School’s out! So what did you learn?

Hey there BCU Family,

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

The BCU Youth Squad is back! As school winds down for the summer here in New England, a few of us had an impromptu conversation around what the kids have learned over the school year. Listen in to what Kaniya, 13, Jaz, 10 and Professor, 9 shared with me.

Podcast and Scripture highlights:

How to treat others. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise (Luke 6:31).

Drama avoidance.  He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed (Proverbs 13:20).

Stopping and listening before doing. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him (Proverbs 18:13).


These kids are pretty insightful, right? This is why it is SO important to actually ask our young people questions and prayerfully LISTEN to the answers. THEN we can comment, commend or correct as the Lord leads. Amen? Amen!

What are your thoughts around what the youth had to say? I am certain they would LOVE to hear from you, so please head down to the comments section, let us know what is on your mind so we can continue our conversation!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

2016 Loopback: Applying “The Golden Rule.”

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your the post.



HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

We praise God for the blessing of new mercies that are renewed daily and how those days brought us to 2017!  We pray God’s blessings for you now and in the days to come for a blessed and spiritually-enriched 2017.

So in our last post, I promised we’d do a reflection/count down type post and I’d like to make good on my word. As we go from December to January, we tend to think everything from the previous year “goes away”. It doesn’t. Whatever we went through, challenge or triumph, there are LESSONS God taught, and in the spirit of being a doer of the word (James 1), we need to recall those lessons in order to sustain us in the battles and walk us to victory. So this month, we’ll focus on a lesson learned in 2016, so we can apply it going forward. Let’s start with what the world calls “The Golden Rule”. I’ll call it what it is–the Word of God and it comes from Luke 6:31.

 “And as you would want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” 

That’s easy to read and to do when we are being treated properly, but does that verse get trampled when we are not being treated well?

Case in point: With the help of God, whenever I have to contact a customer service rep, or it’s my turn to be waited on at the store, typically, I greet the person with a smile, how are you, et cetera. I understand it’s not easy dealing with the public all day, rude customers, shortages in inventory, people calling out–those things can effect your day, so I like to be the customer that brings some pleasantness, you know? And I thank God for that attitude—-that’s all Him. The thing is,  I EXPECT pleasantness back. Most of the time, I get wonderful pleasantness in return,  BUT there are many times that I do not.

The dry “hi”. The face like “why are you talking to me?” The non-responsive associate. The “yep”. My things being put in the bag haphazardly. Talking to their neighbor while cashing me out. Over talking me. Not answering my questions. Answering with an “I don’t know” (and won’t look unless you ask).  The putting down of a pen or change on the counter instead of in my hand! The list goes on!

The thoughts that run through my head as I seethe go something like this: “After the hard-earned money I’m plunking down?” “SERIOUSLY?!” “I don’t know who she THINKS she’s talking to in that tone!” “Why is he not answering?” “Did I NOT just greet YOU nicely?” I should put it back.” “I need to get the manager.” “What is your issue?”  And then, I want to respond in the same sharp tone, give a look that says, “I’m NOT the one”, Ask, “am I bothering you?” or loudly plop the pen back down on the counter in retaliation. How many of you have played something like  this scenario in your mind? How many have done it? Yep, me, too.

While we may be justified in feeling wronged for being mistreated, what does Luke 6:31 say again? And as you would want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. In other words, our behavior must stay consistent with the Word of God that tells us to treat folks like WE would want, rather than how THEY treated us. I know this can be a tough one for the flesh, yet we need to be obedient to the Word of God. Why, you say? There are a lot of answers to that why, but let’s take a look at three reasons:

It’s taken care of: Mind you, any ill-treatment is WRONG…we know that, and more importantly God knows it. There is nothing that surprises Him, escapes His knowledge or memory. Because He is a righteous judge, He knows when, where and in what way to balance the scales.  Romans 12:19 says to avenge not ourselves, vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. He’ll handle it. We’ve got His word on it.

Mercy and compassion: Our flesh may long to see someone “get it”, but we have to remember the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18. We talked forgiveness in previous posts, but the parable, Jesus tells us about a servant who owed his leader ten thousand talents. The servant could have never paid the money back, but asked for mercy and the debt was forgiven! That same servant turned around and found one of his friends that owed him 100 pence and demanded to be paid. The friend asked for mercy and rather than granting it, servant threw the friend PRISON until the debt was paid! There is a LOT wrong here, but see how he took matters into his own hands? He could not WAIT for his friend to “get it!”.

Well, word got back to the servant’s lord about what happened and servant was called out on his lack of pity and compassion —and then he was delivered to the tormentors till the debt was paid. Remember, though, that debt was IMPOSSIBLE to pay back. Jesus ends the parable with these words: So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you do not forgive not from your heart, everyone his brother their tresspasses (Matthew 18:35). In other words, we do COUNTLESS things to offend God yet He has compassion, mercy and forgiveness on us. Imagine if He punished us the moment and every time we messed up? Man, I’d be delivered to the tormentors just like that servant! So looking at it that way, we need to exercise compassion, mercy and forgiveness as well. If we ask Him to help us, He will.

Confront as directed: In the event an incident needs to be escalated, or the Lord is leading you to confront the issue, it can be done in a way that gets the situation resolved, God is glorified and you don’t lose your cool or your witness. Nehemiah had to confront leaders who were wrongly taking advantage of their brethren. After calming down and thinking it over, Nehemiah rebuked the leaders, called them to a meeting and explained why the leaders were acting irresponsibly. Nehemiah 5:8 says..and they held their peace and found nothing to answer.  In fact, the leaders gave back what they took and praised God afterward! (More about Nehemiah 5 in an upcoming podcast). The thing is, Nehemiah handled the situation the way God wanted Him to and he was successful! If we do things God’s way, we will always be victorious! His ways are perfect! (Psalms 18:30).

BCU family, that was a tough one..I “wrassle” with getting in my feelings more often than I would like to! When we think about it, that need to want to “clapback” is a form of pride–the pride of life to be exact–and that deadly pride comes from the world, rather than  Father  (1 John 2:16).

The world and our flesh tells that we need to retaliate in tongue and deed so that person knows not to mess with us or will think twice about how they treat people. In essence it likely embarrasses the person, may enrage them to negatively respond to you, you retaliate again, so now,  it becomes a duel!

That exchange  may provide entertainment for the onlookers and temporary satisfaction for the flesh, but as that adrenaline wears off, you will have ruined your witness for Christ. And will have to reap the consequences of deliberately walking outside the Word of God. Is it worth it? Nay, I say. With the help of the Lord, let’s ask God to bless us to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. because the wrath of man does NOT work the righteousness. of God. (James 1:19-20). Amen? Amen!


Our question of the week is:

What area(s) of your life will you apply Luke 6:31 to? Please leave a comment below!


As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes.

Thank you SO much for stopping by! God bless you, keep you and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

Series: The called according to His purpose (part 1)

 

Hey there BCU Family!

Please enjoy the audio version of the study (by clicking on the icon) or read through the written version. Either way, we pray you’ll be blessed!

Before we get into our study, let’s get some foundational principals down. Romans 8:28 is a familiar passage of Scripture that reminds us “…that all things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose”. When this is said in a church setting, while the Spirit of God is high, it usually evokes an heavy agreeance, sometimes emotional response and we leave feeling invincible!

In the days coming after that, the enemy will bring a temptation, trial, or situation where we forget the Word we were told and start going to God seeking asylum from the situation, fussing, murmuring or doubting He even cares.

It happens to the best of us, myself included, and in praying to God about that, we need to reinforce our foundation. In Luke 6:47-49, Jesus says that whoever comes to Him, hears His words and does them, he is like the man who build a house and DIGGED DEEP, AND laid the foundation on a rock. So when the flood came and the stream beat vehemently on the house it could not be shaken, because it was founded on a rock. Conversely, those that hear and do not follow the word, is like a man that built a house without a foundation—just on the soil or earth. Who the stream beat vehemently (the flood did not even get a chance to come) the house immediately fell and the run was great. Family, we have to DIG DEEP and make sure our foundation is on solid ROCK. That starts with Jesus on the inside—Acts 2:38-39 is the foundation to build on—all other ground is sinking sand!!!!

So with the Holy Ghost on the inside, in addition to attending a good Bible-believing, Spirit-filled house of prayer, we need a steady diet of prayer, the Word and application of the Word. The application is important–remember in Luke 6, Jesus said whoever… hears and does His word (James 1:22-23 says the same), that Word helps us to stand in the storms of life. This is why we need to know who God says we are and believe it. If you are ill-prepared or get caught out in a storm, the enemy presents situations where you doubt who God says you are— victorious, more than a conqueror—and are likely to make decisions based on emotions and immediate, temporary need, versus hearing what the Word of God says. If we are not careful, we get taken full advantage of! Think about how many decisions we regret because of not heeding the Word of God—not trusting on who He is, or in who He says we are?

This is where we need to dig deep—and get GROUNDED and ROOTED in who God says we are. Grounded is a builders term..meaning ATTACHED to the foundation—not propped up, securely attached forever. Rooted refers to stability—the deeper the roots the stronger the plant. This was we know who we are in the happy AND the trying times! Amen? Amen!

We really need to take the entire book of Romans into account, but for time’s sake, we’ll reference as much as we can here, and you all can read throughout the week.

Paul wrote this letter to the Christian Romans who started this church made up of a mix of Jews and Gentiles. This is important because many of the Jews still went by the law and in some of the New Testament, expected the Gentiles to do the same (eating certain foods, circumcision things like that). Chapters 1-3 speak on the facts of the gospel, chapters 3-5 on how we are justified in Christ, chapter 6 about how we are free from the power of sin. Chapter 7 speaks of being free from the law, and in chapter 8, reminds us of the love of Christ, how He frees us from sin and who we are in Him. Rather than just say we are the called, we have to see why and what else goes along with that calling. Let’s begin!

1) We are NO longer condemned

Verse 1 reminds us those who are in Christ Jesus, filled with His Spirit and walk in it– we are no longer condemned or penalized.

Let’s talk about walk—the Greek word is peri/peteo meaning conduct my life, to live, to be occupied with. Keep that in mind.

So Spirit-filled people, our penalty has been paid and we are not to feel guilty or ashamed, nor do we let people make us feel badly about who we used to be! A couple of years ago, I was reunited with old friends and one said “do you know what I remember about you? The Lord already dropped in my heart she would recall some unsavory detail about my B.C. (before Christ) days. Immediately I said something like, “oh, girl that was before I knew the Lord!” The crowd laughed and she never did tell me what it was. As far is the east is from the west, is how far my transgressions are removed from me (Psalm 103:12).

2) We walkers in the Spirit

Verses 2-4 reminds us if we are following after the Spirit, we are not practicing or sinning intentionally and over and over again. While we stumble or make mistakes, we do not use that as an excuse to continue willfully sinning. When we choose to continue to sin or walk in the flesh (lying, adultery, fornication, drunkeness, envy, idolatry, witchcraft, wrath, jealousy, lewdness Galatians 5:19-21), condemnation or punishment awaits. The condemnation is that you will NOT inherit or enter into the kingdom of God.

We are free from the law of sin, and the death it brings because of Jesus dying for us on the cross—He paid that penalty. So our mission with God’s help is to continue to walk in the Spirit so that we don’t walk in the flesh—acting out carnally rather than what Jesus would have us to do. For if we live after the flesh we will die (be eternally separated from God) but if through the Spirit we do mortify (make dead) the deeds of the body, we will live (eternally in Heaven with God).

2a) Our business is minding things after the Spirit—verse 5 is clear, there are only two sides, you either mind things of the flesh or of the Spirit. If you are Holy Ghost filled, we mind the things of the Spirit—what God says.

2b) And as a result we have life and peace (v6) rather than death. Think about the peace that comes with having Jesus on the inside and walking with Him. Mark 4:35-31 tells the story of Jesus being asleep in the back of the ship when a great storm of wind and waves beat on the ship full of disciples. After they panicked and woke Him, He just said Peace, be still. And the calm came about. That’s the God we serve—the one who wants us to lay down and sleeping peacefully, even in the midst of the storm. So while this doesn’t speak to who He says we are, because we have Him, we get these benefits. But wait, there’s more!

2c)We have power through the Spirit. In verses 7-13, Paul emphasizes that while walking/conducting your life in the flesh you cannot please God, do not have the Spirit and you are none of His. We that have the Spirit inside, so He gives us life through the Spirit and power over being dictated by the flesh. Paul repeats this several times, apparently as a warning to ensure we do not continue in sin—otherwise we die. Stay in the Spirit and live.

3) We are the sons of God

Verse 14 says we are the sons or children of God (those led by the Spirit).

We are not in bondage to fear—we’ve been grafted into the family—adopted by Christ. In the Roman culture, anyone adopted now identified with the new family, took on their ways, and had all rights, privileges, and shared in the inheritance. Similarly, we are no longer a part of the adversary’s family, and no longer practice His ways. We gave up the trick inheritance and shaky, temporary, deadly promises he offered, for the TRUE inheritance, promises, and privileges God promises. We can now say Abba Father! (translated meaning Daddy—what young children call their father). It marks a close intimate relationship where there is complete trust. As young children, we trusted our parents. That’s the way we should trust God. Also, the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. This is significant, BCU Family!

People claim to be children of God quite a bit, but you just cannot walk in any ol’ way and label yourself as a child of God. No siree, Bob! This is a privilege reserved for those who have Jesus down on the inside. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD! Let the redeemed say SO!!!!!! We KNOW who OUR FATHER is!!!!

Lift up your heads, O ye gates! We know who the King of Glory is!!!! Rejoice everyone!

4) We heirs of God and joint heirs of Christ

4a) While that is wonderful, that “heir-ship” comes with a cost. Still in the royal family, looking at verses 17 and 18–we can’t expect “royal” treatment in this present world—as joint-heirs in Christ, suffering is a part of our walk, but what we go through now, pales in comparison to the glory in us!  Don’t let that situation steal your joy—what’s coming is what’s better than what’s been, verse 18 says so!

Verses 19-23 talk about how we want to be with Jesus, we just have to wait and in the meantime, The Spirit makes intercession, according to the will of God for us during the suffering times. Paul through Christ is preparing us for the fact that trials will come. All the things we’ve learned before —no condemnation, walking in the Spirit, the power we have, being part of the royal family we’ve been adopted into and the heir-ship, NONE of that goes away when tough times come. Jesus is His Word and it is true no matter what season we are in!

That brings is to our 5th point–we are THE CALLED according to His purpose!

For we know that all things work together for the good—to them that LOVE God (we love Him, and we are a doer of that by walking in the Spirit, thereby keeping His commandments), and are the called—according to His purpose.

The word called comes from the Greek word, klesis meaning invited. Purpose means deliberate, intended result. So our God called/summoned/appointed YOU out to and chose this life, situation, issue, blessing, family, friends, job, neighborhood, church, co-workers, skin tone, personality, gifts, talents, everything for a deliberate result that pleases Him! For it is God what works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). So it’s in our best interest to embrace what God has for us with His grace. It is all for a deliberate result—sometimes we see and understand it right away, other times later on, and sometimes not on this side of Heaven. Our duty….is to trust our Abba Father!

Well Family, we’ve come to the end of our study for today! I know it was getting good to you–I know it was for me! The next time we’re together, let’s plan on finishing up Romans chapter 8.

Thank you all so much for the encouragement, love, likes, thumbs up, shares and comments–that truly blesses us here at BlenCouragesU.com and the Word is blessing  and encouraging others–that’s what it’s all about!

May God bless, make His face to shine upon you and until the next time we’re together, #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU