My Dad was My #1 Fan

So I was born to a Father who along with my mom paved the way for all three of my siblings and I to go to Mona Prep. At one point in time we were all there at the same time; must have been a serious sacrifice💰💲. In many a ways, my dad was like my number #1 fan. From the moment I started track & field at Mona in grade 1 all the way through to third form at Jamaica College, he was always there. This support was magnified when I then switched from tracks to football. He was always there on the sidelines as our team’s second coach. Then there was college, as I attended Judson College in Chicago on football and academic scholarship. Yet, he would take trips to visit, spend time and ensure I was okay, because I didn’t have much family members in the state of Illinois. His support through life made him the obvious choice of best man at my wedding and it remains one of the last happiest memories of my life with him. Was he perfect? Far from it, but what can you say about someone who was always there when you needed them the most. On Good Friday, 2000, when I went up to the altar to give the Lord my life, my dad somehow made it from over 50 feet away, playing with my little sister, to laying his arm around me and praying as a mighty man of God. I had never heard a man, much less my dad pray like this before. I was honored to be brought before God with both Jesus and my dad in my presence at the same time. When he left this earth it was like losing the grounding, the anchor that was always there; anger was present along with bitterness and fear. Though he died as a child of God I was angry with the Lord, and avoided speaking to Him and reading His Word. I had to learn months later to forgive myself and accept this fate; to forgive the Lord who would give understanding and increase my faith. Now I must press through this life as best as I can, to one day be reunited with my dad, my best man. Lord of infinite wisdom, God of everything; please give my dad a hug and kiss and let him know how much I miss him.

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FIRST LOVE (Poem)

Revelations 2:4
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.

We have a Lover who loved us before we were born.
We have Our First Love; all of our sins He had borne.
His love unfailing, impeccable through the ages.
His love in separable, yet sin makes the changes.

It changes our nature, desires, habit and dreams;
Each day in sin pushes Him further out of our reach.
It’s like we’re saying, “I see what You did on the cross my Lord,
I love and believe you but I just can’t obey Your Word.”

“You love me in sin, amidst pride and in my defeats,
You keep pursuing me, How I wish You would leave!”
We don’t exactly use this words but our actions speak louder,
We use sweet words but deny Him every hour.

Yet, we remember Him like someone who remembers you in distress,
Who never sticks around or calls when things are at their best.
Isn’t it amazing how we hate when people in this way try to use us,
Yet we do the same thing to Jesus who would never mislead or mistreat us.

We rush into sin without need for pause or guilt,
As we pursue Our own needs without any care for His will.
Yeah, He birthed us for a purpose we all know this,
But we are just too busy about us, living our life how we wish.

“I will serve Him when I am ready at the time when I find the time;”
Though 120 persons die every minute, that is, 4 by the time I found this rhyme.
A life of fun, self and love, whilst abandoning our First Love.
I urge us all to remember and reciprocate to our God above.

The choice remains yours to choose as you will;
We gave sin a chance and racked up a hefty bill.
Yet our Lover is rich in love and His blood with mercy,
He can wash us clean as He appeals to us “Please, don’t continue to hurt Me!”

My friends, my brothers, my sisters in Christ,
Taste and see how Our God can change a life.
Now is the acceptable time, of this we are sure,
So run to Him and give Him all you have, I beseech! I implore!

The Family Friend and the Lawyer

Situation 1:

A Restaurant Owner that’s a long time family friend invites you and your friends to his restaurant, so you can enjoy your birthday. It’s buffet night and drinks-inclusive so you know the party is about to get started. The only condition though, is that you ensure to give him bill before he leaves at the end of the night or He won’t be able to settle the bill for you.

Wouldn’t you absolutely ensure that you don’t party too hard just in case he leaves without you realizing?

Situation 2:

A Lawyer whose business is focused on helping people to write off their debts is to be shutting down soon. It so happens that this is the last company of its kind in your area. You have already won two cases in which he has had all your debts written off. However, you have other things that you are trying to attain but you are afraid to take out a loan because you don’t know if the lawyer’s company will still be around for a third possible case and win.

Do you go ahead with the loan at great risk or decide to exercise diligence and self-control in savings and attain the rest of what you want without credit?

These analogies help our understanding of who God is. He is entirely Merciful and he is entirely Just at the same time. His mercy says “You may live your life each day with your power of free will and choice however you want.” His justice adds, “But ensure before you die that you had accepted My Son as your Lord & Savior.”

This is why the scripture says that His mercy and faithfulness are new every morning. It is like His mercy and grace resets, in an effort to give each and every one of us enough time to see what sin is about, learn what He is about and then make the best decision regarding our life here on earth and eternity ever after.

Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” My prayer today is that you make that decision for Christ, sooner rather than later and see the great things that He has in store for you.

Prayer for Today:
MOST RIGHTEOUS & HEAVENLY FATHER, I thank You for Your mercy, grace and faithfulness towards me. I ask You to forgive me off all my sins and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I invite You, Jesus, into my heart as my Lord & Savior now a forevermore, in Your Name I pray. AMEN!!

Two Wealthy Business Men

This is the story of two wealthy business men, who wanted to invest their riches.
The 1st business man brings all his money to a swindler, whose company only deals in short-term investment activities. The swindler invests all the business man’s cash for the purpose of immediate returns; with no long-term plans whatsoever. His business is named, Immediate Gratification with the slogan “Why Wait?” This caught the business man’s eye, because he was a man who lived in the ‘NOW’, and believed in working hard but partying even harder; so Immediate Gratification (I.G.) was the place for him.

The 2nd Business Man invested his wealth with an old-fashioned investment banker, whose business was named Rock Solid Investments, with a slogan “Yesterday, Today, Forevermore.” His company’s portfolio ranged from short to long-term investments along with a life-after-death facility, that allowed for one to spend paradise in a place that inspired all other paradises. The business man rested well, knowing the master investor would not only be able to strengthen his holdings, but guarantee his eternal future.

Business-men-slider

Today, we invest in motor vehicle insurance, just in case of an accident or theft, mainly. We invest in life insurance which does not do much for us personally, but mainly helps our loved ones when we pass on.
Business people are taught succession planning as we know that one day the younger generation will have to take over.

Nevertheless, many people today operate with total disregard to the risk of dying outside of Jesus and His holiness. They plan for their future and their family as it pertains to life here on earth. The strangest thing is that most people believe in a heaven and hell yet, they make no assurances that this is where they definitely have to go. They may have a desire or intention to make it there, but somehow there is never a right time for them to make the decision or have the relevant conversations. Most times, they are too busy with earthly matters and entanglements to make the most important decision of all.

This is not only unfortunate but a severe catastrophe. My prayer today, is that we all STOP whatever we believe is so important and guarantee our eternal salvation, because in the end –

The worse thought would be us being so busy working, going to school, looking about our business, family, friends and fun at the expense of neglecting Jesus; pass on from this life, and after we do, they decide to accept Jesus after. We would have given our world and eternity for them, but in the end, even a million prayers wouldn’t be able to pluck us out of an eternity in hell.

Prayer for Today:
LORD JESUS, help me to never be too busy to guarantee my eternal salvation. I ask You to take precedence over everything in my life that competes against my affection and dedication to You. I confess today that I am a sinner and I repent now and forevermore. Come into my heart Jesus and save me from myself from this day, to my last day; in Your Name I pray. AMEN!

Russian Roulette Anyone?

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

There is a level of suicidal pride that some of us exhibit while we are in sin. From time to time, we may come into contact with ministers of the gospel who talk to us about giving our lives to the Lord. Yet, sometimes we boastfully choose to remain in sin, as we turn our backs on the very Savior who is trying to deliver us from impending doom.

Like the rich man we exclaim that we will take life easy – eat, drink and be merry; not knowing that our lives could be required of us at that very moment. It’s like the most dangerous form of Russian Roulette that has ramifications in eternity. The worst part of it all, is that we pretend as if this game has been rigged in our favor, not knowing that each moment that we deny Christ, we draw ever so closer to that last chance that so many of those that passed on had.

My bothers and sisters, take this message as a warning, wrapped in the love of Christ Jesus; “While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly'” (1 Thes. 5:3). When Jesus said boast not thyself in tomorrow it was not a recommendation or word of encouragement; it was a warning.

🙏DON’T WAGER ETERNAL DAMNATION FOR ONE MORE DAY OF SIN.🙏

Prayer for Today:
LORD JESUS, I repent of ever denying or turning away from You. I ask You to come into my heart and forgive me from all my uncleanliness and unrighteousness. I receive You now and forevermore as my Lord & Savior. AMEN!

The Question

The Lord recently impressed upon me that He wanted me to start to reach out to all of my contacts on all social media platforms, sharing with them what He has been teaching me throughout my devotions and life as a Christian. Hence, these daily devotionals.

I knew I would be asked by some persons, specifically on the WhatsApp forum, to be excluded from the broadcasts; I expected it and still continue to. The Lord had prepared me and is still in the process of doing so, yet the two verses that spur me on are:

1) Freely as you receive, freely give (Matthew 10:8).
2) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

The Lord is in the business of wanting to save all, but He himself said that though many are called, the ones who would answer His call would be few. Therefore, if even one person is being inspired, motivated and empowered by these messages then I shall press on without becoming weary in well-doing.

The Lord last night asked me to pose one question to all and for all to answer to themselves as honestly and humbly as possible:

WAS IT IN VAIN THAT JESUS DIED FOR ME?

It’s the kind of poignant question that I am still meditating upon. My prayer is that after today we will all be able to answer with this question with total confidence and sincerity saying, “No!”

Prayer for Today:
LORD JESUS, my prayer today is to be counted worthy of Your marvelous sacrifice for me. I pray that You may forgive me for the times that I have rejected, denied or mocked You. I repent now and ask for you to forgive and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I invite You to be my Lord & Savior now and forevermore, in Jesus’ Name. AMEN!!

Christianity – No Shades of Grey

The Lord sees things two ways. For Him there is no grey. Sometimes I myself find it so hard to accept this truth yet, we will examine this through scriptures:

Scripture #1:
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30

EITHER – WE ARE With HIM
OR – AGAINST HIM

EITHER – WE ARE GATHERING
OR – SCATTERING

Scripture #2:
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. James 4:4

EITHER – Child of God
OR – Friend of World

EITHER – Child of God
OR – Enemy of God

EITHER – Child of God
OR – Hatred/Enmity towards God

Scripture #3:
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16

EITHER – SLAVES to RIGHTEOUSNESS
OR – SLAVES to SIN

There are some who try to live life in 50/50 manner. They do some partying, some church, some fornication, some prayer, some swearing, some Bible reading, some lust, some religious talk, some self-worship and yet no true worship.

One of the most important verses of this lesson is this, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-17).

The Lord despises people who persist in trying to live a double-life. No man can serve two master as according to the word of God. It would even seem that the Lord would much rather put up with someone who is cold, but for those who know what is right and still choose to do evil, the Lord does not show the same regard.

My prayer today is that you realize the danger in not being given over 100% to Jesus and His holiness. I pray you count His salvation more important than anything else that you could attain, achieve or gain.

Prayer for Today:
Lord Jesus, I humbly come before you and repent from this life that I have led, to this very point. I confess all my sins to You today and I receive You, Jesus as my Lord & Savior. Help me by Your grace to seek You and worship You with my whole heart now and forevermore more, in Jesus’ Name. AMEN!!!

Where do You Invest Your Treasure?

Scripture Reading:
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

“…However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20

The problem of misplaced joy and thus misplaced priorities is one that repeats itself from generation after generation. It’s been said that a wise man learns from his mistakes but a wiser man learns from other’s mistakes. The scripture speaks to placing our joy in things that are not earthly, be it power over spirits, titles, positions, relationships etc.

Jesus even went further to give an example of how we should rejoice (bu say that we should rejoice that our names are written in heaven). Paul cautioned us that why we shouldn’t rejoice in things of this world; because they are temporal. That means they’re status is easily changeable and able to tampered with by the ‘good of this world.’

Placing our joy in the wrong things places crosshairs on them for the enemy to attack. He is on an endless tirade to attack and steal our joy, thus; finding joy in things here on earth will come under attack. It would be sad if like Job we made the same mistake and had later exclaimed, “the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me” (Job 3:25).

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For examples, if we place our joy in a job or a relationship, losing it will automatically become our greatest fear. And the reason the enemy desires so much to attack our joy is because the word of God states that, “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Thus, stealing our joy is equivalent to stealing our strength and the slippery slope to sadness, depression and anger may present itself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us rejoice in the following:

¤ Our names are written in Heaven
¤ Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus
¤ If God is for Us, then who can be against Us
¤ Greater is He that is in Us, than he that is in the world
¤ We are More than Conquerors through Christ Jesus
¤ All things work together for the good to them that love the Lord

The list goes on and on but you get the gist. We are rejoicing in promises, eternal.

Prayer for Today:
LORD, let our focus, treasure and strength be spent investing in the eternal things that further Your Kingdom here on earth. Cause us to find true joy only in Your unchangeable and eternal promises toward us. WE pray this in no other name, but in the name of the Lamb that was Slain, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

When Mercy Meets Justice

It is impossible to really get to love someone if you only appreciate their good side. It’s been said that true love is knowing the good, the bad and the ugly about a person and still managing to love and appreciate them amidst it all.

When it comes to God, most of us love the God of mercy; we love His un-merited favor that we all at sometime have used as a license to sin. Most people on the other hand, do not love and appreciate the God of justice. We maybe appreciate His justice when wrongs have been done to us by others, but when it is pointed towards our rebellion, our disobedience and our unfaithfulness we don’t find it so cute.

God had said to me years ago, “Philip, like a balanced diet, you will never truly know, love and experience the true benefits of a complete and healthy relationship with Me unless you accept and love Me for all I AM about. You must love My mercy as well as justice, love Me with passion when I’m in your presence, and persist when I seem afar way off.”

To love and appreciate our God of justice is to have a healthy fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom and understanding. It definitely causes us to be more conscious and careful of the choices we make. Where feet once rushed into sin, our steps have now slowed to consider the consequences of the actions we wish to take.

My prayer for all of us today is that we engage in a complete, healthy and unbiased love relationship; loving the Lord for all that He is and is about.

Prayer for Today:
LORD JESUS, I thank You for Your mercy and faithfulness that are new every morning. Encourage me today Lord, to love You for Your being merciful and just and everything in between. I want to love You from this day forward, completely, healthily, without bias and most importantly; not just out of convenience. I thank You for hearing my plea today as I pray all this in Jesus’ Holy Name. AMEN!!!

 

Fight, Fright or Flight

Paul was someone who used to persecute and even put Christians to death yet, when God transformed him he did marvelous exploits, inclusive of writing 11 epistles within the New Testament. He fought through shipwrecks, public punishments inclusive of whippings, imprisonments and being in danger from several crowds of people in certain regions and a whole lot more. His faith to this day is above reproach.

Peter, however; as a disciple of Christ was told by Him that he would deny Him thrice before the cock crowed. He didn’t believe but when people began pointing him out from within the crowd, his fright got better of him.

There is also the story of Jonah; whose mission it was to warn Nineveh of their rebellion and if they never fasted and repented the Lord’s judgement would have been assured. He chose flight, and later endangered himself along with a ship of people who was soon about to be wrecked by a catastrophic storm sent by God because of Jonah’s disobedience.

Peter and Jonah’s sin was as a result of fear and pride.

I wonder how much times for fear of what our friends would think we like Peter, denied Christ too?

I wonder how much times in our self-righteousness we think ourselves better than others, and thus, pre-judge, criticize act selfishly or even wish for other person’s demise?

I wonder who is tired of living within normalcy and mere status quo? Who is going to be utterly sold-out for Christ, no reservation or hesitation; to be willing to lay down their lives for the gospel?

Fear and Pride are two powerful forces in which the adversary uses to cripple us from getting to know Christ or further deepening our relationship with Him.

My prayer today is that fear and pride will be gone from your life now and forevermore!

Prayer for Today:

PRECIOUS HOLY SPIRIT, I welcome you into my life today. You, Holy Spirit is the ONLY Spirit that I wish to remain in my life. I invite You into every are of my life even now; in every corner, facet & crevice. I ask in Jesus’ Name every kind of fear and pride will ne abolished NOW, from within me. I ask for Your grace Jesus, that I may love with Your compassion, power and humility. Empower within the inner-man that I may also slay all lusts and pride each day. I pray all these things in the matchless name of Jesus Christ! Amen!