Can We Smell God On You?

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2nd Corinthians 2:14

The fragrance industry has made billion of dollars selling products that appeal to our sense of smell.  These days, aromatherapy is booming business, with lotions, oils, soaps, and other fragrant products that are known to stimulate certain moods in humans.

In our text for today’s message, the Apostle Paul wrote these words to the believers in the church at Corinth, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

People of God, as believers, everywhere we go–in every place–the fragrance of His knowledge is supposed to be diffused (or dispersed into the atmosphere).

I have a question:  Is that what’s happening when we show up at work?  How about the nail salon or the barber shop?   How about executive board meeting at the church?

What fragrance is being diffused when someone jumps in front of us on line at CVS?

Tell us…after you take your shower, dry off, use deodorant, lotion, and other fragrances, when you get dressed and leave the house…

Can we smell God on you?

 

Get On The Good Foot!

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Proverbs 4:27b

Back in the ’70’s, the late great James Brown wrote a song entitled, “Get On The Good Foot.” Borrowing the title of his hit, it calls mind what we as believers have been instructed by the Lord and His messengers to do.

You see, before we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, all of us “walked in the path of the ungodly.” Of course, some of us walked more frequently than others; some of us walked on paths others dared not trod; and some of us walked more heavily than others, trampling every thing on the path before us.

However, that was then…now that we are believers, our “walk” should have changed. Our feet should not be frequently found on the same paths, trampling everything underfoot.

To keep it simple, King Solomon wrote these words of instruction in Proverbs 4:27b, “Remove your foot from evil.”

People of God, the Word declares, “Remove your foot…” We have been empowered through the Holy Spirit to decide where our feet will land. The feet of a believer have no business in the company, on the territory, or anywhere near evil.

Remove your foot from evil.

Get on the good foot!

Go To Sleep!

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Psalm 121:3b

It is my belief that all of us have difficulty sleeping sometimes.  Whether it is because we are sleeping in an unfamiliar place, on an uncomfortable surface, or–in my case–our sleep is interrupted by the cries of a baby in a nearby bedroom.

Yet, there are those who have trouble sleeping because of the things occupying space in their minds.  Financial issues.  Health problems.  Relationship or marital conflict.  Church-related concerns.

In Psalm 121, the 3rd verse reads, “He who keeps you will not slumber.” 

My friends, God, who is your Keeper, is always awake.  He is alert and attentive to what is going on in your lives.  You don’t know what God is doing on your behalf “behind the scenes,” but trust me, God is always up to something!

Therefore, it doesn’t make sense for both of you to be awake all night.

Tonight, toss and turn no more!  Get in your bed, get comfortable, and…

Go to sleep!

Clean It Up!

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2nd Corinthians 7:1

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the believers in the church at Corinth, he wrote these words, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” In 2nd Corinthians 6, he had just advised, “For you are the temple of the living God.”

People of God, we spend a lot of time making sure our homes are clean and neat. We spend money on cleaning products, and some of us even retain the services of housekeepers so we never have to say, “Excuse the mess.”

But what about our temples?

Why do we keep our homes clean, but our mouths are filthy?

Why do we make our beds every morning, but fail to make an effort to restore broken relationships?

Why is everything lined up in the kitchen cabinets, but our spiritual lives are out of line with the Word of God?

There is no excuse for the mess in our spiritual lives! The Apostle said, “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit.”

We have work to do today.

Clean it up!

It Doesn’t Take A Crowd!

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Matthew 18:20

In this era, we are bombarded with media images of what a successful ministry looks like. Large crowds of people packed inside newly-constructed mega-churches or arenas. A well-known pastor.

Hence, those who serve the Lord in small buildings, no buildings, with small congregations, in the mission field, in prison or nursing homes, or even through one-on-one evangelism are often left feeling as if God is not with them or is not smiling down on their ministries.

Let me encourage you on today…Jesus declared these words, recorded in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

My fellow servant, the Lord is not waiting for the crowd to show up before He does! He is waiting for you and at least one person who is gathered with you in His Name.

If a few other folks happen to show up, that’s fine, too. However, you don’t need those you think you do!

Go forth in your ministry, man or woman of God!

It doesn’t take a crowd!

There Is Nothing Too Hard For God!

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Jeremiah 32:17

Has anyone besides me ever been told your situation is hopeless?

Your credit score cannot be overlooked? Your relationship is beyond repair? Your condition is inoperable? Your children are beyond help?

I have a question for you…

Who have you been listening to?

The prophet Jeremiah recorded these words in the 32nd chapter, verse 17: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”

Regardless of what you may have heard, it was God Who created the Heavens and the Earth. He is in full control of everything. Not your creditor. Not your boo. Not your physician or surgeon. Not the social worker or school counselor assigned to your children.

Do not allow the voices of those who say “it can’t happen” to decide the course of your life.

Your life is in the Hands of God, and…

There is nothing too hard for God!

Keep An Overcomer’s Spirit!

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Proverbs 18:14

Like me, many of you have been battling illness for a long time. Every single day, you wake up, knowing you will be dealing with pain, medication dosages, doctor visits, or injections.

As a result, your spirit may become dampened. You may begin to feel drained. Defeated. Hopelessly caught in a never ending cycle. You may even begin to wonder if you will ever be healthy.

If this is your testimony, I have a word of encouragement for you. The writer of Proverbs 18 recorded these words in the 14th verse, “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness;”.

Of note is the writer said, “The spirit of a man (woman)”. Yes, for those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells within us; however, His is not the spirit being referred to here. It is our spirit–whether we are going to be optimists or pessimists–that will sustain us in sickness.

My friends, it is your spirit that will sustain you. Not the doctor. Not the surgeon. Not the medication. Not the transplant. Not the chemotherapy.

The overcomer’s spirit you faithfully maintain and nourish on a daily basis–regardless of the negative reports; it is this spirit that will sustain you. This spirit will keep your on your feet. This spirit will keep your head lifted high. This spirit will keep a smile on your face and joy in your heart.

You are still here because you are an overcomer. Therefore…

Keep an overcomer’s spirit!

The Lord Is Not A Spectator!

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Psalm 35:1b

Most of us are familiar with the behavior of spectators, because at one time or another, we’ve been one.  Whether at a graduation, sporting event, professional boxing match, and sadly in a church pew, we were present only to witness the event.

We were not on the program.  We did not participate.  We were not on the field.  We were in attendance only to watch what was going on.

We were spectators.

Sadly, in this age, when someone is being brutally assaulted and crying out for help, instead of onlookers intervening, they are more likely to pull out their cellphones to record the violence.  They pulled out their phones because they were only in attendance to watch what was going on.

They were spectators.

However, when David found himself in the midst of a battle, he cried out to God (recorded in Psalm 35:1b, “Fight against those who fight against me.”  David knew he could ask for God’s “backup,” because David had previous experience with God.  Look at what David declared in the 27th Psalm, verse 5, “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.”

My friends, whoever has the audacity to rise up against you, do not fear.  Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Believe me when I tell you…when the Lord shows up, He’s not showing up to watch you suffer!

The Lord is not a spectator!

 

 

You Can Do It!

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Philippians 4:13

Almost seventeen years ago, the Lord set up a divine appointment between Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore and myself.  Dr. Baltimore–an internationally-known evangelist and church planter–was in revival at a church I was serving as a musician.

The Lord had laid upon my heart to plant the Rehoboth Open Outreach Ministries, but I was afraid.  I was happily serving as the Assistant to my pastor, Bishop John H. Gilmore, at the New Hope Institutional Baptist Church, but I knew God was summoning me for a ministry for those with “special spiritual needs.”

At the conclusion of the service, the Lord said, “Go speak to him.”  I said to the Lord, “I don’t know this man.  Plus, he doesn’t have time to talk to me.”

Nevertheless, in obedience, I walked up to him, introduced myself, and shared with him what the Lord was calling me to do.

Dr. Baltimore grabbed my hand, looked me in the eye, and spoke these four words that are still ringing in my ears:  You can do it! 

By faith in the Lord Jesus, I did it!  Rehoboth Open Outreach Ministries was birthed in 2001, the Rehoboth Christian Church of NY was planted in 2004, and the Rehoboth Christian Church of VA was planted in 2017.

The YouVersion Bible App’s “verse of the day” is declaring the same message on this morning, found in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

My friends, this is a simple declaration for those of us who have given our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Whatever God has called you do–whatever gifts He has given to you–do not be afraid to go forth.

The Lord Jesus will give you the strength, courage, and resources to get it done.

Believe God and get going!

You can do it! 

 

 

Stand Up!

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Numbers 23:19

At places people gather for long periods of time–airports, train stations, doctor’s offices, churches, etc–there are seating areas available, because unless we’ve been trained to do so, most of us get tired of standing after awhile.

Sadly, there are believers who have grown weary of standing on the promises of God, and have decided to sit down.

Someone reading this right now is sitting down.  You are sitting on God’s promises for your business.  You are sitting on God’s promises over your relationship with your spouse.  You are sitting on God’s promises over your ministry.  You have grown weary of standing, and you have chosen to sit down.

I have a word for you this morning:  Stand up!  [Do it in the natural–stand to your feet!]  For the Lord put this word in the mouth of the prophet Balaam, recorded in Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent.  Has He said, and will He not do?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

My friends, God is not a liar–satan is!  Whatever God said He is going to do in your life,  He is going to do it!

Psalm 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”  By all means, rest for a while when you get weary of waiting, but after you’ve rested..

Stand up!