Everything In Its Time

Today’s post is from the daily devotional book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. Each devotional is written from the perspective of Jesus speaking to you. The message truly spoke to me!   -Nicole

ecclesiastes3-1STOP TRYING TO WORK THINGS OUT before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today’s agenda. If it isn’t, release it into My care and go on about today’s duties. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: a time for everything, and everything in its time.

A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered. When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have Peace.

Accompanying Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (New International Version)

 

New Life in a Fallen World

And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.” (Genesis 3:17)

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

If you are reading this message today then pause, thank God that you are alive. Thank him for the many blessings that came to you in the past and will come to you today as well in the future. But in our aliveness today there will most likely be many work related things we must do. Every day we awake, our minds, bodies and hearts are strained in some way as we work to make a living. Life was not always such a struggle but when Adam disobeyed God, sin entered into the world. Sin causes disharmony. Sin is a violation against God and can also be against others. It comes in different forms and can only inflict harm in one way or another. There is no good in it. Creation is now altered because of humankind rebellion towards their creator. We now feel the consequences of that original sin going on internal and externally.

Some blame God and say, “Well then, what’s the point of living? I might as well die!” That seems like a hopeless and depressing statement to say. A person who has lost faith in God or one who has not quite realized the ramifications of a relationship without Jesus Christ might question their meaning in life. In fact, historically, that has always been one of humankind’s greatest questions: Why am I here? What is my meaning in life? Well, although life seems to be difficult it is still a remarkable and beautiful experience. For the believer who trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal savior, you have hope, a new life, and purpose.

The Bible makes a striking comparison between Adam and Jesus describing how each man’s individual act determined the fate of the world. “But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:15). There was not only a physical death that occurred through Adam’s disobedience but a spiritual one as well.

The relationship between humankind and God was severed because of sin. The truth is, it’s not that God nor longer wanted an intimate relationship with man. In fact he desires to intimately love man. Man is the only creation in which God can truly relate. However, the relationship between God and man was separated because of sin. God cannot esteem sin. It’s not in his character to do so. It’s impossible for him to accept sin. For the Bible says, “your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and you cannot look on wickedness with favor.” (Habakkuk 1:13).

Throughout the Old Testament we see humankind making blood sacrifices after another to repair the damaged relationship in order to continue to commune with God. But a final blood sacrifice came to settle humankind’s relationship with the father. Every time I hear the gospel, it brings a big smile to my face. Inwardly, my heart gets excited and I feel a deep joy in my spirit. The gospel really is good news! “Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.” (Romans 5:18).

May we remember and focus our relationship with Jesus Christ who points us back to the Father. Our sins are now forgiven past, present and future. “So then, since we have a great high priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”(Hebrews 4:14-16) Amen

-Jason M. Alexandre

 

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born on November 29, 1989 in Brooklyn, New York. However, at two years old he and his family moved to Philadelphia, PA. Later, Jason moved to Limerick, PA where he now resides. Jason is currently working toward obtaining his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. 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 nation to nation. On a yearly basis, Jason primarily goes to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year Haiti Christianity visits different cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothes, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly evangelization takes place.  Jason is currently their public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to be spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively.

 

 

 

To Learn Your Purpose, Give Yourself Away to God

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

During our March 12 radio show, we enjoyed a purposeful conversation with Prophetess Ruth Miranda of Ruth Miranda Ministries and Women With Divine Purpose. Our topic, “Ladies: Are You Living Your Purpose?”  Prophetess Miranda, of Hollywood, Fla., (she says where “the real stars shine”), believes everyone has a purpose and helps other women walk in their God-given callings. The episode continues our series “March with Us, March with Her,” as we showcase great women every Wednesday in March (Women’s History Month) who are equipping other women to live out their God-given purposes.

The oldest of seven born to Puerto Rican parents and raised in Brooklyn, New York, God brought Ruth L. Miranda to Puerto Rico to begin her ministry. Comparing her arrival to the television series “Green Acres” (very rural) she was uncertain of God’s intentions for bringing a city girl to the countryside. She began a radio show ministry that served as the vessel that would prevent a woman’s suicide and would bring another to Christ. Her purpose was being developed.

Pastor Ruth MirandaToday, at 58 and with most of her life committed to ministry alongside her husband of nearly 40 years, this wife, mother, grandmother and faithful woman of God has seen His hand carry her and her family through victorious and painful situations. As a child she began to understand the divine calling on her life as the Spirit of the Lord has anointed her “to preach good tidings unto the meek, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive, and the opening of the prison to those that are bound…” as stated in Isaiah 61:1.

How do you ensure you are walking in your purpose? Here are some nuggets that came from our conversation to help you:

  • Give yourself away to God so HE may reveal His desires for you (Click to hear the song “I Give Myself Away” by William McDowell)–He wants you!
  • Get in His Word so He may reveal to you who He is, and help you better understand your identity in Christ
  • Get in His presence, commune with Him daily, hourly, what have you, to develop your relationship with Him; you can’t know someone without talking with them
  • God’s purpose is unique to you; don’t compare your path to everybody else
  • Realize you’ll go through “seasons” while in your purpose, to undergo further development, growth, refining, instruction to prepare for the next level in your journey (He may begin you in one area to advance you into another)
  • You won’t regret His plans, for He is able to do “exceedingly and abundantly more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20)

Want to learn more? Listen to our conversation here! If you have a pulse, you have a purpose! (Thank you Pastor Kimberly Jones-Pothier)

Created for His Purpose

Dear Friends. I am happy to share with you a guest devotional from a great brother in Christ, Dracy Jenkins. His devotional reminds us that our living has greater meaning, direction and purpose with Jesus at the center of all we do.  It’s a bold statement to make given other belief systems exist. Moreover, our world places its own labels and values on people as they deem worthy—and not through the lens in which Christ views us.   The fact is, people seek other people, things and behaviors to fill voids and find themselves feeling empty and always seeking but never finding the joy, love, peace and security only He can provide.  Our purpose is found in Him. Thank you Dracy! God bless each of you.   -Nicole

“Life is filled with meaning as soon as Jesus Christ enters into it.” — Stephen Neill

 

Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

2 Timothy 1:9-10 (New Living Translation)- For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10- And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.

God’s plan for us was/is to show us His love and grace through His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, we were created with a purpose and for His purpose.  Never allow anyone or anything to define your worth or purpose in life but the love and Word of God through Jesus Christ. The world has its own way to measure a person’s value that cannot provide the peace and joy of Christ. The world’s standards cannot provide the way to our eternal destiny, which was established by Almighty God himself.

When we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, the final puzzle piece of a purpose-filled life and meaning is completed. This doesn’t mean we do not have a journey to embark upon, nor does it mean this journey won’t be filled with the occasional rough road. But it does mean we are on the right road.

Be encouraged today that if you don’t feel valued or don’t see/don’t understand your purpose right now, God values you and will reveal more details of His plan for your life as you continue to move forward and trust Him. Continue to look toward Christ who will make your purpose clear.  God bless you all today with His grace, mercy and favor.

Minister Dracy
After God’s Own Heart Ministries
John 3:16 For God so loved….

A Prayer to Stay Strong

Jeremiah 26:14- “As for me, I am in your hands—do with me as you think best.” (New Living Translation)
Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Father God today we come with open hearts and hands to be led by your purpose. We pray that we seek your will before that of the world. We ask that you equip us with the mental fortitude to stand against the evils that seek to derail us from the path you so illuminated before us. Father, we know right from wrong, clean from unclean, and are made aware of how to live according to your purpose (Romans 8:28). May we realize our limitations and boast all the more proudly about our weaknesses, for it is your power that enables us to complete our everyday tasks (1 Corinthians 12:9). God there is none like you. Thus, may we close with my grandfather’s favorite epithets, which describes God as the lily of the valley, Jehovah Shalom, which means Lord of Peace. In Christ’s name we pray. 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.  At his current age of 24, 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. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

Remove “I” from Your Plans

I love today’s post from Voices Against the Grain guest blogger, Herbert Bowen, Jr. How many times have we/I pursued our own plans to find we’re going nowhere fast or things aren’t going as they should? Sometimes we pursue things we think we should be doing but we haven’t sought God for direction—He who knows us best. You may be a lean 6’2 though it doesn’t mean you’re destined to be a high-fashion runway model. However, God does have unique plans designed just for you. Ask Him first.  -Nicole

Proverbs 16:1 “We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.”  (Or, “To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue.” –New International Version)

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Oh Lord I try to walk, but I stumble. I create magnificent plans, but they never come to fruition. I am tired, but I find no rest. I stumble, I create, and I am tired, has anyone caught onto the destructive trend found within these statements? Well, it’s the use of the letter “I.” “I” is a tool that causes division and selfishness. “I” is what moves us away from God in search of an alternative route. Thus, how smooth is the road you have now begun to travel? Have you reached a destination of completion or success? Probably not because the answer is found within this scripture, FOR GOD GIVES US THE RIGHT ANSWER.

See, it’s the process that usually bears little resistance, or the process that falls right into your lap devoid of any contention, these processes once prayed on contain the holy seal of God. Therefore, seek and ye shall find the answer God is waiting to share with you. 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.  At his current age of 23, 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. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

Overcoming Discontent in a Purpose-Filled Life

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Hi Dear Friends. It’s no secret that life has its ups and downs. Some people seem to endure storm after storm. The challenges can range from a need for healing in our bodies, troubles with our children or relationship, navigating through an unexpected financial crisis to desiring a dream fulfilled that God seems to have placed on hold.  We’d rather God immediately remove the discomfort we feel in such situations, so we can get on to enjoying life. But sometimes it seems He’s taking His sweet time at our expense.  😦  What happens when life’s struggles, our expressed discontent as we wait on God to answer our prayers meets a purpose-filled life? Read the two scenarios juxtaposed below to know how God has “got you” as you wait for Him to work it out. Thank you Herbert for today’s post on “Voices Against the Grain.”

Job 9:25

My life passes more swiftly than a runner. It flees away without a glimpse of happiness.

We live in a realm of discontent. We live in a realm of pure joy. We suffer through the night and find comfort in the morning. The period of unrest steals our sleep and burdens our minds. We find no shelter in the storm and have fallen victim to the strength of the mighty winds. We are shackled and chained with the weight of finances, the future, etc. We are on the verge of giving up. Where is our rescue? Where is our aid, for this life has yielded some good, but the constant bombardment of evil and uncertainty snatches the little peace we have. Will there be a solution? Will all this work be for naught? Please listen, stop, quiet down, and wipe your tears. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, for the Lord knows all your needs” (Matthew 6:32) for if we “seek God in all we do, he will show us which path to take” (Proverbs 3:6). Thus, focus and flee from anxiety because God has you.

1 John 3:21-22

And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

After reading this verse for many years, it now makes sense. “Whatever we ask, we shall receive.” This doesn’t mean if we ask for instant riches, or a new car, or a man/woman to fulfill our lives that God will grant it. For it is those assumptions that have led us to look up toward the sky saying, “Do you hear me Lord?”

However, there is more, “because we must obey and do things that please him.” In other words, what we ask for shall be granted if it is aligned with God’s will and purpose for our lives. Riches have not come because we are still learning and have work to do. That car is in a garage waiting to be driven when God deems us ready. That man/woman is out there, but like a bee to a flower, you must let God bring them to you, (like Irina was brought to me). Therefore, make your petitions known to God and through confidence and discernment He will grant your desires. 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.  At his current age of 23, 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. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.