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Tag: Love

Be Strong!

THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: WHY BELIEVERS IN CHRIST NEED INNER STRENGTH

WHY DO BELIEVERS IN CHRIST NEED TO BE STRONG?

In the third chapter of Ephesians, Paul prayed inner strength for the Gentiles (non-Jews) who had become believers in Christ. Paul, who was appointed as an apostle of Jesus Christ, knew all too well that inner strength was vital for  Christians. During this era, men, like Paul, faced much persecution. Paul detailed some of his suffering in II Corinthians 11:23-27 (New Living Translation):

“23 Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served Him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.”

Today, most specifically here in the United States, we, as believers, are not threatened with physical persecution, like the apostle Paul. Nevertheless, we are persecuted. For instance, perhaps you have endured lies, ridicule, and, even, rejection for believing in Jesus. Whatever the case may be, through it all, you must be strong!

HOW DO BELIEVERS WITHSTAND OPPOSING VIEWS?

Besides persecution, we need inner strength to withstand the opposing views of non-believers: 

Jesus isn’t real!

Jesus isn’t the Son of God!

Jesus isn’t God!

Jesus was only a prophet!

Jesus didn’t die for our sins!

Jesus didn’t rise from the dead!

If you’re not strong in your faith, you can be easily led astray by those who don’t follow Christ.  Therefore, you have to be strengthened daily through prayer, worship, and God’s Word. You will then know how to “[cast] down imaginations, and every high thing that [exalts] itself against the knowledge of God, and [bring] into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ,” (II Corinthians 10:5, King James Version). In other words, in time we learn how to dismiss words of doubt from naysayers with God’s Word, just as Jesus did when He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4, Mark 1, Luke 4).

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR BELIEVERS?

As Paul prayed inner strength for the Gentile believers, he said in Ephesians 3:16-17, NLT):

“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”  

Once we invite Jesus Christ to live in our hearts, through our faith in Him—believing He died for our sins and rose from the dead—we should also invite the Holy Spirit to fill us. At our church Power and Faith Ministries in Fairifield, Ohio, while we believe in accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, we also believe in being filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, as the believers did on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.

Each time we pray in our heavenly language (as we also like to call it since it comes from God), our spirits are strengthened. 

 In Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT) Paul then said:

“18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

Overtime, we recognize more and more just how great God’s love is, and His love becomes strong in us.

WHY IS LOVE SO IMPORTANT IN THE BODY OF CHRIST?

Love is important in the body of Christ because GOD IS LOVE (I John 4:16). Since God is love, His love strengthens us. Please recognize that it’s GOD’S love we need, not worldly love. What do I mean? Worldly love is conditional, which says, “I love you IF…” On the other hand, the love of God says, “I love you IN SPITE OF….”

If we’re full of GOD, then we’re full of LOVE; if we’re full of LOVE, then we’re full of GOD, thereby being strengthened.

When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment by some of the Pharisees or religious leaders in Matthew 22:37b-40 (KJV), He replied:

“37…..Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

When we’re full of love—GOD—we won’t do anything to hurt God and each other.

DO WE LOVE AUTOMATICALLY? 

Once we are saved, do we possess unconditional love automatically? No, not necessarily. Thus, we must follow the example of Jesus which is displayed so vividly in the Bible. What was His biggest demonstration of love? Absolutely! His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection! Naturally, we are not expected to follow in His footsteps and sacrifice our lives for all mankind on a rugged cross. Nevertheless, we can show the love of God in other ways. Just as Jesus exemplified, while He lived as a man here on Earth, we can love through our kindness, encouragement, helping hand, generosity, and selfless prayers. In a nutshell, we must CHOOSE to love!

A RECIPE FOR INNER STRENGTH

Again, how do we gain inner strength, so we may be able to stand up against persecution, the views of non-believers, and sin?

  • Repent of our sins and receive Jesus into our hearts as Savior and Lord
  • Be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues
  • Spend time praying to and worshiping God
  • Study and obey the Scriptures
  • Walk in God’s love

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION

If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (New International Version) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Empowered To Speak

thekimberlyjoy.com***PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PRE-RECORDED TO BE AIRED ON THE RADIO AT A LATER DATE***"Taming the Tongue" – THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW – Fridays at 4:15pm & Saturdays at 6pm on Cincinnati's Inspiration 1050 AM & 103.1 FM WGRI For daily inspiration, please follow THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter#KnowYourself #BeYourself #LoveYourself

Posted by Kimberly Joy on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: Taming the Tongue)

HOW ARE WE EMPOWERED TO SPEAK?
When God created man, He created him in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). Consequently, as humans we are empowered to speak with authority. In fact, when we look at the first man Adam, his first recorded assignment in the Bible was to name each animal God had created. That was a big, important assignment when you think about it! God entrusted Adam to give each animal its own unique name.

Like Adam, as children of God, we are entrusted to use our words to make a positive impact. Consider the apostle Paul. In Philippians 3:1, he explains that he never gets tired of telling the people about Jesus and encouraging them to remain faithful. Just like Paul, we are to use our voices to tell others about Jesus. We are also to use our words to pray and encourage someone.

Unfortunately, some believers in Christ or Christians choose to use their words in a negative way. I’ve attended church all my life, so I’ve witnessed church members say some really cruel things about others, including other believers.

I’ve even been guilty of it myself. If we were to be honest, we’ve used our words to judge, criticize, ridicule, belittle, backbite, and gossip. Basically, we’ve used our words to tear down and hate on other people.

WHY DO SOME OF US SPEAK WITH HATE?
Why do some of us speak with hate when we are supposed to show the love of God? It’s a learned behavior. We model what we see and hear, especially as children because, more than likely, we don’t know any better. Then after we grow up, mature and gain more knowledge and understanding, we still use our words negatively because it feels good to the flesh (the sinful nature). Thus, we speak what’s in our hearts. Luke 6:45 (New International Version) says:

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

Some are simply comfortable criticizing and judging other people. For instance, if I can harp on someone else’s faults (or what I THINK are someone else’s faults) then I can ignore my own faults and pretend I don’t have any. If I magnify someone else’s so-called issues, then I can convince myself that my issues aren’t as bad as theirs. Moreover, some of us have a tendency to make excuses for our behavior. Here’s an example:

“Oh no! This isn’t gossiping! We need to discuss this so we know what to pray about.”

Another example:

“Hey Sis! How’re you doing? Have you heard the news about Sis. Watermelon? Well, I’m not trying to talk about her or anything like that! I’m just calling to let you know what I heard so….you know….so you can pray.”

And then another one:

“Look, I’m just keeping it real! I’m not biting my tongue because the devil needs to be exposed!!!”

Do any of the above examples sound remotely familiar? The problem with these statements is the motive behind them. There’s no LOVE! Now, I’m not suggesting that if an individual is guilty of using his or her words in a negative way, that he or she doesn’t possess love for other people. I’m not suggesting that at all! What I am suggesting is that every believer must learn how to tame his or her tongue. As humans, it’s easy to lean towards what’s negative or evil. Why? Although we’ve given our lives to Jesus, we are still in this flesh and there’s nothing holy or righteous about the flesh. Therefore, we need to adhere to Galatians 5:16-17 (NIV), which say:

“16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit [desires] what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”

In order to not yield to the flesh, we must be guided by the Holy Spirit. In order to be guided by the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God, we must spend time with God praying to Him, praising and worshiping Him, and studying and obeying His Word.

HOW CAN YOU TAME YOUR TONGUE?
If you find yourself talking negatively about someone, do a self-evaluation and check your heart. You may even ask yourself, “Why am I saying these things? What’s really going with me?” And be honest with yourself! Then change your thinking. Change your words. Turn that negative statement into a positive one. In some instances, it may be better to not say anything at all and just pray about that person or situation.

Although the tongue is capable of causing great harm, as children of God, we are responsible for taming it. We must be mindful of the words we speak on a daily basis. God expects us to be witnesses for Jesus Christ, not just when we share the Gospel, but by being examples of love and righteousness. Remember, people watch what we do and they listen to what we say. God is holding you and me accountable!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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When You Look At Me, What Do YOU See?

WHEN YOU LOOK AT ME, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
The following excerpt is a spoken word I wrote and presented a couple of years ago at a women’s conference. As you read it, you may recognize the story.

“When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a scared little orphan girl who has just lost both Mommy and Daddy?

Tossed from this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..
She’s looking for that love that awaited her every morning with a smile on her face,
That love that held her tightly in his arms when she awoke from a bad dream,
That nurturing love that taught her how to knead dough in the kitchen,
That strong love that gave her a lesson on how to fish.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a young lady who is now in search of the love she lost so long ago when it was buried in the grave?
With a fragile heart, she’s now willing to do anything for anyone in hopes of feeling that someone cares.
Craving warmth and affection, she yields herself to the abuse and misuse of men.

Sad and lonely, she jumps from this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage,
Finally settling for a man who doesn’t find her worthy of a ring.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a woman who is tired and ashamed?
Her mistakes replay in her mind over…..and over…..and over…..and over…..and over again,
Mistakes made all in the name of love.

On a warm afternoon, she approaches Jacob’s well where she finds a strange man sitting nearby.
She’s amazed when he parts His lips to speak, let alone ask her for a drink.
After all, she’s a Samaritan; he’s a Jew.
She’s nothing!
Or at least that’s what she’s believed ever since that nurturing, strong love she once knew was buried deep in the ground.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a woman who, in spite of life’s hardships, still has a gleam of hope?

A hope that is ignited when the man at the well offers her the love she’s been searching, for so long,
A love that won’t abuse her, misuse her and then throw her away,
A love that endures forever…..and ever…..and ever…..and ever…..and evermore,
A love that, once received, must be shared with everyone she meets,
A love that draws others to the well where they also receive salvation and healing.

So, again I ask the question…..when you look at me, what do YOU see?”

The spoken word “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?” was inspired by a well-known story in the Bible.

Recognize it?

It’s the story of the Samaritan woman Jesus met one day at a well in Samaria. This story can be found in John 4.

WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
Like the woman at the well, we each have a story. Granted, I don’t know her full story, because we’re only offered a glimpse into her life. However, God gave me an imagination, and I can imagine what life might’ve been like for her. I can picture what might’ve happened to cause her to make certain decisions. There’s a story behind her decisions.

Gospel singer Vashawn Mitchell wrote a song that says, “You don’t know my story, all the things that I’ve been through. You can’t feel my pain, what I had to go through to get here.” Like Mitchell states in the song, we each have endured hardships. Perhaps those hardships include abuse, molestation, poverty, prejudice, illness or death. As a result, we may be angry, confused, and even depressed.

What is the root cause of such pain?

SIN!

Sin is defined as “rebellion against God; wickedness, evil”. According to Genesis 3, sin first entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. This truth is reiterated in Romans 5:12 which says:

“Consider this: sin entered our world through one man Adam; and through sin, death followed in hot pursuit. Death spread rapidly to infect all people on the earth as they engaged in sin.”

Nevertheless, Romans 5:19 assures us that:

“Just as through one man’s disobedience every one of us were made sinners, so through the obedience of the one man [Jesus], many of us will be made right.”

WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM JESUS?
When Jesus met this woman at the well, I don’t believe it was by accident. As He and His disciples were traveling, they could’ve stopped anywhere at any time to rest. However, Jesus knew He needed to be at this particular well at this particular time on this particular day to meet this particular woman.

Why?

She NEEDED Him!

She was in need of salvation and healing—–not necessarily physical healing, but mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.

When Jesus initially spoke to the woman, she was surprised. Jews didn’t normally affiliate with Samaritans.

Why not?

At this time in history, the Jews viewed the Samaritan people as inferior. For one, the Samaritans had a history of worshipping idols. Plus, they were labeled half-breeds because they were the products of intermarriages with foreigners. The act of marrying and having children with foreigners was greatly frowned upon. So, given their history, it’s no wonder she questioned why Jesus was speaking to her.

During their encounter, Jesus inquired about the woman’s husband, which brought to light all of her baggage. This woman had been married FIVE times, and the man she was currently with wasn’t even her husband.

Did Jesus have to ask about her relationship status in order to save her and set her free?

Yes, He did! After all, that was a serious problem for her! She needed to be healed from whatever issues she was carrying that had prompted her to have multiple marriages. Being married several times was proof that a man was not going to give this Samaritan woman what she was TRULY looking for.

According to the Bible, having a husband is a good thing. However, as women, we can’t expect men to do for us what only JESUS can do. God didn’t equip any man to do so. It doesn’t matter how nice, intelligent, strong and even rich he may be. This was a truth the Samaritan woman came to realize that day. Jesus said to the woman, “Receive Me and I will set you free, and you will no longer need to look for love in all the wrong places.” Essentially, only JESUS can provide true fulfillment (love, peace, joy, healing, etc.). Man is flawed, but Jesus is not!

Moreover, in John 4:24 Jesus said to her:

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

In order to worship God the Father sincerely, we must have a relationship with Him, which comes by accepting His Son Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Personally speaking, I can worship God from my spirit because I’m connected to Him. I can hear God’s voice, sense His presence, and know what steps I should take because I’m connected to Him. I have confidence and a more positive self-image because I’m connected to Him. No man can wreak havoc in my life because I’m connected to GOD.

Just like the Samaritan woman, no matter what you’ve done in your past and regardless of your background, where you come from, your family’s reputation or your own reputation, Jesus LOVES you, and He’s here for you! All you have to do is believe and surrender to Him. When you do, like the woman at the well, He will change you and make your life BRAND NEW!

Part I – “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?”

Part II – “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?”

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What Would Jesus Do?

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
“What Would JESUS Do?” Recognize that question? “What Would Jesus Do” is a phrase that first emerged in the 1990s. The purpose of the question is to inspire those of us, who are believers in Christ Jesus, to evaluate our everyday attitudes and behaviors. It is to encourage us to really consider the characteristics of Jesus that are laid out in the Bible, and to decide whether or not we are following His example.

At the height of its popularity, “What Would Jesus Do?” or WWJD, could be seen everywhere—-on bracelets,
t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, etc.

The whole idea was to remind us that we are to be more like Jesus. Personally, I think WWJD was and still is an excellent idea! We live in a world where we are surrounded by evil and corruption every day. So, as believers, we have to remember that, although we live in the world, we are not to be like the world, look like the world, or act like the world.

Worldly ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, are the opposite of what pleases God. James 4:4 (NLT) says:

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.”

In the verse, James referred to these early Christians as adulterers. Why? To be unfaithful to God is to commit spiritual adultery. We are unfaithful to God when we choose to disobey Him. Anything that goes against God’s commandments or expectations is considered worldly. One example is sexual immorality. I use this particular example because sex is promoted almost everywhere——on television, in movies, in music, in books, and on the internet.

According to the world or worldly standards, pre-marital sex is acceptable. In some instances, adultery or infidelity is acceptable. Have you ever heard the term “open marriage”? In an “open marriage”, the husband and wife agree that it’s perfectly okay to have sex with other people. Basically, they are inviting adultery into their marriage. Furthermore, homosexuality and bisexuality are also acceptable now, according to WORLDLY standards. However, according to God’s Word, none of these behaviors are acceptable.

Regardless of our personal views or how good certain sexual encounters make our flesh feel, God still does not approve. For example, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is one of the ten commandments we can find in Exodus 20. Even though it is a commandment of God, many still engage in it. Nevertheless, just because they engage in it, doesn’t make it all right.

DOES GOD CHANGE?

Anything that is popular in today’s society isn’t necessarily popular with God. God doesn’t change, and His Word doesn’t change. Therefore, we believers have to read and STUDY the Bible. I emphasize the word “study” because it’s important that we meditate on the scriptures and apply them to our everyday lives. Simply READING the Bible is not enough.

We have to obey it. When we fail to do so, we can be easily fooled into confusing worldly standards with God’s standards. Psalm 119:11 says:

“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”

God has provided His Word to help us live right. We are to, thus, hold His Word in our hearts. When you hold something in your heart, you cherish it, right? We are to hold God’s Word in our hearts like a treasure. Psalm 119:105 says:

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

God’s Word is available to guide us in the right direction—–the direction God would have us to go. When we apply the scriptures to our everyday lives, we will find ourselves doing what JESUS would do. In other words, we will find ourselves obeying and pleasing God.

To be a Christian is to be Christ-like or like Jesus Christ. Want to know HOW to be like Jesus? Read the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. All four books give accounts of Jesus’ time as a man on earth. When we read about Jesus, we learn about His characteristics, which are the characteristics we should strive daily to emulate.

WHAT DOES LOVE LOOK LIKE?
While Jesus lived as a man on earth, He showed LOVE. First, He loved God the Father and spoke highly of Him. He always honored and obeyed God. He also spent quality time with God in prayer. In addition to loving the Father, Jesus loved people, INCLUDING His enemies. For instance, while He was hanging on the cross, Jesus asked God to forgive those who were persecuting Him.

Jesus also showed love by taking time to teach everyone who wanted to hear and receive from Him. When crowds followed Him, He didn’t turn them away. He even fed those who were hungry, like the 4,000 and 5,000.

He healed those who were sick. He showed compassion to those who had been ostracized by other people, like the Samaritan woman He met at the well, and the woman who was brought to Him for committing adultery.

Possessing genuine love, Jesus had no problem being humble. As a matter of fact, He didn’t get into shouting matches with the religious leaders who would publicly oppose Him. He wasn’t concerned about trying to defend or prove Himself to anyone. He didn’t brag about how powerful and wise He was. Instead, He continued giving all the glory to God. All He cared about was doing the will of His Father. In John 6:38, Jesus said:

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him [God] who sent Me.”

IS LOVE YOUR MOTIVATION?
Something that is important for us as believers to realize and always remember, is that, although Jesus demonstrated power through healing the sick, casting out demons, resurrecting the dead and other miracles, like turning water into wine, LOVE was always the motivation.

Yes, we believers can and should demonstrate power like Jesus did. In fact, in John 14:12, Jesus said:

“….He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…”

So, Jesus said that we’re to do more than even what He did. However, if love is NOT the motivation, I Corinthians 13 lets us know that God will not be pleased.

It’s imperative that we do, what I like to call, self-examinations. What do I mean? Periodically, we need to exam our hearts, using the Word of God as the criteria. For instance, you can ask yourself the following questions:

“Am I lining up with God’s Word?”

“Am I doing what God expects or approves of?”

“Am I following the examples of Jesus?”

Once you ask yourself these questions, if you find yourself falling short, then repent and ask God to help you in those areas.

I want to encourage you to take some time and study the four Gospels. When you do, pay close attention to how Jesus conducted Himself in every situation. Then strive to follow His example in your own situations. Christianity is a lifestyle, and you and I are responsible for doing our part. As we do our part, God will do the rest. Philippians 2:12b-13 (NLT) say:

“12b…..Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.
13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”

(The Kimberly Joy Show: What Would Jesus Do?)

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I Love YOU!


I love you! Yes….YOU! I don’t have to know you personally to love you, for God has placed a love inside my heart for His children. And you are His child! Whether you acknowledge Him or not, whether you serve Him or not, you are His. After all, He created you in His image and likeness. Genesis 1:26-27 says, “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

With everything that is going on in today’s world, I must remind myself daily to LOVE. “And you must love the Lord your God with all with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these,” (Mark 12:30-31). I admit that it’s not always easy loving those who may abuse and hate you, but God commands it. The old adage says, “Love conquers all!” Not hate! Why would the originator of this quote make such a bold statement that LOVE conquers? It’s very simple. GOD is LOVE! I John 4:7-8 declares, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Personally speaking, I can’t see where possessing hatred ever made a person’s life better. In fact, holding a grudge against another individual only made me miserable. The mere mention of his or her name caused me to cringe. Now, as a child of God, that should not be. I am to be an example of love, not hate. John 13:34-35 states, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.”

How can I witness to people about Jesus, while picking and choosing whom I’m going to love? I must love everyone. I’m not at all suggesting that to love everyone means to endure abuse! For instance, if a woman is being physically or even verbally abused by her husband, then, by all means, she should remove herself from that toxic situation. Again, the scripture says that we’re to love our neighbors as ourselves, which indicates that we MUST love ourselves also. So a woman, who chooses to love herself by creating distance from her abusive husband, can still love him from afar by praying for him and hoping the best for his life.

This current Presidential election and the increase of unarmed black boys and men being fatally shot by law enforcement have made it apparent that racism is still very much alive in this country. Unfortunately, hate begets hate! So if I’m not careful, as a black woman who loves and honors the black men in her life, I will find myself hating those who hate me simply because of skin color. Nevertheless, my relationship with God has taught me to love, in spite of the negativity thrown my way. Let me give an example. Several years ago I was emotionally hurt by a friend, and it left me very angry. Although I understood that as a Christian I wasn’t supposed to harbor any negative feelings, I yet found myself resenting this individual. I hated the way the negative emotions affected me and knew I needed to be set free through forgiveness. I’ll be the first to admit that forgiveness didn’t come overnight because the resentment didn’t build up in one day. So, I had to continually ask God to cleanse my heart and renew my mind. In addition, every night before going to sleep I read I Corinthians 13 aloud to myself, focusing on verses 4-7, and made it personal by replacing the word “love” with “I”.

“[I am] patient. [I am] kind. [I do] not envy. [I do] not boast. [I am] not proud. [I do] not dishonor others. [I am] not self-seeking. [I am] not easily angered. [I keep] no record of wrongs. [I do] not delight in evil, but [I rejoice] with the truth. [I] always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere.”

Speaking and hearing God’s Word uprooted the unforgiveness that had taken residence in my heart. However, I would not have been set free if I hadn’t accepted God’s truth over my own.

Each day I leave my home and encounter various people throughout the day, I am well aware that some may despise me because I don’t look like they do. Nevertheless, I choose not to entertain such thoughts! It doesn’t matter if they hate me or not because I am STILL commanded to love. In fact, I am now built to love through God’s love. So regardless of who you are, I declare today that I LOVE YOU!
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Do You Honor the King?


Do you honor the King? Which King, you ask? The King that the psalmist recognizes when he says, “For God is the King of all the earth…” (Psalms 47:7). If “yes” is your response, how do you show God honor? Do you have a checklist?

* Pray before each meal
* Attend church every Easter
* Sing in the church choir
* Volunteer at church
* Attend Bible study
* Send children to Sunday school

Pretty good list, you think? So, is that all that is required to honor the King? Is saying your prayers before going to bed sufficient?

“Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

Is that suitable? Or is it enough to just reverence Him on Sundays? Is that all that is needed to honor the Creator?

Personally speaking, although the “checklist” is noble, simply abiding by a set of rules doesn’t signify that we honor God.

Honoring God comes from the heart. When we truly honor God, we do so with sincerity. We’re not doing it for accolades or to prove how holy we are. Rather, we honor God because we love Him. Mark 12:30 says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” We don’t need anyone to acknowledge that we’re such “great Christians” as long as we know we’re pleasing God.

We honor God because He honors us. God honors us with a LOVE that will never fade. Romans 8:38-39 says, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No matter what, God loves us. When we don’t deserve it, He is willing to extend His grace and mercy, giving us time to get it right. Just look at David who impregnated a married woman and later had her husband killed (II Samuel 11). Or, consider the story of the apostle Paul who once persecuted those who professed Jesus Christ (Acts 8 & 9). Despite their past transgressions, they were still forgiven and raised up to be mighty men of God.

We honor God when we honor Jesus as His Son. In order to honor God, we must also acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I John 4:15 also states, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” There are people who only want to honor God, while reducing Jesus to the level of men in the Bible, like Moses and Elijah. Although they were great men whom God used mightily, neither one held the position of God’s “only begotten Son”. As God’s Son, Jesus was the only one who could redeem us from our sins. Paul says in I Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Moreover, John 5:23 tells us that God expects “that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent Him.”

We honor God when we obey Him and stay away from sin. Jesus says in John 14:15, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” God wants us to live free from sin because it only leads to eternal death. Instead, He wants us to enjoy life in Him. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” (Romans 6:23). Once we confess and turn away from our sins, God is guaranteed to forgive us (I John 1:9). We are then made brand new. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” (II Corinthians 5:17).

We honor God by developing and maintaining a relationship with Him.
Jesus says in John 15:15, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” God doesn’t beat us over the heads like slaves, but He loves us unconditionally. All He asks is that we do the same! In other words, see Him as your BEST friend! See Him as the one with whom you share all your secrets because you know He won’t run and tell! Let Him be your shoulder to cry on, for He knows just how to comfort you. Shower Him with gifts of praise and worship, and be selfless of your time and money in order to help others. Brag often about His AWESOMENESS! Defend Him when naysayers want to disrespect Him. Listen to Him and obey when He speaks to you through His Word and in times of prayer. He has great plans for your life and knows what’s best for you!

By honoring God we bring honor to ourselves. God says He will honor those who honor Him (I Samuel 2:30). In other words, we will be blessed! Jesus promises in John 15:7, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” He also emphasizes in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Furthermore, because we honor God with our hearts, we can look forward to seeing Him. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”, (Matthew 5:8).

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Family: One of God’s Many Treasures

Family, whether through blood, adoption or another special connection, is one of God’s many treasures. I was reminded of this truth during the weekend of our Ealey Family Reunion held right here in Cincinnati. The Ealeys are my mother’s father’s family. My grandfather Jeremiah Ealey, born in 1883, married my grandmother Eunice Smith (approximately 20 years his junior). JeremiahAndEuniceEaley From their union were born seven children: Herschel Alvin (front row, left), Pearlie Inez (front row, right), Rubye Mae (2nd row, right), Ethel Pearl (2nd row, 2nd from right), Mary Helen (2nd row, center), James Hosea (back row) and Geraldine Marie (my mommy, 2nd row, left). EaleyChildrenSo, based on those numbers alone, one can only imagine how large our family has become….pretty large!

Last weekend I was reminded of how blessed I am to have such a large family, for we’re not just large in number but in LOVE! That love is rooted deeply in our DNA. I’m not saying that our family is perfect, nor am I implying that we never have challenges or even heartache. However, I am saying that we always triumph because of our never-ending love for God and for each other. EaleyReunionPic In fact, maintaining faith in God is how our family thrives! I am thankful that I was taught at an early age to love and trust in the Almighty! My faith is what keeps me and propels me to achieve greater! My mother and her siblings were not only taught to love and trust God, but they watched their parents live their lives devoted to Him. Church attendance, Bible study and prayer meetings were the norm. As a result, my generation received the same teachings, and for that, I am truly grateful. EaleyCousins2

Now, more than ever, I appreciate every opportunity I have to come together with my family, including my dad’s family The Thomases (my grandmother Willie Myrtle, back row, left, with my great-aunts and great-uncle). Thomases God has surrounded me with LOVE. My cousin Michelle expressed to me recently why she believes having these annual family reunions is a must. “This family reunion is so important to me. We have aging family members, and I don’t want a funeral to serve as a family reunion. I want our kids to know who their family is and why we are who we are.” EaleyCousins

FAMILY……….I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

Happy Father’s Day!  Instead of the average Hallmark Greeting Card from the “Mahogany Collection”, this letter is written to show you MY appreciation.

Dear Daddy Pic2

From the moment I came into the world, you have always been there for me. You once told me that before I was born you were hoping for a boy —– which is probably what most fathers wish for —– someone to teach how to catch a ball, to shave, to fix cars, to date girls……….to be a man .  However, you said that once you laid eyes on me, none of that even mattered.  I was your first born, your baby girl, your Daughter-Child (your special name for me).   I can even recall Mommy stating that you were sooo crazy about me!

Dear Daddy Pic3

How is LOVE defined?  Is it an emotion or a simple word?  Well, I’m inclined to agree with the saying that “LOVE is an ACTION word”!  In the Bible, Psalms 103:13 states, “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”  A TRUE father has compassion or love for his children, and Daddy, you are the epitome of fatherly love!  You have worked so hard all your adult life to insure that BJ and I had everything we needed.  Because of your diligence and determination, we were both able to attend college and receive our degrees.  You weren’t going to allow a lack of money to stop us from reaching our goals.  In fact, I wanted to go to college because you instilled that desire in me at an early age.  “I’m saving for your college education,”  is what you used to always tell me, even when I was only in the first grade.

Daddy, you were the first man to tell me that you love me.  You loved me before I knew how to love myself.  You were the first man to hug and kiss me with pure affection.  You believed in me before I believed in myself.  You called me beautiful when I thought I was ugly.  You bought me my first gold necklace and my first pair of diamond earrings.  You have always taking excellent care of me!  Although I am now an adult, I know that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for me because your love is just that vast!  You have shown me how a man should love and take care of me.  Last, but not least, you gave me my good looks!!!  After all, I am YOUR TWIN!!!!

Dear Daddy Pic1

I LOVE YOU DADDY!  HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!!

Sincerely,

 

Daughter-Child

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