Should we be “paying close attention” to the non-clappers among us?

Hey ūüĎčūüŹĺ 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 the post!

Our world is full of people inspiring us with their brand of quotations–some good, some not so much. Every now and again one of these pop culture quotes becomes the “flavor of the month”, to the point where even the body of Christ start to adopt and use them. Now, I am not saying that we can’t learn a thing or two outside of our “66” aka, The Word of God. The question is, does what we’re repeating line up with the Word of God? The phrase in question: “Pay close attention to those who don’t clap when you win.” This mindset is full of pride and has no business on the lips of a Christian. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why.

1. If I happen to “win” (get an award, recognition, a new job, career, minister to someone) or whatever the “win”(I prefer blessing) is, rather than paying attention to who isn’t clapping, the FIRST thing I should be focused on giving God praise for it! Period. God’s Word reminds us that apart from Him, we can do NOTHING (John 15:5b). ¬†Also, Acts 17:28 declares, it is in Him [Jesus] we live, move and have our being! So whatever blessing we get is due to Him giving us the ability to think, reason, and follow through. So, any recognition is a result of God blessing us to allow our light to shine before men so they saw our good works–and those works bring glory to our heavenly Father (Matthew 5:16), not ourselves–that invites trouble. Case in point: after giving a wonderful speech, King Herod was killed instantly because “he gave not God the glory” (See Acts 12:21-23).

2. If we’re constantly counting the number or taking names of the “non-clappers,” exactly where is our focus? On people or on God? Yes, we are human and will notice when someone isn’t for us—there is a difference between noticing and focusing. When we “zoom in” to the non-clappers, the enemy gets a good foothold, as he starts whispering all sorts of thoughts, scenarios and plans full of malice, hate and retaliation, which are all rooted in pride. Any form of pride is directly opposite of God’s will for our lives and set us up for destruction. Remember Satan is a fallen angel–and it was his pride that got him thrown out of heaven. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

3. In close relation to the last point, what’s the motive behind your “win”? Exactly why are you doing what you do? Is it to gain attention and notoriety from people? Or is it to ¬†allow God to use you to be a blessing to someone else? In Matthew 6:1-2, Jesus warned the disciples of intentionally and willfully giving their alms or offerings in front of people. The Pharisees did their works publicly to be admired by the people watching which, happens to be the reward–the people watching! Once again, pride is out, front and center!

When you think about it, seeking out “people-admiration” is fleeting, temporal, “sometimey” and the works we do fade in peoples’ minds. What good are man-made accolades beyond the moment they are given? Will they ever wake us up in the morning? Protect us from danger? Reward us at all? Never! The Word of God admonishes us to give¬†secretly, knowing God is watching and will reward openly (Matthew 6:3-4). I guarantee the reward God has is much richer than a few pats on the back!

4. What about the ones who do clap? A wise man of God shared that early in his ministry, while getting ready to teach during a Bible study, ¬†he was disappointed at the number of people who did not show—and fussed about it to the ones who were present. Someone finally asked, “well, what about those of us who ARE here?” At that moment, the pastor realized he was in error, apologized and said he would NEVER [fuss about who isn’t present] again! He admonished of us listening to rejoice and thank God for the ones who are with you. Psalm 68:3 says, let the righteous be exceedingly glad; let them rejoice before God, yea, let them exceedingly rejoice (Psalm 68:3).

BCU Family, I believe most everyone loves and needs support and encouragement, myself included–there is nothing unscriptural about that. We should be available, excited and willing to cheer on whoever is being blessed in whatever way God sees fit. The reality is at some point, there will be times that the people we feel should be there for us will not be, for some reason or another–and yes, it can hurt. The awesome thing about God is we can take our hurt to Him, allow His balm to heal us right away, and keep our love toward the offenders consistent, just like God’s love is toward us. In addition, we also should be reminded that we should never make flesh (people) our arm–the flesh will fail! Rather our trust should be in the God of all flesh (See Jeremiah 17:5-8), as we endeavor to please Him. In the end, we want Jesus to “clap” for us by saying “well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25:23). Once you hear those words, whoever did or did not support you in this life will not matter.

What are your thoughts on this “watch for the non-clappers” mindset? Please drop me a line in the comments so we can continue the 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 , Instagram, and  YouTube! 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, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

It’s a wrap! Nehemiah study finale

Hey ūüĎčūüŹĺ 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 message blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

Over our Nehemiah study, where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval, the importance of gates , what do do when attacked,  when you are weary on the wall, getting back to work on the wall, the enemy within and how to confront him. Nehemiah also walked us through how he led/governed (with the help of the Lord) the people, versus bossing/managing the people, which motivated them finish the work triumphantly!

As we moved into further chapters,¬†gatekeep from our chapter 7 lesson, ¬†preparing to apply God‚Äôs word from chapter 8 ¬†and why we should be mindful of a condition called “stiff neck” in Nehemiah 9 as the Israelites continue recalling what God has done, how far they were away from the Word of God and how they wanted to make a covenant to start obeying once again. Please take the time to read the chapters in their entirety in order to get the full understanding and context of what the Lord has revealed here.

Nehemiah 10 highlights:

So Nehemiah, the priests, chief of the people, porters, singers, and all the people separated themselves from others in the land now having knowledge and understanding. They also began cleaving to themselves as a people and swore to walk in God’s law, observing and doing all the commandments, judgements and statues of the Lord.

How does this apply to us?

 We should take a look at our surroundings and take note of who and what we are attached to. If the situations and the crowd we run with are not lining up with the Word of God, with His guidance, timing and help, we need to leave those things behind and cleave to God.

For you were sometimes darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8). 

Nehemiah 11 highlights:

Here, the people were settling into their homes and assignments (singers, workers on the house, gatekeepers, etc.)

How does this apply to us?

What has God assigned you to? With the help of the Lord, are we carrying them out in excellence? Giving God our very best, or excusing away our duties because of work (which we usually show up for daily), home duties, or because of PEOPLE “not letting you be great?” That statement deserves another post, but suffice it to say that God is the one that’s great and it’s HIM that works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). So the only ones stopping God from being great in us, is us– allowing the foul spirit that works through people to stop us from carrying out our assignments. Matthew 25:14-30, tells the story and consequences of following (or not) through with what He’s entrusted us with.¬†

Nehemiah 12 highlights:

The wall is dedicated it is a celebrated with gladness, thanksgivings, singing, cymbals, psaltries, harps and sacrifices! On top of that, the rejoicing and great joy in Jerusalem was hear afar off!

How does this apply to us?

This is how it should be when we give God praise–much singing, rejoicing and thanksgiving! ¬†We’re supposed to bless the Lord at all times, and HIS praises should ¬†CONTINUALLY be in our mouths (Psalm 34:1). Whether it’s in a corporate worship setting, during your prayer time, Bible study, in the car, or even to yourself! In fact, Ephesians 5:19 and 20 says, “speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks ALWAYS for all things unto God and the Father in the name of out Lord Jesus Christ”. Let EVERYTHING that has breath praise ye the LORD! (Psalm 150:6). HALLELUJAH!¬†

Nehemiah 13 highlights:

The last chapter has some unusual endings. Nehemiah was away and came back to find that  Tobiah, (the enemy only goes away for a season), had befriended one of the priests, ended up in one of the chambers in the house of the Lord! Nehemiah was grieved and subsequently threw Tobiah out and commanded the people cleanse the chamber afterward.

Nehemiah also¬†chastised the rulers and the people who had started selling on the very wall the Lord blessed them to build AND selling on the sabbath! The Israelites were also rebuked for marrying ‚Äústrange people‚ÄĚ or taking spouses who served more than one god along with the Hebrew people who believed in the ONE TRUE God. After straightening all that out,¬†Nehemiah cleansed and purified everyone and asked God to remember him for the good he did with the people.

How does this apply to us?

¬†We can tell people what to do according to do according to the word of God, but we are not responsible for their action/inaction. God will take care of that.¬†Luke 12:47¬†says that those who knew the Lord’s will, did not prepare himself and did not do it, will be beat¬†with many stripes. Yes, God is love, but He also has to correct and punish as He is a good Father and keeps ALL of His word. With the help of God, let’s¬†avoid the stripes by being¬†obedient to His will and stay walking in the Spirit and NOT in the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25). Amen? Amen!

Well, BCU Fam, this concludes our study of Nehemiah!!!!! I pray that this extensive study was a blessing to you! If so, we’d love to hear about what you took away from any of the studies, please leave a comment in the designated section 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, and now YouTube! 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, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Rejoice with them that rejoice… right?

Hey family,

Welcome new followers–God bless you! And faithful followers, God bless you as well!! Years ago, I worked with a wise woman of God who used to quote Proverbs 10:22 when the Lord blessed her with something. She’d say aloud,¬† “the blessing of the Lord, it makes rich and He adds no sorrow to them”.¬† I used to chuckle when she said it, but I think I finally got why she said it.

Praise is what we do.

While we are happy to receive the blessings from God as He gives them, it is sometimes a challenge to share our news with people, in part because of the reaction we may receive. As we testify or people witness the blessings of God in our lives, ideally we’d like for them to be happy for us. Very often, people may comment adversely, causing us to not want to share how God made a way.

I raised my daughter as a single parent, which was a challenge to the third power sometimes–especially financially. The Lord saved me when she was 3, which did not¬† put me on Easy Street— He did send “ex-ree” ūüėÄ blessings down on occasion. Whenever I wore something new to work, a former co-worker would notice and ask me “how can you afford that?” Oh, it gets better! Another ex-coworker–no, a manager once said, “I don’t know how you can dress all matched up like you do. I don’t have time to comb my hair. ” *insert hair blown back here* Of course that comment was a reference to me not being married , but “Sue-Ann” didn’t know it was with God’s grace getting my child and myself together every morning. On another occasion, the Lord blessed me to get some “accoutrements” on my car.¬† Someone went to my superior and said something like, “Blenda’s got money to do that– that’s not cheap!” Seriously?! Is that any way to react to someone received a blessing? Comments and attitudes like that are enough to make you stop testifying altogether.¬† But it shouldn’t.

Psalm 107:8 says, “oh that men would praise the name for His wonderful works to the children of men”.¬† And since He doesn’t add sorrow to His blessings, we should not be sorry or fearful for what He’s done, rather tell of His goodness! When Jesus healed and forgave folk in the Bible, they ran and told that thing to all who would listen!

Now it is true everyone can’t handle hearing about your blessings, so tune into God to find out who you can celebrate with and how to handle the naysayers. You may find the “negatory” folk are the ones who need to hear about God’s goodness and the plan of salvation.¬†¬† If they are saved already, gently remind them that all that’s good and perfect comes from Him–and ask what good has happened in their lives lately.

Lest you think this post is about receiving all a ton of material things from God, that’s NOT my point. God has blessed me to grow spiritually, be healed emotionally, sustained physically, and be kept financially–and I am not sad about that at all!¬† With all that’s going on bad in the world, we really have a lot to be thankful– not sorrowful for.

Go ‘head and testify. I will praise God with you!

Be blessed all!

Blen