Men of Redemption

Restoring a Life of Purity – One Day at a Time

Archive for June, 2012

The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 29, 2012

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8

What is it that we think about throughout our day? All of us are so busy involved in our professions that we really don’t have time to stop and think, so we think as we go. But the Apostle Paul urges us to keep out thoughts focused on godliness; things that are pure, true, lovely and so on. When we do this our thoughts are under God’s control, guidance and direction. This gives us peace of mind and heart as we move and have our being. Being focused in our minds on what God desires from us guards our spirits to stay mindful and alert to His Spirit at all times. Let’s meditate on what is true, pure, lovely and of good report. The joy in our hearts will probably keep us smiling all day no matter what is happening around or before us. Have a blessed weekend my friends, in Jesus’ Mighty, Holy, and Wonderful Name!

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 28, 2012

“It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi). And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.”
-2 Chronicles 20:1-4

No matter what troubles us or causes fear to come about, we can assured that when the people of God come together to seek His face He will show up. Everyday we face a dilemma of some sort, a problem or situation that calls for an immediate response. When we consult with our brothers and sisters in Christ, He is in the midsts of it all and gives wisdom and instruction on how to deal with the matter. Having the people of God around is a safe haven and security knowing that the presence of God will always be there. But we ought to do just as King Jehosophat did; acknowledge the fear, and call to the people of God and seek His face, His wisdom, His guidance, and allow Him to lead us. Have an exceptional and blessed day my friends!

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 27, 2012

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Waiting on God seems to be one of the biggest struggles for us as children of God. Much like our children when they want something or expecting to go somewhere they usually don’t want to wait; they’re ready now! Much like us as adults, we want everything yesterday, especially when it come to our Lord. But heeding His Word, if we wait upon Him and His decision on what we request or petition, we will have understanding to overcome, to have victory, and succeed in whatever we ask. When we wait on God, He gives us clarity and wisdom to rise above all situations and circumstances. We won’t fail or be discouraged because He is guiding and leading us unto all truth. Let’s learn to have patience while waiting on the Lord. After all, when God gives us that answer we can rest assured that it’s the right answer and we won’t ever have to worry about the outcome. We can move forward in Him as we submit to His guidance and understanding. God answers in three ways: yes. no, or not now. Wait on Him, and allow His peace to bless you in everything you ask. Have a wonderful day friends, in Jesus’ Holy and precious Name!

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The Word, with Our Morning Breakfast

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 26, 2012

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
Proverbs 16:24

Paying attention to what we say to one another is a small detail many of us take for granted. Throughout our daily activity we find ourselves saying so much because of the demand for communication. Being careful and concerned in our communication can be a blessing to others as we allow God and His Holy Spirit to speak through us. Encouraging one another is a great way to bring peace and kind words to others because we’re speaking from the heart. When others know we’re sharing from the heart, it’s like a joy and comfort that someone really cares about them. Everyone wants to be built up and encouraged so shouldn’t we share words of edification and peace to all men? Our words, when joyfully and carefully spoken, can bring a relaxed and soothing peace that will stimulate the hearts of others. So today, let’s be mindful of the words we say, and let’s speak peace and comfort into the lives of those we engage with. We might even make their day that much more enjoyable! Have a great day my friends!

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Where is Faith If Seeing is Believing

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 25, 2012

Our Weekly Article of Encouragement Volume 2 Article 92

In the world of sport, competing to be the best and be crowned champion is the ultimate goal of every player. You train hard in the off season, as well as during the season so that you are prepared physically for endurance that’s involved. As the season begins, the athlete has built his confidence so strongly that he or she will not allow anything or anybody to change their focus. Through this mindset, many athletes develop a sort of confidence where they believe they will succeed in the quest for victory every time they touch the field. This “confidence” influences the athlete to convince others, the fans, you and me, that they will complete what they have set out to do. They even go so far as to say “I’m going to do this, just watch me! Nothing’s going to stop me!” And our response most of the time: “We’ll believe it when we see it.” That’s typical but holds so true. We’re not easily moved by talk or verbal persuasion by anyone because we understand that it’s going to take someone with a team perspective, focus, determination and a plan to win it all. Sometimes we’re impressed, even dazzled by what others will say or do when it comes to predicting what they’ll try to accomplish or defend. Their confidence level is so high that they really believe they’ll do it. But we as fans base everything on what’s done when the season is complete. Seeing where you are is what we tend to believe after the season is over. And if you didn’t win consistently, or wasn’t strong enough in your division or league, you’ll probably be getting prepare to begin that process all over again and try to get it right for the next season. Just think if we all had that kind of confidence in everything we do. “I’m not going to allow anything to stop me” or “I’m going to do this!” are great statements of confidence, but where does faith tie into it?

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

As men and women of God, our main focus is to glorify God, and to be a light in the world imitating Christ in all things we say and do. But also in order to accomplish anything in this life we need to exercise faith in God, showing that we need Him to sustain our lives for the benefit of the kingdom of God. If we are consistently seeking after Him we are displaying a desire to trust Him, to acknowledge that we need Him and His presence with us. We are blessed with His Holy Spirit as our guide to bring all things to our remembrance, but we also need to place our faith in Him to know that He will do and accomplish what He says He will do. Resting in that faith assures us of complete peace and understanding in living for Him, and doing what He desires to do in us. Its one thing to place our faith in God but it’s another thing understanding what faith is. The Bible says that faith is . . . “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). When we exercise our faith, we’re suggesting to God that whatever it is that we desire, what we request for that seems impossible, or needing a “mountain” moved, we don’t know the outcome but we know that He is sovereign and will act on our behalf to make it happen even when we don’t know how or when it will happen. Trusting God in all things is faith in action.

Now getting back to the athlete, whether he or she is a child of God, they are showing or displaying a faith that is showing strong confidence in someone or something. If they are a child of God, this is our purpose and reason for trusting God: having faith in Him, believing that He will do what He says He will do. As I mentioned, the athlete developed a confidence that he would not allow to infiltrate or persuade them otherwise. As a people of God we can learn something from this. We have a confidence that can only come from God, and that’s His wisdom and understanding. We don’t need to for others to see our results to convince them of what we’re doing. If we trust God and our faith is in Him, the fruits and manifestations of that labor will be revealed as your consistency remains.

Early on in my efforts to overcome my past addictive behaviors, I was enthralled by trying to convince my wife that what I was doing is working for me. I was showing her all the things I was doing that would give her the appearance that my efforts were working. I was trusting God in all this but there was one thing that I overlooked: my faith appeared to be in God, but my heart was really in trying to convince her that I’m not going to allow anything to stop me from getting my healing, I was all about I’m going to do this. Eventually, that mindset backfired, and it became in vain with the wrong motives and intentions. And just like the athlete, I didn’t finish strong, and I had to prepare for the next season of my life with a better focus: exercising my faith and trust in God totally without trying to convince my wife, and others, that I was going to win this thing. It would not be about seeing is believing, but about placing my faith in Christ. I’m reminded of the story of Thomas, a disciple who was in similar situation.

As Mary Magdalene was returning from speaking with the Angel (Jesus), she came running back to the disciples telling them that she has seen the Lord Jesus. When she was speaking with the Angel the Bible says she didn’t know it was Jesus (John 20:14). She told Thomas, one of the disciples, and he didn’t want to believe it, even though Jesus told them about his resurrection on the third day. Thomas said . . . “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25) Here we go with the seeing is believing theory. But where is faith in all this? When Jesus was previously with His disciples He shared with them about this very moment, but because of a lack of faith and trusting the Lord, it brought them to this moment. But read what happened several days later.

“And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
John 20:26, 27

This is where we get the doubting Thomas phrase.. Faith will not lessen our ability to see the possible, but will enhance the confidence needed to believe for the impossible. How many times have we tried to convince our families, our wives or husband, that we will get it done but really didn’t share how you would, or who you are depending on to get it done? And is it going to happen, and who are you placing your faith and trust in to get it done? We all face those challenges daily. But one thing I do know is if I believe in my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, without faith it is impossible to please Him. It no longer involves seeing is believing. It involves trusting God, and having faith. How much faith? His Word say just enough as a grain of mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds. So let’s not burden or overwhelm ourselves about how much faith. Let’s just put whatever faith we have in Him, and He will grow our faith as we become more obedient to Him in all things.

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 25, 2012

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” – Joshua 1:9 (KJV)

Daily we are all challenged in some capacity to achieve or to overcome something. When those challenges become overwhelming sometimes its easy to just retreat, and set it aside for another day. But as children of The Most High God, Jesus Christ, we ought to accept those challenges with confidence because He is there for us. His Word tells us to be of good courage and don’t be afraid because He is with us wherever we are and whatever we do. Let’s not back down when we’re faced with any obstacle. Rest assured that our Heavenly is right there to provide strength and understanding to carry out any task, challenge or clear any obstacle that may be in our way. As the old saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Jesus is always there. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Have a great day friends!

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 22, 2012

“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.”
– Proverbs 14:27

The reverence and awesomeness of God should acknowledged as well as accepted by all of us who are His children. When studying God’s Word, and understanding who He is, and His greatness, our lives become illuminated with joy and assurance knowing that He loves us. His love lives in us and through us, and we’ll want to share that love with others. With that peace reflecting in our lives, others will be drawn to the life we live and desire the same. They’ll want what we have, and turn from the life they’re living now. But the key to this joy is knowing Him, fearing and reverencing Him for who He is, and allowing that life-giving love to show in our lives. Do others see the fear of the Lord in us? Is God the Ruler and Sovereign King over and in our lives? If He is , it will show in all we say and do as He leads us. Have a great day friends!

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Living Dishonestly with Honest Intentions

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 21, 2012

Our Weekly Article of Encouragement

Volume 2 Article 91

Living Dishonestly with Honest Intentions
(Who’s really fooling who)

Every day I ask God to give me strength to get through that particular day because I understand I could never successfully have the kind of day that God wants me to have without Him. I tried for years, and it seemed like no matter how hard I tried the day would end up going through some kind of drama; somebody saying something that would affect me emotionally or physically. I didn’t want to take it anymore. So I said to myself “I’ll just roll with the punches, be part of what everybody’s doing. That way, I don’t have to go through any of this mess!” What a compromising strategy that turned out to be. That brought even more frustration than before. I not only compromised my own feelings and thoughts, I also allowed myself to indulge with the activity of those very same strategies. I found myself doing things that I didn’t really want to do, just to be a part of the crowd.

After several encounters that lead to disastrous results, I told myself “I’ve had enough!” There will be no more trying to fit in with the crowd. I’m just going to be myself whether they like me or accept me or not. No more living a life of not being real, trying to be someone that I’m not.
Several years ago I started studying God’s Word about living a holy life, living with honest intentions and being who I really was. Even though I was having some consistent progress moving forward in my healing from addictive behaviors, I wanted to get some understanding about what it meant to living honestly and not having to lie about everything.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:1, 2

I found myself understanding that my life is precious in God’s sight and that in order for me or anyone to live an honest life there must be an internal change, beginning with the mind and heart. I realized that trying to live a life of truth in front of others, especially my family, was a difficult task for me because I was still working on being honest in general. For years I lived a life of lies and pretending to show people that I was a real, honest person but my agenda was primarily hidden to appease myself. My mind and heart wasn’t renewed by the Spirit of God. I still had that same mindset of selfishness.

I prayed daily for God to change me, beginning with my mind and heart. I submitted totally and consistently by obedience and submission to His Holy Spirit. God changed my heart by replacing the selfishness with a heart of love for people. I learned that I didn’t have to pretend anymore. I was living honestly, and with intention to carry out that love with passion and care. My family started to see me for who I really was, not who I thought I could be.
To live honestly without pretending, I had to understand who I was in Christ along the way. I knew I was a man trying to live a godly life with no perspective into who my creator was or is. I studied God’s Word and He lead me to know Him is a way I had no idea of. I knew that I could never be the Man of God, the husband, the father, the provider or the spiritual leader of my home until I knew who God was to me and what my purpose was in this life. This has helped me establish a relationship with my heavenly Father that I never had. And to this very day my relationship with God is growing more and more in every area of my life. I have no desire to pretend or lie, to be someone to my family that I’m truly not. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong and will admit it. If I can’t do something, I just can’t do it. I’m trusting God to lead me in transparency and honesty all the way.
I realize there are men, husbands out there who are living dishonest lives in front of their wives and families, having hidden agendas and pretending to love their wives when they really don’t. They are doing the “good deeds” to look busy or give that impression that they’re doing the right thing. Their wives and children see daddy doing all the right things but in reality they’re hurting to find peace and be themselves but don’t know how. Fear, or passivity has gotten a stronghold on them and they’re struggling to let go but don’t know how, don’t have anyone to talk to about how to escape this. But sooner or later they’re wives discover the true man that’s been pretending all this time. His false sense of identity begins to catch up with him and exposure is revealed.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians 5:25-27

Now, I don’t want to give the impression that this only happens with husbands. It also happens with wives as well. And they are just as guilty in the marriage covenant as the husband. But we as husbands ought to know better because of the responsibility God placed on us as the husband. When we love our wives we love them honestly and truthfully, as Christ loved the church. There is no pretending or putting on a false sense of identity. Who are we really trying to fool? Nobody but ourselves. And if we really think we’re getting away with something guess what? God knows everything and what is in the dark will surely come to light!
So now, what should we ought to do to begin living honestly? Well, we can start by acknowledging our dishonesty, that we are and have been living deceptively and ask God for forgiveness. Then begin to seek God with honest and honorable intentions. Seek out some men who are full of the Holy Spirit, women the same for you as well with spirit-filled women, and surround yourselves with them. Then start getting into God’s Word with purpose, reading and studying with determination to succeed in whatever you do. This was what I did, and still do to this day. I got to have it. My relationships with God, as well as my relationship with my wife and daughters, have never been better! I’m determined to live honestly and with transparency in every area of my life.
I just want to encourage you all, which living honestly with good intentions are honorable not only to your wife or husband and family, but also to God. God is looking for righteousness in everything we do. Let’s make our heavenly Father proud of us.
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“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” – Ephesians 5:1, 2

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 21, 2012

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22, 23

Every one of us dislpays fruits of our labor because of what we do for the and in the kingdom of God. Those fruits, if we are connected to the foundation of Christ, will yield the blessings of God. Here in Galatians, God’s Word tells us what those fruits are, and what should be a part of growing and maturing process as His people. Take some time out today and see if these are a part of your life. If not, then ask God to show you what you need to do for these fruits to be manifested in your life. It starts with accepting and reading His Word, placing ourselves under the obedience and submission of Christ and His Holy Spirit, and allowing Him to reign in all areas of our lives. Then as share the Gospel we receive and experience in our lives we’ll desire and want to share this with others. Helping and serving others is also a part of that process. Have a great day friends.

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 20, 2012

“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” – Proverbs 12:26

Our associations, those whom we surround ourselves with, give us a clear indication what direction we’re headed in life. I believe everyone has heard the saying “I can tell your future by the company you keep.” To some extent that’s carry some truth to it. Those we surround ourselves with influences our lives whether we want to accept that statement or not. If know who we are in Christ, which is righteousness in His eyes, then we ought to be attracted to righteousness. God’s Word is instructing to be careful who we allow into our lives because everyone is not called to be in your life. Everyone we allow in our lives should always have a purpose for being there: first, to help us grow in the things of God, and secondly, to be a blessing and contribute to building our character with positive influence. If anyone is doing anything else, God’s Word says they will lead the righteous astray. Maybe it’s time to really evaluate who are in our lives and see if they are making a difference or they are hindering our growth or purpose in life. This is not being conceited or arrogant; this is being careful as The Word says. And if we are children of The Most High God, Jesus Christ, then we ought to do and desire what the Word says. I’m just saying. Something to think about my friends. Have a wonderful, blessed and fruitful day!

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