The Art of Letting Go

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For years, I had an issue with letting go because of things I experienced as a kid. Due to the absence of several key people in my life, I tended to hold tightly to the people God placed in my life. My idea of loyalty was never walking away and loving hard. However, I had to learn that all things are not meant to be permanent. As the season changes, so do the people in our lives and the circumstances. God allows certain people to come into our lives for a reason. I have also come to know that it could be for only a season. There are times in our lives that we need certain people and their influence to help mold and shape us. However, once their time ends, we have to be willing to release them. So, we can be free to continue to live according to God’s plan for us. Is that a bad thing? No. Life is all about growth and developmental stages. There is a need for certain types of relationships because they help in that particular time of development. Once that developmental stage has ended, God will send others to help us grow during the next.

Once we learn this principle and trust that God knows what’s best for us, we become more comfortable with letting go. What does being reluctant to release say about how our relationship with God? It says that we don’t believe that God knows what is best for us. It says that God needs our help in controlling things in our lives. Both of which are not reflective of a faith-filled mindset. This can hinder our spiritual growth and the move of God in our lives. God desires for us to progress in our relationship with Him and His plan for our lives. We can’t look forward while looking back or being unwilling to release things that are no longer beneficial or needed for our development. I had to learn this the hard way.

However, I have also come to learn that there is an “art” to letting go. There is a beauty that lies on the other side of every ending. I have also learned that God doesn’t take anything away from His children without blessing them with something greater. When I decided to accept God’s will for my life, my life got so much better. I was freed from the responsibility of trying to make things fit that no longer did. I was positioned to receive the new things that God wanted to do in my life. New and unknown can always be scary but we have to remember that God is with us every step of the way. We have to let God’s will be done in our lives. He will never fail us and He will always cause ALL things to work for our good. I am so glad to have that type of father. Aren’t you?

Let Go! Let God Be Great In You and Through You!

© FREE 2021 All Rights Reserved.

God’s Amazing Grace

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What comes to mind when you hear the word grace? What do you envision? How do you think it feels to receive grace? How do you think it feels to extend grace to others? Recently, these very thoughts flooded my mind. The word “grace” in biblical parlance can, like forgiveness, repentance, regeneration, and salvation, mean something as broad as describing the whole of God’s activity toward man or as narrow as describing one segment of that activity. An accurate, common definition describes grace as the unmerited favor of God toward men. In 2 Timothy 1:9, it states, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time”. How beautiful is it that regardless of the circumstances that we were born into, or the challenges we have faced in our lives, God has a purpose for us, and His grace was granted toward us for that purpose to come to pass? I cannot adequately put into words how thankful I am for God’s grace.  

When I think about all the hurt and abuse that I have endured within my life or how most of my life I have battled with depression, low self-esteem, and low self-worth. Growing up in foster care and never feeling as if I truly belonged to anyone. But God! I always prayed to get adopted but that never happened for me. However, according to Ephesians 1: 3-6, “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved”. This scripture encourages us to know that no matter what our natural family circumstances and once we accept Christ Jesus as our Lord and personal Savior, we have been adopted into the family of faith. This has renewed my strength and sense of purpose as I look forward to a much brighter future found in Christ. I am truly walking in a different season in my ministry. Also, I see and feel the favor of God in my life. In areas that I used to feel unworthy and insecure, I feel blessed and emboldened. I know that nothing can separate me from the love of God as Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come 39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. It feels amazing to understand the goodness of the grace of God towards us. 

As Christians, it is also important that we learn the value of extending grace to others. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers”. In his book Putting a Face on Grace, Richard Blackaby has some tips for us:

• Speak words intended to build up, not to bring down.

• Focus on the needs of others, rather than your own.

• Freely forgive.

• Swallow your pride and say, “I’m sorry,” and “I was wrong.”

• Live your life with a goal of “no regrets.”

• Don’t keep score of what is fair.

• Don’t condemn or give up on people.

• Emphasize mercy, not justice.

• Read 1 Corinthians 13 regularly.

Always keep in mind that it is by God’s Spirit within that changes us into people who extend grace to others. We know how amazing it feels to receive God’s grace. Therefore, our motivation for extending grace to others should come from our personal experiences of grace. When I think about the goodness of God and all He has done for me, my very soul rejoices! God has a purpose and a plan for our lives. All we have to do is continue to earnestly seek Him and most importantly, trust Him. And we will without a doubt continue to experience God’s amazing grace. 

At His Feet

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We live in a time of urgency. Everyone is constantly rushing to get from one place to the next. We want everything in a hurry. That’s why we want fast food because it is hot and ready. If we aren’t careful, we will find ourselves having that same attitude when it comes to our faith. Time waits for none of us so we have to make sure we are prioritizing things in our lives. Ultimately, faith should be at the top of the list. Like any other relationship, we have to cultivate it. We have to invest our time and resources but mostly importantly ourselves for own spiritual development.

I am reminded of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Martha was busy with serving. She had a sense of urgency for completing the tasks of the day while Mary was in no hurry. Mary decided to cease the opportunity of being in the presence of Jesus. She chose to sit at His feet and learn. During those times, it was custom to sit when teaching was taking place. We can learn from Mary. We must commit ourselves to spending time with the Lord. During this time, we are spiritually recharged and renewed. We can even lay our burdens down.

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From my own personal experience, dates with Jesus are the best. Once you’ve sat in the presence of the Lord, your spirit will yearn for it more and more. It’s like being away from the love of your life. You can’t wait to do it again. However when we come, our hearts need to be prepared to receive from the Lord. First, repentance must occur. We should always begin our time with God in thanksgiving and by asking God to forgive us for any apparent sin in our lives as well as sin we may not be aware of. Then, we have to be open to hear from God. There are also times when we need to enter His presence quietly and be receptive to what His spirit is saying.

I can remember laying before the Lord in the midst of the chaos, heartache, physical pain, and many other difficult times in my life. While crying out to Him and quietly laying in His presence, I could feel the weight of my despair being lifted and His peace resting upon me.

Matthew 11:28-30 says.”Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Burdens are lifted at His feet. Healing occurs at His feet. Peace is restored at His feet. Questions are answered at His feet. I believe Martha gleaned nuggets of wisdom and revelation straight from Heaven while sitting at His feet. We can too if we are intentional about staying there awhile without rushing and opening our hearts to receive from His spirit.

What are you carrying that you need to lay at the feet of the Father? He is waiting. He wants to make your load lighter and impart Himself unto you.

Great Things Happen At His Feet!

© FREE 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Seasons of Life

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Fall and Winter are my favorite times of the year. I loathe the heat of Texas summers and the allergies that come along with the Spring. However, each season has its purpose. In the Fall, change happens. We see the evidence of this in the appearance of reds, yellows, browns, and oranges all around us. Winter is dry and brisk. We also see landscapes that were once teeming with greens die and lose their color. Soon, Spring will follow. We will see the reemergence of vitality and new growth. This phrase will extend into Summer. Then, we will find ourselves approaching the Fall again. Why can’t it always be our favorite season? Why must we go through periods of change?  

I believe the answer is the same spiritually as it is in the physical world. We have to go through various seasons for our spiritual growth and development. You see. Death is just as important as life. To live in the natural, we will all have to die one day. Likewise, one must first experience physical death to gain eternal life. Also, some things within us that must go to give life to the things of the Spirit. Since this inevitable, we should ask God how to endure each season He takes us through.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

In the book of Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, we are told that there is a season for everything; this is a fact. We will experience lack and times of plenty; life and death; sickness and health; and joy as well as sorrow. That’s just the way it is. We can’t get around it. However, it is up to us how we choose to face those times and allow them to impact us. Perspective is everything. If we see the season were are in as long and arduous, it will just that. However, if we can develop a Romans 8:28 mindset, we will surely come to know that ALL THINGS do work for our good. Yes, that includes the things that almost take us out and even the experiences we would like to forget. How would we learn to appreciate times of plenty if we never experience times of lack? How would we ever learn to cherish the gift of relationship and love if we are hearts never broken? How will we develop grit if we never face adversity?

Changes and the challenges they bring along with them train our spiritual muscles. They etch the markings of godly character into the interior of our minds, bodies, and spirits. Seasons are intended to help us evaluate and get rid of things that no longer benefit us while planting the seeds of future spiritual harvests. Friends, remember the next time you find yourself in a less favorable season that our Father is with you in the furnace. You shall come forth as pure gold. How are we to endure every season God takes us through? According to the word of God, there are two things we can do. Phillippians 4:11 instructs us to learn to be content in whatever state we find ourselves. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says in EVERYTHING give thanks for this is our Father’s will concerning us. Then, we will be able to embrace every season and its lesson as a blessing. 

Be blessed.

@ FREE 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Armor Up: Part 1

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Ephesians 6: 10-18 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Last Sunday, I heard a message titled,” Built to Last, Dressed to Win”. The reference text came from Ephesians 6:10-17 and focused on the whole armor of God. I would love to go through each piece of the armor. However, I want to focus more on the topic of spiritual warfare. Friends, we are engaged in battle whether we realize it or not. We are fighting for our peace, health(physical, mental, and emotional), families, salvation, faith, and so much more. 

    The truth is we are so enthralled in the natural that we often fail to recognize that a whole new level of warfare is taking place in the spiritual realm. Ephesians 6 and verse 12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. We have a real enemy; it is not one of flesh. Our enemy is Satan. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He comes to steal our joy, peace, and anything else he can get our hands on. That is why we must not be unaware of the enemy’s schemes as instructed in 2 Corinthians 2:11. We cannot afford to be distracted by anything that will keep us from being vigilant and aware of what the enemy sends our way. The Father desires for us to be skillful soldiers in His army. He has given us everything we need to be victorious. He wants us to be able to stand our ground when the enemy comes and tries to invade our lives. 

      One of the things that I love about God is that He is always looking out for us, His children. It’s part of His character as a good father. He prepares us even when we are unaware. I heard that word Sunday morning; the same evening, the enemy attempted to attack my family. Immediately, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Armor Up!” and began to remind me of the seed of the word planted in my heart earlier in the day. Although I was a bit baffled, a great sense of peace came over me. My initial response was not to get upset or respond in my flesh. I resolved to hold my peace and stand still to see the salvation of the Lord. That has been my position until this day. When we understand that our enemy is not people but the one behind the scenes orchestrating the attack, we can cover ourselves in what God has given us. We can remain in godly character in the face of opposition. We can pray for those who wrong us and love them anyway. We can allow God to work on our behalf and lead us by the still waters. We can rest in green pastures. 

What battles are you fighting today, my friend? Are you a good soldier? Or have you resorted to fighting in your might and power? Let me tell you. You won’t last in your self. We can only withstand the fiery darts of the enemy in the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:10 tells us to be strong in the Lord and HIS mighty power. Ephesians 6:11 goes on to instruct us to put on the FULL ARMOR of GOD so that we will be able to stand. 

Armor Up, Christian Soldier! Armor Up!

© FREE 2021 All Rights Reserved.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

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No greater truth has been told regarding the success of man than to understand that in unity we find our strength and in division, we find our defeat. Henry Ford is quoted as saying “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success.” Currently, our country is experiencing a time of division similar to the beginning of the Civil Rights movement. The rhetoric and anger continue to grow and divides our country daily.

 As Christians, we must ask ourselves, “What does the Bible say about unity?” Scripture tells us “how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133:1) Unity is a common topic in the Bible, promoting the peacefulness of living unified in harmony. The Bible calls us to walk in unity. As 1 Peter 3:8 states, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” We are called to be in unity with all followers of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:10, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” We are also called to have unity in the spirit as mentioned in Ephesians 4:3, “ Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” God requires us to love one another and work together to further the gospel. Surprisingly, that has not been the case. 

There has been division not only in the world but also in our houses of worship. We all must take a good look at our actions and reactions. We must ask ourselves if we measure up to what God expects of His children. God created us all equal. Romans 2:11 tells us, “For there is no respect of persons with God.” I know that each one of us has our own set of ideas and opinions concerning things that are going on in the world. Also, it is important to hear different perspectives and share our experiences. However, this must not result in us being disrespectful or contentious towards each other. If we come to a place of disagreement, we should pray to have hearts of understanding and compassion. Compassion is defined as the feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is hurting, in pain, or has misfortune, and is accompanied by a strong desire to help the suffering. Jesus Christ is the greatest example of true compassion. Not only did Jesus have compassion and heal people from physical suffering, but He also showed the greatest act of compassion when He died on the cross for our sins.

Compassion is a true mark of Christian character. Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” We have so much work to do as the people of God. We are to share the Gospel message of hope and redemption through the blood-bought sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But as stated in Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they agree?” We must conclude that our goal is to show the love of Christ and imitate His example here on earth. This goal supersedes anything else that may try to cause division among us. When we are focused on doing Kingdom work, we must remember what Jesus stated in Matthew 12:25. After He perceived their thoughts, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”  

We are all in this together. We are all hurting and doing our best to get through this. If God is for us, who can be against us? We can. We can be against each other and continue to tear each other apart, or we can decide to be about our Father’s business and make the devil out to be a liar. We can choose to work together in unity and with a spirit of peace. We are always better when we work together. I know we have some tough challenges to get through, but we can do this. We must do this. As God chose Israel to be His example before all the nations, He has called us to be the same. We were born for such a time as this. God has given us everything we need to rise to the occasion. So, let us put all the bitterness and divisiveness aside and do what we are supposed to do. We must be who we were created to be. Although we are all very different, we are also alike in so many ways. 1 Corinthians 12:12 sums it up best, “ For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”

The Evidence

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This past weekend, I heard a song called,” Evidence”, by Josh Baldwin for the first time. It was so beautiful. The first part of the song says, “All throughout my history. Your faithfulness has walked beside me. The winter storms made way for spring. In every season, from where I’m standing I see the evidence of Your goodness. All over my life, all over my life. I see Your promises in fulfillment. All over my life, all over my life.”

As I began to think about the evidence of God’s hand on my life, all I could do was thank Him. There has never been a time that I could not look back and see proof that He was not there. Even during the toughest seasons, I could still feel His presence. It gave me so much peace. He has been faithful even when I couldn’t even keep my word to myself, let alone Him. He has been there even when all others forsook me and I felt all alone. That’s what He promises His children…He will never leave or forsake us. My question to you today is this, “Has He been faithful in your life?” Take a few minutes and think about some of the things He has done. I promise you won’t have to look very far. The fact that we are still here and He has kept us during this pandemic is evidence.

Let’s get personal. Think about your own life. Where have you seen God active in your life? Has it been through His provision, healing, compassion, strength, or love? What prayers has He answered? The same God that came through for you the last time can do it now. Maybe you’re in a season where it seems He is distant. Have you moved? If so, draw near into Him and He will draw near to you.

Take a few minutes and listen to the song. While you’re listening, see if you can identify tangible examples of the evidence of the Father at work in your life. Once you find it, hold on to it. Always remember He is at work on your behalf and will be there for you.

Be blessed.

© FREE 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Happy Anniversary FREE!

Today is the 2nd year anniversary of FREE at I’m so grateful for the support of every follower, visitor, and contributing author. Thank you!

New Mercies Every Day

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One of the exciting things we look forward to at the beginning of the New Year is the expectation of hope and promise that the new year brings. We sit and reflect over the past year and look introspectively into our lives to see what areas we have experienced success. We also look at areas that we need improvement in or desire to see different outcomes. The beginning of the year is not the only time we may experience this feeling of hope and aspiration. According to Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the LORD’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” God’s mercies are extended to us each day. And for this reason, we can look forward to the hope and grace that unfolds before us daily.

One might ask, “What is mercy?” Mercy is defined compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within ones power to punish or harm. God can punish us. He would be justified in doing so because sin must be judged. 2 Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” However, God extends mercy unto us because of His unfailing love and compassion towards us. Ephesians 2:4-5 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace, you have been saved”.

Mercy is not something that God owes to us. It is something God extends in kindness and grace to those who do not deserve it. His mercy does not run out. When we come to Him in true repentance, His mercy will overtake us like the waves of the sea because He is so rich in mercy. God’s mercy shows up in our lives at salvation. Then, God continues to show mercy in forgiveness. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Psalms 116:5 “The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.” We do not have to feel overwhelmed or condemned because of our past mistakes. Romans 8:1 states, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. We have new life in Christ Jesus, and we must walk in freedom from our past mistakes and failures. We can look forward to each new day as a fresh opportunity to strive towards our goals and face our obstacles with an optimistic outlook. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. Though we may face challenges and struggles, we serve a God who will use all things to work for our good. We can take comfort in that.

Hope is the ammunition that is necessary as we move forward and walk forward in faith. Franklin Roosevelt once said, “We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon”. According to Jeremiah 17:7, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.” Hope is choosing to look for and anticipate positive outcomes, even during trying times and circumstances. We are called to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. So, as we take time to evaluate our lives and work towards our goals; let us not forget the mercies God has extended towards us. Let us be found faithful in also extending the same mercy towards others.

All Things

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“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

“And they said everyone to his fellow, “Come, and let us cast lots that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, “Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us: What is thine occupation? And from whence comest thou? What is thy country? And of what people art thou?” And he said unto them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who hath made the sea and the dry land.” Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, “Why hast thou done this?” For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD because he had told them…Therefore they cried unto the LORD and said, “We beseech Thee, O LORD, we beseech Thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood! For Thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased Thee.” So they took up Jonah and cast him forth into the sea, and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD and made vows.” Jonah 1:7-16

As I was writing a previous devotional, I already knew what this devotional would be. Does “it” really work for good? While in Bible College, I wrote a paper on the purpose of pain (made a “B” because I didn’t use enough scripture reference) because I have always wondered how a loving God, could create a world with so much hurt, pain, and anger. There are times that I still question that. Admittingly, depending on the circumstance, I probably will again. However, as I have grown older, I now understand something. All things DO work for good. Even when we can’t see it, they do. When Jonah disobeyed God and chose to flee to a ship, his disobedience endangered the lives of everyone. Due to the actions of one man, a near tragedy occurred. Likewise, many would come to know and praise God. Before the storm, the men on the ship knew many gods – all ineffective. During the storm, however, they came to know THE one and only God. What would have happened had Jonah not gone to the ship? We will never know, but what we do know is that God used Jonah’s disobedience to show His perfect power and perfect will to individuals who hadn’t known of Him before. Working for good…

When I look at this life lesson, I can’t help but look at my own life. What good has come from my journey this past year? I have gotten the opportunity to pray for and help people. What good will come out of my leaving my job? Only God knows, but good comes. The good that comes from our trials may not always be recognizable or immediate, but God does use us to execute His will. His good and pleasing will. So, where are you struggling to see the good in your current circumstance? How has God used your hardships to bring you or others closer to Him? Not every bad thing is meant to harm us and not all bad things are meant to correct us. Sometimes, we experience things because of the actions of others. However, whatever the reason, God can redeem any situation for our good. Anything.

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