Psalm 100 (NLT) Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

How does come so quickly? Five days seem to drag by yet two pass in a flash of light. The weekend is over and Monday is here. Ugh! Rocking in the chair on the front porch, I really needed to take a broom to the pollen and spider webs. Instead, I just rocked watching my husband plant the lovely hydrangeas that were my gift for Mother’s Day. As he worked, I thanked him for my coveted plants. He had been asking for weeks what I wanted, and finally I decided I wanted them. Are you sure? Yes, I am absolutely positive. As I sat there in the afternoon breeze, I knew that I had made the right choice. Their position in the bed was perfect. Morning sun and then partial shade. The soil remained moist which is their favorite. They would grow and fill the area just outside the dining room windows. I wondered what color the flowers might be. Hydrangeas don’t all bloom the same color but it is not because of the variety but rather the pH level of the soil. I wanted to just sit there in that chair and watch the flowers grow. But I knew in my heart all good things must come to an end because tomorrow would be Monday.

Sundays are my favorite days when we worship the Lord together. Fellowshipping with other believers. Finding new seeds of Truth to plant in our hearts growing into purpose as God designed. It goes by so fast and quickly I am thrust back into the rat race of this world. Work has been a challenge lately. Just the thought of the week ahead makes me want to avoid it at all costs. It also seems as though the last several weeks, the enemy has paid particularly close attention to my every move. As if in a game of Mario Kart, I am just tooling along in my little race car while all the other opponents throw everything but the kitchen sink in my way. To spin me out. Make me crash. Give up my joy. Relinquish my peace. I want to win the race that I am in. I want to claim the prize that Christ Jesus has called me to. So this morning, as usual, He meets me with mercy and provides more grace with a word for my life that will changes things – if I allow it in my heart and to rise up out of my mouth.

Shout with joy. Worship the Lord…with gladness. Come before Him…singing. Acknowledge that He is Almighty God. Creator of all things – caretaker of the same. Take full advantage of the access I have into His Presence – go to Him rather than waiting on Him to come to me. Give thanks. Praise Him. For the Lord is good…He is always good. His Unfailing Love and Grace never, ever run out so His Goodness is always available to me. Right here. Right now. It comes as peace and inexpressible joy to those who seek Him. In Christ alone I find that all the impending problems are disguised lies for God is with me and I will not fail.

Psalm 19:14 (NLT) May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

We must learn to make our mouth and heart agree. There are many times, our head says one thing while our heart strives to believe another. Such disagreement will never provide the peace everyone longs for. To be of one mind and one spirit. Isn’t that what our purpose is in life? To be one with Christ – to live and move in Him. To count everything else as “garbage” compared to just knowing Jesus. Yet, we allow stinking thinking to sometimes muck up our conversation and words of doubt and discontentment begin to form and fall out of our mouth. I was made to praise the Lord. My mouth was created for worship. It is to declare God’s Glory in good times and even on bad days. My confession should reflect a heart in covenant with Jesus Christ. As Ruth to Naomi, “Where you go, I will go.” Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you.

Psalm 27:4-5 (NLT) The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock.

The Presence of God is an absolute necessity in our life each day. When Jesus died on the Cross and released His Spirit, the very first thing that He did was rip the veil or curtain that separated mankind from the Living God from top to bottom. This was no small set of draperies. The Lord made it clear that His Intention was not to be a God who is far away or distant. He wants us to come to Him. Romans 12:1-2 talks about being a living sacrifice. To give up our bodies or natural life including desires and inclinations to be one with the Lord. Why? Because of all that He has done for you and me. The kind that He finds acceptable. Hmm… I have heard this verse explained many times in many different ways according to the doctrine of the preacher or teacher. But you know what I think this means…God loves us. He doesn’t need us. He desires us. There is nothing God requires me to do other than just repent or turnaround and find Him. My sin is under the Blood of Jesus Christ and I have full access to His Presence. It doesn’t mean I won’t sin and make bad choices. The worst thing I could ever do is claim or even try to convince others of my perfection.

The absence of honesty is insanity. It is very easy to assume the customs and behaviors of the world because of overall acceptance. It is easy to assume the identity of the church culture that one participates in but in the Presence of God there is clarity. He defines our life and how we live it if we enter His Presence. Not occasionally or when things get a little rough or even completely overwhelming, no when I make it the ONE THING that I seek the MOST is when I finally begin to see this life I live agree – body, mind and spirit. Such agreement with the Lord gives me the confident hope that produces heavenly communication. I can praise Him when things are good just like when everything falls apart. Worship is my life not a few songs laced with tears. He will clear the way of all obstacles when I stop holding on to them. I can enter His Presence no matter where I am or who I am with. Jesus gives us that kind of access. The kind of unlimited access that comes without penalty just purpose.

Psalm 50:15-16 (NLT) Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18) Thankfulness is the most fruitful part of communication. It is the remedy for discontentment that leads to doubt and discouragement. It turns our situation from hopeless to hope full. Gratitude will change our attitude. Rather than concentrating on what I am waiting for, if I can just begin to praise Him for all He has done. I will admit in a world driven by supply and demand with greedy temptation vying for our attention – it is hard to remain thankful. God’s Will for my life is found in thankfulness. Thanksgiving produces a change in my heart so significant that the Word of God says, He “will give me” His Glory. When I enter the Presence of God, my words are equally important as those cast around carelessly each day. Every word I speak bears fruit in my life good or bad. I must tend the gateway of my mouth and tame my rebellious tongue. My heart desires the Lord. My head knows His Way is best. I must make a careful and considerate commitment to continually monitor my conversation. Are my words filled with praise? Do they worship the Lord? Am I thankful? No more grumbling or complaining about God’s Care for me. That’s what we are saying by doing so that the God of all Creation is not a good caregiver but a careless Father. Which is simply not true!

Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT) Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The God of Sunday is still God on Monday. The Presence of God that gave you goosebumps in church is the same Holy Spirit that is in you right now. You are a Child of God. He is a good father. Have you forgotten some of the good things that He has done? Or maybe you just haven’t taken full advantage of them yet? Praise Him today. Worship Him. Love on Him. Enter His Presence. Thank the Lord for all the good things that He has done and promised to do for you and in you. This is the best way to start the week. It will end your Monday blues and fill your life with His Presence including His Love, Joy and Peace that is hidden there for you. He fills our life with good things. Always. Every day. More than we can even think or imagine. I must only make myself available – letting go of every complaint – and make my heart and mind agree so my mouth declares His Praise – He is good! He is good on Sunday. He is still awesome on Monday! We serve a good God! Let’s sound like it.

Those hydrangeas in the flower bed have some blue and purple blooms on them right now. I have the ability to change the color of the flowers by what I put in the soil. I can add pH or alkaline depending on what I would like them to look like. I also have the ability to decide what blooms in my life, too. It is about my conversation. It is how I communicate with the Lord and other people. The foundation of my life will be evident in the fruit of my life. Let it always represent that I am rooted and grounded in His Love.

Colossians 2:7 (NLT) Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.


To Acknowledge

To Acknowledge

Proverbs 3:3-6 (NIV)

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Do people know that you are a Christian? Do they know that you believe in Jesus? Can they see a change in you from other people? Are you making a difference in your surrounding environment? Are you impacting those who know you by loving them unconditionally and representing the Gracious, Loving and Merciful Lord who we serve? I want to make a difference. In fact, I have a vendetta if you will that I believe my God fully backs. The enemy came into my camp, my house, my womb and attempted to kill my child. I made a promise in the midst of his journey that once the work of the Lord was complete that I was going after his. I would take as many lost and dying souls away from him as humanly possible. Well, that time has come. I want to acknowledge the Lord in every possible way. I must submit my life to Christ to do so.

How does one accomplish such a feat to live in a place that hates God and detests the Name of Jesus so much it shuts Him out of schools, banishes Him from government and only sees Him fit for prisons? It is not a popular message. People want to call Christians the problem rather than getting to know the Solution who they offer. I have had more than one person in my life tell me that I was one of the few believers they can tolerate. I am not offended. I used to be obnoxious and offensive. I came at people with the Gospel of Christ. It was not a message of love but condemnation. I told them everything that was wrong, what needed to change, with a huge dose of advice on how to do it. It was biblically based but not wrapped in His Love that I find so sweet and true. Not to mention the mixed message often sent by born again believers, a message of grace that is not offered to anyone but them or at least one might think by religious and haughty dispositions. There is no room for offense or defense in the church that Jesus is coming after just a broken group of people being mended individually and knit together corporately in the Love of God together. We must learn to acknowledge the Lord accurately for our message to get through. But as one can clearly read in Proverbs 3:5, it requires trust and acknowledging the Lord means to submit.

Deuteronomy 4:39-40 (NIV)

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.

To acknowledge means to recognize or admit the existence, truth and reality of something (or in this case someone). Why God? There is no other one true living God. He was here before anything existed. He created everything in existence. He is the Great I Am. Why Jesus? No man comes to the Father (God) except by me. (John 14:6-7) A relationship with God is impossible because of our sin. Jesus paid the price for our sin. To have access to God again, we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and make Him our Lord. Hence, to acknowledge God and His Son Jesus requires submission of our life to following Him. This means we want what He wants and are willing to go where He goes. Not because we have to, but because our love for Him requires it of us. In Isaiah 45:23, the Lord tell us that every knees shall bow and tongue confess before Him one day. When Jesus finished His Work on the Cross, His Father gave this honor to Him and it tells us in Philippians 2:9-11 that at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow and tongue confess that He is Lord. In the end, EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. It doesn’t matter what you do or do not do with your life here on earth. The same grace that gives me the freedom to surrender my life to Jesus allows you to hang on to it and live for the day.

John 3:16-21 (NIV)

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

 I Thessalonians 4:7-8 (NIV)

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

 To acknowledge means to show and express recognition. To accept Jesus Christ as Savior but live for the world entertaining darkness and continuing in sin does not work. It is not why Jesus came into this world. Yes, through Him we are saved but true repentance demands a change or there is no repentance. Like sorry not sorry, what kind of apology is that? To stand at the foot of the Cross and see an innocent man who is the Son of the Living God bleeding, suffering and dying for our sin and say, “Thanks! I accept and then to turn back to what nailed Him there in the first place is ridiculous. Many times, we live that life of entitlement. Tolerance sets in when we continually make compromises and allow substitution to the place of holiness, righteousness and faith until we have nothing of substance any longer. Just another causal relationship without true love or commitment.

Jesus did not come to condemn people but to set them free from sin, death and the grave. He came to restore a right relationship between His Father and His People. Mission accomplished. Now the rest is up to me and you, what will we do with the gift we have been so painstakingly given. It all comes down to this. Who do you love? Do you love the Light of the world or do you prefer the darkness filled with sin. If you willingly do evil or sin, God sees it as hate for His Son. Those who choose to repent and live in the Light will be saved and prove that they are acknowledging God. God did not call us to continued impurity. He promises to make us whole, complete and blameless simply because we love His Son, called to Him as Savior and make Him our Lord. All the time and in every way.

Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced 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 creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 To acknowledge means to recognize His Authority and Power. We are more than conquerors for one reason only. Jesus. The One who loves us. You may win a few battles but you will not win the war waged against your faith any other way but the Power of Christ living in you. We must be convinced of God’s Love to overcome obstacles and opposition in life. The more convinced one becomes the bolder they will be and then should expect warfare as the enemy tries to rile up our humanity to stop this nonsense. Oh but greater is He who is in me than He who is in the world. (I John 4:2-6) Most people will agree that it is often hard to distinguish the voices in our heard when indecision or uncertainty strikes they all sound so familiar and kind of like me. We must learn as believers to discern the spirits at work in our life. Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus as Lord giving Him full authority and power is from God. The ones that tell people anything contradictory to God’s Word should be immediately dealt with. The Name of Jesus will do the trick. Nobody loves you. You are worthless. You are alone. You are ugly. You don’t deserve to live. No one would miss you. Lies all lies and completely contradictory to the Word of God. You are going under. You are going to lose it all. We must take authority and power over every thought we have and submit it to the Lord. We are more than conquerors for no other reason than He loves us enough to bestow His Power and Authority to us.

John 14:12-14 (NIV)

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

 When a believer, anyone who truly believes, has the potential to do greater things than even Jesus did here on the earth. Have you every witness a miracle? Have you prayed and seen the sick recover? Have you prayed and someone got saved? Have you asked and received? It is not a God problem or Jesus hold up if not…you must simply acknowledge Him and He will answer. His Word says it and I believe it. I have seen it.

I Thessalonians 5:16-19 (NIV)

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.

To acknowledge means to show and express gratitude. Oh Jesus! How many times do we complain and grumble about our circumstances, situations, problems, bills or lack of contentment not realizing that we have discredited God the Father and Jesus the Son. We quench the Holy Spirit in us with negativity and doubt. The fiery passion that He is created and fruit intent on bearing dies in the midst of harsh and brutal condemnation that Jesus has fallen down on the job or God does not keep His Word. You may not have intended it that way, but that is what happens when we do not live rejoicing and worshipping the One True God trusting that He is working it all out for our good, supplying all that we need, and doing more than we could think or ask. Take it to prayer before you post it. Talk to the Lord before you text it. Put your hand over your mouth chewing before spewing to see if they are salty or sweet. We are to give thanks to God in all circumstances. It is His Will. If you want to acknowledge the Lord in all your ways, it is a mandate. Contentment with godliness is great gain. (I Timothy 6:6) Contentment silences ingratitude. “Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18-20)

Mark 16:15-20 (NIV)

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

To acknowledge Jesus means that we must make His Name known. How will we ever do that if we don’t believe in the power and presence of God and His Son Jesus in our life? We have to believe to receive new life. We cannot do it for ourselves. We need Jesus. He wants to make us a city on a hill, the light of the world. Are we hiding under a basket? Are we stuck in the valley of indecision? Are we going to go all the way or part of the way? Only those who endure to the end will be saved.

Mark 13:32-37 (NIV)

 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

 Finally, acknowledge means to take notice. Jesus spoke to His Disciples about the days we are living in Matthew 24:3-35. Compare this to the news today, and it is clear the time of His Coming is closing in around us. We must be alert and take notice. In the House of God, our homes and the world around us. There are many distractions and confusing reports. Stay focused and alert. On task and on mission, I want to be ready when He comes. I want to acknowledge the Lord so He will know and acknowledge me. I want Him to mark a straight path for more life. But just telling people I am a Christian or that I believe will never be enough. I cannot show the Love of Jesus to the world until I have fully accepted it to myself. It takes trust, dependency, intimacy and submission to live successfully in any relationship of a personal nature. We must trust the Lord and submit our life to Him if we are to be with Him forever. Lord, show me the ways that my life is contrary to you. Lord pull me closer as I give my life to you again today. Let Your Will be done!

I Peter 4:7-11 (NIV)

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.