Imperishable Beauty

Imperishable Beauty

I Peter 3:3-4 (ESV) Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 

It’s Sunday. Everyone is still sleeping. In my closet, I am slowly looking through the embarrassing abundance of clothing for something to wear to church today. Not much for skirts or dresses, I quickly pass them by and begin assessing the pants for some that might fit properly. I’ve gained a few pounds that though I am earnestly trying to discard are stubbornly hanging on for dear life so the assessment yields few that I find acceptable. Turning to blouses – long sleeve, short sleeve, tank top. Do I wear a cardigan or kimono to cover or no? I can’t even think about shoes yet. Making my way to this place of quiet time in my Father’s Presence, this passage comes to mind. I have made no real choice or decision – it will have to wait for now. I always find something and manage to make it out the door. But this morning, the Lord is whispering to me that it is not in the earthly garments and apparel that offer any kind of attractiveness but what is hidden in our heart filled with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that God finds precious in His Sight.

Please don’t get me wrong. I believe that honoring God includes caring for His Temple. My body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. I should continually work His Spirit in my mind, body and soul for completeness. This flesh will not go to heaven but it carries me through the earth. To maintain our health only allows the glow of a healthy soul to shine through more clearly. To have a made up mind that is settled on Christ free from fear, worry, doubt and sorrow emanate that my expectancy is not in the outcomes of life but the One who lives in me.

During my stints on the elliptical machine, I listen to praise and worship music. My kids laugh at me. How can you work out to church music? I don’t think I would survive if I did not. To hear of His Love and fill my heart with encouragement as I fight my flesh to keep going while my fat screams for release keeps me going as I focus on Him. When the workout is complete, I feel refreshed in my mind and soul, as well as my body. The Spirit of God waits to be invited into every area of my life. When I open the door to my mind, soul AND body, He will enter in and begin to transform me from the inside out. What better way to represent Christ and even minister in unlikely places?

Proverbs 31:30 (ESV) Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Society focuses heavily on appearance. Social media offers a platform to present false images and alternate personas. I am in love with the filters that erase the wrinkles of time and any imperfection. Charm is deceitful. Beauty is vain when the kind of loveliness sought after is that longing for human acceptance, affirmation and affection. The Lord looks much deeper than face value. He is looking inside the broken hearts and torn apart lives that superficiality has left behind. Depression and despair cloak perfect smiles and flawless features who live in darkness without experiencing true love that is unconditional yet offered freely in overflowing abundance by the Living God to His Beloved Children.

I Samuel 16:7 (ESV) But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Appearances are not everything. There are some beautiful people projecting artificial contentment and satisfaction when really they are empty inside. The prospering soul begins inside of us and then God works it through our natural life as well. Our soul goes to Heaven. It is the most important feature of the human makeup. Once our soul is secure, the heart will change by falling deeper in love with Jesus each day. His Spirit slowly begins to inhabit us and permeate the space of our heart. He picks up the broken pieces and shapes our life into the beautiful masterpiece day by day. We assist Him only in the surrender of our whole spirit, mind, and body to the process. Without all of our being, there is no possible way to be complete and lack nothing. There is no fulfillment of purpose with every detail. He has a plan and our life is filled with great potential – it just takes allowing God to change our countenance from the inside out. Trusting that He will meet and exceed our expectation. To believe that nothing is impossible and discipline our mind, spirit and body to remain engaged in His Way. A new life and inexpressible joy create radiant beings that truly reflect the Love of God in the most amazing way!

I Thessalonians 5:23-24 (ESV) Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.


Proper Order

Proper Order

I Thessalonians 5:23-24 (ESV) Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

Spirit. Soul. Body. The Word of God tells us to be kept blameless in all three of these areas of life. It seems many times due to imbalance that one will fall short or be neglected. The God of Peace will sanctify us and make us completely whole. It is up to us to engage in the process of wholeness and oneness with the Lord. I went for a physical the other day. I am in good health other than a good case of menopause. Menopause is part of a woman’s transition in life to a new season. It is welcomed by many but rebuked due to the symptoms accompanying it. I have friends who have endured it yet was still unprepared. To sum it up lightly, it is as if your mind and body begin to misfire completely. The thermostat goes up and down constantly. Mood changes with the wind. Sitting with the doctor, she added to the burden that I should lose about 15 pounds and that exercise would benefit not only my body but my mind. Not what I wanted to hear but nevertheless exactly what I needed to hear. How do we get out of order? Shifting sand? Changing seasons? The Lord promises to order our life and accompany us along the way even in dark valley or illuminated mountaintops – He is always working the details for our good. Am I working with Him?

There are seasonal changes in our life all the time. New relationships. New jobs. New people. New opportunities. Unexpected events. Aging. Life presents change on a regular basis. The constancy of our life is Jesus Christ. To prepare for His Coming is our purpose. Distractions keep us from destiny when our spirit, soul and body are not controlled by the Lord but given to overtures of the flesh. It is important to evaluate these three elements in our life on a continual basis. An imbalance can cause us to fall. One definitely impacts the other. My doctor explained that exercise is more important than dieting because of the endorphins released in such activities. Our body is designed by God to work in unison – spirit, soul and body. An unhealthy lifestyle will definitely impact other areas of spiritual and mental health.

2 Corinthians 7:1 (ESV) Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

It’s funny how reading the Bible, it is human nature to pull from it what we are after and ignore the rest. I know I am the only one who does it….not all the super Christians out there. (Insert chuckle) It is very important to examine our heart and mind for unity with the Lord. We must evaluate our walk with Christ to maintain proper direction. All of the spiritual essence of faith is absolutely vital. Our health is important, too. Christ would not have taken stripes on His Back without purpose. We are to be healed, healthy and whole in Him. We are Children of the King. First class athletes running the race of faith. Or are we?

I Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

My body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit. Christ lives in me. My entire being should represent that God is Good Father and takes exceptional care of His Children. If my mind is yielded to Jesus, I have the Mind of Christ and make better choices giving sound counsel. I do not react to emotions but respond with the Word. If my soul belongs to Jesus, His Commandments are not burdensome. I can love others from the vast reservoir within me giving grace freely and forgiving unconditionally. I am a Light in dark world. If my body belongs to Jesus, I should be the picture of health from excellent care. I must see the whole picture of oneness and wholeness in Christ. Christ came to make us whole, complete and lacking nothing. What is missing?

I Corinthians 9:26-27 (ESV) So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

My flesh is ridiculous right now as my body undergoes a change. It is up to me to discipline my body and keep it under control. Why? Otherwise my lifestyle preaching to others may be disqualified. Well then…my lifestyle matters. How I live matters? It does. I must not run through life aimlessly but live intentionally striving for wholeness and oneness in Christ. To live up to His Full Standard does not exempt a single element including our spirit (mind), soul and body. All must be fully equipped to serve the Lord and be an example of how great His Love is and what a Good Father He is to those who love and trust Him. As I flourish in the fullness of God’s Love, others will see and be drawn to Him. I have some work to do. How about you? There are changes to be made in my own physical life that will be difficult. Let’s face it – most believers like to fellowship and eat together. My schedule is hectic yet I must still be motivated to move and get my body in line with God’s Word. I am healthy and whole in Jesus Christ. But what about your mind? Are you stressed or anxious? You can have the Mind of Christ but must displace stinking thinking with sound knowledge that will become wisdom when applied to your life. What about your heart and soul? Repentance is not a one-time event but an ongoing lifestyle by continually turning over the contents of our heart and surrendering that which does not reflect the Father’s Great Love. Whatever is imbalanced in our life can be called to order by Christ and fortified by His Spirit who lives in you and me? We must only ask and He will be our Helper. My life in proper order will preach a gospel that my mouth could never speak.

John 14:16-17 (ESV) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

Get It Together

Get It Together

Romans 12:3-5 (ESV)  For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

One body. One Spirit. One church. Oh, so many members. The human body has many components that somehow can figure out how to work together in one fluid movement. Our brain tells our organs how to function, our limbs to work in unison, and somehow there is a coordinated effort it all work together. A handicap is when there is a component of the body not properly functioning according to its original design. The word “handicap” means a disadvantage. It makes success more difficult. It is considered a disability or burden to the bearer. It creates a challenge to the proper function of that which it impairs. To some this word is considered offensive. I mean nothing of the sort. Our body was designed by God to function a certain way. Sin introduced certain disadvantages that Christ has overcome. The Body of Christ suffers certain handicaps that the Spirit works in us to overcome. I am encouraged today that I serve the Living God who gives resurrection power and life to all His People.

Acts 2:42-47 (ESV) And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Everything created by God works in the realm of relationships. Even our bodies were designed with many members and one brain that works together. Right down to cellular regeneration within us, everything has a purpose in the grand scheme of our natural bodies. When a part of the body is not fully functioning, it may be considered disabled or handicapped. If our immune system is not successful in overcoming an attack, our body becomes sick or infirmed. If an organ ceases to function, life is compromised by the adverse condition. This is all in the natural AND spiritual realm of relationships. Our body’s ability to coordinate all its members into a fully functioning operation is what perpetuates and propels us through life. We are not only a physical body but a member of the Body of Christ.

Within our participation as a Child of God, believer and even Christian – we are part of a body. We have a purpose and place within the Body of Christ meant specifically for us. I have five children. Two boys and three girls. Each one has a special place in my heart and in our family design. It would be ridiculous to think that if something happened to one of them that it would be okay because we have four other children. There is no such thing as collateral damage in a household. If a family member passes, they will be missed. It will create a void. It should be so in the Body of Christ. He is a Good Shepherd. He will leave the ninety-nine to find the one who is lost. We must learn to place value and worth on the Body of Christ that we belong to. It is vital to our successful prosperity in life. To be a fully functioning member produces the promises of God not only in our life but for those around us in relationship with us, too.

The early church came together. They became a body. A functioning unit that added to the Kingdom daily. They spent every day in close fellowship with one another. None too busy or self-involved, these believers experienced miracles, signs and wonders as God’s Power flowed through them. His Breath is life to us. When we breathe together, it becomes a source of power. God loves unity. Harmony is precious anointing that He is ready to pour out over the Body of Christ. Are we ready to receive it?

Romans 12:9-13 (ESV) Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

In Romans 12, the believer is encouraged to become a living sacrifice. To live a holy and acceptable life that promotes a fully functioning body. It is called worship. We must not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Hence the war of self begins. It is human nature to survive. Yet, we are called to thrive. No one will prosper if they are not willing to invest. There is no return where there is no investment. It’s Biblical for a man cannot reap what he has not sown. With this in mind, to become a living sacrifice means something must be fully surrendered. To say, I surrender all means nothing if not accompanied by change. Sacrifice is not generally a comfortable effort but completely worthwhile endeavor.

I am led a ladies small group the other night. I am challenged to do so. Women are tough when it comes to relationships. I should know… I am one. However, I know that God desires us all to maintain healthy, loving and trusting relationships with those around us. We struggle because of past experiences. Trust forsaken is tough to recover. Yet we must find a way to overcome our differences, and forge strong bonds together to see the Body of Christ become healthy again. To see a Body fit for our soon and coming King!

Let love be genuine.

I Corinthians 13 lays out the guidelines of God-like love and commitment that characterizes genuine. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. This is genuine love. This is the love that God places in us and is the kind of love that He wants us to have for others. Lord, let my love be genuine.

Abhor what is evil.

I Timothy 6:11-12 (ESV) But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

We must flee from evil. Do not entertain it. Our minds are like sponges the things we permit to remain will assert dominance in us. You cannot love God and love sin at the same time. There is no meeting of the minds when it comes to the Goodness of God and every kind of evil. We must learn from God’s Word what He defines as the sin that defiles us and permit the Holy Spirit to change our mind from loving sin to loving God more than sin. This is how we combat evil in us. Our flesh wants to live. It wages war against the Spirit. There will be no unity in the Body of Christ if each member seeks its own way and allows sin to have dominance in their life. The word “abhor” is a strong verb. It means to regard with extreme repugnance or aversion. To detest and loathe something. Sin is rampant in our world. Violence at an all time high. Love has grown cold and there is complete disregard for others. Lord, show me the sin and evil in me and around me. Teach me to abhor it as much as you do!

Hold fast to what is good.

God is good. He is always good. No matter what is happening around you He is still good and His Goodness is for you. It doesn’t matter your present conditions or situation. God is still good. His Unfailing Love and Goodness are pursuing you. On those days when nothing is going right, Lord I challenge me to still sing, “You are good!”

Love one another with true affection.

We are all members of one body. Mic drop. The first commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and body. The only other one is to love others. Loving one another is non-negotiable. By choosing to remain offended and unforgiving, we are the ones who are limited. Love is expendable and thereby expands into full satisfaction and inexpressible joy, not in its reproduction or reciprocation, but as the Lord fills more and more of our heart with His Love.

Outdo one another showing honor.

Comparison is a joy killer. I need my right and left hand equally to type these words to you each day. My left and right hand are both appendages but they do not fight for superiority. They were created with a job to do and they do it seemingly unaware of the other hand doing essentially the exact same thing. The Word of God tells us who we are in Jesus Christ and promises to make us a new creation in our abiding relationship with Him. My purpose and promises are not your purposes and promises – this is not a competition for the Father’s Love. We care brothers and sisters in Christ with an equal proportioned inheritance. It already belongs to us. There is nothing to do but remain in a righteous relationship through Jesus to secure it. Lord, help me to look for my value and worth in Your Word. There is no competition. Hands down! I have victory in You!

Do not be slothful in zeal.

Praise the Lord! No seriously! We have to live in a constant state of praise and worship to maintain life in His Presence. It creates enthusiasm in our spirit person when the Holy Spirit responds to the close proximity of God. The Lord inhabits the praise of His People. Get excited. Stir up the Gift of God within you. You have every reason to celebrate even on your worst day knowing that all things work together for your good!

Be fervent in Spirit.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Jesus Christ has given you His Spirit. Resurrection power and life live in you. The Holy Spirit is our helper. Teacher. Mentor. Guide for life. Utilize this power gift imparted to you by God through His Son – Jesus.

Serve the Lord.

Wow! This fell so far down the list. Love. Be loved. Finally, we come to service. Serving God must be precipitated by a deep and abiding relationship of love for Him and other people. We owe no man anything but love. To serve God we must be lovers.

Rejoice in hope.

The hope that has been given to us never leads to disappointment.

Be patient in tribulation.

Tests and trials are temporary. Do not make permanent decisions based on temporary circumstances. If I break a toe, I am not likely to cut it off.

Be constant in prayer.

Communication with God is essential to maintain a right relationship with Him.

Contribute to the needs of others.

The blessings in my life are not just for me. God provides seed to the sower. He gives to us in the name of generosity so we can pour it out on others. The Body of Christ needs each member to become united. To live looking after one another so the Body will thrive again. The fractured, dysfunctional unit presented to the world today does not offer anything any different than another group of people. Where is the power? Where is the difference? What happened to the Light? Why aren’t we salty anymore? Could it be that rather than considering God and His Purpose to love others – that we have become lost in ourselves?

Seek to show hospitality.

Church of the Living God and Members of the Body of Jesus Christ, I am challenged today. I am moved in my heart and soul that we need to get it together. God has set forth characteristics for Christian believers. One thing is clear. It is not about me. Or you for that matter… It is all about Jesus. His Body is hurting, broken and fragmented. I can do nothing other than be sure that my “member” is ready. I must examine my own heart. I must allow the Holy Spirit to change my mind. I must remove myself from the throne of self and put Jesus back in His Rightful Place. The early church was exciting. Charismatic. There were signs, wonders and miracles. Life was a party in the midst of terrible tribulation. They were murdered for believing back then yet risked it all to be together as one. What will you give up to assemble the Body of Christ again? What am I willing to sacrifice for unity? We have to get this together before Jesus comes for us. We must put aside our differences and find commonality and community in Christ.

I Peter 3:8-9 (ESV) Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

Power of Agreement

Power of Agreement










Philippians 2:1-2 (NKJV) Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

How many churches have you attended in your lifetime? Can you count the number of places you have attended? I posted something on social media. A friend liked the post. Another friend inquired how the person knew me. We had attended church together many years ago. I have had this happen more than a few times. I do it myself. I have a high school friend who teaches another friend’s children. The Body of Christ is to be just that a living, breathing, working, communicating complete unit. It seems like just when a ministry is growing and strengthening into a fully functioning body something happens and it falls apart. It is time to out the enemy and his assault against unity to become the Body of Christ – a strong source to be reckoned with in the world today.

After years of tearing apart Christians, how ironic that Paul would give the rest of his life after coming to Jesus Christ to rebuild the ruins of wreckage left behind. In an almost pleading fashion, He says, “If there is any consolation (comfort, solace) in Christ…if there is any comfort in His Love…if there is any fellowship in His Spirit…if there is any affection or mercy for one another…fulfill my joy…do it for me if no one else…be like-minded…have the same love…be of one accord…be of one mind.” (paraphrased) The tone reminds me of trying to deal with our teenagers. We teach, instruct, discipline, and finally exasperated in effort plead with them.

It’s funny how families work together. Dysfunction is a key trait in families. Our children fuss, fight, pick and disagree on just about everything UNTIL someone dares mess with a sibling. Suddenly there is complete agreement that that person is about to get hurt as they rally together. The church isn’t much different. Rather than walking in love and commitment together, it only happens in the midst of opposition or tragedy. God desires unity in the Body of Christ. He purposed it for us. Jesus even prayed for us to be one. The Holy Spirit identifies us as one family. How do we overcome the natural sense of family to become one as God’s Family? To stop fussing and fighting all the time and begin to function as Christ intended. It may be harder than you think.

Genesis 11:4-6 (NKJV) And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 

After the flood, Noah and his family replenished the people of the earth. The whole earth had one language and one speech. Unity. They decided to build a tower all the way to heaven. “Let us make a name for ourselves. Lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Self-preservation and pride decided to make a “name” for itself. The Lord came down to see the city and tower. Immediately, He interrupted the building of such idolatry by confusing their language and ability to communicate ending the unity and stopping their downfall. I wonder sometimes if church communities built on the wrong foundation fall apart for the same reason. False prophets who create a community built on foundations other than faith in God’s Word and an introduction to Jesus Christ.

The point of opportunity in this passage and promise rising from another’s misguidance is that when people become one “nothing they propose will be withheld from them”. The power of agreement works naturally and spiritually. Natural agreement produces favorable results in the world. Supernatural agreement builds a Kingdom. It creates a living, breathing body that will become the Bride who Christ is coming for. We have a long way to go!

Acts 2:42-47 (NKJV) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

The early church set the precedent of fellowship. Thinking of fellowship today, I smell fried chicken and a desert table piled high on a special day at church. In the South, there is homecoming or maybe it’s a “Friends and Family Day” to invite or entice new members. This is not the concept set forth in the New Testament. The church broke bread together and prayed together daily. Every day. Not Sunday’s and Wednesdays. Not small groups. Not via texting. No, every single day. The word “fellowship” or koinonia means sharing, unity, close association, partnership, participation, a society or contributory help. Every member was a valuable asset to the group. They sold all their possessions and goods dividing up the proceeds evenly among everyone and giving to those in need. They lived in one accord. The early followers who were baptized by the Holy Spirit literally devoted their whole life to unity with God and each other.

John 17:20-21 (NKJV)  “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”

This was the prayer of Jesus Christ for all of us just before going to the Cross. He desired that those who will believe in Him through the message of the disciples and apostles “that they all may be one” like Jesus and God are one. To abide in love and fellowship together in one accord. One heart. One mind. One body. How are we doing?

Ephesians 4:1-6 (NKJV) I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

I wonder if the Lord allows confusion and discord to set in to the church so it doesn’t become built of pride and self-preservation. Is it possible that it is the heart of His People causing the issue and not the enemy to blame? Pride is a human trait overcome by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit produces the spiritual fruit that feeds our soul. As our soul prospers, it overflows those same gifts and characteristics into our natural life. We must live lowly and gently lives. Patient. Bearing one another with love. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit who binds us together in peace. There is one body. There is one Spirit. In 2016, there were estimated to be over 300,000 Christian churches in America. Where is the impact and influence of such mass numbers?

We have been called together in one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in us all. We must work on the Body before we take on the world. What is lacking?

Philippians 2:3-5 (NKJV) Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about us united with Christ in full fellowship together according to His Spirit. It is not about building new buildings and erecting new walls – physically, structurally, emotionally, congregationally, or corporately. It is about tearing down every barrier between us and God and everyone else. God doesn’t desire one person over another. Our God doesn’t have favorites. He loves us all. His Love is for us all. His Kingdom has a place for us all. His Body has a function specifically for us and no one else. We cannot fulfill our purpose without the other members of the Body no more than my hand can function apart from my arm if detached from my body. We must learn to live in fellowship. We must figure out how it all works. We must strive to live in harmony and unity with all mankind. It is the Will of God for us and the Way to the Father’s Heart. It is to achieve the Mind of Christ.

John 13:34-35 (NLT) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”




Finding My Soul


Psalm 63:1 (NLT) O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.

My soul thirsts for you. Thirsts implies more than a basic need or indulgent want but an urgency far more complex than natural sustenance. How do I feed my soul? A part of my being unseen and untouched by human senses. My dad called yesterday. After running some tests, the cardiologist has concluded that my mom’s heart is not functioning as it should. She will have a heart catheterization on Monday to evaluate her aortic valve. I remember when my grandad was diagnosed many years ago with complete heart blockage undergoing a quadruple bypass. The doctor warned us that whenever the heart is operated on it can cause changes in emotions. It’s crazy because the heart is just a muscle. Yet, there must be something in there that is different from animals and the like or why would an invasive operation release such a flood.

According to the American Heart Association, emotional upheaval is common after heart surgery, heart attack or stroke. Survivors can feel a variety of emotions all at one time including fear, loneliness, depression, anger and heightened sensitization. Those not given to emotionalism are suddenly tearful. Could it be that there really is truth to a broken heart? I am certain that there is. Could it be that hidden beneath its obvious need and necessity to keep us breathing hides our soul? My soul thirsts for you, Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:4-6 (NLT) “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.”

We are to love the Lord three ways. We love Him with all of our heart which I believe is our mind, will and emotions. We love Him with our strength which is our physical being or our body. We are to love God with all our soul. What is that? I believe that is our forever love. The commitment that reaches past this life into forever. It is foreign to us. Could it be that it is hidden in our heart? Could it be that is why our heart must be broken to discover real love and our soul hidden within? When our heart is broken – we seek the Lord. When our body is sick – we seek the Lord. Our soul needs Jesus just as much as our heart and body. In fact, dare I say, even more because it is our soul that crosses from this life to eternity. The Lord uses our natural means of heart, mind and body to give way to prosper our soul in this life so that when all else fails it endures to the end reaching eternity.

Psalm 84:1-2 (NLT) How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.

Would we ever discover the vast depths of God’s Love for us outside of physical and emotional hardship? I don’t know if it’s possible. Only when death becomes a possibility and the next day uncertain do we reach beyond this life to feel for something more. Faith maintains itself in the comfort of a rocking boat until the storm comes. Only then do we test it decide maybe it’s time to step out of our comfort zone and test the water. Trusting God is easy when nothing of true value is at stake. But when there is a need for sacrifice, it’s time to pick up the knife, wood for the fire and head to the mountain of sacrifice praying that the Lord will meet you there with a ram in the thicket. My heart loves God. My body loves Him, too. I strive to show the Lord my love for Him in the natural. However, without a prospering soul – I will miss the mark. So my heart must be broken and my body limited. God’s Presence will never be a place arrived at by pride, self-preservation and the strong. It is reserved for those who decide He is life.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT) Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Could it be? Is it possible? People try to draw God into their natural circumstances and change the condition of this life when all along the secret is to find rest in our souls. Confidence that no matter what we face today that our forever is secure. Complete trust that the God in us is greater than anything we face around us. Jesus invites us to come to Him when we are weary and carry heavy burdens and He will give us rest. Are you still tired despite a relationship with the Lord? Do you still get overwhelmed with life? Are you weary of well-doing because there do not seem to be results? Maybe just maybe – we forgot to read the next verse.

“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your…souls.” Jesus wants to teach us to have confidence in His Strength found in His Grace so that when our heart, mind and body are challenged in the natural that we can find supernatural peace in a satisfied soul. This world is not going to change for the better. I must be made better. I cannot do it so my own natural ability and strength are not important. I cannot figure it all out so therefore what good is my mind. My heart is fickle and wavering most days so it cannot be the guide for my life. It is my soul secure in Jesus Christ that will allow me to endure to the end and find rest even on the most uncertain days of this life.

Matthew 16:25-26 (NLT) If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

I have tried to hang on to this life. There are days that I have invested way more in this life then I should have. The only thing of worth on this planet is the human soul. Every human soul that ever was created is important to God. Love is our primary objective though it is human nature to make it about other things. I tried to hang on to our son’s life during his battle with cancer. I did. But somewhere around the third relapse, I realized that I could not make him live. I could not sustain his life. The reality of life and death played out before me. It is humbling to realize that no matter how strong you are today all that can change in an instant. The ordeal of three years broke my heart completely. I never expected to find peace in the midst of our life being turned upside down and radically shaken. Could it be that was the moment I discovered my soul? Is that why the human heart experiences new feelings and emotions when it is afflicted? Our soul is the only thing we have to completely connect with the Lord. We must pay attention to it. Feed it God’s Word. Allow His Spirit to prosper it. We must be ever conscious and aware that our body may pass away. Our flesh will fail. Our soul can prosper from now into forever.

Hebrews 4:12-13 (NLT) For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

We make worshipping the Lord so many things. Jesus wants us to find rest, confidence, completeness in Him alone. He promises rest to our souls. The Word of God is alive and powerful. It cuts between the soul and spirit. Could this mean that we need God’s Word to discern between what we feel and what we know? My soul thrives on the knowledge of God’s Saving Power and Amazing Grace demonstrated in His Son, Jesus. It is the center of my soul’s reality and the place where I can find true rest. However, people can get caught up in emotionalism. We must feel something for it to be real. We must touch it to be genuine. We must walk by faith and not by sight. Only our soul can truly know and understand this precept. It is how it moves, lives and breathes.

When Jesus came to the disciples eight days after His Resurrection, He went to Thomas. Thomas had to place his fingers in the nail-scarred hands of His Lord to believe. Jesus said, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” Our soul believes without seeing Jesus. In the natural, we look for signs and wonders. In our heart, we seek His Consolation. But it is within the human soul that we find confidence that allows us to rest in His Presence until He comes.

Hebrews 6:18-19 (NLT) So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.

Lord Jesus, hope is the anchor for my soul today. Do not let me drift. Do not let me be shaken by a trembling heart on the verge of breaking but welcome brokenness if that is what it takes to prosper my soul. Jesus, don’t let me become discouraged if I am fighting a physical battle especially if it makes me let go of this life to hang on to You. I want your promise. I depend on your oath. I rely on the fact that you do not change. It is where I find rest today. You are my confidence in all things Jesus. Today Lord make my soul prosper no matter what it takes as I find my way to You!

3 John 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

You Are A Soul

You Are A Soul

I Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 

You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body. (C.S. Lewis) I love words. The difference in just a single three-letter word changes everything. You are a soul. I know, I know really what’s the difference? It makes all the difference in the world. Our body is dying. We are born with time ticking off the clock from the first breath that is ever taken outside the womb. No one wants to think about that when handed a tiny, perfect, precious being but it’s true. In the same regard, that same infant is filled with purpose and potential bulging within their soul. Every need already met. Enough grace sufficiently provided. They are more than conquerors deep within them. All that power wrapped in flesh. Therein lies the problem. We are born in bondage to our body. Overpowered by our feelings, gripped by emotion, and with an underdeveloped mind in need of knowledge. It is such as state that the Lord provides Eternity deep within us – to drive us, motivate us to reach for something more than our five senses. Our heart longs for more because our soul is connected to it.

You are a soul. You have a body. If you are a soul and have a body, it means that your soul should be in complete control of your body because it is superior while flesh is superficial. What or who you are can never be taken from you. What you have can be by that which is stronger, mightier or more powerful. Sometimes when the Lord shares a deeply philosophical truth, I feel like a cow standing in a field slowly chewing cud. I know it is not glamourous but as I read the statement by C.S. Lewis today, I felt compelled to let it marinate in my mind. I am not a body, I am a soul. My soul should be the driving force of motivation and the head of my life rather than my physical or emotional being which is dying as we speak.

Natural death is unavoidable (Hebrews 9:27) but not terminal for those who choose to nourish and grow their soul, empowering it with the Word of God and His Holy Spirit to overcome every obstacle of the natural man puts up to self-preserve and maintain control. Our soul must find the strength in Jesus Christ to take over before it is too late.

James 2:26 (NKJV)

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Does this verse back up the claim of C.S. Lewis? Maybe. For me it definitely does, as I think of the struggle within me. (Romans 7:22-25) I can identify with Paul who loved God’s Law and desired to maintain it, yet fell short in his humanness. I do, too. It is frustrating. Yet, as I learn recognize and utilize that Christ lives within me and His Grace is enough, I also am discovering that my soul is not as strong as it needs to be. Tests, trials, and troubles all force my flesh out in the open as it objects to its discomfort and imminent death. Our body is dead when our spirit or soul leaves us making it inferior. Our soul is saved by faith in God through Jesus Christ alone. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. I want to please God. He is not looking at what I do because my arms and hands “do”. He doesn’t necessarily dictate where I go, my feet carry me. He doesn’t even really care about how I feel as that is an emotional state driven by one’s mental state. He looks to see if my soul is prospering in faith. As my soul prospers…

3 John 1:2 (NKJV)

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Oh how I wish God’s Whispers were His Shouts. I wonder if I would hear Him more distinctly and see Him more clearly in my life. Religion is the action of those who wish to prosper of their own accord. I am not at all criticizing the church just making a point that our body “does” but it is our soul that “is”. If we do not prosper in our soul, nothing else matters. We will not prosper in God’s Blessings and Promises in all things and be in health until our soul becomes more powerful and unaffected by what we see, hear and feel. It must be firm and confident in faith to grow, develop and mature impacting our natural life and physical body.

Romans 4:16-20 (NKJV)

Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God…”

Abraham is the father of many nations. He had only one son. How is this even possible? By faith. Faith is the salvation of our soul. Abraham demonstrated the utmost faith in God. How? Abraham believed in the God who gives life to the dead and who calls those things which do not exist as though they did. God it. Abraham believed God. (Period) Yes, but there was more to it. Contrary to hope which means the impossible. He still had hope. His faith was not weakened by his own body which was considered already dead. He did not waver. A prospering soul that is greater than our physical being is not moved by natural things. Unbelief keeps our soul in bondage to what our feelings and physical limitations not allowing us to move our life into the Presence of God completely so that we can prosper as our soul prospers.

Matthew 6:25-30 (NKJV)

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

I ashamed to admit that on the day our son was diagnosed with cancer, I burst into God’s Presence with a long list of “things” that I had done “for” the Lord as my reasoning as to why He could not allow our son to die. I was mad. I was crushed. My physical body completely overwhelmed by physical outbursts from sobbing to shortness of breath to nausea. It was as though my brain stopped working and every part of my natural body went into immediate distress. My emotions ran the gambit, too. I have never felt so out of control in my life and my flesh reacted to it. I will never forget that day. It was the day I changed forever. It was the death of me. I will forever be thankful for that moment.

Obviously, I am not thankful for the terrible ordeal our child suffered due to a horrible disease. I will forever be thankful for the moment that began the process of my complete and total undoing. I lost control that I never really had. My faith in God was not based on total trust but my ability to perform up until that moment. When rendered utterly and completely helpless, I had one choice give up or trust God. Now as a parent, what option did I have but to pick up that sword of faith and fight even unto death? Statistically, we spent three years on the wrong side of odds. However, God is faithful and healed our son just as promised.

It is human nature to worry and stress over life. We worry about money. We worry about bills. We worry about other people. We stress about all these things that do not really matter driven by our physical needs. We allow that which is a have to control who we are. We do not have a soul. We have a body. We are a soul. The Peace of God may look like insanity if you do not have the faith to perceive it, but those who live by faith are at peace with the Living God so as their soul prospers it will be the same in real life. The problem is that our life, like our soul, becomes so wrapped up in the flesh it forsakes our freedom to live.

I Corinthians 9:26-27 (NKJV)

Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

I must discipline my body to remain subject to my soul. The prosperity of our soul must be our priority. We have God’s Word. He has filled us with His Spirit. Not to make this life better or save our body from death, but to grow, develop and mature our soul to take over. It is a fight. You will do battle every day as your flesh fights back. Your mind rallies for logic when faith becomes illogical. There are days that I think maybe, for a moment, that I have lost my mind. When this pursuit of God makes me act irrationally or do crazy things, when it really is not that at all just one step of faith successfully achieved. When we make radical steps of obedience, it seems a little crazy especially when accomplished with perfect peace. But rest assured, God’s Plan is working in us to achieve all that He has set forth to do just keep walking by faith and not by sight. God’s got you!

Philippians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

By reconciling our life to Christ, including how we feeling and emotion, it comes at the price of self. The soul is judged according to its actions “in the body”. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10) Our soul is not free to engage in a relationship with Christ if in bondage to the body. We cannot give freely what is not our own. (I Corinthians 12:12-14) To be one heart and one mind is a relationship; not a religion. Our flesh must be put to death to allow our soul to be free. (Romans 6:11-13) We were created to be the Temples of the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 6:19-20) All things are lawful under God’s Dispensation of Grace but not all things are helpful.

If I decide to plant a garden, I will head to Lowe’s or maybe Home Depot to gather supplies from the Garden Center making a monetary investment. Once back home, I will till the ground and do the laborious part of clearing the area for my garden meticulously removing all the rocks and weeds until there is nothing but fine rich soil. Taking each seed, I will carefully push it into a neat and perfect row. Fertilizer will follow with lots of fresh water to saturate the ground as I nurture what I hope will produce something. After all my hard work is done, I must wait for God to give the increase. Too many times, when we do not see immediate results in the natural, it is human nature to give up what the Lord is supernaturally doing in our soul to complete our life. If I do not continue to tend my little garden as the seed dies in the ground and is resurrected to new life, I will never reap the harvest of all my hard work or return on my investment. What if I do not continue to care for it? I will never see the maturation process complete or purpose fulfilled. How many gardens have we abandoned because our flesh is weary or tired of waiting?

Colossians 1:19-23 (NKJV)

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard…

I am challenged today to release my soul from any control my flesh may have on it. I am the one who allows it when I do not allow faith in God to dictate my attitude and actions but rely on my physical feelings to dictate my reaction when God calls for a response. Are you responding to God’s Promises today by engaging in faith and confident hope? Am I? We react in our flesh to its complaints, groanings and impatience. We must look to great men of God such as Abraham who did not allow his faith in God to be weakened by his body and never wavered in belief. Lord, I ask you to help my unbelief. Holy Spirit, make me conscious of all areas of my life controlled by my flesh and not by You! Jesus give me the Grace to overcome my flesh and live freely in You in all things today that I may prosper as my soul does reconciled to You!

I Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NKJV)

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.