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Fruit of the Spirit

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Tips For Success For The Christian Business Woman

Tips For Success For The Christian Business Woman

  1. Decide that God will be the CEO of your organization.  Remember He is not your business partner, you are His business partner.
  2. Don’t tell God your plans for your business.  Ask Him what His plans are for your business, and get into alignment with Him.  Remember success and promotion comes as a result of obedience.
  3. Pray, pray and pray!  Through prayer, God will give you a vision for your business.  After you receive this vision and you are clear on what God is leading you to do, write it down.  I would even suggest that you write out a Mission Statement also.
  4. Assess what your right now passionate goal is, then create a plan on how you are going to achieve it.  Break it down into small wins.  Have a daily, weekly, biweekly and monthly goal.  Be sure that you have a completion date on all of your goals.
  5. Have goal posters or vision boards up everywhere as constant reminders of your goal.  Also create tracking boards to track your progress.
  6. Have an accountability partner.  Who do you know that will keep it real with you and be totally honest?  That’s who you need to partner up with.
  7. Get great at managing your emotions.
  8. Get great at managing your time.  Make a schedule and create some structure in your life if you don’t already have some structure in place.
  9. Get great at managing your finances.  Be smart with your money.
  10. If you are in Sales, by Friday of each week, have several appointments on your books for the upcoming week.  Book at least three times the number of appointments that you actually want to hold.
  11. Make it a habit to share info regarding your business with everyone that you come in contact with.   Your job is to always be promoting your business.
  12. Only share your goals and dreams with friends, and family members who are positive and who genuinely support you.   Don’t share with people who are negative.
  13. Remember success is not convenient.  Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Success is also not an accident, it’s a planned event.
  14. Feed your brain with great books and listen to great messages.  Leaders are readers.
  15. Whatever it is that God has given you the vision to do, He will work through you for His kingdom purposes.  Stay open to His leading.  It will not just be a business or career opportunity, or a means to get rich.  Even though wealth can certainly come from your success, what it truly is, is a kingdom assignment.

When your success comes it is important that you acknowledge God from whom all of our blessings flow.

Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Proverbs 31:8
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.

Colossians 3:23
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Proverbs 12:24
24 Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.

Proverbs 14:23
23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Philippians 4:13
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let My Soul Be Refreshed

Let My Soul Be Refreshed

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 11:28-30
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

In the last month I have found myself sighing a lot more than usual.  It finally dawned on me that I was anxious about something that I had no control over.  Instead of totally turning it over to God, I was still holding on to the situation.

To make matters worse, my workload had increased with my business and I was starting to feel  quite tired and a bit stressed.
One day I decided to shut my work day down early and just breathe.  I needed a break, I had pushed too hard for too long and I had ignored my need for rest. I remember climbing into bed totally exhausted in the middle of the day.  I took a long, much needed nap and when I woke up, I felt a bit refreshed but still tired.  I decided to just veg out in front of the TV for a while.  I needed a break mentally and physically.
I must say that the times that I have felt the most refreshed, was when I simply got  still and let God nourish me with His love.  I didn’t have to say anything or do anything. I just needed to be still in God’s presence and He did everything else.   He is the one that truly refreshes my soul.
When I spend time reading His Word my soul is refreshed.  I call this spiritual self-care.  There is nothing like spending time with the Creator, the One who knows the number of hairs that he has so carefully and purposefully placed on your head, the One who knitted you together in your mother’s womb.
 If you are running on empty today, and you need a break from the cares and stresses of this life, I encourage you to get still for a few minutes and spend time in God’s presence. He will refresh you, guide you and direct your steps.  Remember Self-Care starts with Soul-Care.
Psalm 16:11 says: In your presence there is  fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 63:1-3 says; O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for Your presence.  In a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Seek the Lord when your soul is thirsty and tired.  Only He can truly refresh and satisfy your every need..  

Mark 6:31-32
31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
Exodus 33:14
14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Clarity And Direction

Clarity And Direction

Are you sacrificing peace, clarity, and direction for comfort and ease?   Last week I came to the realization that I had been doing exactly that.

For over forty-seven years now, I have been writing my prayers and journaling.  At one time when I was really seeking to hear from God for direction and guidance, I was rising at 5:00 AM to pray, and to journal.  I was amazed at how I would receive downloads from God for my day.

This 5:00 AM appointment time with God all started during a really challenging qualification period that I was going through in my career.  God laid it on my heart during that time to rise at 5:00 AM to spend time with Him.

I continued this 5:00 AM meeting time for a while, and then I eased back into a time that was most convenient for me.  You see I am not what you would consider a morning person at all.  I usually wake up moving in slo-mo.

Although I continued reading my Bible and praying in the mornings, I just found that it more was more convenient for me, to write in the evenings right before bedtime.

I am currently in qualification for another big goal in my career, and God has laid it on my heart to start writing in the mornings again.  Thank goodness He has not urged or prompted me to do 5:00 AM again. I am twenty years older than I was when He instructed me to do that the first time.  And honestly, it would be quite the challenge at this stage in my life, considering other things that I am currently going through.  However what I do know for sure, is that if He calls me to it, He will give me the strength for it.

So this past week I got up early one morning, read my Bible and prayed as usual and added my writing back into my morning routine.  Boy did I see God show up!  It is absolutely amazing what blessings come from being obedient.  God started to give me downloads and ideas for my day.  I recognized some things that I had never caught before. Talk about clarity it was definitely happening.   Just because I did as God had asked me to do.

He revealed to me that I needed a new tracking board for my business and that I needed to create a whole new Goal poster.   I created the tracking board and the Goal poster and I was absolutely amazed, that even my penmanship appeared clearer.  This whole process was a really neat experience.  God revealed Himself to me through something this simple.  I have now been prompted to pray for strategy.  Wow! God will even help us to know what to pray for.

Needless to say, it made me wonder, how many God wink moments like this that I have missed because I wanted to be obedient, but obedient my way.   May I encourage you today to learn from my mistake?  Don’t sacrifice peace, clarity, and direction for comfort and ease.  It will make your journey a lot longer and not nearly as enjoyable. Do it God’s way to experience His perfect peace and blessings.

28 “for in Him we live and move and have our being..
“Acts 17:28
Dedicated to Leading Women to Live Victoriously by Empowering them to Step into Greatness.
Psalm 63[a]
 You, God, are my God,  earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
Psalm 143:8-10
7-10 Hurry with your answer, God!  I’m nearly at the end of my rope.
Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!  That would be certain death.
If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice,
I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in you.
Point out the road I must travel; I’m all ears, all eyes before you.
Save me from my enemies, God—   you’re my only hope!
Teach me how to live to please you,  because you’re my God.
Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.
Psalm 37:23-24
23 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,  for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Are You Headed For The Ditch?

Are You Headed For The Ditch?

When I was a little girl approximately 4 years old, my mom and I were about to leave home, when she realized that she needed to run back into the house for something.   When she jumped out of the car to go back into the house,  I quickly jumped into the driver’s seat of our new salmon-colored Ford car.  I put the car in drive and headed straight for the ditch, barely missing our mailbox while gripping the steering wheel as though I knew what I was doing.

I probably had seen my mom and dad do this at least a hundred times or more, so I decided that I could do it too.  Needless to say when my mom came out of the house, she was in total shock, and thankful all at the same time that I was alive.   I think the only reason I didn’t get a spanking for my little escapade that day, was that my mom was so relieved that I was still all in one piece.

You see even as adults if left to our own devices we would drive our lives straight into the ditch.  So many times we want to do just as I did as a child. We want God to get out of the driver’s seat so that we can take over. Trust me, when I tell you,  that the safest thing that we can do, is ask Jesus to take the wheel.  Not only should we ask Him to take the wheel, but also to keep the wheel, because He can see a lot further down the road than we can. He knows where the potholes are, the curves as well as the detours and He knows our destination and we don’t.

What I am saying to you today, is to trust God with your life. He knows what He is doing, and He knows your purpose for coming to this planet.  Allow Him the space and time to reveal those things to you, as He sees that you are ready to handle them.  Then and only then will you get to experience all that He has in store for you. He’s the ultimate chauffeur. Stress less and enjoy the ride, you are headed for a safe arrival.–

28 “for in Him we live and move and have our being..“Acts 17:28
Dedicated to Leading Women to Live Victoriously by Empowering  them to Step into Greatness.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,  and he will make your paths straight.[a
Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times, you people;  pour out your hearts to him,  for God is our refuge.
Jeremiah 17:7
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,  whose confidence is in him.
Psalm 37:23-24
23 The Lord makes firm the steps   of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,   for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
Isaiah 30:21
21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Isaiah 58:11
11 The Lord will guide you always;   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden,  like a spring whose waters never fail.
Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;   I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

 

 

Knowing When And How To Be Content

Knowing When And How To Be Content
Philippians 4:11-13
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.

Today’s lesson is about contentment.  I would like to first ask you a few questions that will help you to determine your level of contentment.

1.  Do you struggle to have peace in your life?

2.  Are you always reaching for bigger and better, or are you satisfied with what God has provided for you?

3.  Do you often think when this happens or when I get this I will be happy?

4.  Do you find yourself complaining a lot?

5.  Are you jealous of what others have?

If you are answering yes to any or all of these questions, you are not living in a place of contentment.

In the society that we live in today, there is always the pressure to have more and to be more.  Please hear my heart on this.  It is a good thing for us to strive to be the best that we can be.  There is nothing wrong with having goals that will take you to the next level in your life.  However, when this quest for more causes us to sin, by worrying or being jealous of others, or grumbling and complaining, it means that we are starting to be ungrateful for what God has already blessed us with.  Ingratitude causes discontentment.

May I be transparent for a minute?  Years ago I had a career as an Interior Designer.  I was blessed to go in some of the most beautiful homes imaginable.   I remember starting to crave the lifestyles that I was constantly seeing.  I became discontent with what I had already been blessed with.  I wanted the big house and the luxury cars and the designer bags and the clothes too, that went with it all.   As I have matured in my walk with God, I now realize that I wanted success for all of the wrong reasons.  It wasn’t about anyone but me.  I even remember being a bit jealous of those who were living the life that I dreamed of.  How sad it must have made God, to see me so ungrateful when He had already blessed me with so much.

So you may be asking, what did I do to go from discontentment to contentment and live a life of total peace?   To answer your question, for many years now I have been keeping a gratitude journal.   At the end of each day, I write down the things that I am most grateful, for that day.  This habit has literally changed my life.

My focus has shifted from the frustration of what I don’t have to be grateful for what I do have.  It has helped me to even be more appreciative of the very small things.  I now look to see the blessing as well as the lesson in everything, and that even includes the things that most would consider difficult or unfair.   It has been amazing to see that when I stopped worrying about many of these things, God blessed me with them anyway.    Through spending time with God, reading His word, and journaling, I can honestly say I am no longer the same person that I was years ago, and I praise God for that!   So today if you are not in a place of contentment, stop looking at the person in the mirror, and start looking up.  When you start to focus on God, peace will flood in like a river, and all of a sudden your perspective will start to shift and your dreams will start to align with God’s will for your life.  Don’t forget, look up!

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Luke 12:15
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
2 Corinthians 12:10
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Proverbs 30:8-9
Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches,  but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal,  and so dishonor the name of my God.
Psalm 23:1
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

 

 

 

My Words For The Year

My Words For The Year

As we are now deep into the month of January, I am sure that many of you have already made your New Year’s resolutions by now.  Although I have made a few resolutions, I plan to do something that has really become popular in the last few years, and that is selecting a word for the year. 

However, instead of one word, I have selected two words for this year.  I have selected Obedience for my spiritual word, and the word Growth for my business.  As I am writing this, I just had the thought that maybe my words should be, Grow In Obedience.

 If I can be totally transparent with you, I don’t always obey God’s voice instantly, which to me is the same as disobedience.  Sometimes I wrestle with God.   And although I never win, it seems that my sinful nature always wants to have its own selfish way before I am willing to surrender to God’s will.

 I am writing about this today, because there may be others of you, who struggle with immediate obedience.  It’s not that I am willfully disobedient, it’s that I don’t say yes Lord immediately, and I don’t always respond to His promptings immediately.   My goal this year, is to say yes Lord more, and not to question Him, but to simply obey.  I know in my heart of hearts, that He always knows what is best for me, and I will trust that.

My goal this year is to joyfully serve God in whatever capacity that he asks of me.

 I am starting to notice that the more time that I spend in God’s word and in prayer and journaling, the easier obedience seems to be for me.  So,” Yes, Lord” is my new goal for the New Year.   If this is something that you struggle with also, I encourage you to join me in this goal. 

You may want to write yourself a note and keep it in your Bible regarding your new commitment to obedience.  As a reminder, I have written the word Obedience with a bold black marker on a bright orange notecard to keep in my Bible.   It will be a constant reminder throughout the year that my goal is not to question God, but to simply trust and obey Him.   Every time I open my Bible it will be right there to help me stay focused on the goal of obedience.

Prayerfully at the end of 2023, we will be much better in the area of obedience than ever before, and in the process, we will grow closer to God.  If we do this, I am convinced that we will see some incredible things unfold in our lives just because we were willing to say, Yes Lord!    Have a very Happy and very Obedient New Year!

60 I will hurry, without delay,  to obey your commands.

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him.

23 This is what I told them: ‘Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Do everything as I say, and all will be well!’

46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Thanksgiving Inquiry

A Thanksgiving Inquiry


Psalm 69:30
I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.
1st Chronicles 29:13
Now, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name.
Psalm 9:1 
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
 I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 107:1 
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
 his love endures forever.
Psalm 95:2-3
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,  
the great King above all gods.
1st Thessalonians 5:18
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 136:1-3
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
Psalm 107:8-9
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
1st Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 106:1
Praise the Lord.[a] Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good: his love endures forever.

November is traditionally a month that most people celebrate Thanksgiving. Families all over the country will gather around dining room tables, to eat, laugh, and enjoy spending time with each other. For some this will be the first time gathering since the pandemic, and boy what a joyous reunion that will be!

Today I would like to do something a little different. I have formulated some questions for you to answer, regarding the things you are grateful for this year. Please allow yourself some alone time to think and really ponder the questions as well as your answers. Take this time to be in God’s presence, and praise him through thanksgiving and gratitude.

1. What are you most grateful for this year?

2. How has God shown Himself faithful to you this year?

3. What is the largest thing that you prayed for this year, that God blessed you with?

4. What is the smallest thing that you prayed for this year, that God blessed you with?

5. What prayers were not answered the way you wanted this year, and now looking back, you are grateful that God said no?

6. How will you express your gratitude back to God?

 

Be blessed and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

The Joy of Peace

THE JOY OF PEACE

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Do you tend to worry or feel stressed out a lot of the time, or live in a state of constant anxiety?  Well, I can definitely tell you, that when I was younger I had many stressful days and sleepless nights.  You see even though I was a Christian, and I prayed and read my Bible almost daily, I still worried when I felt like things were out of my control.

Over the years as I continued to spend time studying my Bible, and growing in the knowledge of God and His character, I truly came to realize that He can always be trusted no matter my circumstance.  As I look back over my past, I can clearly see that time after time, He came through for me, and usually in ways that far exceeded my expectation.

It is our human nature to want to be in control of our circumstances, but I am here to tell you, that we are not in control of anything at all. God runs the show, and He is the boss of you and me, and the sooner we realize that the more we can relax and live the peaceful life that He intended for us to live.

To live a life free of worry, stress, and anxiety, is to live a peaceful life, and the only way to have that life is to spend time with the Prince of Peace, God Himself.  He will give you peace in the midst of your storms, He will give you peace when the rest of this chaotic world is going crazy.

When you are wearing this peace that passes all understanding, others will know that God truly has imparted it to you.   They will notice that you go through life happy and joyful.  They will notice that you are smiling when most would be crying.   They will also notice that you don’t sweat the small stuff and rarely will anyone be able to rattle your cage because you are trusting God to work out your difficult situations.

The true joy of peace is being ok with whatever God’s will is for your life and knowing beyond a shatter of doubt that that His love for you, will only allow Him to do what is best for you at all times.  So continue spending time with the Prince of Peace and before you know it, you will be at peace.

Are you currently lacking peace in some area of your life right now?   Below I have listed some scriptures on the peace that are sure to bring you comfort.

John 16:33
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast,   because they trust in you.
John 14:27
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
1st Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Matthew 11:28-30
28 “Come to Me, all [a]who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is [b]easy and My burden is light.”
Romans 15:13
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 4: 8
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
Psalm 29:11
The Lord gives his people strength.  The Lord blesses them with peace.
2nd Thessalonians 3:16
16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
Isaiah 54:10 
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken  nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 9: 6
For a child is born to us,   a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.  And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,[a] Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions,  he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

 

Oh, To Be Content

Have you ever gone through a season when life seemed absolutely unbearable?  Have you ever become impatient with God, because He was moving way too slow.  Could it be that you are just simply disenchanted with the way your life is going right now?  If your answer is yes to any of these questions, today I would like to visit with you briefly about what it means to be content.

 When you go to your dictionary and look up the word content, you may see the following as a definition;  in a state of peaceful happiness, satisfied with a certain level of achievement, and not wishing for more, a state of satisfaction.

In Philippians 4:11 Paul says I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances, a little bit later in 4:13 He says that; I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.  After thinking about this, I have personally come to the conclusion, that Paul’s contentment was based not only on his trust in God but in his trust in God’s character. He had experienced God’s faithfulness through numerous circumstances, and he had seen the heart of God throughout His journey.

Being content is not always easy.   But if we just think back, and reflect on all of the times that God has been faithful to us in the past through the hard times, it helps us to remain hopeful for our future.   Contentment, in my opinion, can be simple, trusting while you are waiting.  Trusting that when the time is right, God will change your set of circumstances, and if He chooses not to, you are still trusting that He will only do what is best for you. Either way, trusting God is the real source of contentment and inner peace.  As you spend more and more time with God, you will grow to trust Him more and more.

Today, I want to encourage you to seek His face daily.  Choose peace and contentment over stress and worry. Remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, and that means even going through the hard stuff.

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;  never will I forsake you.”[a]
1 Timothy 6:6-10
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Romans 15:13
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 62:5-8
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;  my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;  he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[a];  he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

 

God’s Plan For Living In Racial Harmony

"God’s Plan For Living In Racial Harmony" was originally posted in March 2019.
In light of all that is going on in our country at this time,  I thought it appropriate to repost.

A a few weeks ago I spoke at a Women’s Conference at a University here in my home state. My topic was “God’s Plan For Racial Harmony”. Initially, I was excited to do this, and then at some point in my time of preparation, God made it very clear to me, that even though I was passionate about doing this, I had an awesome responsibility to get this right. It was by no means to be a political speech but a Biblical one.

I was also excited that this was going to be discussed on a college campus. With all of the divisiveness going on in our country these days, I thought having this conversation would be healing for some and informative for others.
Though excited it saddened me, that we are still needing to have this conversation in our country.   The reality is that we have definitely made progress In this area,  but our hearts still need to be pricked and opened more to see and accept others as God does.  The reality also, is that we are on a journey to be more like Him and God is love. We are to love everyone, not just those that look like us, or that we are comfortable being around, but everyone.  Maybe it’s time to give yourself a heart check. Only God can give us the ability to love as He does, and that is totally unconditional.  With His help and His help alone, we really can achieve this capacity to love others as He does.
To help you start your journey of living a life in Racial Harmony and loving others as Christ does, I have I shared a few of my notes from this speech.  I hope that they will enlighten some of you and remind others of you what God’s word says about how we should treat one another, no matter the color of our skin.  You may know individuals that struggle with this terrible sin called racism, and if so, I would love for you to encourage them to read this also. 

I.  What Does Living In Racial Harmony Mean?
To live in harmony is to live, working peacefully together.  It means we are living peacefully, instead of living at odds or in conflict with one another.
Colossians 3:14
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
Psalm 133:1
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!
Hebrews 12:14
14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
Romans 12:16
 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
2.  To Live In Racial Harmony We Have To Recognize That There Is Only One Race.

Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT)
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings[a] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,[b] and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”27 So God created human beings[c] in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Acts 17: 26-28
26 From one man[a] he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your[b] own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

There is only one race, however, there are several ethnicities within this one race, such as Africans, Asians,   Caucasians, Latinos, Indians, Arabs, Jews, etc.
Ethnicity is generally made up of cultural traditions and behaviors as well as beliefs that are common to a specific group.

3.  God Does Not Show Partiality, So Neither Should We
God’s plan for racial harmony was revealed through His sacrificial death on the cross.  God desires unity among His children.
 Ephesians 2:14-22 (NLT)
14 For Christ, himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
Deuteronomy 10:17-19
17 “For the Lord, your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. 18 He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. 19 So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.
Acts 10:34-36
34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation, he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. As children of God we all share the same DNA, therefore spiritually speaking we are all saved by one bloodline and that’s the blood of Jesus Christ.  Physically speaking we are all connected through one bloodline also and that’s the bloodline of Adam and Eve.  We are connected physically and spiritually.

  1.  10 Things We Must Do to Live In Racial Harmony With One Another
    1).  We must acknowledge that racism is a sin. The reason racism is a sin is that showing partiality is a sin.
    James 2:1
    My dear brothers and sisters,[a] how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
    James 2: 9
    But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.
    James 2:12-13
    12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
    2). Our hearts and minds must change.
    Romans 12:2
    Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
    Psalm 51:10
    10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. If you have been programmed to think stereotypical thoughts of others or to think biased towards others, you must transform your thoughts with the word of God, and then your heart will change also. Ask God to create in you a clean heart and He will.
    3). We must exemplify Golden Rule Living
    Matthew 7:12
     12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
    Simply treat others the way you would want them to treat you if the situation or circumstance were reversed.

    4). We must see others through the eyes of Christ.  God sees value in every human life and we must do the same.
    Romans 5:8
    But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners remember that in God’s eyes we all have value. The same blood that was shed for your redemption was shed for mine. We all have purpose, gifts, and talents. Let’s also see the value in our differences and celebrate how God has uniquely created each of us.
    5). We must respect everyone no matter their race or color.
    1st Peter 2:16-17 (NLT)
    16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers.[a] Fear God, and respect the king.
    Every human being on the planet desires to be loved first, and secondly to be respected. When we respect someone we are saying that they matter. It is a validation of their worth.
    6). We must show compassion to all humanity not just to those who look like you.
    Luke 10:30-37
    30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[a] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[b] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy. ”Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.
    7). We should share each other’s burdens. By willing to help by giving to, and sharing with those in need, no matter who they are.
    Galatians 6:2
    2. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
    8). Communication is key! — Start the conversation, learn about other cultures.  Educate yourself.  Validate and affirm those who need it.  Be just as willing to listen and consider another point of view.
    James 1:19
    19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
     Ephesians 4:29
     29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. We must listen to start the process of understanding each other as well as to start the healing process in our country.  One of the reasons that our country is still so racially divided is because everyone is talking and giving their point of view, yet no one is listening.
    “People fail to get along because they fear each other, they fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
    9). Women, you have the power to change the world right at your kitchen table, with the conversation you have with your husbands and children. When you hear things that are racially biased or outright wrong Speak Up!   Teach your family what is right, don’t just turn your head as though you don’t hear the conversation. Many of the issues that are causing societal problems can be resolved right at home. Remember, when you know what to do and you don’t do it, you will be held accountable before God. “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Proverbs 31: 11
    Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
    Proverbs 31:26
    26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
    10). Love the way Christ loved.
    Psalm 86:15
    15 But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
    1st Corinthians 13:4-84
    Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[a] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Christ was compassionate, loving, gentle, patient, merciful, forgiving, generous, and gracious.  Most importantly He was obedient to the will of His Father.

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”  “ I have decided to stick with love-hate is too great a burden to bear.”
 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Definitions Of Key Words Regarding Racism

Justice- Just behavior or treatment. The quality of being fair and reasonable in treatment to others.
Isaiah 1:17
17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. 

Fight for the rights of widows.
Proverbs 31: 8-9
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.

Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
Injustice – Lack of fairness or justice in the way we treat others.
Leviticus 19: 15
15 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.
Racism- Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
Racist– A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.
Systemic Racism or Institutional Racism– is a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions.  It is reflected in disparities regarding wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other factors. (Wikipedia)
Bigotry– intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
Discrimination– The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
Segregation– The action or state of setting someone or something apart from other people or things or being set apart.
Oppression– Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control.
Slavery- a condition compared to that of a slave in respect of exhausting labor or restricted freedom. A system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration.
Supremacist– An advocate of the supremacy of a particular group, especially one determined by race or sex.
White Privilege– is the social privilege that benefits people whom society identifies as white in some countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.
Hate Crimes- A crime, typically one involving violence that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other grounds.

References:
The Bible

Oxford Dictionary
Wikipedia
 Knowledge

Recommend Reading:
Holy Bible
Bloodline by John Piper