“I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.”- Psalm 116:1-2
There is a popular R& B singing group from the 90’s who wrote a song titled “Who Can I Run To.” When I read the text this morning that song came to mind. Some of the lyrics are as follows:
“As I stand here contemplating,
On the right thing to decide.
Will I take the wrong direction,
All my life, where will I go,
What lies ahead of me?
Who can I run to,
To share this empty space?
Who can I run to,
When I need love?”
Here these young ladies are in search of true love and they want someone that they can count on. Above all it appears as if they want someone that they can trust and who loves them as much as they would love. The interesting part is one of those young ladies were married two weeks ago so from 1995 when they wrote that song she is just finding that love 15 years later.
My question is do we really have to wait that long and do we really know who we are looking for. Psalm 146:3 says not to put your trust in man who can’t save and it goes on to say that those who put their hope in God are blessed. I am much like the psalmist I love the Lord because He truly is always right there. No matter what I need or when I call He is always available. The Lord is always honest with me and He knows me so well that He knows what I need. So if I ask for something that I don’t need he says no and I understand that His no means no for now not forever. I may not be ready for what I am asking for so he is protecting me from myself. There is nothing to try and figure out with God because He genuinely loves me and He feels the same about you. We live in a seeing is believing type of society and even though we weren’t there we know that God sacrificed His one and only Son to show us how much He loves us. Even when I make horrible decisions I can count on the Lord to still be right there with the truth showing me the right way to go and I don’t have to worry about half the country in the middle of my business. No one understands what it takes to maintain a relationship like the Lord and there is no one who is more loyal and committed than He is.
So when Xscape ask the question who can I run to the answer is Jesus Christ. He is the only one who will give us guidance and direction. He will have compassion for us and show us unconditional love. He is always fair and firm and we can always count on Him with out any doubt. So as long as I live I will trust in the Lord. I know that He is ready to answer me before I call so I too will call on Him as long as I live.
Jesse R. Watson Jr.
“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”- Psalm 94:18-19
As a child of God it is very important that we recognize where we are in our relationship with Him. One way that we kind of measure that is when we see someone going through a tough time, our ability to be able to minster to them shows us where we stand. In that opportunity we do our best the let the Lord use us to either bring that person into an intimate relationship with the Lord and help them realize that he never left their side. The interesting part is we tend to really feel strong and confident in the Lord in those times and when the person we minister to come through that situation we tend to have our own praise party.
What about for you though? What about when you are going through a tough time, maybe the toughest situation that you have ever been through? Sometimes whatever we are dealing with can really get the best of us and we find ourselves falling fast. When I was diagnosed with narcolepsy soon after the bottom started falling out. In that same season my roommate moved out and we have 6 months left on the lease, I lost my job, eviction notice was on the door, labeled as totally disabled, the car was reposed, electricity was off I mean it was bad. I didn’t know the Lord then like I know Him now however I still knew Him. I didn’t want to go on; anxiety had kicked in so bad I told the Lord to take me out. However, it was because I knew Him and had a relationship with Him that I was able to make it through. I found my self saying to the Lord that I was falling fast down a slippery slope but because of His love for me I would fight through it. God was true to His word and He did support me and console me and in the midst of my storm I found joy and peace. As a result of the Jesus in me that just wouldn’t let me quit, by the grace of God I overcame my situation. At first I didn’t even want to fight because I felt like what’s the use this thing is not going to get better. It seems as if it just wouldn’t let up let someone had their foot on my back and wouldn’t let me up. I still got kicked out of my home with no where to go but I had peace. I still had no source of income but the Lord provided so much so that I was able to get my car back. The first place I went to was the church. I found that the reason we develop such a strong relationship with the Lord is so that we can truly have a source of strength when we are going through and so that we can be a source of strength when someone else is going through.
I don’t know what you are dealing with today however we are all dealing with something. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding because your own understanding will have you hopeless and ready to quit. The Lord has already walked the path for you so He knows just what you need to make it through what you are dealing with and He has an endless supply of it for you. Let us not forget who is in control and the fact that He willingly chose to make the sacrifice to be our very present help in the time of trouble. Whatever you are dealing with today just be real with yourself and to God and let Him handle it. This is why the battle is not yours but His because you can’t handle it. He wants us to cast all of our cares on Him; He wants to prove Himself worthy of all of the Glory and Honor and the Praise. Recognize where you are and know that God loves you more than you could ever love yourself and He wants you to have joy and peace. The only way to receive it is to let Him know and let it go. I have tried Him for myself and I know He will come through. Will you try Him today? Don’t treat Him like a stranger and don’t insult the Lord acting as if He can’t handle your issue. If you can’t find peace in the middle of the storm and you know the Lord, it is because you chose not to open your hands and let your issues go.
Jesse R. Watson Jr.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. Psalm 150:6
After doing research I discovered that this psalm was inspired by the promise of God being fulfilled. In Babylon, which is now Iraq, The Jews were forced to move there from Jerusalem and told to make the best of it. God promised that he would deliver them and 70 years later He did. They moved back to their homeland and rebuilt the temple that had been destroyed. Even though the book of Psalms had a few authors, it is said that the Jews put the Book of Psalms together to sing in their new temple.
The Jews spoke in Hebrew and in their book they used the word Hallelujah. Halel means to tell someone that they are great we translate it to mean Praise. U in Hebrew means all of you and we just say you. Finally, jah for them means a name for God that we translate Lord. So when they say Halelujah we say Praise the Lord. The idea here is to tell the Lord how great He is. God made a covenant with His people, He agreed to love them and send them help and they agreed to love Him and obey. As a result of their agreement the Lord showed Himself to be true.
The Bible says, “Jesus said, “If people held their peace, the stones would immediately start shouting” (Luke 19:40). No one wants the rocks to cry out in their place so here we learn a valuable lesson from the Jews today. Let’s look at it this way if you were to try and hold your breath for 30 seconds and after that time you would probably realize that all you could think about was how long you had to hold your breath. Your need to breath should always remind you of how great God is and all the things that the Lord gives you. God has promised us all many things and some of them have come to pass and some are still a work in progress. Either way we have all experienced the grace and mercy of God on some level. I would even be willing to say that we have all seen God move in a situation, whether someone else or your own, where you know that only God could have brought you through it because there was no way you could have done it. When you think about those moments it should make any challenge that you face seem small. When you think about your need to breath, your need for air why not praise God for it? After all when you think about it if He had not breath life into you where would you be right now? Would you be right now?
Be obedient to the word of God and praise Him every chance that you get. Think about how He came through for the Jews and think about how He came through for you. Don’t forget the Jesus Christ is still seated at the right hand of the Lord interceding on your behalf. He deserves all of the praise and the Glory. Every breath you breathe at some point you should stop and praise the Lord.
Jesse R. Watson Jr.
Verse of the Day
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Revelation 12:11
How good are you at telling stories? In the marketing world stories sell and facts tell. We are all master marketers in a sense because we can see a story on the news or in the paper and give a play by play of what happen. We can increase sales or business at our favorite store or restaurant or we can destroy a person’s character and image through expressing our opinion about them. I believe that we are all great story tellers and can appeal to any audience that we choose to. As a preacher we have to tell stories in order to make sure that we reach everyone who is listening.
What about your story though? How good are you at telling your story or are you willing to tell your story. Telling your story is one of the key factors to getting someone saved and walking in a committed relationship with Jesus Christ. The Lord is always at work in us setting up opportunities for us to tell our story. He will even go as far as to give us the words to say to draw others in and then He will take care of the rest. One of the only ways to really do your part in building up the kingdom of God and making disciples is by showing people all of you. They want to see that you are genuine inside out and that you really love the Lord like you say you do. They hear your passion to follow Jesus Christ and see your true love for the Lord through you telling how Jesus Christ saved you and kept you.
We overcome by the word of our testimony because we share a piece of ourselves that we wouldn’t normally share. Anytime you share something about yourself with others it is now public knowledge so you are accountable for your actions at that point. Being conscious that people hear you say how the Lord has been so good to you now cause you to show it in your life. We do this because we don’t want to damage our witness and make people think that we don’t live by what we say. So with that level of accountability you put yourself in a position to overcome similar situations that you face in life and you show others that you really believe what you have shared about the Lord to them. As a result you begin a chain reaction that causes others to believe as well.
In the seventh grade I experienced God’s grace and mercy however it took me a while to realize it. I was playing at school and hit one of my friends and took off running. I was much faster than he was so I decided to show off by running backwards to get away from him. Taunting him I decided to turn around to see where I was going and in a split second, running full speed I ran into a wooden telephone poll. Needless to say I was out cold and when I came too I was in the nurse’s office with a huge contusion on my forehead. It was about 90° that day and I had to walk home by myself about 2 miles away. Long story short the doctor told my mother to watch me when I slept and to wake me up every now and then because it she didn’t I could slip into a comma. I didn’t slip into that comma and I believe that the Lord kept me because he had major plans for my life. I didn’t recognize it then but He was trying to get my attention. The Lord has truly been merciful to me and I am sure He has been to you as well. I have learned through that experience that when the doctor says one thing the Lord has the final say. So in everything I trust God.
What is your story? Many of us may have many stories like I do but all it takes is to share one. You never know how your testimony can truly be liberating to someone else. Set someone free today, set yourself free.
Jesse R. Watson Jr.
Verse of the day
“But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”- 2 Corinthians 10:17-18
There are many of us who don’t get caught up in self promotion. However there are many who subscribe to the same mindset that Martin Lawrence had in the movie “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” the power of me. Here Paul says that it is not wise to compare yourself to yourself. More important the Bible says that the humble will be exalted.
It is true especially in the working world where so many are focused on doing their best to get ahead. Well so many get caught up in doing whatever it takes to put themselves ahead of everyone else. They are willing to step on who ever they have to step on praise themselves and throw others under the bus just for position, status, money and supposed power. The sad part about this is that there are many Christians who are right in the middle of this rat race. They all feel like they have to stand out in order to be considered and they are right but in it is how you go about doing it that matters especially to God.
This text is a reminder that we ought to humble ourselves. It really doesn’t matter what we think of ourselves or what others think of us; it is really about what God thinks. We should be living our lives to honor and please God. If we focus and concentrate on blowing God’s mind then everything else will fall in place. Any promotion or elevation that takes place in your life is going to be because God is at work and He allowed it. There is a practical side to this of course. We have to put in work and we have to work hard in order to maintain, that should be standard. There will be moments when you will be given the opportunity to stand up and stand out, however you don’t take that time to promote the power of you. People see your hard work and what your worth is by how you carry yourself. Most importantly God sees it and just like the Bible says “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.” We don’t have to try so hard to out shine others if we just focus on pleasing God. God in charge of whoever is in charge of you. Our path is already predestined we just have to follow God’s plan.
Remember God is not a magician we have to put in work and do our part in order to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We don’t have to be big promoters of self to the point that we appear conceited. Don’t forget the Bible says that pride comes before destruction. It means a lot more and has a stronger foundation when someone else praises you because you humble yourself and work hard. It is far greater when God promotes you because that is a promotion that no one can change. Stop beating yourself up trying to figure out how to get ahead and make you look better than everyone else. God has already laid a plan out for you and all you have to do is get on course with His plan and He will commend you and exalt you.
Jesse R. Watson Jr.
“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”- 2 Corinthians 7:1
God has promised in chapter 6 to live with the Corinthians and walk with them and be their God. He said that they would be His people; He would be a Father to them. This promise comes from the Lord through Paul as he expressed to them that they should not be yoked with unbelievers. The concept behind being yoked is the joining of two to work together in harmony and on one accord. Real quick a yoke is a wooden beam used on a pair of oxen back in the day to allow them to work together to pull the load. We all know that in relationships we have to work together to pull the load if we are going to experience any kind of success in our relationship. I may have to come back to this one later especially for our married folk.
So when we get to chapter 7 Paul says that now since we have these promises there is something that the people in Corinth have to do. He says let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit. Purifying ourselves is a two fold action. First we have to be willing to turn away from sin. Then we have to be willing to turn towards God. Lets’ face it so many people are comfortable in the sin they are in because right now it is getting them what they want and where they want at least that is what they believe. They are blinded by their own selfish desires and can’t see that the pleasure they are experiencing is only temporary and it won’t last because there is no foundation for it to stand on. It is understandable that when you are faced with a challenge in your life sometimes the easy way out is very appealing. We may even convince ourselves that one time won’t hurt and no one will know anyway unless we tell them. Then that leads to us creating a justified reason for our actions. I only ask one question, where does faith that God got you fit into that equation?
Turning to God really is the easy part we just don’t always realize it though. Think about it, if you choose to take the easy route and you get to the end and it still doesn’t work the way you wanted it to who do you call on? God! Exactly so why not just go to Him first and save yourself the heart ache? The people in Corinth had a hard time grasping that concept and truthfully we do to some times. It is still all a part of the process of purifying ourselves. God is the only one who knows where the road we are on is leading us too when it will end, so why not just choose to God to God first?
For the Corinthians perfecting holiness meant that they had to have nothing to do with paganism. We too have to disassociate ourselves with evil sinful ways. We all have to make a clean break with our past and give ourselves to God alone. The only way to receive the promises of God is to do it His way. We sometimes want to circumvent the system and expect the same results. God is not bootleg and He will not allow us to be either. In order to receive what God has in store for us we have to willingly commit to living our lives according to His will and His way. We should want to do it out of respect and love for God who has done so much for us. I want what God has in store for me. His vision for my life is far greater than I can ever imagine so I am going to do everything within my power to stay committed to Him. In that effort everything else will fall in line by the grace of God. So what are you going to do?
Jesse R Watson Jr.