we pray for ALL people because God desires all men to be saved (The Romans Road) and to come into the knowledge of His truth and not our cultural truth, distorted facts, propaganda, conservative narrative, liberal media and certainly not our alternative facts.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.
– Proverbs 11:30

Therefore, be wise with your time and energy and pray for President Trump and ALL people without delay because lives depend on it – this is bigger than the contrasted list above. It’s about God reigning and ruling in the hearts of his people minus our puny and putrid agendas. This battle is not between flesh and blood but spirit and you have to fight spirit with the Spirit.

What do you say?

Where Will You Go? Jesus Gives Eternal Life

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Whom or Where shall we go if Jesus has the words of eternal life? This video explores this idea through 4 types of people in a passage of Scripture found in the Book of John.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:68-69 ESV

The goal of this video is to encourage us to examine our hearts and not abandon our posts as believers. The world may appear more convenient and easier to navigate through but it cannot save your soul. All of the people in this passage respond to Jesus in ways that we may be able to relate to today. Which now begs the question, Where will you go?

Jeremiah 29:11 Video

God’s plans for us are good and include so much hope and promise for our now and future. Our participation and obedience is key in laying hold of his plans for our lives. Faith is produced in us when we hear the Word. More, Biblical faith takes it’s cues and action on what God said and not by what our earthly nature says.

Regardless of where you are in your walk with Christ his plans for your life are amazing. I hope you enjoy this video as your learn how vast and great God’s plans are for you!

If you missed the “For I know the thoughts that I have for you” blog post you can find it here.

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God’s Plans For Your Life Are DOPE!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

God’s plans for us are always in our best interest, for our good and ultimately His glory (beauty). This staple verse is quoted by Christians across the globe regardless of their denominational affiliation and plainly tells us that God’s thoughts, plans, desires and advice for us are DOPE and AMAZING! More, in context with this passage of Scripture, the prophet Jeremiah lets us know that the Lord’s plans for our lives are ALWAYS greater and broader than our eyes can see.

At the time of this writing, the children of Israel were being enslaved by King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of Babylon. God allowed them to be carted off into slavery as part of his judgment toward them due to their rejection of him and his word. The plans that the people of God conceived for themselves led them into bondage and away from the One whose plans ultimately mattered. Likewise, we can get so busy and caught up in planning our lives and setting goals that we neglect to ask God what his plans are for our lives. Or once set a course of action without him we’ll ask him to cosign or bless efforts, and I’m pretty sure he’s obligated to do such a thing.

In a general sense we know God is for us and his plans for us are not evil. But in a more specific sense (in context) regardless of where you are in life – whether you’ve made your bed in sin, walk with folk who mean you no good, have made terrible decisions that you’ve regretted, or fell in love with other gods; God’s plans for us are still good. Last, it is not to late to hop on the gravy train of plans he has for your life.

12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. – Jeremiah 29:12-14

Hindsight is 2020

WE must understand that our “Right Now” and future are better with God than without him. The only thing the people of God had to do was look back at their history and see that the very God who brought them out of Egypt and supernaturally led them through the desert to the Promise Land was the same God who had more in store for them than their “Right Now”.

When I look back over my life
And I think things over I can truly say that I’ve been blessed
I’ve got a testimony

– Rev. Clay Evans

Don’t Neglect the “Right Now”

Your “Right Now” is an important part of the process because it points to the reality that where you are today is a direct result of the decisions you’ve made. Decisions are sparked by thoughts and plans that produce and set the course for your life. Your “Right Now” should be a place that leads you closer or back to the God you left for the smokescreens of greater riches, things, other gods and people.

Turning from your ways to His ways

God has some DOPE stuff waiting for us! But the passage calls us to repent, pray and seek him with everything that is within us in order to experience those DOPE plans. The result of this course of action sets the stage for God to:

  1. Bend his ear toward Earth and hear us
  2. Make himself real to us again so we can see him as he his
  3. Restore our fortunes and the things we lost
  4. Piece back together what was broken
  5. Break us out of Bondage

My prayer is that we’d trust his will and plans for our lives more than the plans we’ve declared for ourselves.

Experience his DOPENESS. You can also check out the “For I know the plans I have for you” video here.

Whose Voice Are You Echoing?

I remember living on 1312 Patton Dr. in Odessa, TX when I was in elementary back in the 90s. My favorite things to do were to blow up horny toads with fire crackers, play Nintendo with my brothers and ride my Huffy bike with my friends in this dirt lot down the street from my house. And when the street lights came on between 6 and 7pm every evening it never failed that I would hear my mother’s voice bellowing my full legal down the block name, “JEREMY QUINN BUTLER!”. She didn’t have to walk down the street in her slippers and mumu or get in the car and drive over to the next street to find me terrorizing my friends. All she had to do was utter my name and I would be at the house in point 5 seconds.

My parents trained me at an early age to recognize their voices and to another I did not go! Mainly, because I didn’t want to end up like the little kids on the milk cartons. More, Jesus says:

A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers… 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. – John 10:5, 27-28

Jesus plainly says that we, his sheep, know His voice because we heard God’s call for salvation through his message and responded in faith to trust him as Lord and Savior.

WE would all like to believe that we bring something special and original to the table. And the truth is… regardless of what our table is (family, work, church, relationships)… we do. The DNA that runs through every fiber of our being is both complex and unique. Even science has proven twins born of the same blood, mother and father are somehow genetically different.

Yet, at the end of the day as diverse as humanity is we end up only echoing TWO voices from the moment we are born until we die. These two voices have been opposed to each other since the beginning of mankind. More, one of these voices disguises and manifests itself in different forms and often, though reluctant and resilient, imitates the other Voice in a last-ditch effort to take as many with him and his angels to the Lake of Fire.

Who are you listening to?

SIDE NOTE: The voice you echo the most is a tell-tell sign of where your allegiance lies. Also, the voice you echo the most is the one you probably listen to the most… and words have power to change outcomes. So, echoing a voice is not mere chance or accident. It’s a statement of who you roll with! Will you speak and echo what God says? Or will you speak and echo what the accuser of the brethren, the father of lies – Lucifer (Satan, himself), says?

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. – Ephesians 4, 5:1-2

Ephesians 4 talks about Christian unity and living (truth, forgiveness, love, speech) and leads us right into chapter 5 with a “Therefore” Statement. Paul is using this cause and effect clause to explain how we must live as a result of everything that was written in Ephesians 4. In conclusion, he says that we are called to imitate and live like Christ, reproduce his love in relation to other people and authentically mimic or echo his voice as a direct result of us trusting in Christ.

Here are some questions to ponder:

  • Whose voice are you echoing in your everyday life? Why do you think that is?
  • Do you consider yourself a sheep?
  • Does your echo effect others in a positive or negative way?

 

You Can’t Take Everything With You – A New Year’s Resolution

The craziest thing about New Year’s Resolutions is that we open up our mouths with so much ease and declare with great certainty what we’ll accomplish without counting the cost. Our gestures are very sincere and even come from a real and good place. We create vision boards, dedicate ourselves to God at church services, party with good people, talk about what we’re thankful for and even what God saved us from. Even more, we use buzzwords to pepper up and describe what the new year will bring to us like: Better, GREATER, More, Increase and etc.

Ironically, According to Forbes Magazine only 8% of the people who make New Year’s Resolutions follow through on their promises.

A New Year’s Resolution is good when it’s coupled with consistent action

I’ve learned that tackling promises, vows and commitments can sometimes be easier when you have a team of folk(s) that hold you accountable, challenge and push you in the direction you should go and remind you of what God has before you. On the flip-side of that coin are a different set of people who blow kisses at you and assassinate your character all in the same sentence, don’t check you when you’re wrong, allow you to go rogue or M.I.A. and convince you to stay right where you are out of secret fear or hate that’ll you’ll succeed or be better off than them, if by chance you kill it.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
– Proverbs 27:6

When the truth of the matter is… you can’t take everyone, everything, mindset or habit with you into the new year. Don’t make the mistake of taking that “something” with you into the new year that was supposed to be buried in the previous year. If you take it with you, you may find yourself not walking in everything that God has for you because you’ll constantly be turning around to check its vital signs. Erykah Badu said it best on Bag Lady,

Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you
– Erykah Badu

Finally, take courage because this takes faith and guts. It’s not for the weak, especially if that DEAD thing you’ve been carrying with you has matriculated into your every day life over a period of years. Here are a few action steps to get the ball rolling as you attempt to get closer to God and accomplish your resolutions.

  • Do something different in order to get a different result
  • Delete old numbers that lead you back into dark places
  • Unfollow folk that pull you away and distract you from God’s purpose in your life
  • Read a book and attain new knowledge (i.e. The Word and books dealing with habits and mindset)

What do you plan on doing different in order to accomplish your New Year Resolutions?