Men of Redemption

Restoring a Life of Purity – One Day at a Time

Archive for May, 2014

Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 30, 2014

Breakfast of Champions “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the Lord our God Forever and ever. In that day,” says the Lord, “I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast And those whom I have afflicted; I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcast a strong nation; So the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever. And you, O tower of the flock, The stronghold of the daughter of Zion, To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”” – Micah 4:1-8 (NKJV)

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 29, 2014

Breakfast of Champions “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” – Revelation 4:1-11 (NKJV)

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 28, 2014

Breakfast of Champions “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?” And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.” – Daniel 12:1-13

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 27, 2014

Breakfast of Champions “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the Lord of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the Lord An offering in righteousness. “Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the Lord, As in the days of old, As in former years. And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, And against those who turn away an alien—
Because they do not fear Me,” Says the Lord of hosts. “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts; “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.”
– Malachi 3:1-12 (NKJV)

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Rebuke and Criticism: They Can Go Hand-in-Hand

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 26, 2014

criticism Life has the tendency to bring upon us many challenges on a daily basis, keeping us aware of surprises, warranted or unwarranted, as well as the positive and the negative. How we handle those challenges reveal our desires, our character, and our intent. But what about when others try to help us out by offering assistance in ways of their kindness, their warm-felt compassions of sympathy, or their words of encouragement? Yes, we have those individuals in our lives and in our spheres of influence that tend to offer themselves in many ways, and many of us aren’t too receptive to their efforts.
It’s one thing to share with someone about how they made a bad mistake in a choice they made or a decision they decided on. It’s also another when they try to offer advice and instruction to us, implying that we should or ought to listen to better guidance and instruction. These kinds of complementary gestures can be offensive or defensive to us, and it’s all according to how we receive it. These gestures are viewed as rebukes and criticisms. They are power in a sense that when used in a specific manner can either edify or tear down an individual. It’s not about one verses the other, but I believe the two can go hand-in-hand if we have an understanding heart and an open mind to the intent of the individual sharing it. First, let’s take a look at what the Word of God says about criticism and rebuke . . . .

“The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.” – Proverbs 15:31-33

One of the things I take pleasure in is realizing that when someone offers guidance, wisdom and instruction that will better myself, my perspectives and my thought process, I receive it because I know in my spirit-man it’s for my good (Romans 8:28). But not everyone sees it this way and that’s understandable. The lack of understanding on some folks’ part may be and can be different for many reasons: some may have been hurt or wounded by the words that have come from those that they have trusted and respected, and they weren’t expecting them to come from them. Or, maybe that individual has decided that he or she will not accept any type of rebuke or criticism from anyone because they feel they can trust their own instincts and not the words from others because they know better. Whichever case, we will always find that one little word in there that appears so much bigger than life to so many people – Self. Regardless of what has happened to others, we ought to be able to come to a place in our walk with Christ where those that speak in and over our lives, when lead by the Spirit of God, is purposely meant to edify us, and to give us instruction to make us a better person, a better Christian and stronger in our intentions. Sometimes we can get or be so sensitive to rebukes and criticisms that we tend to take them personal, even further, serious. That’s when the intent of the one offering the rebuke or criticism in misunderstood, and therefore, the enemy comes in and adds his twist of anger, displeasure, and ridicule to what God had meant for goodness. open criticism One of the ways we can allow rebuke and criticism to be our ally is to fear God and trust His leading in those we respect in the faith. Everybody always has a word of advice or encouragement, but does it follow you with edification, with a renewed sense understanding that your best interest will be lifted up and encouraged? Will what others say to your situation or your circumstances bring joy and correction without condemnation or ridicule? These are the things that follow those with rebuke and criticisms in our lives to the challenges we face daily. Or better yet, do you consider yourself a person who shares rebuke and criticism out of love and not out of personal intent? There is a huge difference in the two, and that’s another article for later absorption. Fearing God, acknowledging His guidance in those we respect is clearly our best option when understanding these complementary gestures. Knowing that those we surround ourselves with are filled with God’s anointing, His wisdom and knowledge, we’ll be able to receive them with love, grace and a sound mind. Let’s not allow what others say about us or to us to tear us down, or bring emotional demise to our days or encounters. Begin to develop relationship with those who will speak life and correction into our lives that will build us up, not only in life but also in the faith. That way, rebuke and criticism will be understood and received in a manner where humility proceeds honor.

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 26, 2014

Breakfast of Champions “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” -1 Thessalonians 2:1-17 (NKJV)

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Success Blockers: Fear and Doubt – Don’t Give Them Life

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 23, 2014

fear
All of us have goals in life, things that we would like to accomplish, expectations that we want to meet to have a successful future. We want to have a good job, money in the bank, set up a nice retirement fund for life after employment, make sure the kids are taken care of after they leave our homes, etc. Sounds like your plans? But how many of us reach those goals or plans? What stopped us from attaining those reachable attributes of success? Well, it could’ve been dozens of reasons but there are two that come to mind that secretly take refuge within our minds and hearts: Fear and Doubt.

FEAR
If there is anything that hinders us the most, it’s fear. Something about fear just takes control over our hearts and minds with such intimidation that we bow down to it almost every time. When we set our goals we feel productive, ready to go, ready to tackle the challenges of doing something that’s going to make life better for us. But as soon as a challenge, struggle, or pitfall comes along we hesitate, we stop, and begin to think we should stop right here. If we had counted the costs of our goals, the unexpected “pot-holes” of life that come alongside moving forward we would have prepared ourselves and began to deal with them as they come. But we tend to “freeze up” when a door is closed in our faces. When the unexpected shows up we don’t stand up and face the challenge of what’s next for fear of rejection, being turned away or turned down. We don’t want to face that part of life because many of us can’t handle rejection so we run from it or go somewhere and hide until it disappears or not show up again. Or even some of us are so passive, like a turtle we’re afraid to come out of our shells for fear of intimidation or exposure to reality as the way things really are. No, it’s not that I’m knocking anyone regarding fear because it may have a lot to do with other concerns such as family upbringing, past negative encounters with the wrong people, or it could be something more traumatic where a person’s life may have been affected through life or death situations. Anything. But what we’re trying to understand about fear is that this is not the way God intended us to live our lives. As children of God, He has given us all the protection and guidance we need to live a holy and prosperous life according to His will. If we allow Him to establish our steps in life, He will lead and guide us unto all truth and understanding. This is a gift from God that promises us successful living according to His Word, the Bible. He gives us peace during those moments of uncertainty as well as blesses us with comfort in knowing that he’s loving us all the way through it until our goals are accomplished.

“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
-2 Timothy 2:6, 7

DOUBTDoubt
Doubt makes us question our thoughts, the way we think about things and second guess ourselves. We start out with a plan and we’ve appeared to have done all our homework as far as crossing the I’s and dotting the T’s. Then we hear something, or something triggers our thinking and we ask ourselves “Did I really do that? Or I wondering if I made the right decision?” A lot times we put overload of knowledge into things and think too much on certain plans. We mean well but we tend to over-think and under-estimate the very thought process of our abilities; we begin to lack the abilities we have because we see others succeeding and we’re not; and the very thing we want to do is go back and try to re-think of another way or another plan to do what we set out to do so that success can come a little easier for us because someone else is moving faster than we are. Or maybe even past failures in previous attempts in life have got you burdened down and you don’t have the passion, the desire, the confidence to go forward because things didn’t work out previously. Doubt has caused so many of us to remain stagnant in our lives, let alone in our spiritual walk with Christ. We lack the faith God requires in us to believe in Him and the things He wants to do in our lives. And faith is the essence of foundation in a Christian’s life. For if we’re full of doubt, our relationship with Him is in vain. Hebrews 11:6 tells us . . . “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.” So doubt has no place in our lives whatsoever! The only way that doubt has dominion or power in or over us is because we allow it to have place. But we don’t have to allow it if we choose not to allow it. We don’t have to second guess ourselves, or be uncertain about the things in life. Yes, there may be some things that make us go “Hummmmmm . . .” but if we dwell on them and become confused, that we won’t even believe in our own abilities, doubt will continue to reign and dominate our passions and desires. If we learn to trust God in our thoughts, our thinking, His Spirit will guide our understanding and make every situation clear and concise. If there is anything God wants us to learn, because He’s always wanting us to learn and improve ourselves, He will get our attention one way or another and show us what it is that He is bringing out in the light. Let’s not doubt, and start to trust Him for all things and cast out all doubt and fear.

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” -James 1:6

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 23, 2014

The Word in the morning “Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” – Mark 7:1-23

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Our Daily Manna

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 22, 2014

The Word in the morning “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:9-21

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A Psalm for Sharing

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 21, 2014

Crown of Thorns in place of letter O[1]“Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” – Psalm 2:1-12

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