Fill in the Blanks, Dear Lord

Psalm 139:23- Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (New Living Translation)

 

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

We are destined to be conflicted… We are destined to fail… We are destined to disappoint… From our thoughts, to our actions, to our spiritual warfare, we are too weak to continue this journey. Therefore, “point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalms 139:24). What offends you dear Lord? What is it within us that causes us strife when your intention is meant for good? Why do we organically rebel against the deity that shed his blood for you and me? Hence, the prognosis: selfishness; pride, and arrogance. Factors, which eventually lead to solitude, hard lessons, and brutal truth, which are the byproducts of God’s correcting hand. So, it should come as no surprise that our hearts remain in unrest. For walking this journey alone is too dangerous to bear, the reason God gave us part of himself, which is the Holy Spirit that we share. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

 

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management.

 

Advertisements

Many Called, Few Chosen

For many are called, but few are chosen. –Matthew 22:14 (English Standard Version)

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

I suppose people are honored and grateful to receive an invitation from someone whom they love or admire. Invitations are attractive. They can pull on our heart strings indicating that we were singled out and thought of as someone special to be invited to a particular event. In the preceding verses of our text, we see that Jesus was giving an illustration (parable) of what the Kingdom of Heaven is like by comparing it to the likes of a royal banquet.

How would Jesus know what the Kingdom of heaven is like? On one occasion after Jesus told the disciples that in His Father’s house there are many rooms and that He would prepare a place for them, he answered Philip’s plea to show them the Father (God). Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ –John 14:9

In Jesus’s parable of the banquet, first the guests were asked to attend. They refused the king’s invitation. Then the king announced that all was ready and invited them a second time but nobody paid him any attention. This angered the king for it was a banquet he had prepared for his beloved son. Finally, the king told his servants to go out into the streets and gather everyone that they could find—bad and good company alike. God wants us to join Him at his glorious banquet. His banquet lasts for eternity. Have you accepted His invitation? And if you have, are you dressed for His banquet?

by invitation only

The king noticed and asked a man at his banquet, “How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?” The man was speechless.-John 22:12 Then the king told his attendants to bind the man hand and foot and throw him into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth i.e., Hell. I pray that all who profess to be Christians truly desire and are following the Holy Spirit’s leading to wear the spiritual garments of salvation and righteousness in Jesus Christ. For in our world today, there are many who have called themselves Christians but whose lifestyle and conduct contradict the commands and lifestyle Jesus Christ requires of us.

I am disheartened by the possibility of loved ones who seem to enjoy being a Christian by affiliation, but pay Christ no mind when it comes to living for Him. For Christ said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my father who is in heaven. –Matthew 7:21

wedding-feast

Are you ready? Could Christ say to you, “Depart from me I never knew you.” –Matthew 7:23 Take heed and learn from Jesus’s message to the church in Sardis. It’s a message from which we all can learn. “Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. – Revelation 3:3

The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. – Revelation 3:5-6

Amen.

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born in November of 1989 in Brooklyn, N.Y. His family later moved to Philadelphia, Pa., and he now resides in Limerick, Pa. In May of 2014, Jason obtained his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Professionally, Jason counsels persons who are homeless, parents, veterans, and others who suffer from various kinds of abuse. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the Great Commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the Gospel to be spread from person-to-person and nation-to-nation. Annually, Jason travels primarily to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year, Haiti Christianity, Inc., visits cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothing, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly, evangelization takes place. Jason is currently the organization’s public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.

Confessions of a Weak Mind

2 Timothy 2:13- If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is. (New Living Translation)
Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Here are some phrases that describe the frailty of the human disposition: God is not with me; God does not hear me; God is too busy to care about me. Next, are some questions to describe the lack of faith within the human spirit: If God is so loving, why would he allow this? If God hates greed, why is money given to those who have turned their backs to you? If God loves me, why must I suffer? Lastly, are statements that seem to stoke the rebellious flame within all human beings: God can’t expect me to follow this, it’s too hard; When things get rough, then I will turn to God; Everything I obtained was through the work of my own hands. Thus, may we realize that each scenario carries with it an endless supply of forgiveness and grace to which no individual could comprehend. So let it no be known that the God who is, will remain faithful even when we follow our own path contrary to His will. Amen (#God’s way)

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management.

 

A Sure Testimony

We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life.                   – 1 John 1:1-2 (New Living Translation)

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

How many of us believe the current event stories we hear weekly on our radios, read in the papers and watch on television? Do you think the stories are accurate? Do you believe in the reporters? It requires some faith from us to believe in that news story and often times we tend to share it with others wherever our day may take us.

Led by the Holy Spirit, the disciple John (“the one whom Jesus loved”) felt it necessary to write this letter to the Christians living in a Roman empire who desired to exacerbate their faith daily. Many victories were won in the Christians surviving severe persecution but many were beginning to compromise their faith and conform to the world’s standards. False teachers were at an all-time high and the church was on a downward slide away from the Christian faith. The Christians began to grow complacent with the faith and a reminder was needed to encourage the believers to get back on track.

1_john_letter

This testimony from John was a sure testimony. There was no falsehood in his account. For he ate with Jesus, talked with him, heard many of his sermons and saw many of his miracles. John even stayed at the foot of the cross when Jesus was being crucified and never left his side. He wanted to assure true believers that they possessed eternal life and remind them that their faith was genuine so that they could enjoy all the benefits of being God’s children.

However, it would take them to truly live like Christians and not like the world. Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14 For this kind of fellowship is exactly what weakens the Christian commitment, integrity, or standards.

1 John 2-6 walk as Jesus walked

A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ and “whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”-1 John 2:6  To walk today as Christ did we must obey his teachings and follow his example of complete obedience to God and loving service to people. My friend, I challenge you to remember the testimony that was once given to you that brought you into the family of God when you trusted in Jesus as your Savior. In fact, remember your own testimony that while you were yet still a sinner, Christ died for you. –Romans 5:8

Is that not a good enough reason to tell others of his great love? There’s more work to do and people are starving for the Gospel message that could save their souls. I pray that you will continue to share your faith and strengthen your testimony as you live in a right relationship with Jesus Christ. Amen. Be blessed.

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born in November of 1989 in Brooklyn, N.Y. His family later moved to Philadelphia, Pa., and he now resides in Limerick, Pa. In May of 2014, Jason obtained his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Professionally, Jason counsels persons who are homeless, parents, veterans, and others who suffer from various kinds of abuse. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the Great Commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the Gospel to be spread from person-to-person and nation-to-nation. Annually, Jason travels primarily to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year, Haiti Christianity, Inc., visits cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothing, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly, evangelization takes place. Jason is currently the organization’s public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.

A 50/50 Chance

Proverbs 18:18- Flipping a coin can end arguments; it settles disputes between powerful opponents. (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Give us a 50/50 chance to settle this dispute. Give us a 50/50 chance to remain in good graces with you. Give us a 50/50 chance to come to the rationalization that winning is futile, as we know God decides the victor. Therefore, let’s end this argument so we might live in peace. Let’s end this argument for the God who is omnipotent would rather us reach others together, than apart. Let’s end this exasperating charade of personal pride that leaves us puffed up with no needle to deflate our chests. Let’s stop. For arguments like life can be positive or negative, encouraging or depleting, passionate or listless. Hence, may we keep in mind that “avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; as only fools insist on quarreling” (Proverbs 20:3). It’s the reason our countenance should reflect the image of a decorated soldier, one who fought for what they believed in and triumphed over their circumstances. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.
Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management.