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Cultural clashes in defining beauty


My wife was recently in Boston to give a short talk at TED. The video is available on their website right now. I would appreciate it if you took just a few minutes of your time to follow the link/video still below, watch the video and give her your feedback.

About this speaker
Dalali is not only my wife, but the mother of my two children and the most amazing person I know. She is a State Street new hire, who graduated from California State University, Chico with a double major in project management and accounting. Her research focuses on how leadership styles played an important role in political upheaval. Delali is also a certified SAP associate and led a project to convert SAP ERP Financial case studies from IDES to GBI dataset, to support SAP curriculum progress at her university.

About this talk
In this talk she shares her personal story of how growing up in West Africa, she was bullied and marginalized for being skinny. Her family worried about her, put her on diets, and found her embarrassing and shameful. Then, she moved to the U.S. in her 30s, where she was suddenly seen as beautiful! Through her story, Delali illuminates the importance of creating your own self image.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you my lovely wife Delali Bright. Please click on the link to watch my wife’s powerful talk at TED. It’s called – Cultural Clashes in defining Beauty.

The Stand


A Mini Series on The Armor of God

“Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” This is not only the key to understanding the armor, but it is also exactly what we are called to stand in.

The armor has everything to do with you standing in it than it has to do with you putting it on!

Today in this introductory message on the armor of God I want to remind you that

  • greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
  • I want to remind you that you have been born of God.
  • He has He hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son
  • By virtue of your faith in Him – you have been made victorious.
    It is from this vintage point – in this victory that Paul calls you to take a stand.

I hear people say that we need to put the armor on every day.
But my question is – if we are to be ready in season and out of season… if we have to be vigilant- because our adversary the devil seeks whom he may devour… seeks whom he may catch off guard…
than it makes sense to me to stand in my armor in season and out of season

Ephesians 6:13-14
“Having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore.”

The armor of God is the spiritual grace and inheritance that we have due to the life altering, supernatural transformation we have in Christ.

We are call to stand in the working of His incomparably great power that is available to those who believe.

The scripture says,
“That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”

This power – you don’t put On! Why? Because it’s already inside of you! That’s why Paul told his readers to do everything within their power to stand.
“For it is in your standing that you will be able to withstand the evil day.” (wb)

Friends, the evil day is coming- how firm is your stand?

Heavenly Father we thank you for the victory you have won for us – today we stand in that victory. Amen!

His Perfect Patience


“But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Perfect Patience
Nobody I know in this life has perfect patience. But I know beyond the shadow of doubt that God displays perfect patience.

We can see it on full display in Paul’s life.

In this short passage Paul describes himself as “foremost.”

What did he mean?
Let’s look back at a few verses:

1 Timothy‬ ‭1:12-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
‭‭
Paul’s message here is simple and clear. Christ came to save sinners and according to him, he was the foremost- the worst – the chief of them all.

He recounts how in his past life he was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent opponent of the faith.

But something special happened. He received something from God that he did not deserve.

The Bible says, he received mercy, the grace of our Lord overflowed towards him and Jesus lavished his love and forgiveness on Paul by drawing the foremost of all sinners to Himself.

FOR THIS REASON
Paul says,

“But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”
— ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Paul says, the reason why I am here today is because of God’s Perfect Patience. And if you have any doubt in your mind that He can’t save you or forgive because you, believe me He can.

if you feel like you’re too far gone, and your sin is dark and evil – Paul says, look at me: The foremost of all sinners. If He did it for me – He’ll do it for you.

My life is a perfect example of The Perfect Patience of God towards sinners.

Come, plunge beneath His precious blood and lose all your guilty stains.

The Black Dot!


Day 5

“One day our headmaster walked into the classroom and put up a broad white sheet of paper with a small black dot in the corner. ‘Boys,’ he asked, ‘what do you see?’ All of us shouted in unison, ‘A black dot!’ Then he said, ‘So not a single one of you saw the broad white sheet of paper? Don’t go through life with that attitude.” -Kofi Annan

A Black Dot!
Sometimes as Christians all we do is focus on what we disagree on and not sufficiently on all the other things we agree on. Let us not go through life with that attitude. Talk more about the thinks you agree on.

Sometimes in relationships, all a husband or wife thinks about is that character flaw or that thing that your partner does that so irritates you. Don’t go through life with that attitude. Think about and celebrate the good things about your spouse.

You will not be here today had it not been for someone holding the door open for you , paving the way for you. Stop this ‘I know it sickness, self sufficient madness. Stop the competition. We all rest on the shoulders of pioneers who inspire us. Thank God for the opportunity and the people He put in your path.

Sometimes in churches all we seem to think about is that one black dot. The music is too loud, the pastor’s sermon is too long, there are no paper towels in the ladies rest room, there is no parking. Don’t go through life like that. Find something to like about your church. Talk about them every time you are tempted to focus on the black dot.

Sometimes life can be difficult, if that’s all you focus on, you are missing out on some of the other awesome stuff the Lord may be doing in your life. Don’t go through life like that, give thanks, and develop an attitude of thanksgiving and a spirit of contentment.

It has been said that in every family there is a black sheep. One that is bad and different than the rest. I don’t necessarily agree with that kind of stigmatization, but those parents have managed to Zoom in on a bad thing in a child and label him/her for the rest of their life a black sheep.
The question is – is that all they see?

You get the drift…
There is a world of unlimited possibilities…Don’t let just one little dot limit you.

Celebrate small Things


Day 4

The great Michelangelo once sculpted a figure out of marble as his friend stood by and watched. Well, this friend of his left for a business trip and after a while he returned and didn’t really see any significant progress in the work that Michelangelo was doing.

Upon hearing the criticism of his friend, Michelangelo told him that he had indeed done some work on the marble figure by softening certain parts, straightening the lips, defining the muscles and polishing here and there on the marble figure.

To his surprise, his friend said that his efforts were trifle. But Michelangelo replied,
Trifles they may be, but trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.

Are you in the habit of celebrating the small things in your life?

Do you stop and acknowledge how blessed you are?

Marriages and relationships fail because spouses pay little or no attention to the little things.

Believers live in fear and ingratitude because they fail to stop for a moment and count their blessings.

New converts grow discouraged and sometimes fall away because they fail to recognize and celebrate the baby steps they are making toward maturity in Christ.

Each moment of each day is an opportunity for us to celebrate the little things God has put in our lives. The bible tells us never to despise the days of humble beginnings. That better is little with God in it and that he will bless us if we are faithful with the little things we have.

I urge you to celebrate the life you have now… don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you do. The bible says in Ecc. 11:4 that, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest…” So I urge you today to:

  • Wake up to the sunlight with your windows open
  • Don’t hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
    Wear your red dress use your good dishes
  • Make a big mess and make lots of wishes
  • And don’t spend you life looking back
    Give your love ones flowers while they are alive
  • go to the ballgames and go to the ballet
  • And go see your folks more than just on the holidays
    Kiss all your children Dance with your wife.
    Bullet Points: Point of Grace/ How to Live.

God is Good


DAY 1: YOU ARE GOOD AND DO GOOD

I wrote Counting My Blessings out a a deep conviction of the goodness of God. The gratitude expressed in this song is not because I just got a big bonus, a raise or a promotion. Those this are a good cause for us to rejoice and be thankful. Unfortunately, too often we are only grateful when life is good, but once things are difficult, we develop an ungrateful spirit. 

Our situation may change from god to bad – bad to worse, but our God is always good. He is good on the mountain tops, but especially good in the valleys lows.

This is the God I want you to encounter in this season. His goodness is surely chasing you down. So lift those weary hands that hang low, strengthen those week knees, and get ready to walk in the path of gratitude. For God is good even I a year of a pandemic.

Counting My Blessings: A 5 Day Gratitude Devotional


God is good on the mountain tops – but especially good in the valleys low.

walter Bright

Introduction

What does it look like or feel like to write and release a song of gratitude and thanksgiving in a year of a pandemic? Well, for me it was a very easy thing to do. And that’s not because it hasn’t been a difficult year, it has. But a simply fact remains true – God is still good and everything He does is Good!

So in these next few days I’m are going to take some time to tell you about my new song and the theological and inspirational benefits it has to offer – especially in these trying times.

About the song:

Counting My Blessings is about acknowledging and celebrating the goodness and faithfulness of God in our lives. It is a bringing into perspective the small and big things God has done and continues to do in our lives. For when we do, counting our blessings and naming one by one, has a unique ability to change current situation and our outlook at life.

The Lyrics: Verse 1

Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning

In my weakness I will shout lift a song of rejoicing

In every circumstance I will never never be shaken

He’s been good to me Oh so good to me

The favor that I didn’t deserve

Love you showed like no one else

Promise given to progress

I can go on counting my blessings

I look forward to sharing these devotional thoughts with every one of you as we approach the thanksgiving holiday. Allow me to leave you with some useful information about where to purchase/download or listen to me song:

Buy the Song Here: https://walterbrightmusic.hearnow.com/

New single from recording artist “COUNTING MY BLESSINGS” Subscribe for more music! https://bit.ly/2IKTy0j Follow Walter Bright: twitter https://twitter.com/WaltBright Facebook https://www.facebook.com/officialWalt… Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5g3… Instagram https://www.instagram.com/waltbrite/ #WalterBright #CountingMyBlessings #OfficialLyricVideo2020 https://youtu.be/y1EdMuqwbQg

5 Way to help grow the membership of your church


INTRO:

One of the most difficult places to minister and build a church is in Rural America. There are varied and complex factors that contribute to this difficulty.

UNIQUE & DIFFICULT FACTORS

Take for example the lack of stable and competent volunteers. The economic difficulties of a small town. The frequent need for members to relocate for a new job. In a small town there is no telling what your congregation is going to look like from Sunday to Sunday. Families come, families move, hopefully for them, to a better job, housing or school.

The membership in most churches in Rural America is aging. These are the folks who despite their age do most of the heavy lifting. If there is community outreach – bake sale, fireworks fundraiser, or movie in the park – these older folks are there. But ‘most’ of them are not necessarily active in sharing their faith or inviting friends to church. The only friends they know are already Christians.

Than there is the chronic problem of church hopping, church skipping for long periods of time (not speaking about those who work on Sundays) and a hesitance to volunteer, get trained or even sign up to do some form of ministry.

On the other hand, some are just content with coming on Sunday getting fed with the Word and enjoy fellowship with the body. There is nothing wrong with that – but growing a church takes more than doing just that.

Other times people expect to find an already functioning children, youth, or young adult ministry – and as they should. In fact when people church hunt to determine what may be a good fit for their families – they want to see a functioning kids and youth ministry.

Unfortunately, in many cases – you will not find any of that. If you live in Rural America, churches come in many sizes from 25 to 50 congregants. Attracting new people to an aging congregation, less younger families with children, a limited paid staff, and non existing ministry to children and youth is tough.

TO CHURCH HUNTERS

So when you visit a church and feel the need to jump back in your family mini van and never return – take a minute to stop, pray and listen. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. You may be the one that pastor has been praying and waiting for. He has been waiting for someone with whom he can partner with, train and release into areas of ministry. Don’t just go for the convenience. Yes its going to take a bit of a sacrifice – but one that will grow the work of the Kingdom, bring glory to God, and produce something truly awesome in your life.

TO CHURCH MEMBERS

If you already find yourself in a small congregation, hear me out – you are a miraculous answer to prayer. You are not there by chance – it is God ordained and God orchestrated. So if you have children and you find yourself attending a church with no children, youth, or young adult ministry, what do you do?

  • Start One! This is for the first timers as well. You came to church but there was nothing planed for your kids. Walk up to the Pastor and tell him – that next Sunday you will be back with your kids and you need space to start regular children’s ministry. Start One! Ask for training and resources.

If you attend a church and the numbers are dwindling – what do you do?

  • Start a vigorous campaign of inviting your friends. Create a culture of inviting people to church. People will come if they are invited. Bring all your friends. Find creative ways to invite people.

If you feel the need to serve and use your gifts and talents to serve the Lord but don’t know how or where to start.

  • Talk to someone in leadership today! Tell them what the Lord has placed on your heart.

If you know that pray can change things things. What do you do?

  • Start a prayer movement in your congregation.

If your church outreach effort is lacking. What do you do?

  • Start an outreach program

I get it, not many people are up for such a challenge. But if you want to see an exponential spiritual growth in your life and the fruit you see in other places – I encourage you with the words of Jim Elliott, “Wherever you are, be all there.” Don’t leave to go somewhere else where those things you value are already in place in your church- create one right where you are.

Nothing useful, fruitful and healthy is uprooted and replanted ever other week. Stay planted where you are.

walter bright

God is counting on you there. Maybe you need to get off the fence. If it’s your desire to go somewhere else where you can find everything in place for your family, that’s not terrible. But let me ask you to stop and pray for a minute and consider how you can effect change right where you are today.

Thanks for seriously considering this challenge!

Allow me to leave you with one final thought. Just like every family – church family can experience misunderstandings, hurt feelings and difference of opinions. Let’s follow the example of Pastor Dwight Scott who told us when a brother felt hurt in his congregation – he invited him to come to the altar with him. And there, the two embraced the love of God and the re-conciliating power of the Holy Spirit. So, let us not let our differences separate us in these confusing times. Let’s meet each other at the foot of the cross where Jesus bled and died for us.

Stay blessed!

Walter

Destiny


There is a buzzword in the church today.

DESTINY!

Everybody’s talking about it and running after it. It is interesting, however what exactly people mean when they talk about destiny. In many cases, it’s about personal success. There is nothing wrong with that! But destiny runs deeper than that.

Destiny is not about

success

status

self aggrandizement .

It’s is about servanthood.

Joseph was a young man who at the age of 16 misunderstood a revelation given to him by God. In his immaturity he developed an air of self importance that drove his brothers to despise him. His interpretation of a God given destiny or dream was all about him, and he paid dearly for it.

But after a series of life lessons, Joseph began to understand that though one day he would be elevated to become Prince of Egypt, God was not interested in his status, but his servanthood. God was not interested in his prosperity, but the preservation of his family. God was not interested in his destiny, but the destiny and formation of an entire nation.

That’s why he could say, “God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors.” Genesis 45:7

Let us keep this truth in the back of our minds – we are simply just regular people with an extraordinary call to servanthood.

“The greatest among you must be a servant.”

Matthew 23:11

Reflections on John 4:10


All of history, prophesy and promise, is completed in Jesus. Your whole life is completed in Jesus. Every part of your life: your work, family, relationships, friends, memories and dreams are completed in Jesus.

Nicky & Pippa Gumbel

“Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.””

John 4:10 ESV

If you knew the gift of God, you would throw yourself in the arms of Jesus:

That gift is a gift of eternal life

That gift is a gift of unconditional love

That gift is a gift of forgiveness

That gift is a gift of peace with God and peace of God

That gift is a gift of freedom

If you understood the value and worth of the gift:

You would run through fire to obtain it

You would scale a wall to get it

You would search diligently for it until you found it

You would sell everything you own to possess it

You would travel mile away to experience it

You would pay any prize to have it

But it’s absolutely free. You cannot earn it or but it. It is more valuable than gold, rubies and diamonds.

And it is all yours simply by grace through faith.

If you truly understand the gift of God , you would fall into the loving arms of Jesus.

Because that gift is Jesus Christ Himself, in whom the fullness of God dwells.

10 Quotes from Max Lucado’s ‘Before Amen’


When Prayer Flows

If you want to take you prayer life to another level of simplicity and ease, “Before Amen” is for you. It is inviting and inspiring. The focus remains on the Father all through the book. In essence, that is exactly what prayer is all about.

Enjoy a few quotes that jumped off the pages:

“Before you face your world, face you Father.”

“Prayer is conversation with God while driving to work or awaiting an appointment or before interacting with a client. Prayer can be the internal voice that directs the external action.”

“Guilt leaves a tattooed heart.”

Just as a happy child cannot mis-hug, the sincere heart cannot mis-pray”

“Prayer is the hand of faith on the door handle of your heart; the willing pull; the happy welcome to Jesus.”

“Prayers are not graded according to style.”

“You are never more like Jesus than when you pray for others.”

“An un-prayed for problem is an embedded thorn.”

“Life is a gift, albeit unassembled. It comes in pieces, and sometimes it falls into pieces.”

“God’s goal for you is wholeness.”

An Illustration that will preach

This was a gentle, smooth read. Max’s illustration of the prayers of a 10 year old girl in Helen Roseveare’s orphanage is a powerful testament of what it really means that the “Father knows what you need even before you ask” (Matthew 6:8). How would you like to receive a timely gift, the same day you prayed, only to find out that the gift was mailed 5 months earlier?. I highly recommend Max Lucado’s ‘Before Amen.’

#brightsummerbooks

Ignite my Soul: Consume these idle sticks


“God consume these idle sticks in my life that may burn for thee.” Jim Elliot

What does the word idle mean?

It means – not active or in use.
synonyms: inactive, unused, unoccupied, unemployed, disused. It speaks of a person – not working; unemployed. Synonyms: unemployed, jobless, out-of-work, redundant, between jobs, work less, unwaged, unoccupied. It also speaks of a person avoiding work; lazy. Synonyms: lazy, indolent, slothful, work-shy, shiftless, inactive, sluggish, lethargic, listless

It means to lack or be without purpose or effect; pointless.
Synonyms: frivolous, trivial, trifling, vain, minor, petty, lightweight, shallow, superficial, insignificant, unimportant, worthless, paltry, niggling, peripheral, inane, fatuous

It defines a person who spends their time doing nothing; be idle.
Synonyms: do nothing, be inactive, vegetate, take it easy, mark time, twiddle one’s thumbs, kill time, languish, laze, lounge, loll, loaf, loiter.

The Scripture warns about it

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4

And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace. Matthew 20:3

But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Matthew 25:26

For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. Titus 1:10

And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Romans 12:11

I understand that some times, depending on where you are in life, a lack of clarity or opportunity can easily turn you into a couch potato. But that is a very dangerous place to park. If you didn’t already know, you are in big trouble if you find yourself sitting around doing nothing. Your life has become the devil’s workshop.

A slothful life can easily become a life of Spiritual Apathy. You soon find yourself slipping into a subtle love for worldly things. All of a sudden you, your life, your vision becomes dull – nothing moves you.

At this point, life is reduced to easy choices, and mediocrity. You begin to make the bed with false comforts. You are easily carried away by worldly distractions and fleshly attractions. And the things of the world are now more important than God’s mission.

What you need at this time is a dose of purpose; a watershed of passion and an explosion of persistence.

Mary O’Connor said, “It’s not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted.” What’s your purpose in life?

Shannon O’Dell said, “God has so made man, that whenever anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.” What are you passionate about?

The Apostle Paul said, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward toward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” How persistent are you?

Before I close, I urge you to find those idle sticks that are slowing you down from living life persistently and passionately on purpose. My idle sticks are different from yours and yours from mine. What’s important is that we can find them and ask God – the God who answers by fire – to consume them and set us on fire.

These prayers I will pray:

Lord, consume my longing and lack of discipline for:
Too much Entertainment

Lord, consume my:
Laissez Allez Mentality

Lord, consume my:
Indifferent & Care free Attitude

Lord, consume my:
Propensity to Settle for second best

Lord consume my
Spiritual Apathy

Lord consume my
Passivity

Light a passionate fire in my soul and make me “the fuel oh flame of God.”

Recourse: Online Etymology Dictionary for idle

How to Demolish the devil’s lies even though it might have a grain of truth?


There is a certain level of truth in some of the lies the devil tells us about ourselves. It is not necessarily the lie that gets people stuck; it’s the grain of truth that the devil embeds deep within the lie.

If you are honest with yourself and not ashamed to admit it, you can find a strategy to consistently defeat him.

First of all, we need to understand the one we have to confront. He is formidable, but most especially diabolically artful in blending a little truth with big lies.

We see this play out in Matthew chapter 4 – where we see him taking the Word of God and twisting it in such a way to catch Jesus off guard.

But what he didn’t understand is that Jesus was way more sharper than he. So at every interval, Jesus world tell him – here is what it actually says – and, here is the context.

So, the question we are trying to answer today is – how can I wage an effective battle against the lie without ignoring the grain of truth in it?

There are two ways to wage an effective warfare against the enemy’s lies in this scenario:

1. Position yourself to maximize your potential

It would be naive to simply brush off the attack with the usual platitudes. Just quoting our favorite verses and wise sayings sometimes don’t adequately deal an effective blow to the enemy.

I’m afraid people who hide behind platitudes end up repeating those platitudes over a lifetime of defeat.

“I can do all things…” Philippians 4:13

Quotes like the one above could become a little bit more effective if we look to improve ourselves in areas of weakness.

For example:

If the enemy tells me – “you don’t have what it takes.” I can either be honest with myself and acknowledge that I lack some competencies in my leadership skills. Or I can ignore the grain of truth (if it’s there), and fight him with words. I may feel about myself for a minute, but the enemy always comes back seeing I’ve done nothing to improve myself.

What I need to do is – position myself to learn and to grow in those areas where I’m weak. I need to position myself to maximize my potential. So when he come back the next time around, he’s going be talking to a different me.

That is why Jesus calls us to be disciples. A disciple is a person who embraces life as a journey, not a destination. He/she is in it for the long haul. They keep returning to the drawing board. They are life long learners, doing everything it takes to own their weaknesses, improve on them, lean on others where necessary thereby edging the enemy out.

You cannot overcome accusations, condemnation, and lies without taking responsibility for your own mistakes and weaknesses. The enemy is going to play into that. Declarations are not enough, and who you are is as true as who you are becoming.

2. Position yourself to rely on God’s supernatural power.

This kind of attitude sets you up to wage an effective spiritual warfare. Because at this point – you’ve realized that whatever it is that God has called to do – you’re going to need something more than what you can bring to the table.

That if God doesn’t show up – you’re not going take off. I’m reminded of of a passage of scripture in Isaiah 37:3 – where it says,

“Today is a day of shame, reproach, and humiliation. For children have come to birth and there is no strength to bring them forth.”

If you’re like me and some times wonder how you’re going to bring forth that which God has called you to bring forth – let me remind you – “if He called you – He will help you.

So – When the enemy whispers in your ears – “what a shame, what a disgrace, you’re going to be humiliated again, you don’t have what it takes!”

Tell him – that He who called you has every resource you need. With His help you will succeed! That you will rise up in the strength of the Lord to bring forth whatever the Lord has called you to bring forth.

After you have done all you can do – God steps in and does what you can’t do!

Stand in Truth


STAND IN TRUTH

“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In the introduction to the series, we talked about the necessity of standing firm in the armor of God.

Today, we want to talk about STANDING IN TRUTH!

Hello everyone and welcome to part 1 of The Armor of God: A Mini Series. My name is WB

It is important to understand that without truth, we are lost, and the schemes of the devil, the fiery darts of the evil one will surely overpower us.

Truth is of the utmost importance in the life of the believer. Without it, the rest of the armor would be essentially of no use to us.

Failing to anchor oneself in truth, to walk in truth, makes one vulnerable – susceptible to the lies of the enemy – “carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).

Truth – the belt of truth protects us and prepares us for battle.

What is truth?

Truth is the way things really are in respect to who God is. I contend that God is the God of truth. Truth is the expression of God – revealed in His character, purpose and will. God is the source, the arbiter and standard of what is straight, untainted – pure.

According to Marriam Dictionary:

Truth is\: ACTUAL /FACTUAL /RELIABLE

D. L. Moody once said, the best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.”

Truth is that straight stick… you can bend it all you want – it can not break – it has stood the test of time. You don’t want to do the foolish thing to ignore, because you can’t – see, you will keep stumbling over it until you acknowledge it.

Speaking of Himself – Jesus said, “I am the truth.” The Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth. And, the Word of God is truth.

We’ve answered the question – What is truth – but an equally important question is – WHY TRUTH?

And that’s because – The nature of our adversary calls for us to stand in truth. The bible calls him the father of all lies. He’s very cunning, very tricky, crafty, deceitful and scheming

His number 1 goal is to deceive you, to con you, to scam you into believing a lie.

He knows – that if he can get you locked into a certain pattern of thinking – he can produce in you the kind of life he wants you to live. Proverbs 23:7 – For as a man thinks in his heart so is he.

Victory over this enemy can only come if we are standing steadfast in truth.

We must allow truth to confront the false identities, falsehoods, false comforts and false narratives that are Pushed by the Father of Lies.

I want to confront six areas lies today that I believe have left many in both the pulpit and pew vulnerable:

Prophecy: If you prophesy what God never told you to – you are not standing or walking in truth. You are deceiving others and at the same time being deceived. Consequently, if your are not testing prophetic words – but gullibly receiving them and spreading them – you are equally not walking in truth – you’ve believed a lie.
Bearing False Witness: If you sharing social media post that are false – you are bearing false witness. If you are spreading lies and gossip about others. You’re bearing false witness
Exaggeration: If you are concealing, or manipulating Or even exaggerating – you have aligned yourself with the father of lies
False Doctrine: If you are receiving, believing, following or teaching anything extra biblical – the doctrine of demons – that you have not taken the time to study, and scrutinized within a community of solid believers – like the Bereans in Acts 17 – you most likely are being deceived.
Worldly Identity: If you are allowing the culture to shape your identity, thoughts that exalt themselves above the knowledge of Christ – the enemy and your past to define who you are, – than the enemy has locked you into a pattern of thinking detrimental to you wellbeing.
Excusing sinful behavior: If you are living a sinful lifestyle and have convinced yourself that it’s alright – you are definitely deceived.
You can not wage an effective warfare standing in a lie.
Truth must scrutinize our perceptions, persuasions, principles and our politics and yes everything that you practice.

So what is truth? It is that which is holy, set apart, straight, void of compromise, cut above, untainted, perfect, – it the Word and the Spirit – personified in the person of Jesus – He is the Standard. He is the straight stick by which everything must be measured. If you have that – you will be able to withstand all the fiery darts of the evil one and wage an effective and powerful warfare.

Jesus said, you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free!

CONCLUSION

2 Corinthians 10:3, 4, 5For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

GRATITUDE IS NOT A FEELING


GRATITUDE IS NOT A FEELING

Gratitude is not a feeling – it is a response to the goodness of God in every season of life.

In trouble times our trust and our attitude are sometimes bend out of shape. Our perspective get blurred with doubt and fear. Gratitude is a perspective adjuster.

When we bring to memory the blessings of time past, focus on the little blessings all around us, and above all see who God truly is even in the midst of chaos – our gratitude begins to shape our perspective.

The scriptures says to “give thanks in everything for it is the will of God concerning you.”

Our gratitude allows us to see the hand of God in everything we go through. We begin to see how God a making all things to work together for our God. We begin to see the big picture.

At this time, because of a clear and heavenly perspective that God is in control – we can now turn our worries into praise – our mourning into dancing, and our weeping into shout of joy.

That’s how you remain thankful and grateful – even in a year of a pandemic. You focus on what you have not what you’ve lost.

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