Men of Redemption

Restoring a Life of Purity – One Day at a Time

Archive for December, 2013

Our Manna for This Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 31, 2013

Manna in the Morning
” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” – John 1:1-17

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Out With the Old, and In With the New

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 30, 2013

New thing

As we approach the year 2014, we ask ourselves . . . “Okay, so what am I going to do differently this coming year?” Well, let’s look at some past years’ declarations.

* I’m going to lose a certain amount of weight!
* I need to save more money and accumulate more revenue.
* Want to take a trip across seas and see something different.
* I’m going to do more outdoor activities and fun stuff.
* I’m going to save to buy a bigger house or a newer car.

I could go on and on but it’s not necessary. In reality, over the years how many of us have legitimately accomplished all that we set out to do in the course of that particular year or years? Maybe a few, but the percentage is not as high as some may anticipate. What about our lives, the direction we’re heading in, and what lies ahead for us? Are we really comfortable where we’re at? Don’t we believe that there is much more in store for us ion this life, especially if we call ourselves children of God? Many of us children of God are not even aware that God has a purpose, a direction, and intent for our lives, but are we diligently seeking that understanding with the new year approaching?

Change

I think a lot times we get caught up in making a list, never really having any intention of accomplishing it because in 12 months everybody will probably forget the list and prepare for the next year’s list, and there we go again recycling life and never really getting anywhere. All we’re doing is piling all of our “new” stuff on top of the “old” stuff. When the challenges get so high and difficult to handle we can’t move forward, tripping over residue from the past. Ouch!! Speaking to the children of God, isn’t about time we submit ourselves totally unto the Lord and allow Him to make the changes we’d like to see in our lives and stop depending on ourselves to to do it? The Word of God says . . .

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7

Trying to do life our way brings us to the point where many of us are now. Sure, there may be many of us who might be happy where they are, doing good things, making a difference in life with our contributions and assistance. But what does God want for us? Have we asked Him? He will tell us if we ask, but many of us don’t (James 4:2, NLT).

So basically, I’m just suggesting that as we prepare for this coming year, can we make a conscious effort and seek the Lord God, Jesus Christ, and ask Him what does He want or have for us in 2014, and give us the strength to sustain the process of achieving it by His grace and mercy. He desires the very best for us so why shouldn’t we? Many of us do, but do we show it by allowing God to walk us through it, day by day?

I encourage you my friends, children of God, ask your heavenly father to guide you into your purpose, your destiny, and watch Him reveal His glory in and over your life with a whole new direction, and cast out the old like it really was never there.

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Our Manna for This Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 30, 2013

Manna in the Morning
“And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’ ” And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” – Mark 4:1-20

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Our Manna for This Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 27, 2013

Manna in the Morning
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
– James 1:17-27

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Our Manna for This Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 26, 2013

Manna in the Morning
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:” – Hebrews 12:1-14

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Celebrate the Good News by Sharing It

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 25, 2013

Child is born
I reflect on my very first Christmas that I can remember, and that was a long time ago. All that mattered to me was when the tree was going up and what I had under the it. It was so exciting! As Christmas Day came closer my anticipation grew even stronger. I looked forward to Christmas with thrills and chills! I told all my friends how excited and happy I was, expecting gifts galore. I didn’t know about what the true meaning of Christmas was or why it was celebrated. As a kid, nothing mattered to me but fun, games and toys!
But as I grew up into my adolescence and young adult years I began to understand what Christmas was truly all about. First, I had to recognize, and rid myself of the misinterpretations that it was all about receiving, getting gifts and eating. Sure, these had some familiarity to the holiday season but they weren’t the main focus of why we celebrate. It was about understanding the greatest announcement that the history of mankind has ever known, albeit the world has never professed it.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

Reading about the King of Kings and Lord of Lords being born unto us as a man was illuminating to me to say the least. I finally understood what Christmas was all about. The more I studied the Word the more I realized this is what I ought to be celebrating. I got excited, overwhelmed with joy because I knew so many people really didn’t have that understanding. So I took upon myself to go, share the Good News about Christmas, and its true meaning, in my daily walk in life. I wanted to. I desired to. This news touched my heart and brought me back to reality in God. It was no longer about games, toys, electronic gadgets and materialistic value. It was about our Savior being born. Just like the shepherds when they heard of the news that a child is born unto us this day, they were overjoyed, excited, because finally what the prophets of old have prophesied has come to past . . .

Announcement
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”” – Luke 2:8-12

This Good News is now a part of my life and my testimony as a child of God. I love sharing Christ, His birth, His life, and what He has done for me. I celebrate this news by sharing Him with others every day He allows me to live and have my being. I had to take the time to fully understand, to commit myself to renewing my mind, and allowing God to transform my worldly thinking into Godly understanding through His Holy Spirit.

I want to encourage you, my friends, to share the Good News of Christ this holiday season with family, friends and those you surround yourselves with. I truly believe that this is what God wants, and desires, from His children while we are on this earth. Celebrate the Good News of Christ this Christmas, and watch the change of understanding the true meaning of Christmas affect generations to come.

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Merry Christmas to All of You!!

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 25, 2013

Baby Jesus

“So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”Luke 2:6-20

We thank all of our subscribers for your support and prayers. We pray that you have a blessed, safe, Merry Christmas friends! Jesus is the reason for the Season!

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Our Manna for This Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 25, 2013

Manna in the Morning
“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. 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, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:1-11

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Our Manna for This Morning

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 24, 2013

Manna in the Morning
“A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” – Psalm 23:1-6

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We All Should Have a Nathan in Our Lives

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 23, 2013

Nathan rebiking King David
We all have friends that we’ve grown up with. Some have kept in touch with us throughout the years without ever seeing one another. Those friendships were developed over time, and we’ve shared so many events, celebrations, good times as well as bad times. For some of us, we’ve even share some serious moments of conviction and truth. Looking at those times, do we still have those friends in our lives, the ones who know the bad things we’ve done and called us to the carpet to be real and truthful about them?

Well, in the Bible, King David had such a friend in the prophet Nathan. Nathan was a son of one of the concubines that King David had (2 Sam. 5:14), and grew into the priesthood. He became an adviser to David. Many of us know the story of King David and his adulterous affair with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1-28).

david & bathsheba
It was not until after the fact that King David tried to conceal his sin that Nathan the Prophet went to him and challenged him to be a man of truth and integrity. I’m not going to go into the story, but you know the outcome: Nathan told King David about himself, and the conviction of his heart beset him. How about us? Do we have a “Nathan” in our lives who will step up, knowing our sin or evil ways, and challenge us to be truthful, full of integrity to be honest in all our intentions? We should!

Mentoring

It’s so very important to know who we surround ourselves with. All of us have done things that we’re not proud of, or ashamed of. But when we do those things in secret, and those around us are hidden from the demise and damage it can cause, we try to conceal it and hope that no one will find out. But if have those in our sphere of influence, our friends who are led by the Spirit of God, God will use them to bring our sin to exposure, and present to us an opportunity to do the right thing in God’s sight.
I remember on one occasion I was paying for some food at a fast food restaurant and the cashier returned to me more money than I should’ve gotten back. My first response was “Man, she gave me an extra $5 back! Man she can’t count!” But my buddy that I was with saw the transaction a few feet away and didn’t say a word to me. Right before we were ready to leave he asked me . . . “Say Ernie, if someone overpaid you for something you did, would go and return the excess to them?” In my mind I was thinking . . . “They should learn how to count, and I bet that won’t happen again!” but in my heart I grieved and said . . . “Yeah, you’re right. She probably didn’t realize the over payment.” And that’s exactly what I did, returned the $5 and apologized to her for realizing it. But I wouldn’t have returned it if I didn’t have my friend along with me who was sensitive to honesty and truth. I thank God for him to this very day.
That was just a small example, but this very incident carries over into every spectrum of our lives. Do we have those trusted individuals in our lives who will challenge us, will correct us in such a way that our hearts and our integrity will remain pure despite our own weakness to be dishonest?

Men mentoring each other

To this very day, I try to surround myself with men of God, full of integrity and honesty to help me stay right in the sight of God and others, not only doing this because it’s right, but doing this because I want to keep integrity as part of my testimony to myself and my relationship with God. I make it a point to be transparent with my friends and those close to me. I had to understand though that I could not be this way with everyone because there are those out there who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. I had to use wisdom and instruction from those very same friends. Those very same friends, I am accountable to, to help me stay focused in the direction I’m traveling in life. I need them, they are my “Nathans” giving me advice, letting me know when a decision is wrong or there is some confusion about what I’m doing. I’m thankful to have them in my life.
I pray that you have a “Nathan” in your life today. This type of accountability will make life so much easier and restful when truth and honesty is at the forefront of our daily activity.

“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

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