Count Up the Cost

Earlier today, I sat down to reflect on my weekend. Immediately, I began to think about where each of our three children are in their lives. All of them have goals that they are working towards. Our oldest son is taking classes and has been training our youngest along with a few of his friends in football. Our daughter graduates from high school in June and will begin college in the fall. Our youngest son is adjusting to being a teenager and preparing to transition into high school in the Fall. As I was thinking about how each of them are doing, I began to thank God for what He was doing in their lives.

Then, I began to pray for them. The first thing I asked was that He open doors for them and immediately the Holy Spirit asked me,”What good is the door if I’m not on the other side of it?” That brought everything to a halt. My mind started to ponder that question and my prayer adjusted. I began to pray and ask God to not only open the doors but walk with them through them. Why? If the door is in His will and a result of His leading, the door can’t help but be blessed. Where He leads, His blessings follow. Let me rephrase that He provides where He leads. Our milk and honey is where the Father leads. Our manifested, exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think is there. His peace and joy are there. There is wholeness there as well.

How many times have we asked for open doors and not asked for the one who opens doors no man can shut? I remember when I left my job in 2018. I knew it was time but I wanted to make sure that it was a God thing. I knew that it was going to take faith and a great deal of obedience. I also knew that I had to ready to accept what came with a closed door. What did I do? I shut in. I prayed until God spoke. Then, I moved. I have been blessed every since.

God reminded me today that not only do we need to pray but we need to be specific with our prayers. We pray for open doors. Why? What good is the door is it going to bring us grief and drive us away from God? What does it profit us or our children to gain the world if our souls are lost? Nothing. I want Him and only what He desires for my life as well as theirs. If He is what we are seeking, then the open doors will come? What are you asking God for and why? What do you want it for? Is I worth it? Count up the cost. Are you willing to lose your comfort to gain it? Is it motivated by God or your own desires? Count up the cost.

©️ FREE 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Love Past the Pews

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So much confusion, Chaos all around. It’s not an illusion. People need solid ground.

We are in it not of it; But what should we do. We fill our tabernacles and act blind to the clues.

You’ve called us to a higher place, One of great love and grace. We ask what should we do, You say “My children, love past the pew”.

Love past the pews. Love past the pews. If you open your eyes you’ll see, there’s great work to do.

The harvest is plenteous, The laborers are few. Reach out, Get busy, and love past the pews.

Someone needs to know Him, Someone needs the truth. They may never open the Bible, so they need an open you.

How will they know us, If we continue to hide? There’s so much to gain for the kingdom If we’d just be the light.

Now, you’ve got the answer. Let’s love past the pew.

No fear, No condemnation, No hypocrisy, No lies. Nothing can stop us If we walk in His light. Not by our power or by our might. But by Your Spirit. We can Fish if we’re wise.

My Children you ask, “Father, what can we do?” Take the gospel to all nations,

Love past the pew.

Matthew 28: 18-20 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

John 13:35 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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Love is…

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Love is God,

Love is free,

Love is all He hopes for us to be.

Love is patient,

Love is kind,

Love is yours and it is mine.

Love is flawed,

But it won’t fail,

If it is rooted where the Spirit dwells.

Love can hurt,

Because it makes us feel,

Yet, in the midst of it, we heal.

Love is a challenge,

When we don’t yield,

Yet flows so graciously as we build.

Love, love, love,

Came and rescued me.

Love, love, love,

Has transformed me.

Love, love, love,

Speaks when I have no voice.

But to experience its bounty,

Love must be my choice.

So, I chose today to love, to love, to love.

© FREE 2022 All rights reserved.

Make God Great!

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We hear alot about being great. There is a saying, “They won’t let me be great”, which has become quite a cliche. Greatness is defined as being above the norm or average, extraordinary, exceptional, significant. The world has its view of greatness. It usually correlates with worldly gain, status, or success. However, God’s standard of greatness is measured quite differently. It is Christ-centered and not self-centered. Kingdom greatness rests on how great of a foundation we establish by building God’s kingdom here on Earth.

Jesus eludes to this in Matthew 18:1-5, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? [Jesus] called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me”. The disciples had witnessed great demonstrations of Jesus’ power, helped perform miracles, and knew He was the Son of God. So, they were interested in what status they would have in Heaven and were probably expecting Jesus to reply with a list of qualifications or tasks to complete. Instead, He answered by telling them to come humbly as children.

The disciples were so enamored with what they were doing and what they would get, that they missed the entire point of His response. We often do the same. We get so caught up in performing works for recognition and notoriety that our focus often shifts to self-glorification and not God-glorification, which is not an attribute of the humility Jesus described to the disciples. He wanted them to understand that it was not about whom was doing the work. What mattered most was the spirit and name in which it was done. Was it done in the humility that pointed others to God and brought Him glory?

We need to examine our hearts daily. What is the motivation behind all that we do? God has given us abilities and resources to build His kingdom and not our own. Why do we continue to do so only to end our lives without leaving much legacy? Our goal should be to bring God glory and Him alone.

Being great in God’s kingdom is not about privilege or popularity. It is about sacrifice and denying ourselves. It is about being responsible for bringing others into His kingdom by being the hands and feet of Christ. It is about bringing light and love to a dark, dying world.

If we examine the life of Jesus closely, He was very intentional in making everything He did point back to the Father. In John 6:38, Jesus said, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me”. This is also evident in John 5:19 which reads, “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise”. We are to follow the example of Jesus and reflect the Father in all we do.

There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.  Jeremiah 10:6

 

Ultimately, the true definition of greatness lies in trusting and serving the only GREAT one.

When we do so, His name is exalted. We have made His name great.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32

Let’s Make Him Great!

©️ FREE 2022 All Rights Reserved.

When We Pray

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Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3 ESV

During this time of reflection, I have thought about the power of prayer; my mind revisited all the times I went to the Lord in prayer and left changed. I remembered how empowered I felt with renewed faith and strength. There were times I got up feeling like I could go another day because I knew He heard me and felt the weight of the things on my heart. 

When we pray and go before the Lord, we can always guarantee that He always has time to hear us. It is never too much for Him. He won’t tune us out or discount what we share with Him. He desires for us to come. In Jeremiah 33: 3, He instructs us to and promises to answer. He even says He will speak to us and reveal His treasures to us. I have seen this in my life when God has shown me so many things during my prayer time. Like in any other relationship, the more time you spend with someone, the more they are willing to share intimate details with you. He wants us to spend time in His presence to become more like Him. He wants us to take on His attributes so we can access His power on the inside of us. As the elders say, “More prayer, more power. No prayer, no power.” The more we communicate with God, the more we are empowered; such authority changes what’s around but most importantly…it changes us.  

There is no way we can consistently communicate with God and continue to walk in ways that aren’t like Him because His presence doesn’t allow it; His power transforms. We need to check ourselves if we remain the same spiritually. I have to reaccess my spiritual life from time to time, especially when I realized my heart wasn’t reflective of God. Let me be transparent with you. There have been moments when I was so heartbroken that I was too hurt or angry to pray. Yet, when I repented, stayed before Him, and asked Him to help me, my healing came. 

Prayer not only changes us but those around us. I have witnessed Him restore relationships, perform health miracles, salvation, and deliverance in my family because of prayer. Even though I still have many unanswered prayers, I have seen enough to know that God can and will change things. My faith makes me confident that although some of the prayers for my children may not come to pass in my lifetime, His promises in their lives will come to pass. That is what prayer can do. It can CHANGE things. 

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. ~ Luke 11:9 ESV

What are you praying for today? Do you believe it will come to pass? If not, believe it again. Do not ask amiss or let your words be in vain. Please put some faith in them. Mark 11: 24 says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Why? So, He can get the glory out of it. 

I hope this song, “When I Pray”, by Doe Jones blesses you. 

A Prayer for Direction

Lord, We thank you for your steadfast love and your word.We ask that you will forgive us for doubting your great love for us and your power at work in our lives. Help us to remember that you are the author and finisher of faith, our saviour, and deliverer.

You are our strong tower and refuge in times of trouble. Father, your word is a light unto our feet and lamp unto our paths. Lord, we pray that in these times of uncertainty, that you will guide us with your light. We pray that in moments when darkness tries to whisper to us that your word will speak even louder. Let your perfect love cast out all fear and cause our hearts to be arrested by what your word declares for our lives. You’ve promised us that you’ll never leave or forsake us and we can call on your great name. You are faithful to keep us. Help us to fix our hearts and minds on things that bring us spiritual life. Give us grace for this journey and lead us in your righteousness. May your spirit give us clarity and peace.We thank you.

In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

©️ FREE 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Stay With the Flock!

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Happy New Year WordPress Family! 

Thank you for your support and for connecting with FREE over the past two years. I am very grateful for the sense of community here. The connections built with many of you via my posts and yours have been a tremendous blessing. I have been so inspired by you sharing your hearts through your writings.

Today, I just wanted to encourage you. We are experiencing another surge in COVID cases and many other pandemic-related issues. However, I want to remind you to stay hopeful. Stay steadfast and immovable in your faith. Last night, I was re-reading my friend Shaniqua Rischer’s book, “The Boy Who Would Be King: 7 Lessons from the Life of David”. Chapter 7 talks about the 23rd Psalm and how David describes The Lord, Our God as The Good Shepherd. She states, “David tells us that in his darkest valleys, he is not alone (133).” Rischer continues, “But we must recognize who exactly was with David- and is with all of us- during each valley (133).” Remember, that we are sheep of The Good Shepherd. 

He was with us before the pandemic. The Lord will also be with us after the pandemic. He has promised never to leave or forsake us. Rischer states, “That sounds like a Shepherd to me! It is the Shepherd that leads the sheep through the darkest of valleys. God never promises the absence of challenges and difficulties, but He did promise to walk through them with us. So that no matter how dark, His light shines as the guide (134).”

Do you believe that? If you have forgotten, allow her words to resonate and calm your spirit. Stay with the flock! Stay connected to The Good Shepherd! Don’t allow the enemy to drive you out by fear, uncertainty, and doubt. There is provision, protection, peace, and anything else we need in the midst of the fold. Although we are in this world, we are still under the care of The Father. We are still His sheep, His beloved. Nothing in this world can change that and His promises regarding our future. Our God is still on the throne and COVID or any other challenge can’t take Him off. In spite of all that 2021 brought, we made it to another year, another new beginning, another opportunity, and the possibility of a blessed future. Regardless of how bad things may get or seem, He will remain the same, yesterday, today, and forevermore.” His promises are,” Yes and Amen”.

Be Blessed,

Nia

©️ FREE 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Be…

While revisiting and sharing my 3 day devotional “Wanted”, I’ve been meditating alot on the idea of belonging. The truth is I have never really felt like I belonged to many things in my life. There was a time in my life where I tried the very best I could to assimilate into different spaces. The strange thing is that regardless of my efforts, it never really happened. No matter how hard I tried to blend in, the light inside of me would always find a way to show itself. At first, I was afraid to let it shine. However,the older I got, I refused to dim my light in order to make others comfortable in my presence. I began to own it. I started to see myself as a force whose power laid in my uniqueness. You see. Being my true authentic self was my superpower. It was what made me who I was and I will no longer apologize for being who I AM.

Yet, there have been times in my life since that I have sometimes tried to retreat or allow others to diminish my sense of self. In those times, I’d eventually come to my senses. I’d ask. Who am I? I am a daughter of the most high God. I am made in His image. Therefore, I bear His light as a vessel of His glory. Although I am imperfect and at times shattered from the impact of live, His light shines even brighter through the cracks.

Due to the simple fact that I AM an heir and reflection of the Great I AM, I belong to His kingdom. Such belonging entitles me to possess and experience all that belongs to Him. No- Thing Less. I don’t assimilate to anything. Because of His authority at work in me, I can cause the atmosphere to shift and assimilate to me. For that reason, I belong right where He has me in this particular space and time until He changes it.

I have decided that from now on, I will longer apologize for who I am or explain it.. I will embrace it and walk in my God-given right to just Be. Be great. Be honorable. Be strong. Be beautiful. Be courageous. Be humble. Be wise. Be prosperous. Be loved and love. Be hopeful. Be joyful. Be peaceful. Be…

You’ve been given the same right. We are so quick to forget that. Let it marinate into your innermost being. Declare It.

Who do you say you are? Who does He say you are? Who will you chose to be today?

©️ FREE 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Mary Had a Baby

Mary had a baby,
While she herself was still a baby too.

An angel gave instructions,
But she knew little of what she had to do.

Yet, she surrendered to the will of God,
Although, she knew her sweet baby had to die.
So, all that came after Him could have everlasting life.

Mary had a baby,
Although by no man she’d been touched.

Still, she obeyed the words of the Father,
Because Mary loved her Lord so much.

No room at the inn so she labored in a manger,
Under angelic protection for her and the baby were in danger.
Prophetic confirmation came by three wise strangers.

Mary had a baby,
Who grew up to be very wise.

To fulfill divine prophetic promises, and open the eyes of the blind.
To save the world from sin and with hopes, no one is left behind.

Baby, strong as a lion, yet gentle as a lamb,
Is in majesty, full of power, seated at the Father’s right hand.
Because He shed His blood on the cross as the ransom for man.

Mary had a baby,
Who was innocent and His soul as pure as white snow.
The baby was on a mission where Mary went, He couldn’t go.

He had to do the will of the one who sent Him,
His days were numbered and things would get dim.
But He had to be the sacrifice to make us free from sin.

Yes, it is true. A baby does change everything.
Especially if the baby became King of Kings and is soon to come again.

© 2021 FREE All Rights Reserved.

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