Weekly Spiritual Digest: Don’t Be Lukewarm or Jesus Will Spit You Out!


http://pastorforthepoor.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html
http://pastorforthepoor.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation:

‘I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.'” (‭Revelation‬ ‭3‬:‭14-19‬ NLT)

Have you ever had lukewarm coffee? If you had, what did it taste like? Was it delicious? Did it bring splendor to your taste buds? Or was it terrible, which you frowned, spat it back into your cup, and threw it away? Like this analogy, Jesus Christ–the one who is the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation–will do the same towards us if we are lukewarm in our faith.

You say you are a Christian but you don’t tithe to the church. You don’t mind tithing (more) to a bar or a club for spirits of a different kind but when it comes to the church there is an exception. It doesn’t work like that with Jesus Christ. Jesus would rather have you cold, a non-believer, than lukewarm. He says, “I wish that you were one or the other!” That way he can work with you, if you are cold! It’s better to be honest than dishonest. For those who are Christians, it’s important for us to remember this verse because we too can be found in bad taste without us knowing it.

Remember that Jesus only warns us of the worldly desires that destroy our lives (lust, money, greed, vengeance, pleasurable pursuits, etc.). Enjoy God’s creation and live in harmony with others. He doesn’t carry a gauntlet and strikes his children down for disobeying his word. But like lukewarm coffee, Jesus will spit you out if you are lukewarm. In other words, Jesus hates lukewarm coffee. He doesn’t mind having cold coffee (with no ice) but he prefers hot coffee because Christians are supposed to be on fire for him–Loyalty and Devotion for Christ.

So this week check your temperature. If you believe you are lukewarm, then take small steps to make your faith hot and not lukewarm.

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Do Not Throw Stones and Forgive!


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Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” 

(‭John‬ ‭8‬:‭1-11‬ NLT)

Poetic Justice. We are blinded by the works of man (media) that we forget the real truth of Jesus and his teachings on this earth: forgiveness. We are taught to stone others through name calling and finger pointing, and we have forgotten that we ourselves are sinners too. Jesus with all his power, wisdom, and Might, knew what she did was wrong. But he also knew what the Pharisees were doing was just as bad if not worse. And so with his calm and coolness, he outsmarted the Pharisees and turned a sinner into a believer in Christ!

I’m not saying that sins should not go unpunished–there will always be consequences for the wicked acts of sin–but we should really (really) follow this example and not throw stones. THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO ACHIEVE JUSTICE AND THROWING STONES IS NOT ONE OF THEM IN THE LEAST.

Remember to always count to 10 when you are angry (maybe draw in the sand) and remember what Jesus did for this women while he was cornered by his enemies. I would like to think that Jesus, when he stopped down to draw in the sand, wrote the word “Forgive.”

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled, Jesus Has a Place for Us in Heaven


belovedson (princesdailyjournal)

credit source: imgarcade.com

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4

The hardest thing in life is the death of a loved one. As death is a natural part of life, it should not discourage us from losing faith in Jesus Christ–for there is Life after death. Through the power of his great resurrection, Christ has showed us all that there is Paradise. Christ is stronger than death; he overcame and so shall we. Don’t be afraid!Rejoice and be happy because He lives! He lives not just in our hearts but in our spirits, which will endure after death.

Encourage one another, in times of mourning. But rejoice knowing that Jesus has prepared rooms for us all in Heaven–the same place where all of our loved ones are–and there will be no tears when we arrive.

Weekly Spiritual Digest: God’s Time is Beautiful


prince's daily journal: god's time is beautiful

What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3‬:‭9-12‬ NLT)

This verse reminds me of my darkest days in High School, when I did not believe myself to be intelligent or competent–or even handsome–to accomplish the dreams that I have set out for myself. Left and right, my peers would put me down for anything I said or done that they didn’t see as “cool.” I struggled, for 5 years, to find my identity; more so God’s “wondrous” plan in my life, which I thought at the time was non-existent. But I am here to say that it does exist and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The moment that I realized God’s beautiful timing, was when I reconnected with Dr. Cornel West in Boston, Ma,–a place where I have called my second home. When I saw him, I cried because of what I have done since his phone call: I graduated from High School; obtained a college degree; traveled to Oxford and Washington, D.C.; established an apartment of my own in Boston; created my own career path; and attending Law School.

For 8 years I endured pain and disappointment. But when I saw Dr. West that night (from the time I heard him as a teenager, to that night I saw him as a man) I realized God’s Timing–and there are still great things to come for me.

Each accomplishment (and each failure) of my life were like music notes to a symphony. But when God strung them together and conducted them like he did that night (in Boston), it was just beautiful. It was one the greatest symphonies I have ever heard. And it would not have happened without God’s Timing.

So when times are ugly, remember that God’s time is always beautiful. You may think that you are suffering now, but remember that God has a trick up his sleeve to show you personally that His time is always beautiful.

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Be Golden! Let the Fire Refine Your Faith!


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So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

(1 Peter 1:6, 7 NLT)

This verse came to me on May 18th, 2014, when I was listening to a word of God from my pastor Jaime Perdomo at my church, La Iglesia Cristiana Nueva Vida. My Pastor, preached to me and to the congregation (in Spanish) on how our faith is like gold–but far more precious.

At first I could not fully understand his words, but when he so passionately repeated, over and over, on how necessary it was to put our faith over the fire–the trials and tribulations–so it can become Gold in Christ, I was totally floored. And it was at that moment that I finally understood his sermon and God’s plan in my life. For the first time, everything became clear:

The many fires in my life (or the trials and tribulations) were not there to torture me. The fires in my life were there to REFINE my faith, so it can BECOME GOLDEN–so I can become strong and pure in Christ.

Thank you Pastor Jaime for reminding of God’s plan, for showing me that the fires in our life are there to refine and purify my faith.

So this week and beyond, see the fire (or trial and tribulation) in your life for what it is: a tool which you can use to refine your faith and Be Golden in God’s Eyes!

Sunday Praise: Your Faith is Like Gold! (Pastor Jaime Perdomo)

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Loving One Another


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We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭16-21‬ NLT)

If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. (‭1 John‬ ‭3‬:‭14-15‬ NLT)

Love is life and hate is death. The minute you have hate (for a person) is the minute you have death. And if you have eternal hate then you will have eternal death. Hate is a death wish that is waiting to happen, so choose the alternative which is love. Let go of the rage inside your heart and be free.

Recognize evil and it’s power which separates people. And don’t place people on the same pedestal as the devil.

Men and women are born sinners; not demons.

And as such we should love, and not hate, men and women or each other. Pray for them and do not hurt them. In times of trials and tribulations, God is testing our love. But in order to pass from suffering and death to everlasting life, we must love each other.

“I am what I am because somebody loved me” –Dr. Cornel West

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Control Your Tongue


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Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

(‭James‬ ‭3‬:‭1-12‬ NLT)

My favorite quote that stems from this verse is this:

“Sometimes it [the tongue] praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.”

This is such a prolific message because it tells us: if you curse at your fellow man and woman, you are cursing at God himself because they were made in the image of God. So to curse at another is to curse at God in his face. As much as we want to shame people, by cursing, for their wicked acts, remember that the act of cursing is, in itself, a wicked act–so the shame should also be placed on you.

We hold a powerful weapon; so be mindful of what you say. We live in a wicked world but it doesn’t mean that we have to curse at one another, in order to make it right. So continue to love one another, and bless each other with words of praise.

Prince Sefa-Boakye interviews Scott Lively, Pastor Running For Massachusetts Governor


Scott LivelyDr. Scott Lively is a full-time missionary pastor who preaches the word of God in the inner-city of Springfield, Massachusetts. Scott is running for one reason: to bring Biblical values back into the politics of Massachusetts: Anti-Abortion, Natural Family, and Basic Conservative Values. Values, which he said still defined the grassroots of the Republican Party. Dr. Scott Lively is a man of many trades: he is a building contractor, Christian social activist, and a constitutional lawyer–all the while earned his doctorate in Theology. He is a fifth generation Massachusetts citizen and his family has been here since the 1620s.

(UR Business Network): Scott Lively, Pastor Running for Massachusetts Governor

Scott tells me that he is grieved by the decline of Commonwealth’s neo-christian values–values he said has been handed down for five generations. He is tired of seeing the rise of the Marxist philosophy, pervading his beloved Commonwealth state and his country, and wants to put a stop to it. Two tasks that he will accomplish as the next governor of Massachusetts is Micro-financing in inner-city neighborhoods and a citizen oversight panel to scrutinize corruption in government.

As a full-time missionary he has traveled to over 40 countries, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to countries (in Africa) that have little resources. It was during his missionary work that he saw the power of Micro-financing, which donors gave small loans to inspired farmers and push-cart merchants and taught them basic business and entrepreneurial skills. The results, he said, were tremendous and the people in Africa were able to pull their own bootstraps, pull themselves up out of poverty, and be successful. Dr. Lively says, he sees too many inner-city families (going back to three generations) that are dependent on the government. He quotes a Jewish proverb: “If you give a man fish, he eats for a day. But if you teach a man how to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” This is what inspires him to break “government-dependency” in inner-city neighborhoods. Then lastly he wants to institute a citizen oversight panel chosen by lottery, to oversee the corruption in government and have a panel of lawyers to prosecute corrupted public officials. He sees too much greed in politics and wants to put a stop to it.

Dr. Lively understands that he speaks differently from the rest of the candidates, but one thing he wants to tell you is that he is honest and a straight-talker, even if you don’t agree with his views. He does not engage in mudslinging, he is not here to pander votes, and he is not a cardboard cut-out. He is an independent who wishes to restore Christian values back into the Commonwealth.

If you wish to reach out to Dr. Scott Lively and his campaign, go to www.livelyforgovernor.com

Weekly Spiritual Digest: I Will Praise The Lord at All Times


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I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles. (‭Psalms‬ ‭34‬:‭1-6‬ NLT)

Today my church gave praise to the Most High. We let go all of our fears and confided our trust in HIM. We lifted our hands and exalted his name together.

Today praise The Lord and constantly speak of his praises.

(Photo taken at La Iglesia Cristiana de Nueva Vida)

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Don’t Harden Your Hearts!


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(Photo Credit: Scott Fairchild)

“That is why the Holy Spirit says,

‘Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years. So I was angry with them, and I said, ‘Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’ So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”

Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭3‬:‭7-14‬ NLT)

Like a good son to his father, always listen and never harden your heart. God loves you and what he says is perfect; he has feelings too. We will never understand his great plan, but that doesn’t mean we harden our hearts nor lose our faith in HIM.

Don’t Harden Your Hearts Today! Live and Be Faithful to God till The Very End.

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Live A New Life


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Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭12-15‬ NLT)

Live a new life and make allowances for people’s faults. God has forgiven you so must forgive others. When I think of starting a new, I think of butterflies. Butterflies symbolizes love, peace, and rebirth among other things.

So today be thankful, forgive others, and fly like a butterfly.

Weekly Spiritual Digest: Living By The Spirit’s Power


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So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭16-26‬ NLT)

Whenever I am lost or confused of God’s plan for my life, I will read this verse. The power of the Holy Spirit will never be bound by any law because it is the law–and there is no guilt when you let the Holy Spirit guide your life versus the spirit of sin.

Recognize what is clean and what is dirty. Knowing what you want from life will help you make a clear decision as to what spirit you want to be guided by.

So this week, choose the Holy Spirit and let it guide you to peace and happiness.