Don’t Forget the Journey:

Exiting 2022 and Entering 2023

SUP With Me: Words of Inspiration

The year of 2022 has been quite the journey for us all. We have encountered new people, perhaps parted from some as well. We have experienced both gains and losses in many ways. Perhaps you have felt moments of complete push and drive and moments of slow momentum. However, what we all have in common is that we have lived through it in 2022 and have now embarked on the beginning of a New Year. Now what do we say to our experience from last year? Do we reflect on what we would consider to be negative and determine how to pursue the positive? Or do we conclude that our life experiences have been purposed and presented not to hurt us, but to grow us into gaining true perspective on life’s journey.

In the book of Joshua chapters 1-10, we see how he led the Israelites to the promised land and how he and his warriors conquered each territory from AI to the Southern and Northern cities. With all the great victories the Lord continued to show Himself mighty, strong and faithful in the face of the nations. In Joshua 10 there was a King named Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem. He had heard of all the great victories that Joshua and the Israelites had, and he became very furious. He even planned to take down Gibeon who had formed peace with Israel. Due to this, Joshua agreed to help Gibeon defeat them. The Lord once again told Joshua “Do not be afraid of them, for I have handed them over to you. Not one of them will be able to stand against you.” Joshua kept faith in the word of the Lord despite how large the enemy appeared to be and every time the Lord was right there, giving them victory. The Lord allowed hailstones to fall upon the enemy’s soldiers and that day more of the enemy died from hailstones than the Israelites killed with the sword, Joshua 10:11.

As they fled before Israel, the LORD threw large hailstones on them from the sky along the descent of Beth-horon all the way to Azekah, and they died. More of them died from the hail than the Israelites killed with the sword.

Joshua 10:11

When we reflect on this story, we see that the journey of the Israelites was not easy. They had to face many armies, many attacks, in which each time the Lord gave them the victory. Their disobedience prior to entering the promised land helped them to see that the Lord had still been faithful despite their choices. They were able to see that the Lord was a God of another chance, to those who submit their hearts back to Him. They were able to see that the Lord would never forsake them, and they could depend on him regardless of the matter. Joshua and the people of Israel’s faith, was being built, tested and tried. It was there through their faith that they experienced their victory!

Let us all be very intentional to reflect on our journey as we move forward into 2023. There is much to be gained that will help us remain focused on God’s promises and committed to following Him. Remembering the experience was necessary to progress you forward!

Happy New Year!

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The Reflection

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SUP With Me: Words of Inspiration

The Reflection

The Lord is worthy of our gratitude, hearts of praise, and worship,

The Lord has been our protection and brought us through many hardships,

The Lord remains a strong tower and a refuge to the weak and those seeking safety.

~

Who Has given Himself while yet seeing the unfaithfulness at hand,

Who Has given Himself despite knowing all would not receive Him as their own,

There is no one like the Lord.

~

I pray that we will acknowledge our moments of dissatisfaction, ungratefulness, and murmuring,

 I pray that from this reflection our hearts will be filled with repentance,

I pray that from this moment we will not waste another day to rejoice and give praise to our Lord, even in the tough times, for He still has been faithful,

I pray that we will be content in whatever season we may find ourselves in,

I pray that our faith will not be weakened, but that it grows in the truth of our Lord Jesus,

I pray that the Lord will reveal Himself to those that desire to see,

I pray that wisdom, knowledge, and understanding will be gained and the abundance of life in Jesus will manifest.

~

I pray that as we live out each day, that we will not give up and keep the faith,

I pray that we will show grace and forgive, for we too have been forgiven,

I pray that we will love without restraint,

I pray that we will laugh, dance, and exude the joy of the Lord in our hearts!

~

Reflect and never miss the moments, they help us to grow and become stronger in who and whose we are!

Be Blessed with great Love,

Glory Givers

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Thankful Living

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SUP With Me: Words of Inspiration

Thankful Living

God is so good, that from the very beginning before creating us, He considered us. He was intentional about the purpose in which He would create us for. God has a beautiful plan for us as His people. He implemented our redemptive solution through the life and sacrifice of Christ Jesus, all being a part of His great plan for His people. This is the importance of connecting with God’s truth and pursing it through Faith! We must understand and know that we were created as a vital source, to pursue and carry out God’s plan, which truly gives us a different perspective of how we live. Our lives impact the lives of others, just as Christ Jesus’ life impacted the life of all humanity.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been journeying through the book of Joshua. It has truly been amazing to read this book and to see how God revealed himself and why it is imperative to live in obedience to Him. As we look at the life of the Israelites, we read how they had the choice to pursue God through obedience or to reject Him and deal with the consequence. We discovered that their disobedience came from a lack of faith. The reason that some did not make it into the promised land and died there in the wilderness, was simply because they chose not to believe. Their ability to look past the timing of their journey hindered them from recognizing the truth that God’s time was and will always be perfect. They did not reflect on their faith and how a lack thereof manifested in their disobedience towards God, leading to their captivity in Egypt and their extended journey through the wilderness.

God is a just God; He is sovereign, and He requires our obedience without compromise because He knows that His plan is perfect and apart from it, we will not prosper. God’s plan protects, His plan always includes His provision, His plan is blessed and purposed for us to see Him in His Glory while experiencing once more, His love for us as His people. In Joshua Chapter 4, following the Israelites crossing of the Jordan River, God instructs Joshua to select twelve men from the people, one man for each tribe. Their purpose was to take twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River where the Levitical priest had been standing with the Ark of the covenant (a box containing the 10 commandments), as the Israelites crossed the river. The stones would be used as a memorial for all the generations to come.

21and he said to the Israelites, “In the future, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of these stones? ’

22you should tell your children, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’

23For the Lord your God dried up the water of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up before us until we had crossed over.

Johsua 4:21-23

God makes it known that He desires for their children to know and remember what their Lord has done. How He dried up the water of the Jordan River until they crossed over, just as He had done to the Red Sea. Our God always makes a way, He is Jehovah Jireh the Lord our provider!

“This is so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord’s hand is mighty, and so that you may always fear the Lord your God.”

Joshua 4:24

Witness the salvation of the Lord, let us be steadfast in our Faith, let us remain connected to the vine. Let us live out the purpose God has created us for from the very beginning. Living with hearts and minds of obedience to Him, that we may see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!

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God Appoints the Time & Equips You for the Position

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God Appoints the Time & Equips You for the Position

In the book of Joshua 1: 1-2, Moses a servant of the Lord who led the Israelites out of the captivity of King Pharoah in pursuit of the promised land from God, died. Now a new leader was appointed to lead the Israelites. The Lord spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant and tells him that the time has come for him to lead His people, the Israelites, into the land in which He had given to them.

Joshua 1:5-7 (CSB)

5No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you.

6“Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their ancestors to give them as an inheritance.

7Above all, be strong and very courageous to observe carefully the whole instruction my servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go.

Joshua 1:5-7 (CSB)

The Lord reassured Joshua that no one would be able to stand up against him for as long as he lived. The Lord told him that he would always be with him and would never leave him. He encouraged him to be “Strong and Courageous.” The Lord instructed Joshua to be careful to obey all the instructions Moses had given to him and to not deviate from them. The Lord made it clear that if Joshua was intentional about following His commands, then he would be successful in everything that he would do.

The Lord desired prosperity in Joshua as a Leader, but there were conditions in which this prosperity would come. Joshua 1:8 says, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

As we reflect on all that has been written and expressed through the word of the Lord, we can see that His will is truly to prosper us in His appointed purpose for our lives, and that He is faithful to be with us from beginning to the end, leading us each step of the way. (More of this can be seen when you read the entirety of Joshua). It is easy for us to desire to succeed at all that we do, however we can not miss the truth that prosperity and success ONLY comes when we have followed the Lord’s plan and direction. It comes when we have submitted our heart to His word that we can lead according to His will and desire.

Wisdom, knowledge and understanding only comes from God, therefore if we do not study His word continually, we will not be equipped to handle the responsibility of Leadership in any manner it may be presented. Examples of this could be a Father leading his family, a Commander leading his or her troops, a teacher leading their students, or a Captain of a Basketball team leading their teammates. To lead successfully and prosper it requires first following God’s lead! When this is done, we will also lead with strength and courage knowing that we are not abandoned in our position, but in fact we are covered and supported by the Lord.

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When We Truly Trust God…

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Sup With Me: Words of Inspiration

When We Truly Trust God…

Do you really trust God? When we read and think about the word of God, we have to be able to process that it was inspired by Him and written for us, His people. We must be able to trust in God through His word and allow this trust to continue to be strengthened by our lived experiences, which builds our testimonies. Our testimonies give us something to hold on to and increases our Faith in Him while assuring that we can trust God, as He is the creator, author and controller of our lives.

In order to truly trust God, we must realize that our lives are not our own.

19 Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. So, glorify God with your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CSB)

This scripture describes us yielding to God’s perfect plan and will that He has for our lives. Once we acknowledge that only His plan will do, we can easily trust Him for all things in life. We will give up our own thoughts and interpretations, and solely depend on God’s knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. We will begin to put Proverbs 3:5-6 into action without leaning to our own understanding.

I can’t help but think of Abram (later known as Abraham) in Genesis 15 when he questioned God after He came upon him in a vision. Often times we reflect on past and current situations and circumstances to determine what will happen next in our lives. Initially, Abram did not think that God could do anything for him because he hadn’t witnessed and received the thing which he was believing God for – a son. Abram could have continued to stay in this mindset, leaned to his own understanding, and not trust God. Thank God he didn’t because God was good for all of His promises, including the many descendants Abram was promised, including me and you!

In Genesis 15:7, the Lord reminded Abram of what he had done for him. He also explained to Abram how his descendants would face hard times through slavery for 400 years. Although suffering would ensue, there was much more that God had promised for Abram and his descendants, but trust was a must in order for these things to come to past. Our difficult situations and circumstances don’t mean that the road has ended or that what God has promised is no longer in reach.

So, let’s put ALL of our trust in God knowing that He has the ultimate plan for us, His people, despite what may try to come in between or hinder that plan (sometimes even our own selves). So, let the mind of Christ also be in you so that we can live out the plan and will He has for us.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 2:5 (KJV)

God’s Will: The Passage to Spiritual Freedom

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God’s Will: The passage to Spiritual Freedom

Have you ever felt stuck wanting to do right, but finding yourself back in the same life draining activities or mindset? Have you felt defeated, weighed down and maybe even hopeless? There is a remedy for your soul, and it is Christ Jesus.

Galatians 5:1

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. NKJV

God’s will for us is to live and forever remain in freedom. God has seen what we cannot and knows in His great wisdom the damage that sin has on us. Within this verse we are encouraged not to be entangled with the yoke (the chain, the stronghold) of bondage again. For us to be steadfast (firm, fixed) in the liberty that Christ has won for us, we must commit our hearts to reading and meditating on His word that we do not live against His will.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119 (NIV)

The more we read, talk to God and listen to God’s word, the stronger we spiritually become to defend our freedom given to us through Christ Jesus. Our flesh (the desires we want that does not please God) becomes weakened and our spirit begins to flourish with new strength.  We must always allow the Spirit of God to lead us, at all times. We do not want to forfeit our freedom in exchange for becoming a slave or servant to sin (reinstating the yoke of bondage upon our life). Jesus is the way, He is the one that we must follow, lean and depend on.

24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5:24-25

Hold on to your spiritual freedom and never let it go, stay free!

True Worship to God

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True Worship to God

Reference Scripture: John 4:23 (CSB)

23But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him.

In order for us to thrive and become true worshipers of God, we must first acknowledge whether we are living in truth or deceiving ourselves. The deception is when one is claiming to be in fellowship with God, yet is still living a life of darkness, willingly carrying out sin.

1 John 1: 5-6 states, “5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him. 6If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” and yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth.”

The way to combat sin as a believer is to not only be a “hearer” of the word but be a “doer” of the word. We must actively participate in doing the will of God. This represents the outward manifestation of our Faith.

22But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
23Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like someone looking at his own face in a mirror.
24For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of person he was.
25But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who works—this person will be blessed in what he does.

James 1:22-25

When we practice this our actions become a testament to the world; hence we are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)

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The Journey: A Good Work Starts with You

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The Journey: A Good Work Starts with You

The beauty of God is, He loves us so much that He did not leave it up to us to invent a way of being without a standard. In fact, He used His followers, giving them inspiration through using His word, illustrate how we are to conduct ourselves in the world.

Philippians 2:1-5

1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?

2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

In these scriptures, Paul was asking Christ followers a question and followed up with a response on true submission to Christ and the character one is to possess. This was brilliant! This passage of scripture helps to inform us of Christ’s character and remind us that if we belong to Him, then it is shown in this specific way. We are to love one another, work together and be of one mind and purpose. God created us with many differences, however, when we believe in Him, we should all have one thing in common and that is Glorifying His name. We are to be tender and compassionate toward one another. We are to be patient and kind, allowing room for our personalities to be shown and used to complete God’s purpose. There is none greater than the other, we are equal. We are all sinners saved by God’s Grace blessed with the opportunity to fulfill His purpose within the earth. There should be peace and joy amongst us with fruitful conversation.

Ephesians 4:29

29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

NLT

If we as believers are divided, then we can not accomplish the will of the Lord here in the earth. We can not reach the lost and extend God’s love when we do not extend it graciously to one another, despite our differences. Our differences are not new to God, but it is how He chose to make us. We all have different color hair, skin, height, body shapes, dictation of speech, come from different sides of the neighborhood, different degrees or none at all, but those differences were never meant to keep us apart. As the body of Christ, we must come together with our differences believing that God will use them for His Glory. They were not given to be tailored to the liken of man!

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

12The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. 14Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.

NLT

To those who believe, God has given us all special gifts and appointed us to to different works. Let there be no competition, no faulty judgement, no vain conversations, no jealousy or envy. Let us open our hearts up to the Lord that we may come together and impact the world for God’s Glory. For Mark 3:25 NIV tells us that, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

We have work to do, Lets get it!

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The Spirit of Perseverance

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The Spirit of Perseverance

Is it possible to encourage others when you are in an undesirable situation? We can all likely agree that this would be a very difficult task to complete, let alone, remaining encouraged ourselves.

In Philippians, Chapter 1, Paul was in a predicament which we would not willingly want to experience. He was incarcerated! Despite his current location and lack of freedom, Paul still carried out his assignment by writing a letter to the people of the church of Phillipi to encourage them in their salvation and how to live it out in the world. If you’ve never read this book of the bible, you would be surprised by the optimism, joy, and peace that he displayed, although he awaited the verdict of the Imperial Court, which could be unfavorable for his life.

Paul knew what he was called to do for the Lord and for His people. He could have given up and become hopeless in completing his mission, due to his circumstance of being physically detained. Often times, we let trials and tribulations determine how we live our lives in that moment and may let these tests have a permanent impact on our being. This may distract or completely deter us from completing what God has assigned us to do.

1 Peter 2:21

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

NLT

Paul’s understanding and belief of Christ’s suffering allowed him to endure his own suffering with boldness and courage while carrying out his mission for the Lord. He chose to focus on spiritual things and his higher calling. This fueled his ability to help the church of Philippi gain greater understanding of their heavenly purpose on earth as God’s people.

In 1 Peter Chapter 2, verses 18-23, we are provided descriptions of the example that Christ lived in doing good for humanity while enduring hardship and suffering along the way. Christ exchanged His deity to walk as man but without sin with one goal. He completed His Father’s will, even unto death and His resurrection, that the lives of many would be saved and transformed forever living in fellowship with Him.

Matters of life are constantly changing. God never said that life would be without trials and tribulations, but indeed we are encouraged to count it joy, even in the midst of our sufferings, which builds great patience and perseverance.

Romans 5:2-5

2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.

4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:2-5 (NLT)

In this, we may experience the victory He has won for us. Let your mind be sober and vigilant remembering that we are spiritual beings carrying out God’s will for His glory! Our lives are not our own, but they belong to God. His will, not ours be done; His glory, not our personal gain be pursued and accomplished at all costs just as Paul exhibited for us.

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A Prayer to Our Creator

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A Prayer to Our Creator

 

Lord God, we humbly approach your throne, thanking you for who you are and all that you have set in place in this world and in our lives. We thank you for your order and your will that has been established from the beginning of time. Lord everything that we see, that we do, and that we have knowledge of is because of you. You are the creator of all things. Lord, help us and strengthen us to accept your perfect will for our lives. You know all things and there is nothing that could be without you.  

Lord, we acknowledge that your plan is the best resolution for our being. Let us not lean to our own understanding, feelings, or emotions to determine what our lives should be. Let us remember that you have promised us abundant living and great success but we cannot have this without you. Even those who have obtained it on their own, we know it is vanity. Lord there is more in store for us as believers in you, for you have promised us the gift of eternal life. So let our hearts be filled by you, Holy Spirit, and your word, that we can accept the truth of who you are and the truth of what you have seen for our lives. 

Let us walk in faith, for you have seen the end state and you are a God that cannot lie. Your word does not return void, so let us be encouraged and rest in this finding. Let us find comfort and peace in knowing that despite what we may go through, you still have a prosperous life for us ahead. Let us not be influenced by the ways of this world or by man who has denied you.  

Lord, position us where you desire, that we may share your good news and use us as willing vessels to fulfill your heavenly will. We know you don’t need us but we believe that you are willing to equip each of us to reach your people. Let us take your charge seriously and do all that we can to fulfill the things that you place on our hearts. 

Lord, as long as we live let us continually give you praise, honor and glory. Whether we sleep, eat, the way we talk or walk let us do it all for your glory. Lord there are things we don’t know and things we may have forgotten but we know you know all, and we leave all in your hands. We thank you; we love you and give you all glory honor and praise and seal this prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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