Racism in Charlottesville

I see a lot of people talking about the events that happened this past weekend in Charlottesville, VA.  Many people have displayed a wide range of emotions, from sadness, to anger, to hatred, to fear, to remorse…  Before I go further, my condolences goes out to the families of the people injured and lost as a result of that heinous attack.  What he did was despicable and cowardly.  As a black man who has experienced racism firsthand and who knows what is it like to be different, I know the feelings and emotions that rise up inside of a person.  We are definitely living in a different day and age from when my grandparents grew up.

My grandfather was raised in Charleston, SC and would often tell me about how we attempted to walk onto the campus of The Citadel, The Military College of SC as a young boy.  As he stepped foot on campus he was told that Niggers are not allowed and to get out of there.  Fast forward many decades later, I decided to attend that very same school that he could not step foot on.  My first day there he walked on campus with me.  I never saw him so proud and it touched his heart that his grandson would graduate from that very school.

Racism has been around centuries in one form or another.  No matter what the vehicle is, it is wrong.  When I see an injustice, it saddens me.  There is an uproar over what has happened but when you get a bunch of racist groups together from Antifa, to Black Lives Matter, protesting one another, violence is bound to ensue.  White racism, black racism, hispanic racism, antisemitism, it is all wrong.  When Black Lives Matter was shutting down roads and calling for the death of cops too many people kept silent.  WHY???  This event happens in Charlottesville and people from all over the country pop up calling for justice.  We need to be fair, not biased.  Matthews 24:12 says “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” (NASB) That is what we are lacking, that is what we need to speak out about… that loss of love.  People have grown cold when leaders like Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal are calling for the President of the United States to be assassinated.  What would that fix??? Nothing. It would drive a huge wedge into this nation and divide us.  Jesus said it best… “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.”  I have seen job postings where people are being hired to protest.  Which clearly shows that those hired don’t care about the matter, they are just there to cause problems.  This is what needs to be addressed.  I’m not saying racism should not be talked about. What if we see poop in the middle of our rooms and sweep it under the rug like it is not there?  Guess what, it still stinks.  Injustice, no matter the culprit, stills stinks.

The best way to heal our nation is with Love and acts of love.  That is the quickest way to a person’s heart.  We should not seek to repay evil with evil but instead with LOVE.  Open your eyes and see people as God sees them.  It is so easy to hate, but Love covers a multitude of sins, Love is patient, Love is kind, it does not keep a record of wrongs.  How can you LOVE on somebody today even somebody that may not look like you, talk like you, or come from where you come from?  The best way to kill this hate is with LOVE.  Will you choose to LOVE?

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Like Father, Like Son

Our Children are like sponges and what they learn from us, they will take further and to higher levels when they are older, whether good or bad.  A great example of this is shown through the life and descendants of Abraham.  God made Abraham a promise.  A promise to have more children than he could count.  He never saw it come to pass in his lifetime.

God said of Abraham “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgement; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he [has] spoken of him” (Genesis 18:19).   God knew that Abraham would teach his children to honor and obey God.  When we see Moses, hundreds of years passed and nobody has seen Abraham.  His descendants, catch this, have multiplied into over a MILLION people and they still served God.

Imagine what God will do through you if you serve Him and teach your sons or daughters to Love, Honor, and Obey Him.  What promises are been given to your ancestors that have been waiting for you to rise up and take hold of it?

It’s Yours. It’s Now.

Don’t Have Patience for That

We are in a time where everyday we see how people are reacting with others in a negative way.  People need your encouragement now more than ever.  With so much chaos in the world the thing we need now is for people to build one another up.  We should not be bringing people down or destroying them with our words.  That is not Godly. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “encourage one another and build up one another.”  There is so much power in the act of building up or encouraging another person.  What you may see to be minuscule or pointless, may be the very words that encouraged a person to take the next big step in the right direction or stop them from taking their lives.

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Later on in 1 Thessalonians some powerful words are shared, words that we should all live by and strive to achieve. Verse 14-22 says “we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  Do not quench the Sprit, do not despise prophetic utterances.  But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” (NASB)

These words are so impactful. I could delve deeper into them and I may one day, but for now  I can not emphasize enough that somebody out their needs you more than you know.  They need your encouragement, your prayers, and for you to seek after that which is good.

How will you make your mark today?

You Don’t Bring Good News

A photo by Arvee Marie. unsplash.com/photos/YnfGtpt2gf4

Good News.  People are longing for Good News.  People need to be encouraged.  Often times people need just one word of encouragement to brighten up  their day.  The world has grown accustomed to receiving bad news so much that people have almost become expectant of it.  Many people assume the worst.  This shows me that our world is in need of Hope, Grace, and Encouragement.

So often, the thing you desire, you need to give more of.  Hope, Love, Forgiveness, you name it.  The best way to get it, is to give it.  If we looked at how we could help others first, our world would look completely different.  People need to be encouraged.  Think about how you feel from one word of encouragement.  How it brightens up and changes your day.  In Romans 10:14-15 we see a series of questions “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  How will they believe in Him whom they  have not heard?  And how will they hear without a preacher?  How will they preach unless they are sent?  Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!””

What can you do?  You’re not a preacher right?  Just because you are not a preacher does not mean you have not been called to encourage, to bring Good News.  Are you a mother, a father, a daughter, a son, a sister, a brother, a boss, an employee, a cook, a teacher, a doctor, just trying to get by, looking for hope, a leader?  No matter who you are or where you are, blossom where God has planted you.  Let the Good News of who God is to you and what He did for you through Jesus take root in your heart.  More than that, give somebody else a word of encouragement TODAY.  Tell them how proud you are of them, how good their hair looks, how you see what a great job they have been doing, etc.  The Feet of the Person Bringing the Good News are Beautiful to those in need of  that God News.  Be a Hope Bringer Today!!!

You Don’t Have to Encourage Anybody

 

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     Encouragement is key.  It is needed in all aspects of our lives.  The people that you see or feel to be the strongest are often times the ones that need the most encouragement.  Mainly because they have to appear to be strong and they must encourage others.  People tend to lean on the strongest people to receive from them, but forget that they too need to be encouraged.

In 2 Chronicles31 we see a story of a nation that was once devoted to idolatry  (worshiping false gods or putting things before God) and who had turned their backs on the one true God.  Under the guidance of a new king, a new leader, Hezekiah, “all Israel that [was] present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all.”  We have entered a point in our lives as a people and as a nation were our leadership is changing.  More than that we need to utterly destroy those things in our lives that would take our attention away from God.  Those things that we put before God such as work, that new episode you want to watch instead of seeking God, that man or woman that keeps you from a deeper relationship with Christ, the quest for money that becomes your God.  Anything that pulls us away from God needs to be put in its proper place.  God wants you and will not compete to be second place in your life.   Why do I bring this up ?  WE need to set our lives in order.  It is hard to encourage others when your life is out of order or focused on the wrong things.

2 Chronicles 31:4 says “more over he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the Law of the Lord.”  This  month is Pastor Appreciation month.  Pastors are constantly pouring out into our lives and the Word says shows us that by honoring God with the first fruits of our increase it encourages our Pastors, so they can focus on delivering what God has them to share.  They serve us by studying and delivering God’s Word and we should encourage them by supporting them with our finances.  Leaders need encouragement, you need encouragement.  Who is encouraging you?  IF you find yourself with people that are constantly draining you then you need to either cut them off or limit the amount of contact you have with them so that you may excel.  Who are you encouraging?

Marcus

You Don’t Need Encouragement

A photo by Robert Lukeman. unsplash.com/photos/_RBcxo9AU-U

Everyday we are faced with, better yet swarmed with a myriad of voices.  Some good, others not so good, some uplifting others sent to tear down.  What voice will you believe?  The voice you choose to believe will set the course for your life, either good or bad.  The choice is ultimately yours.  I see throughout scripture that the Lord has good plans for us.  Jeremiah 29:11 says “for I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (NASB)  John 10:10 says “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (NLT)  God has plans for you to prosper but what voice will you chose to follow?  God is such a loving God that He allows you to have a choice rather than to be dictated to.

In Deuteronomy chapter 1, Moses is recounting the situation that caused the Israelites to lose out on the plan that God had chosen for them;  except for two men Joshua and Caleb.  Moses sent out 12 spies to survey the land God had planned for them to inherit.  Yet, beginning in v. 28, they put their focus on the people and fear conquered them, they said “the people [are] greater and taller than we, the cities are great and walled up to heaven.”  Moses tried to tell them in v. 29-30 “dread not, neither be afraid of them.  The Lord your God which goes before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did in Egypt before your eyes”  I tell you today, you have seen God show up in your life before and may be asking yourself what is going on, where is God?  The same God that showed up and took care of you then is the same God that will perform mightily in your life now.

Who is encouraging you?

God is raising up Joshuas in this season, men and women who see the giants but know the plans of God.  People that will take one look at the giant and say you may be big, bigger than me but I serve a God that makes you look like an ant.  I serve a God that will fight for me against you , I serve a God that has planned for me to take your land.  I’ve seen Him perform before, now watch as He will do it again.

Moses was told to encourage Joshua v.38, Moses had led the Israelites for decades and now it was time for Joshua to take over.  It is time for you to take over and to step into the role that God has planned for you even before you were born.   God knew Joshua would not feel qualified and you may be feeling that same way. You may not feel qualified to do what God has called you to do, but be encouraged.  The same God that rescued you from the things that should have stopped you, the words aimed against, the hurtful actions from others, the things that should have killed you, is the same God that will fight for you.  The choice is yours.

Whose voice will you believe?