The LORD God loves you for you. He loves you because you are His – His creation, His handiwork, His masterpiece.
He put His heart and soul into creating you – His entire being!! How do you know that Minister Benjamin? I’m glad you asked. Before He made man He said let “us” make man in “our” image, after “our” likeness. Daddy God employed the Son and the Holy Spirit too, so therefore, He used the whole or entirety of His being!! He used everything (everyone) He has to form and fashion you! When He made you He gave you His all! Isn’t that Love? Give Him your all today and everyday! Surrender your entire being‼️
Love gives up everything. Love doesn’t hold back. Love gave man – the crown of His creation, His best – His best. Selah.
Love trusts! The only time you don’t trust, which is fear, is if you have been corrupted, resulting in a distorted view of Love! But perfect Love casts out fear! (1 John 4:18) Oh my goodness; the reason why the LORD entrusted Adam with His creation was because He loved him, not because He thought or knew Adam was going to manage it well!! As a matter of truth, He knew he was going to mess up and mismanage everything, but He gave it to him anyway. Why? Because that’s what you do when love someone perfectly without fear!
Guess what? He never changes. The same thing He did when He created the first Adam is the same thing He did when He recreated the last Adam: sacrificed His best – His first begotten and unique Son – for His best – you, me, and every human being on this planet. Because when you truly love you give (up) your best, and your best is yourself!
REAL LOVE takes responsibility – accepts the challenge, task, or mission – to do what’s necessary – what MUST be done.
I was talking to my son the other day about some negative thoughts (lies) he has allowed to resurface in his mind. He’s been the target of teasing, bullying, and rejection from peers in the past, and the trauma from those experiences had resulted in low self-esteem, a confused identity, and hopelessness – believing the lies you’re not good enough and no one cares. Fast forward a little: the Grace of GOD appeared to me, revolutionized my life, freeing me from the very same powers of lies and limiting beliefs that have plagued my son! I am now validated and equipped to help him by the mercies of GOD, so in a very real way I was saved to save my son! We have been won over by the Lord’s love to win people over by the Lord’s love – the essence of the gospel!
In the midst of me ministering to him and our relationship getting better and stronger in the passage of time, those old thoughts, lies, and feelings of hopelessness began to creep and seep back into my son’s mind. I noticed something had been bothering him for a few days, so the Lord, in His Grace, had me take him out on a beautiful spring day to spend time together. I thought I was just taking him out to workout with me, but the Lord had other thoughts. Aren’t you glad His thoughts are higher than ours? (Isa. 55:9) LORD you are so great! O the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of GOD! His judgments unsearchable! His ways past finding out! (Rom. 11:33)
After our workout, we sat on a park bench and began to talk – the mental and spiritual portion of our bonding! As I was comforting and encouraging him with the gospel, the Lord Jesus reminded me of the vision He showed me, the purpose He called me to, the need He summoned me to meet: “Ben! Ben! (This is) REAL LOVE!”
Real Love sees a person or people in desperate need and accepts the responsibility to help them by giving yourself. Because when you really care and when you truly love somebody, you give up (sacrifice) yourself – your life and way of life – for them. Is not this the mission and love of Jesus? In that very moment, at the very time with my son, that is exactly what I did, what I was doing, and what I will continue do. Daddy GOD, King Jesus, By Holy Spirit, thank you! Eternally grateful with eternity in mind. In Jesus name.
Watch our workout 🏋️♀️ video in previous post! ❤️
Time is measured in minutes; life is measured in moments. – Mark Batterson, Pastor & Bestselling Author
If I told you how the Lord Jesus has been moving and leading me by His Spirit the last two years you wouldn’t believe me. I began writing this post a month ago, and as I was putting the finishing touches on it I was led to the latest YouVersion reading plan by Pastor Mark Batterson entitled “Win The Day,” which is also the title of his latest book. The plan is phenomenal to say the least, as Pastor Mark outlines 8 habits to help you “win the day.” As I arrived at Day 7 of the plan (Habit 6) my mouth dropped. I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT I WAS READING!! Are you kidding me?!?! The sixth habit is everything I began to write about weeks before!! Talk about confirmation!! Confirmation is the business of the Holy Spirit, and these past two years have been breathtaking!! So buckle up and prepare yourselves!! You’re now in kairos time‼️
The ancient Greeks observed two words for time – chronos and kairos. Chronos time is where we get chronological – the standard, everyday measurement of time in sequence. Seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc., sum up chronos, and while this time is important, it is, after all, natural, which always has to bow or be subject to a different, deeper, supernatural time.
Kairos time is divine time, and according to the ancient Greeks (and Wikipedia) is defined as “the right, critical, proper, or opportune moment for action.” This time signifies a moment of grave importance – a moment which must be interpreted, discerned, taken advantage of, acted on!!
Beloved, I don’t know where you are at in life or what season of life you’re in, but if you have been granted the ability or the capacity (which we all have) by the Everlasting Father, the Father of Light(s) to discern a kairos moment you need to act, and that without fear!! There are so many examples in Scripture to illustrate and validate this point it’s a shame, but I’m reminded of the story of four leprous men who decided to “go for broke” by coming upon the army of an enemy camp who had besieged their city until there was no food to ask/look for – you guessed it – food!! Outcasts or “goners” BEFORE their city was famine because of their condition, they basically said, “Why sit here until we die? We’re dead anyway, so let’s go!!” It turns out the Lord had caused the enemy army to hear the noise of war – chariots, horses, etc., and they fled in fear leaving all their goods to be plundered and seized!!
The LORD is our refuge, our strength, the Rock of Ages, our enduring Protector!! Let’s act in faith and trust and be about the Father’s business. Why sit here until we die? This is Kairos time!!
Each one of us is born with the gem within – a unique, divinely implanted gift, skill, or ability interwoven by Daddy GOD into the fabric of our being that naturally attracts people to us. The sad reality is this once pure, internal gem given by a pure and beautiful GOD often gets smeared by the staining, demoralizing effects of living in fallen world.
My children struggle with inclusion and acceptance. They are radically different from most of their peers, and they have had to endure bullying and getting picked on because of it. They don’t have the latest phones, tablets, gadgets, and video games. Heck, they’re not even familiar or able to interpret all the latest lingo of their generation. While we have them shielded from certain things and are raising them differently, I have tried to explain to them on several occasions the reason they have endured bullying and other things is not due to that truth. It’s due to the gem 💎 within – the corruption of it, the smearing of it. This corruption leads to a corrupted conscious OF one’s own self and corrupted confidence IN one’s own self. Furthermore, this causes you to devalue the internal gem and place higher value on the external gems, i.e. material things, clothes, phones, video games, etc., leaving you hurt and unfulfilled.
Never trade the internal for the external – the eternal for the temporary. The gem 💎 within, placed purposefully, intricately in the depths of our soul by the great and glorious Father of mercies is enough. The truth of the gem leads to the Truth of GOD, which leads to abundant life and all that comes with it. In Jesus name.
To my children with Love,
The Spirit of the Lord is like a championship belt gifted to you by Jesus the Messiah. This belt is staying with me.
The Word of the Lord came to me saying: “If you’re not ready to fail, you’re not ready.” As I sought the Lord continually on whether I should leave my job upon Him revealing and summoning me by His grace, this is the answer He gave me. The conversation went a little something like this:
Me: Daddy God, how do I know if I should leave or not?
ABBA: You should leave when you’re ready son.
Me: How will I know when I’m ready?
ABBA: When you’re ready to fail, you’re ready.
I knew what He was talking about.
Before the Grace of God illuminated my spirit and restored my soul, I always blamed Him and other people for my mistakes, shortcomings, and failures throughout my life. It was never me or definitely never JUST me. Oh, if my parents wouldn’t have separated/divorced, if my grandma wouldn’t have died, if my mom didn’t have schizophrenia, if I never left the town I had an affinity for, if I didn’t change high schools so much, if I could’ve played sports, if friends and family would’ve supported me more, if music would’ve worked out, if my wife would do this or that – yada, yada, yada. The list goes on. God, people, and things were the cause of my pain, so they deserved the blame. I was just trying to “make it” in the mess. Right? Wrong!! Me trying to “make it” in the mess equated to a hurt boy/man with a weak mind resolved in self-reliance and self-sufficiency, unable to own (take responsibility) my own mess or at least my part in it. You blame whenever you hide the pain (i.e. Adam & Eve). Now, the Holy Spirit revealed all of this to me upon Grace. I was totally oblivious and ignorant to what I was doing and who I had become. This is how I know the Lord has ordained and anointed me a leader and influencer because my life before Him was anything but!! So, essentially what the Lord was saying was – if I could make this decision, fail miserably, own it without fear, and still have a heart rooted and grounded in love for Him without blaming Him for the (potential) failure – then I was ready. I’m ready!!
When the three Hebrew boys were threatened by a fiery furnace they were ready to fail in their faith. In other words, they were ready to die in their faith. They were ready to die (sacrifice themselves) understanding God had the ability to save them, but not the requirement. To put it another way – Daniel and his friends loved and served the Lord God out of pure hearts absent from conditions. They placed no conditions or requirements on God, His promises, law, or anything. If He saves us He saves us. If He doesn’t He doesn’t‼️ It didn’t matter as far as they were concerned. Either way they weren’t serving or bowing to anyone or anything else‼️
The basis of our loyalty to God should not be benefit. Daniel and his friends didn’t serve Him for what they could get out of Him. They desired nothing from Him, yet were willing to present their bodies a living sacrifice to Him (Rm. 12:1). Love always gives, and this was pure, unadulterated, unconditional love. They were intimately acquainted with God and reverenced Him as such, knowing they had no business demanding or assuming He would do anything. Their hearts and minds were refined and purified by the fire (love) of the Holy Ghost BEFORE they went into that furnace. That’s why they felt no hurt DURING the furnace. I left everything for Him, not for Him to work everything out in my favor. (Note to self). If He does or He doesn’t, it’s all up to Him. One thing for sure and two things for certain – I’m not bowing to any other gods. Are you ready to fail in faith? Ask the Lord to lead you and guide you. In Jesus name.
“You’re more likely to act yourself into feelings than feel yourself into action.” – Jerome Bruner, Harvard Psychologist
I’m telling you: the Spirit of the Lord is leading me to what I need, when I need it. I’m following, soaking in all His goodness and basking in all His glory!
I read something so powerful a few days ago it is seared in my soul. Oftentimes, people will wait until they “feel motivated” to do what they need to do, but if you are waiting for your feelings to motivate you to act you’re finishing yourself before you start. According to Dr. Rob Carman, who is also a pastor and author, motivation is like love and happiness – it’s a bi-product of action. In other words, the main product or ingredient for success is always to start (or act) and then the motivation (emotions) kick in to assist you in completing whatever it is you acted on‼️Think about this for a second: does it really make sense to wait until your emotions lead you to act? You would rather be led by your feelings than by your faith? We rationalize waiting until we feel like it’s the perfect or most ideal time to make that decision, write that book, start that business, take that trip, do what God has put in your heart to do, etc., whatever your “it” is. NEWSFLASH: There will never be a “perfect” time. Whatever is in your mind and heart to do was put there (by God in most cases) to stretch you, thus stretching your schedule, your faith, and whatever else! It was not designed to fit your feelings or slide easily into your comfortable schedule – your system and way of doing things‼️In the context of calling and purpose, purpose is God’s way of doing things, not yours! You must act! Act off faith and not off feeling. Feelings make sense. Faith does not. Motivation is a trap. Don’t be led by your emotions. Act‼️The emotions will be sorted out after.
Motion, Not Emotion
Dr. Rob also pointed out something that struck me. It’s related, but from another perspective, along with a touch of insight from my own experience. There is a big difference between motions (acts) of love and emotions (feelings) of love. In other words, love is both, so your ability to distinguish between the two and put them in their respective places are vital to accomplish what is necessary for you to accomplish. I think many of us attempt to justify ourselves by the emotions of love instead of the motions of love. For example, if I feel bad for marginalized, oppressed people, that’s better than not feeling nothing at all. No it’s not. It’s just the lesser of two evils, because if you feel without acting you’re in the same boat with people who don’t feel‼️We’ve been tricked (and we trick ourselves) into thinking feelings should come before action, and this is simply “stinking thinking.” It’s a backward, twisted, corrupt belief system which leaves us stuck in our own prisons (our minds) we have aided in building. When Jesus was sweating drops of blood 🩸 in the Garden of Gethsemane, He probably didn’t “feel” all that great about what was forthcoming. But He got out of His feelings (His will) and into Love (the will of God) and acted. Feelings leave you stuck in neutral (fear). Action (faith and love) puts you in drive and take you where you need to go. Listen, this topic cannot be exhausted. I actually have a lot more to write, but I’ll save it for another time. You don’t have to be great to start, but you do need to start to be great. So act‼️Greatness awaits‼️
This post was inspired by Dr. Rob Carman on http://www.robcarman.com.
I began writing this post two days ago. I was actually almost done with it when I stepped away from my tablet for a moment not realizing my work was not saved. You can imagine my disappointment. I didn’t even want to make the attempt to write it again because I knew it would not have the exact same wording and feel, but such is life (deep sigh). At any rate, this gives me another opportunity to honor my wife, so here I go!
Allow me to brag on my wife today. She left me a beautiful voicemail Tuesday morning telling me how much she loves and appreciates me. Now, she always tells me she loves me, but this message was different. As my custom is, whenever she goes to work I start the car, carry her work bag out for her (that thing is heavy 😂), make sure she gets in safe, and wave her off as she leaves. Well, on Tuesday morning she went to work early, so it was still dark. As I was walking her to the car I stepped on a piece of broken glass. Surveying the immediate area, I realized it was all around the car, like someone just threw a bottle without care and respect for other people or their property. Anyway, I told her to be careful as she got in and I cleaned the glass up when she left. Afterwards, I seen and listened to the voicemail, my heart smiling with joy as I sensed something different and unique in her words. You know how you get the typical “I love you” from a spouse or family member? It’s not that it’s fake or superficial, it’s just “typical.” It’s regular, the normal thing a loved one would say to another, particularly upon leaving each other’s presence. However, this voicemail was anything but. It was original, emotive – it had life in it! Honestly, I knew it was special at first listen, but I didn’t know how deeply special it was until I began writing about it.
The Holy Spirit has recently made me aware of His leading me to hear, listen, read, stumble upon, etc., exactly what I need at the exact time I need it. (This is the true evidence of the Spirit of God in the life of a believer, as He does things on time in real-time‼️) Over the past few weeks (and perhaps longer) I have been in travail, extremely burdened by the weight of the Lord – the weight of vision, the weight of my calling and purpose – the weight I put on myself to fulfill it, the weight of my decision to leave my job, the weight that decision has put on my wife and family. Honestly, I always knew I would personally be ok in everything no matter the weight, so this recent burden was less about me and more about how my various “weights” have effected my family, my wife in particular. Watching her drive off for work is both a blessing and a burden, beautiful and bothersome. I smile when I wave her off, but deep down inside my soul cries in pain every time, as I continue to labor from the deep places of my spirit to make vision reality. I’m laboring with how I can help her – should I go back to work or not, should I do this or that, or just about anything to make it easier on her! In Truth, I know these are contractions – temporary bursts of pain that will lead to the birthing of something beautiful. However, even though they’re temporary they still hurt, and sometimes can last awhile. So, as my mind began to wander from the multitude of thoughts in my head, I began to feel myself break down. Just then, by the grace of Jesus, I began to mouth out loud “I’m not going back. I’m not going back there.” You see, the Lord Jesus freed me from the depths of despair and depression, the bondage of a weak and fragile mind. The thoughts may come and Satan’s weapons will be formed, but the power is in me (the Holy Spirit) to choose to let them prosper or not. I chose and will continue to choose not, and will never return to bondage again. With that statement of faith and love, the Lord answered me from the throne of Heaven with a voicemail message through my wife I won’t soon forget. It wasn’t just a wife leaving a nice, typical “I love you” message on a husband’s voicemail. No, not a chance. It was the Holy Spirit praying and interceding on my behalf, comforting, consoling, affirming, and encouraging me through my wife to stay strong and keep going.
Baby, I know I have been hard to love throughout our relationship. I have made it hard on you with my sudden, impulsive decisions in the past, spending OUR money on MY “dreams.” What did we calculate I spent on my music career? $15,000 – $20,000?? Yikes. I apologize sincerely, and I know this decision just seems like it’s me being my “typical” self. By the Spirit of the Lord, I assure you this time is different, just like your voicemail. And just like He redeemed me He will redeem that money in His time and for His glory. Hang on baby. Trust the Lord and trust me. Thank you for loving me. In Jesus name.
It takes a big person to exercise their power. It takes an even bigger person to sacrifice or withhold their power. During Jesus’s betrayal and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, we see Judas and the others coming upon with torches, swords, and clubs. Peter, always the one to “jump out the window,” responds by taking out his sword and cutting a servant of the high priest ear off. Jesus immediately responds by telling him to put his sword up and then says something interesting. “Do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and that He would send me more than 12 legions of angels (72,000) right now? How then would the scriptures be fulfilled?” (Matt. 26:53-54) You see, everything Jesus did or did not do was to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets – the Father’s will. He could have exercised his power as the Son of God and summoned a host of angels to help Him out and to prevent everything! Practically speaking, He also had every right to do so. It was not like He was an evil man guilty of anything! However, that would have been his will, not the Father’s! The Father’s will was for the Son of Man to go the way it was written of Him! (Matt. 26:24) So, what did He do? He suppressed, sacrificed, and withheld his will, power, and authority because He trusted in the will, power, and authority of the Father!
It is normal school of thought to believe David fled from the presence of Saul because he wanted to kill him, so he ran out of fear for his life. I beg to differ. Fear played a part, but it was not because he feared Saul. Rather, it was that he feared God! The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to something in this story. You see, Saul WANTED to kill David, but David COULD HAVE killed Saul. Big difference. In other words, Saul could have the desire to kill David all he wanted, but nothing did or would have ever happened because the Lord was with David. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was like a forcefield around him, so Saul could not have killed him no matter how much he wanted! And we know he tried many times! In contrast, Saul was finished. The Spirit of the Lord departed from him and an evil spirit (of fear) from the Lord distressed and tormented him. The spiritual forcefield around him was no longer there, so David COULD HAVE killed him. Practically speaking, he had every right to do so. It was not like he was an evil man guilty of anything! But what did he do? He suppressed, sacrificed, and withheld his power of being an anointed vessel of God, the next king of Israel, and would not touch or raise a hand against the “Lord’s anointed,” even though the Spirit of God had left him! This was extraordinary! David feared the Lord, trusting in His will, power, and authority! This was why David was a man with a heart like God’s!