Men of Redemption

Restoring a Life of Purity – One Day at a Time

Archive for July, 2012

The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 31, 2012

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” – Proverbs 16:7

When we as children of the Most High God, Jesus Christ, live our lives according to His Word, remain obedient and adhere to His Holy Spirit when He instructs us, this pleases God. It warms His heart so. And through our obedience God prepares our life for all that we face daily. When trouble comes our way, or our enemies attempt to try and put out our light, God is there to defeat them and turn whatever intentions they had into a blessing for us. This will humble our enemies and will change their perspective when rising up against God’s people. They will recognize who we are in Christ, His power, His glory will shine through us, and bring light to the darkness. In turn, those who attempt to cause pain and discouragement with bow down to that light, and the peace of our Lord and Savior will rest upon that situation with comfort, not confusion. Allow God to go before you today, calm any and all situations with His peace. He desires us to live in victory and have all people, enemies or not, to be at peace with us. Have a great day my friends!

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Who You Appear to Be Can Be Deceiving

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 30, 2012

Our Weekly Article of Encouragement Volume 2 Article 97

Who You Appear to Be Can Be Deceiving

Okay. It’s Sunday morning and you’re getting your family ready for church. You go through the motions of hygienic preparation; putting on that nice suit; combing your hair; and then the final touch – a splash of the good ole “smell good” which is your best cologne. Everybody is ready and looking good. You tell everyone to let’s go and you all jump into the car and it’s off to church. You arrive, all the brothers and sisters are excited to see you because it probably was last week since they last seen you. You sit in the same section as always and start to enjoy service. The sermon was convicting as well as powerful, and you’re excited to be blessed to hear it. After service has ended, you’re headed out of the church but stop to chat with fellow worshippers, maybe entertain an invitation for lunch. Then you head on home with the family, probably just relaxing for the rest of the day. In your mind, it was just another typical Sunday afternoon at church. But was it?

Did we take some time out and confess that last night you and the wife got into a huge argument over something trivial? Or how about how you were yelling at the kids a couple days ago for no reason? And what about the atmosphere of your home displaying a battlefield-like zone where everybody is fighting amongst each other? But no one would ever guess all that was going on in your house because you gave the appearance that everything was good. You and your family looked like all was well; everybody looking good, dressed well, saying all the right things and not showing any signs of anger or frustration. WOW!! Who would have ever thought that underneath that “image” you portrayed as the nice family was really a family hurting, in turmoil and confusion. And the real disappointing thing about it is, we tend to not want others, especially our family of believers, to know what really going on! Who are we fooling? Everybody, but God!

“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the Lord seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

We’ve all heard that saying “You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” That’s what we’ve all done at some point in our lives. We’ve portrayed the likeness of how we want others to see us instead of just being ourselves. Sure, there are some that say they’re not sure they can trust others with that type of information because they’ll try to use it to their advantage. But don’t we have those friends whom we do trust to listen and hear our hurts and struggles? Having people in our lives like that will help us be honest and transparent in all things. If people looked at us as they see us they’ll never know what we’re about. Some of us can hold that countenance or appearance through all kinds of difficulty and struggle and no one will ever have a clue. From God’s perspective, He looks at the heart. The heart reveals who the person really is. When Samuel was looking over Jesse’s sons God told him not to look at the outer appearance or stature of the sons because God doesn’t see as man sees. It wasn’t about what they looked like or how tall or who spoke more eloquent that the other – it was a heart thing with God, and so must it be with us. God had sent Samuel on a mission to find the next King of Israel and He told Samuel what He is looking for.

“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.” – Matthew 6:5

So why do so many of us want others to see us in a favorable light instead of who we really are? Dozens of reasons and the root to all those reasons come down to one: self. Or maybe we’re hiding something in or about our lives that we don’t want others to know about because it reveals our flaws and inadequacies.

Oftentimes we have tendencies to present ourselves as people who have it together because it brings affirmation and acceptance from others. This type of attitude was same mentality that the Pharisees had back in Jesus’ day. They gave the appearance of holiness and righteous living, doing so to be seen by others. The Bible calls these individuals hypocrites. Even in our prayers, we want to seem holy by using eloquent speech, trying to be as spiritual as we can. But if our heart is not in it, it’s all in vain according to God’s Word. God wants, and desires, us to be transparent and honest in whom we are with others. I’m not saying to begin opening up our lives and allowing everyone free access to our business. What I am saying is just be who you are. We don’t have to try and be someone else for acceptance. We must know who we are in Christ first, because He is the one who gives us life, in Him whom we live and have our being. Christ gives us the assurance we need to understand life, relationship with others and knowing that we are more than conquers through Him because He first loved us.

“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”
Luke 16:15

God knows our hearts better than we know ourselves. We try to gain to approval of man by attempting to measure up to the standards that our society sets where we need to make a certain amount of money; live in certain neighborhoods or regions of the cities; accumulate educational status to be observed and acknowledge by our peers. But when it’s done for those specific reasons, to build oneself up for prestige and glory, we defeat the purpose of accomplishment. God sees this as worldly pride as well as an abomination to Him. There’s nothing wrong with accomplishments and accolades. But when we’re obsessed with achieving these goals for the sole purpose for selfish advantage and glorifying self, it takes God out of the process totally. Then we really have to ask ourselves the all-important question: “Where is God in all this?”
So when we look in the mirror, who and what do we see? Do we see someone who is honest and transparent, wanting to live life without hidden motives and agendas? Or do we see someone who is hurting in areas of our life, fears of exposure and shame that have taken hold of our lives and are afraid to deal with them because others may see us for who we really are? If this is you my friend, I pray that you take some out today and as the Apostle Paul says many times in the New Testament . . . “Let a man examine himself . . .”

Let’s really look at ourselves and see if there are things in our life that are centered around shame, guilt, a lack of self-esteem, and begin to ask God to help you in these areas. Then He will begin to transform, to renew, and bring the change of heart that will manifest truth and honesty in the inward parts of our lives.

“Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.”

2 Corinthians 10:7

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 30, 2012

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:14,16 NKJV

Knowing who we are in Christ reveals to the world what’s really important to us. His joy, peace, and His love should overwhelm us as spilling out of our lives where others can see His greatness within us. And that’s where our light shines before men. If God, our Lord Jesus Christ is real in us, and active in our lives, we can’t help but let the world know that He saves, He heals, He delivers, and He is a comforter to those who know and live for Him. We can’t keep this joy inside because it will make us want to tell the world that there is no peace like the peace of God. Like a city that’s set on a hill, others will see our light and be attracted to that light, wondering what it is that’s illuminating so brightly. They’ll be drawn to that light because of who the light represents. Are you allowing your light to shine today? If not, ask God to give you that desire to glorify Him in all that you do today. His love, peace and joy will overtake you and cause a transformation of life to manifest His presence in all that you do. Seek Him with your whole heart, and experience the light of the Lord. Have a wonderful, blessed day my friends!

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 27, 2012

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalms 23:4

Discouragement and fear sometimes comes around us to cause separation and anxiety, thus leading to doubt whether God is there for us during those uncertan moments in life. But rest assured friends, God’s Word reassures us that He is always there in the midst of it all. No matter what we go through in this life, as David points out here in Psalms 23, we don’t have to walk around in our valleys of shame and guilt, persecution and frustration. He is there to comfort us and cast out all fear. David had plenty of reason to be concerned and fearful for his life, but he stayed the course and trusted God through it all. We can do the same thing if we learn to trust God in the midst of our valleys, those times of struggles and uncertanty. Read the entire 23rd chapter of Psalm, and be comforted with the Word of God today. Have a blessed and victorious day my friends!

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 26, 2012

“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” – Psalms 27:14

We live in a society where we don’t like to wait for anything. It’s that microwave mentality: got to have now; I want it yesterday; can it be done any earlier. It seems like patience is null and void when it comes to the things of life. As King David writes in this Psalm, he will wait on the Lord because he knows that God will come through for him in His time. Too often we want to expedite things in life when God purposefully delays His answer so that we can learn to wait on Him. God wants us to know in our hearts that He is control and He is doing what we request according to the way He sees how the goodness of His Hand will bless us. Waiting will strengthen us in patience, building our faith in Him to trust Him in all things. When we petition our prayers to God, ask Him to give you patience to wait for Him and His decision. There is a reason or reasons why He won’t deliver in our time table. Trust Him today men and women of God, wait on the Lord, and watch the beauty and splendor of our Lord and Savior work in our lives without fail. Have a great day my friends!

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 25, 2012

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” – John 14:15

Do we love God? We say we do. We talk like we do. But are following what His Word says? Are we doing what His Word commands us to do? Well, Jesus said it Himself; “If you love Me, keep my Word.” It’s so easy to caught up in our all of our commitments, obligations and responsibilities throughout our day, but are we taking time out to first and foremost acknowledge Him? His Word tells us to pray; to study His Word to show ourselves approved; to humble ourselves and seek His face; place no other gods (idols) before Him; and trust Him in all things. Then there are the Ten Commandments. Are we familiar with them or do we just know about them? Brothers and sisters in Christ, we ought to keep God’s Word in our hearts by doing what He asks or desires. This is how we come to know our Savior. Just as we expect our chilren to adhere to what we say, and follow it, God wants the same from us. Let’s examine ourselves and begin to really do what the Lord God, Jesus Christ says for us to do. His Word is life. The big question is “IF” you love Me. Do you love Him? Then let’s make a stronger commitment and keep His word, live His Word and do His Word. Have a great day my friends!

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 24, 2012

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

Encouraging words to others can do wonders for the brokenhearted. There are days where the every people we interact with go through trying moments of frustration, anger, fatigue, and don’t know how to deal with it. We see them in their demise but want to help and can’t find the exact words to say or share. Give them a word of praise from our Lord Jesus Christ, and He will cause an uplifting of their spirits. Sharing an encouraging word can bring peace and joy where there is none. The Holy Spirit will give us the right word or words for that individual so that he or she can find rest and comfort in what the Lord wants to say to them through us. Let’s allow the Spirit of God to move upon us with compassion for others and bring the love of kind words and undertsanding to those who are looking for it. Everybody loves a good encouraging word to bring life to their day. Why not bring it to someone today? Maybe God wants you to share your peace and joy with others today. They probably need it more than we do. Bless someone today with the love of God through an encouraging word. Have a great day friends!

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If You’re Serious, Change is Evident

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 23, 2012

Our Weekly Article of Encouragement
Volume 2 Article 96

If You’re Serious, Change Is Evident

How strong is your word to others? Do you follow through with all of the things you say and do? Better yet, do you follow through with most or some of the things you say and do? We tell people we’ll take care of whatever it is that we’re faced with, or advise them that we’ll handle it you don’t have to worry about it. Those are comforting words, and yes, good words if we can adhere to what we’re confessing or commenting to others. But do we really mean it or are we just pacifying others to get them off our backs? We could be dead serious when we say what we’re going to do, but do we really intend to carry it out? Are we serious? Then change is evident.

There have many times where I’ve told people or said to people what I’ll do and not followed through with it. Yes, I even gave them assurances by promising, readjusting my schedule, canceling appointments to accommodate my declaration. But in the end, many times I didn’t come through. I meant well, but the fact of the matter is I didn’t follow through. Why? It could’ve been several things; never intended to follow through with it; got caught up in other things and didn’t get around to it; something came up and I got delayed; anything could’ve happened. But as a child of God, is this way of living acceptable in God’s sight? I don’t believe it is, not with all the excuses we use today to try and justify why we don’t follow through with what we say to others.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8

We have God’s Word to look to when there is uncertainty in our lives. As people, we want to do as we say we are going to do without reservation. As it is said, “Our word is our bond!” because that’s pretty much what we have to stand on. If we can’t stand on our word, where is the integrity of our character? Who will believe our report? I don’t want to be understood as someone who doesn’t keep his word or doesn’t follow through with what he says. As people of God, we ought to have the same purpose and intention as Christ does in what Isaiah 40:8 tells us. Whatever we say or do will display results of our actions. This is the evidence that accompanies the proclamations and declarations we say. What we say or do should be concrete, solid and stable without wavering or second-guessing our intentions.

“For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.”
Romans 16:18

For years I used to tell friends “Don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of it!” Or I’d say “You got it! I’ll handle it first thing tomorrow.” I got to a point where all it was lip service with no real results following my words. It carried over into all the areas of my life where those around didn’t know if I was ever serious or just playing around. And then when I was serious, and wanted to follow through, nobody took me serious. Kind of reminds us of the story about the boy that cried wolf huh? There’s something there that interfering with our intentions and that is selfishness. Sometimes we like to “flatter” others with our talk and our words to convince others that we have it all together but when it comes down to carrying out what we have said we’ll do something happened. If we are serious about keeping our word, change will follow with evidence of actions.

We will make constant and consistent efforts that will show we mean business in what we say and do. Just like anything else in life; there are fruits of our labor that display our intentions and purposes in life. When we put our hearts and minds to something, the evidence of that determination will follow us through it all. We can’t help it! It’s a by-product of labor. They’re called fruits of our labor.

So what can we do to insure that we stay true to what we say and do? First and foremost we need to be true to ourselves and to God.

Check our motives. Are we saying anything to see what we can get out it? How is it going to benefit me in the long-run? So many people have hidden agendas when it comes to trying to help people it really hard to be objective. They tell you one thing and do another. We don’t really know if they’re serious or if they’re playing games.

Ask God to reveal to you if you have a problem with being honest. Some people have a major problem with just accepting the fact that they cannot follow through with what they say. They’ve never been able to keep their word because they’ve become unbelievable. Their integrity has been tarnished by repeated unfaithfulness and manipulation of others.
If honest is a problem, seek out some spiritual guidance from a pastor friend, or maybe someone who is spiritually minded in the things of God that pray with you and guide you unto all truth by the Word of God.

Surround ourselves with Men of God who have overcome shortcomings of character defects of integrity and transparency. Get connected to a Bible study where there’s teaching and accountability on character and the building of faith in the things of God. This will give you structure in understanding who you are in Christ, your purpose in life as well as what you should be doing for the kingdom of God.

Stick to your word, and be honest with your intentions in all things. God wants us to do this, why shouldn’t we want this for ourselves? Trust Him today!

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 23, 2012

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” – Romans 1:16

Believing in God is part of our daily walk with Him. We are to trust Him in all things, being faithful to His calling in our lives. He gives us strength and understanding to live in this life so that we won’t have to compromise our faith. With that, our walk should be bold in character, standing up for righteousness, not wavering to the left or right. If God has brought a new direction to and in our lives, we will make a stand in front of the world and proclaim His truths, His righteousness and His Word! Today, make a stand for righteousness, and be not dismayed by what the world is doing or what it might say. We are children of the Most High God, the Lord Jesus Christ! Live like it! Act like it, and the peace and joy of God will rest upon us always. Have a great day friends!

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The Word, with Our Morning Coffee

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 20, 2012

“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” – James 5:19, 20

Drifting away from the truth can harmful to any child of God in these troubled times we live in. We are distracted all the day long, counted as sheep for the slaughter. That’s why it’s so essential to have people in our lives that can help turn us back toward God and away from the worldy distractions this life brings. We can be that people ourselves to others if we stay in God’s Word and put into practice what we receive from His Word. When we see someone struggling or hurting, we ought to show kindness, compassion, and gently help restore that brother or sister back to the truth that they have known from the beginning. God’s Word says that those who do this will help cover a multitude of sins. We don’t know what a person is dealing with life; relationship, pain, a loss, unwise decision making, etc.. Let’s begin, and learn, to reach out to those who we know that have drifted, or swayed away from the truth and help turn them back to their first love, Jesus Christ. Remember, someone came to us and helped turn us around from the direction we were travelling. Praise be to God! Have a wonderful day friends, and allow the God of peace to bless you and yours in all you say and do.

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