"It's Our 3rd Year Anniversary!"

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Christian Way Ministries is proud to announce by the grace of God that today is our "3rd" Year Anniversary since we had our very first service as a church, August 9th, 2015! Hallelujah Saints! Glory be to His Name! Words cannot even describe how blessed our church has been these past three years!! We've had our ups and our downs, we've had our good times and our bad times, and we've had our share of challenges just like any other church. We went from sharing a church, to renting a hall at the VFW, to doing church out of Elder Tucker's living-room, to renting a small thousand-foot commercial space, and now to an almost three-thousand square foot space with an operational day-care. We went from nothing, to an official 501(c)3 tax exemption church in the span of only three years! How amazing is that... We went from having no furniture, no chairs, no equipment, no members, no anything, to having more than what we could have ever imagined in a short period of time. This was only possible by the grace of God, it was only possible by faith as small as a mustard seed, it was only possible by standing firm on the Word of God, and it was only possible by running our race with perseverance; fixing our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our faith. That's it! The devil tried to knock us down, tried to penetrate our ministry, tried to cause dissension, and even tried to separate us. We've had people come in and out of our ministry because we weren't the average church. We've had to go against a lot of uncertainty and face many questions regarding the direction God wanted us to go. Yet, despite all the challenges, despite all the questions, despite all the uncertainty, and despite Satan trying to attack us on all sides, Christian Way Ministries is stronger now than ever before. The Bible says that you will know them by their fruit, and the fruit Christian Way Ministries is producing right now speaks for itself. James 2:18 says, "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do," and Christian Way Ministries isn't going to boast about any of our accomplishments, but allow the fruit of our ministry to speak for itself. 

So, on this Special Day, Christian Way Ministries wants to thank first and foremost, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit! Without you Lord, we are nothing and can do nothing, and we are eternally grateful, appreciative, and blessed by all you have done for us! Thank you Lord! We love you with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind! 

On behalf of Christian Way Ministries, Bishop David Martinez wants to also thank personally all of the ministers: First Lady Britani Martinez, Associate Pastor Pieri Burton, Elder James Tucker, Elder Harold Tucker, Deacon Grant Vanderpool, Deacon Darius Burton, Deacon Rico Jones, Minister Harriet Vanderpool, Deacon Eleanor Makinen, Deacon Fountaine, and soon to be Deacon Jay Andrews and Deacon Rodney Johnson. Thank you for your service to God and for your commitment, dedication, and your faith to Christian Way Ministries! There are so many churches that you could have become members of, but for you to choose Christian Way Ministries, there are not enough words to describe how fortunate and blessed we really are!

A special thank you goes to all of our lay members as well: Tiffany Tucker, Jackie Vanderpool, Christina Johnson, Joy Andrews, Jacquelyn Burton, Alicia Jones, Victor Langley, Juanita Tucker, Robert Hibler, and to all those who have assisted us along the journey! There is no telling where our ministry would be without you! Christian Way Ministries is so proud and blessed to have all of you as part of our one and big happy family! We love you guys so much and it is our prayer that God will continue to lead you and guide you in faith and in your service to Him! Jesus said in Matthew 20:28, "I didn't come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many," and this is exactly the model that Christian Way Ministries wants to continue to follow! 

Last, but definitely not least, we want to thank all of our members and all of our visitors who come to our Sunday service, who come to our Bible studies, who attend our programs, who chimed in on our prayer calls, who chimed in online during our service, who contributed financially to our ministry, who were baptized at First Landing State Park, and who came to support our homeless shelter endeavors. You know who you are, and you are part of the reason Christian Way Ministries is steadily growing!

Happy 3 Year Anniversary to you all! This is your day! Let us rejoice and be glad in it, in the name of the Father, and of the Son Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit! Amen! 

Attached below is a small gallery of our three year journey from beginning to where we are now, along with a 5 minute video presentation. Hope you are inspired by what God has done so far and that we can continue to fight the good fight for the faith! Happy Anniversary you guys!!! YAY!!! 

  

Christian Way Ministries is excited to say by the grace of the Almighty God that we have completed 3 whole years of ministry! Glory to His Name, and we are beyond blessed to witness for ourselves the majesty and the power of God!

It’s just a...

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When it comes to the spiritual battle Christians face on a daily basis, there is so much that is occurring beyond what our eyes can see that if we’re not careful, many will become or have already become victims of Satan’s deceitful schemes. In the New Testament alone, Satan's name is mentioned 36 times, and that’s not including all of his many nicknames. Fortunately, and praise be to God that there’s a substantial amount of teachings contained in the Word of God regarding the spiritual front the body of Christ is up against that we can read and learn for ourselves. 1 John 5:19 says, “For the whole world lies under the influence of the evil one.” In addition, Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 that “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work,” and the question we need to ask ourselves is, “what is Satan up to today?” 

Well, believe it or not, Satan is up to more than what we could possibly fathom in our own imaginations! Satan is out to seek, kill, and destroy. Satan is masquerading as an angel of light. Satan is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. And Satan is running to and fro throughout the whole earth. That’s just a glimpse from the scriptures of Satan’s mission in the world, and there’s so much more that can be said with how he’s led billions of people astray, with how he’s using worldly intelligence through science and philosophies, and how he’s manipulating the media, the entertainment business, politics, religions, video games, theatre, television, internet, and books. If we could only see what Satan is really up to in the spiritual realm, I'm convinced we wouldn't be engaging in half the activities the world has to offer. The devil is so conniving and so deceitful that he will dress up the things of the world so attractively that if you are not careful and aware of his deceitful schemes that you might just take a bite out of sinful crime. Hence, as James 1:15 says, “then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin when it’s full grown, gives birth to death.”

You see, the main tactic of Satan is to entice you with what he’s selling. How often do people say, it’s just a movie, it’s just a song, it’s just a game, it’s just a sip, it's just one bite, or it’s just this one time... This is the approach Satan uses to get you to take a small bite, because he knows if you take just one little nibble, the chance of you taking another bite is even greater causing you to ultimately lose self-control. Which is exactly what the devil wants and exactly what he did in the Garden of Eden! In the beginning, God said not to eat the fruit of the tree, and the devil said, "did God really say you can’t eat of the tree? It’s just a piece of fruit..." Get it? Satan will start off by enticing you with the things of the world by minimizing sin in order to increase the desires of the flesh. He will attempt to deceive you with subtle messages that "it’s just a this" or "it’s just a that," and he will dress up sin to make it appear nice and innocent, convincing you to fall for his next trap. WATCH OUT!!! 

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” The whole mission of Satan is basically to try his very best and to work double over-time to deceive your minds from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ! So, be aware, be alert, be vigilant, be sober-minded, be in the Word, walk by faith, not by sight, keep in step with the Holy Spirit, put on the whole armor of God so you can withstand the wiles of the devil, and remember that the reason why the Son of God was revealed was to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). 

Let us pray: 

Heavenly Father, we thank for this beautiful day that you have made! We thank for our lives, our families, your provision, and most importantly your precious Son, Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, and who warned us about Satan’s ultimate objective against the body of Christ. So Lord, we pray for your wisdom and we pray that you will lead us by the power of your Holy Spirit. Grant us a spirit of discernment, and let us lean not on our own understanding, but let us acknowledge you in all our ways, so that you will direct our paths. Forgive us Lord for we know not what we do, in the name of Jesus we pray, 

Amen!!  

"Encourage One Another"

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With everything we have going on in our lives, it’s so easy to get discouraged, sidetracked, stressed, frustrated, and upset, which can cause us to react uncharacteristic, emotional, and unholy if we are not careful and if we are not aware of our feelings. It’s unfortunate that so many people react emotionally to their circumstances in a manner that’s unholy, especially during this political climate we find ourselves saturated in. We must be very careful how we respond and how we react to our circumstances in order to avoid asking God for forgiveness later. Remember Saints, it’s not if it rains, but when it rains, how are you going to deal with the rain... It's the storms we encounter in our life that provide us the wonderful opportunity to exercise our faith, to apply the Word of God in our life, to grow in the midst of our suffering, and to encourage one another daily.

The Bible says in Hebrews 13:3 “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” You see, when we are not encouraging one another in our circumstances, not only can they become discouraged, but we can also become discouraged because the wheels of our faith stop spinning when we are not encouraging others with the word. And when we become discouraged, sin is crouching at our doors desiring to have us. But, as the scripture says in Genesis 4:7, we must master it, we must subdue it, we must conquer the sin of temptation, and we must not allow our situations to get the best of us! Paul says in Philippians 1:27, that “whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel.” We have to stay encouraged through the Word of God despite our discouraging situations in order to encourage others to fight the good fight.

Furthermore, some of the ways we can stay encouraged as we go through our daily lives is to do what the scriptures tell us to do, which is to run our race with perseverance, to fix our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith, to mediate on his Word day and night, and to pray without ceasing. There’s so much more where that came from!! However, as the mud gets thick, as the waves get rough, and as Satan works overtime, we have to steadily continue readjusting our lens not on what is seen but on what is unseen, which is eternal. Why? Because what is seen is temporary, and what we go through in life is only light and momentary. That's why it's important for us to fix our eyes on God, on our faith, and on his Word because those things will not only last forever, but they will also help encourage us and others through our storms! As the old saying goes.., "This too shall pass." 

However, the most encouraging thing we have at our advantage that often times gets swept under the rug of our circumstances is our faith in Jesus Christ. You see, it says in Hebrews 2:14, “Therefore, he (Jesus) had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.” This verse right here is so encouraging to know that our God can help us and can relate to everything we go through in our life because he himself was mocked, betrayed, spit on, slapped, flogged, persecuted, and suffered death on the cross. But if we are not operating in faith and in his word, how can we be encouraged by it??? Furthermore, how can we encourage others if we ourselves are discouraged??? Therefore, whenever you go through whatever it is you go through in life, remember that Jesus is in the boat with you, and be encouraged that you have a Savior that’s been through it all. This way you can encourage one another daily with the Gospel of Christ as long as it is called today not knowing what your brother or sister may be going through. God not only wants to use your storm to develop you, but to encourage somebody else who may be going through something similar. 

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, we come before you with thanksgiving and praise for your faithfulness and goodness to us. We thank you Lord for your word, we thank you for your Son, and we thank you for the good and the bad, because we know and understand that you work all things together for the good of those who love you. So Lord, we pray that you will help us stand firm in our trials, that you will mold us in our trials, and that you will encourage us in our trials through your word and through our faith in you to get us through! We love you and we thank you so much, in Jesus name we pray, Amen!

"WOE!!!"

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Today's devotion is a rather peculiar one because it begins with the word woe; a term of admonishment against a particular action or saying. Now, this may appear to go against the norm of a devotion, but devotions are written not only to inspire and encourage people with a message of hope for their particular situations, but devotions can also serve as warnings against doing evil and sinning against our holy God, which is what Road2TheCross is all about; keeping God's people on the narrow road that leads to righteousness. However, Isaiah writes something really powerful that is really prevalent in the 21st century, especially in the United States. He says in verse 20, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter," which is exactly what is happening in our society. Sin is no longer being called sin, but good, and that which is good according to scripture is now being called evil. And as you all know, evil is the absence of good, and yet the sin of homosexuality, the sin of transgenderism, the sin of alcoholism, the sin of self-centeredness, the sin of entertaining the flesh, and the sin of desecrating the temple of the human body are just a few examples of what's evil being called good. Unfortunately, what's really disturbing regarding today's generation is that it's duplicating the sin of our ancestors. Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 1:9, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, Look! This is something new? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time." 

In other words, what we witness in the world today is nothing new under the sun. What Isaiah saw in his day was nothing new under the sun. And what Solomon saw during his time was nothing new under the sun. Sin and evil will continue to be called good, while good will be called evil. So, does that mean because sin is trending that the people of God should follow this trend? Absolutely not! That's the reason why Isaiah spoke out against it during his day and why Christian Way Ministries is speaking out against it in this generation; so that those who call themselves children of God can avoid the pitfalls of this generation! The scripture is very clear in what it calls good and what it calls evil. It says... WOE to those who call evil good, WOE to those who call good evil, WOE to those who put darkness for light and light for darkness, and WOE to those who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Furthermore, Isaiah also said throughout chapter six, WOE to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land. WOE to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine. WOE to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes. WOE to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. And WOE to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks (notice a second admonishment against drinking, hint, hint).

But it doesn't stop there, in Proverbs 6:16-17 "There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him; haughty (prideful) eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers." In addition to that, there are several abominations to the Lord found throughout the pages of the Bible. Even the Lord Jesus himself spoke against the religious leaders of his day with seven woes in Matthew 23, which are too deep to get into during this devotion. Essentially, anyone who goes against the "good" Word of God, WOE to him and WOE to her! Repent and be converted so that your sins may be wiped out according to Acts 3:19 or else, WOE unto you; for "if we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice of sins remains, but only a fearful expectation of judgement and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God (Hebrews 10:26)." But thank God for his Son Jesus Christ who conquered sin, who conquered temptation, and who conquered death, that whoever confesses their sins to Him, He is able, and faithful, and just to forgive us of our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

Remember folks, Paul said it twice in 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23, "Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial," and just because you have the free will and choice to do something, doesn't mean you should do it. If it goes against the Word of the living God, not only are you doing evil in His sight, not only can you expect to be judged for your sin, but you are a child of the devil. 1 John 3:8 says, "He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning since the beginning." The question that remains to be answered is who do you belong to, God or the devil? You can't serve both God and money! And you can't drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too! So, how long will you waver between two opinions? If you belong to God, study his word and show thyself approved, or else... Woe unto you!        

Let us pray,

Dear Heavenly Father, you are great and worthy to be praised! You are good and your word is Good. Allow your people to follow your word, to repent from their sins to you who is our High Priest, and to allow them to speak out against sin as your prophets, as your disciples, as your word, and as your Son Jesus Christ spoke out against sin. Grant Christian Way Ministries the boldness to also continue to speak out against sin in a generation that steadily calls sin good and good evil and allow Christian Way Ministries to preach forgiveness and truth out of love. We thank you that your grace and mercy endureth forever, and we are so grateful that you are patient and abounding in love, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come unto repentance. So, be with us on this day, continue to be patient with us, and grant us the ability to deny the flesh daily and pick up our cross and follow you and your word, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior we pray,

Amen!

"Open Door"

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As Christian Way Ministries prepares to relocate to another building on April 1st, 2018 (the day America celebrates the most revolutionary event in all of human history, the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ) Revelation 3:7-8 is such a beautiful reminder of how this opportunity presented itself. Now, the Apostle John, the one whom Jesus loved the most was writing down the vision revealed to him regarding the seven churches. The sixth church of Philadelphia is one of the seven churches along with the church of Smyrna who received a good report. John writes in verse 7, "These are the words of him (Jesus) who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." Interestingly, John prefaces this particular verse by reminding the church at Philadelphia of the One who is responsible for these words that are written to the church; "For in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Meaning this.., Jesus is the Logos, Jesus is the spoken Word, and Jesus is the Holy one who issues the message to the seven churches, that not only is He the Holy and True God who holds the key of David, but He is also the One who opens doors no one can shut and closes doors no one can open! You see, in order for God to open up new doors of opportunity, God has to close old doors of opportunity. Just like how God closed the old door of opportunity at our current location, God opened a new door of opportunity for Christian Way Ministries to advance the kingdom of God in a new location that no one can close. Furthermore, we knew that our new location was an open door God provided for our ministry to walk through because God was the One who closed all the other doors. We knew that we needed certain things to happen in order for us to walk through this open door, and guess what..? God provided for every single one of our needs! We needed three months of free rent, open door! We needed 100 new cushion chairs, open door! We needed building materials to fix up the church, open door! We needed laborers to perform the work, open door! And we needed money to secure the new location, again, open door! God opened all of these doors for our ministry to walk through because of our faith, because of our deeds, and because we kept his word!   

You see, in verse 8, Jesus said to the church of Philadelphia, "I know your deeds." Now, believe it or not, Jesus knows all of your public deeds and Jesus knows all of your secret deeds; "for nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account" according to Hebrews 4:13. So, this is a warning to all those who are reading this today that whatever you do is seen before the eyes of Him whom we must give an account. He sees it all, he knows it all, and his eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth. And the Lord judges your deeds accordingly, which is why it's really important to keep God first in everything you do! You may think nobody is watching you, but there is somebody who sits on the right hand throne of the Father in heaven who judges the heart. 

Hence, the Lord Jesus knew the deeds of the church of Philadelphia and commends them by saying, "See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." And likewise, the Lord knows the deeds of Christian Way Ministries, which is the reason why he placed before us an open door that no one can shut. So, let our faith, our love, our strength, our perseverance, and our deeds inspire you today that the Lord will open a door in your life no one can shut! All you have to do is "KEEP" his word, don't deny The Name that is above all names, and remember that in order for God to open new doors, he has to close old doors!  

Let us pray,

Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for this day that you have made. We thank you for your word that you have preserved for thousands of years so we can have access to it. And we thank you that whoever keeps your word, you will open doors no man can close. You know Lord that we live in a world today that is steadily trying to get us to abandon your word, but as your word says, he who stands firm to the end shall be saved. So, Lord we pray that you will keep us on the narrow road that leads to life, that you will keep us in the Word of your Son Jesus Christ, that you will open and close doors as you see fit, and that we will step out on faith whenever you open those doors, in Jesus name we pray,

Amen! 

BE STRONG!!!

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A devotional according to multiple sources is some form of publication used in a variety of platforms that provides an opportunity to meditate on a particular verse in the Bible along with a time of prayer. It allows the person reading the devotional to take a "time-out" during their day to reflect on the Word of God, to fix their eyes on the Author and Finisher of our faith, to seek improvement in certain areas of their life, and to draw inspiration on whatever it is they may be going through. Furthermore, a devotion believe it or not is a spiritual act of worship and today's devotion comes out of one of the most familiar passages in the Bible... 

Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Now, to provide a little context regarding this particular verse, Moses had just died and Joshua was the next man in line responsible for leading the Israelites into the promised land. Let's just say Joshua had his work cut out for him having to lead a whole nation of at least two million people into a land that was already possessed by other nations. Yet, the Lord knew the challenges that stood before Joshua and the Lord knew that Joshua had some pretty big shoes to fill. After all, Joshua is succeeding a man who literally had one-on-one encounters with the Lord God Himself on Mount Sinai... Hence, the Lord encouraged Joshua three times in the span of three verses to "be strong and courageous." Which means to prevail, to be firm, to press on, to be secure, and to grow strong despite the challenges, despite the unknown, and despite what he saw ahead of him. Furthermore, the Lord also commanded Joshua to not be afraid and to not be dismayed because the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of Moses, and the same God that raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead "will be with you wherever you go."

So, no matter what you are going through, no matter how dark your situations may appear, and no matter how thick the mud gets in your life, the Word of God reminds us today, do not be afraid, do not be terrified, do not be dismayed, and do not be broken, why..? Because the Lord your God is with you, and if God be for you... Who can be against you, right??? Paul says in Romans 8:37 that "we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." And because of what God has done for us, we can "be strong and courageous!" So, whenever you are experiencing a moment of weakness in your life, remember the Lord your God defeated every possible scenario you could ever face in your life by nailing it to the cross, and by defeating it with his own resurrection! There's nothing that you are going through that God cannot relate to! Jesus defeated betrayal, anguish, Satan, temptation, sin, fear, hatred, evil, crucifixion, and Jesus defeated the one thing that has held humanity captive since the time of Adam and Eve, which is death. The tomb is empty!! Jesus did all of this so you can walk in victory, so you can walk in power, so you can walk in strength, and so you can walk courageously! Be strong and courageous thus said the Lord because "I AM that I AM" is with you now and forevermore! 

All you have to remember moving forward today is to be careful to obey the Word of God, to not turn away from it, to meditate on it day and night, and to do everything written in it according to verse 7-8, and God will uphold his end of the bargain by coming through on his promises, by providing all of your needs, by sustaining you throughout your times of trouble, and by reminding you to "BE STRONG" no matter what you face in life; for God is with us! Just as God was with Abraham, just as God was with Moses, and just as God was with Joshua, likewise God will also be with you!

Let us pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this day that you have made. We thank you for your Word that you preserved for thousands of years so that your children can still have access to it today. And we thank you that you remind us of your word to be strong and courageous; to not be afraid and to not be dismayed because you are with us; for you never leave us nor forsake us, and that you are with us wherever we go in life. We thank you God that you remain faithful even when we are faithless at times in our life. And we thank you that you sent your one and only Son down into the world as a physical reminder that you are indeed with us! So be with us on this day. Grant us your peace that surpasses all understanding. Forgive us of any sin that we may have committed against you. And give us the courage to face our daily battles, in the name of Jesus Christ we pray,

Amen!  

"God Got You"

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When you consider the totality of Psalm 23, it screams "God Got You" throughout the whole passage! Meaning, God is with you, God is for you, God is fighting for you, and God has your front and your back! Starting with the very first verse it says, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Just like a shepherd looks out for his sheep for every single one of their needs, "God Got You" and knows all of your needs before you even ask of them. That's why Jesus calls himself "The Good Shepherd," because "God Got You!" And because "God Got You," you shall not want, you shall not lack, you shall not be without, and you shall not be in need of anything as long as the Lord is your shepherd. "So do not worry saying, what shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Therefore, seek ye first the kingdom of God and all of his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto to you."

In verse two it says, "He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me besides the quiet waters." Again, it is God who provides the security for his sheep enabling them to lie down in green pastures without a single worry. Furthermore, it is God who leads his people besides the quiet waters in a world where there are all kinds of storms surrounding you. Just like Jesus quieted the waves in Mark 4:39, likewise God will also lead you besides the quiet waters whenever the waves of your life get rough. You just have to remain steadfast in your faith and God will grant you His peace that surpasses all understanding during your storms! 

In verse three, again, "Got God You" by refreshing your soul whenever you are weary, whenever you lack motivation, and whenever you're feeling down. God has a way of refreshing the soul of his people through his own Word that when you are weak, you are strong in the Lord Jesus Christ; "For we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!" In addition to that, "God Also Got You" by guiding you along the right path for his name's sake. All you have to do is "trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight" according to Proverbs 3:5-6.

Then in verse four, one of the most popular verses in all of scripture says, that "even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (Why? Because God Got You!), for you are with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me." So, not only does "God Got You" by being with you in your valleys of the shadow of death, but God also comforts you through those death valleys by reminding you that He himself walked down that very valley of the shadow of death and defeated it through His own resurrection from the grave. Hebrews 2:14-15 says, "since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death, that is the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."

Then in verse five, guess what..? "God Got You" again by preparing a table before the presence of your enemies, and anoints your head with oil by not leaving you as an orphan, but by sending you the Holy Spirit who will comfort you, who will guide you, and who will teach you into all truth and into all understanding! All you have to do to receive this special anointing of the Holy Spirit is "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins so you can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38) And because "God Got You," surely His goodness and surely His mercy will follow you all the days of your life, and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

In other words, as long as you remain in Jesus and Jesus in you, "God Got You" no matter what! Whether in health or in sickness, whether for richer or for poorer, whether in happiness or in sadness, whether in life or after death, no matter your circumstances, "God Got You!!" For I am convinced as Paul said in Romans 8:38, "that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Hence, Psalm 23 is such a beautiful reminder regarding the extent in which God has your back; that even though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you shall fear no evil because "God Got You!"

P.S. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than knowing how much God loves you and how much God has your back... Praise the Lord!  

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"Soar like Eagles"

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Interesting how the night the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII for their very first championship, inspired this particular devotion... Now, anybody who knows the author of this post knows that he is definitely not a Philadelphia Eagle fan! However, the way the Eagles won the Super Bowl is nothing short of breath-taking! During the middle of the season a report surfaced regarding how many of the players in the Philadelphia Eagles organization were baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit at a hotel pool in North Carolina, and how some of them were baptized late last year at their own training facility, which is unheard of in today's NFL. Furthermore, after the Eagles won the championship, not only did the coach give thanks to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but there was another report that surfaced about Nick Foles, the Super Bowl MVP "backup" quarterback who dreams to be a future Pastor one day, and who has already taken a few courses in seminary. Praise the Lord!

Yet, even though the Eagles came out victorious, their climb to the top of the mountain was an arduous one to say the least! Little do people know that their season was full of adversity, their season was full of doubt, and their season was full of questions, especially after their starting quarterback Carsn Wentz suffered a season ending injury, who by the way was the leading candidate for the MVP award. Believe it or not, the Philadelphia Eagles were the underdogs for each game they played in the playoffs despite being a number one seed. But that didn't steer their faith though! Nope! The Eagles started their playoff run by beating the defending NFC East champions in the Atlanta Falcons. Then demolished the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game, only to go up against Goliath himself in the New England Patriots led by Coach Belichick and Tom Brady who became the first NFL duo to win 5 Super Bowl rings! But that didn't steer the faith of the Philadelphia Eagles neither! They came together as a team despite all the adversity, despite not having their starting quarterback, and despite who was on the other side of the fence, and they put their faith in Christ, they slung their smooth stones at Goliath, they instilled confidence in Nick Foles as their backup quarterback, and they soared like Eagles! What the Philadelphia Eagles had to overcome to win their very first championship in franchise history is the epitome of Isaiah 40:31 in the 21st century; that "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." 

Therefore, as you go about your day, let the faith of those who professed their faith in Christ like the Philadelphia Eagles did in front of millions of people around the world inspire you to continue to fight the good fight for the faith; that no matter what you face in life, no matter how intimidating the opposition may appear, and no matter how difficult the road ahead may be, remember that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength and will soar like Eagles. Remember the faith of those who were martyred, and who suffer and die everyday around the world for their faith in Jesus Christ that aren't made public. And please don't forget what Jesus Christ did on that old rugged cross two thousand years ago, who soared like an Eagle when he rose from the death of crucifixion, to love you, to save you, to forgive you, and to reconcile you to himself for all of eternity!  Hallelujah! May the Lord be with all of his people! 

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2017/10/15/philadelphia-eagles-marcus-johnson-baptized-in-hotel-pool-with-teammates-by-his-side.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/nick-foles-plans-pastor-football-52787325

 

"GOD Sits High"

What a beautiful way to start off your day by being reminded that God still sits on the throne in heaven; that God sits enthroned above the circle of the earth; that God sits high and looks low; and that just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his ways and his thoughts higher than your ways and your thoughts. When the passage says that He sits "enthroned" above the circle of the earth, it means that God dwells in the heavens above the earth, specifically as a judge looking down on his people whom look like grasshoppers from where He sits. In other words, God sees and knows everything that is going on with his creation. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight" because of where God sits! In life there will be many things that occur throughout your lifetime that you will struggle to find answers for like the tragedies such as the church shooting or what happened in Las Vegas. There will be times where you will personally go through something that you may not understand why you are going through it. And there will be times when you will look up to the heavens and ask, "why me God?" 

Yet, even though you may not have all the answers, when you look up to the heavens to ask God, "why me" you can rest assure God sits enthroned above the circle of the earth.., who has all the answers, who contains all the wisdom, who by his understanding made the heavens, and who knows exactly what you are going through. You can rest assure when you look up to the heavens seeking answers for your particular situation, that Jesus sits on the right hand throne of God in victory over everything you are going through! Hallelujah! God sits high and looks low! 

All you have to do is trust God that He knows why you are going through what you are going through! All you have to do is trust God that he works all things together for the good of those who love him, to include those things that you lack understanding in. All you have to do is trust God for what His Word says that He will never leave you nor forsake you and that He is with you wherever you go in life. And all you have to do is trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and just acknowledge Him in all your ways so He can make your paths straight. Trust God that He knows all of your needs before you even ask of them. Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-33, "Therefore, do not worry, saying what shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and all of his righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you."  

So, as you go about your day trust God that he knows what's best for you. Remember that God sits enthroned above the circle of the earth fighting for you! He sees you, He knows you, He's with you, and He has you in the palm of his hand! And don't forget what Jesus said in Revelation 3:21... "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne." God sits high, and so will you if you stand firm in your faith, amen! 

"A Holy People"

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We live in a world today that constantly emphasizes self-gratification, pleasing the desires of the flesh, and doing the things that makes a person happy. However, the verse of the day tells us that "you (those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior) are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people belonging to God." A people who are chosen to be like the One who created us in His image and after his likeness. A people who were once alienated from God, but now reconciled by the blood shed on the cross. And a people who had not received mercy, but now have received mercy because of the redemption that came by Jesus Christ! In other words, knowing what Jesus did for the sake of the whole world two thousand years ago.., to reconcile us back to God, to demonstrate a life of holiness, to nail our sin on the cross, to defeat the power of death, to empower the body of Christ that they can do even greater things than he did, and to send us the Holy Spirit to guide us.., it becomes incumbent on the body of Christ to offer their bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God according to Paul in Romans 12:1.

Don't allow the world to tell you that you can't live like Jesus. Don't allow the world to tell you that it's too hard to live a sinless life after you received Christ. Don't allow the world to tell you that the Bible has too many rules. And don't allow Satan to deceive you with lie after lie that you can't achieve the holiness of God! The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." It's only in Christ that we can be holy as our Father in heaven is holy! Nevertheless, achieving the righteousness of God won't automatically come to a believer unless they model after the life of Christ.

Here are a few points for the body of Christ to consider when it comes to achieving the holiness of God:

1). Put the Word of God into practice according to Matthew 7:24 & James 1:22-25. Be not hearers of the Word only, but be doers of the Word! 

2). Deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Jesus according to Luke 9:23. Don't let the flesh rule you, but let the Spirit of God rule the flesh!

3). Obey his commands which are not burdensome, but are only good for you according to 1 John 5:3.

4). Don't conform to the patterns of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind according to Romans 12:2.

5). Capture every thought and make them obedient to Christ according to 2 Corinthians 10:5. You have the power in the name of Jesus Christ to control and to make obedient every thought that comes in and out of your mind. Part of loving God with all your mind is to control your thoughts. 

6). Lastly, meditate on the Word of God day and night according to Joshua 1:8. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 that we are not to live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. 

Remember, you are a "Holy People," you are a chosen nation, you are a royal priesthood, and you are a people belonging to God created in his image! You are image bearers of the creator God of the universe and the people of God need to recognize that image, walk in that image, and live out their lives according to that holy image, Amen!