Where Do You Fit?

Peace Sign

Where Do You Fit?
Written By Felicia McKnight
7/9/2016

1 Corinthians 12:14-19
For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

I normally write on Wednesdays, but my heart is heavy. Like many of you I was at a loss of words and grieving for all of the events that have taken place this week as a result of gun violence. The other night I woke up around midnight to see a gazillion notifications on my cell phone that read “multiple Dallas officers shot”. My eyes couldn’t believe what I was reading. Was I dreaming? I turned the TV on to CNN only to discover this was really happening. I watched in disbelief. I was first saddened to hear about Alton Sterling. I wake up the next morning to be saddened once again by Philando Castile and now 12 police officers (5 who lost their lives). Each incident saddened me and angered me. After hearing about the Dallas Police Officers this incident broke me. I couldn’t sleep. I cried all night. I was scared. I cried throughout the morning. I don’t know the last time I cried so much, but my heart aches for the families and for this nation. All I could think is that a war has broken out in our nation. I didn’t know how to pray or what to say. I’ve watched the news. I’ve watched people put blame on guns, police, President Obama and the black lives matter movement. Frankly I am disgusted at all of the finger pointing. The bottom line is NO HUMAN deserves to have their life taken from them for minding their business, having a good time at a club, getting their hustle on, driving down the street, or doing their job to the best of their ability. There is no excuse and no reason. As I pondered on this entire matter the bottom line is EVIL is lurking. EVIL is the root issue. EVIL is what causes people to kill other people for no reason.

As I pondered on what could I do to make a difference my heart lead me to do what I do best is to pray. God placed 1 Corinthians 12 on my heart as people shift the blame and post that we all need “to do something to make a difference.” That is very true. We all need to stand up and do something. But your something may be different from another person’s something. If your something is peaceful protests, then know that your voice makes a difference. If your something is to lobby for change in gun laws, then please know your something makes a difference. If your something is to stand behind the scenes and pray, then know that God hears and your prayers are NOT in vain. Now is not the time for a separation because of how we each choose to make a difference. As the scripture reminds us today our something, our calling, and our gifts on these matters collectively can make a difference if we all unite for the betterment of humanity.

You probably won’t see me protesting and that’s OK. I may not see you praying or writing letters to congress and that’s OK. But whatever we chose to do as long as we are doing it peacefully and with the love of Christ together we can all make a difference on these matters.

I’m tired like the rest of you of picking up my phone and seeing so many breaking news notifications or turning on the news to another tragedy. My heart aches and my heart is heavy! Even as I write this I hurt still and I cry. I just want it all to stop! Just a few days ago we were celebrating the 4th of July Holiday. We were singing about freedom and America the Beautiful. Right now America is broken and hurting. Our nation needs peace again, and love, and justice, and most of all unity.

This is my view, but I know these tragedies can be looked at from so many angles, and that’s what makes us all unique and different.

1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

I encourage everyone reading this today to do what God created and called you to do. If we each do our part individually we can make a difference collectively as the whole body of Christ!

“May that which unites us be greater than that which divides us.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

God Bless You. God Bless This Nation. God heal this nation. Be blessed, be encouraged, and be in peace!

I love you and God loves you!

RIP
Alton Sterling
Philando Castile
Brent Thompson
Patrick Zamarripa
Michael Krol
Michael Smith
Lorne Ahrens
Pulse Night Club Victims
All those whose lives have been lost to senseless, unjustified violence


Prayer

Heavenly Father, Our Nation Needs you like never before. We pray for your healing on this nation. We pray for your strength, comfort, and guidance for all those who mourn those whose lives were tragically lost this week. We pray for peace, unity, love, and justice. We pray for your word in Psalm 46:9 to come to pass over our country and that you will cause this war to cease amongst humanity. In Jesus Name. Amen

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Enjoy the Blessing!

Enjoy the Blessing!

Written by Felicia McKnight

January 13, 2016

“All you who fear GOD, how blessed you are! How happily you walk on his smooth straight road! You worked hard and deserve all you’ve got coming. Enjoy the blessing! Revel in the goodness!” (Psalm‬ ‭128:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬)

When 2016 came in I had a revelation as I was scrolling through social media and reading various quotes of Pastors at their watch night service or quotes from their 1st sermons of 2016. The common theme every year seems to be that the new year will be a year of blessings or the year of answered prayers and the year your hearts desire comes to pass. I begin to really reflect on this as I looked back over my own life. There were years I started off hearing the same declarations. I would go into the year believing in God for certain things to come to pass and would find myself rolling into the next year with no status update for what I was believing in God for.

After reading Psalm 128:1, ” All you who fear GOD, how blessed you are!”, God reminded me that every year can be a blessed year if we keep Him first, stand on His promises, and remain faithful in prayer. By keeping God first we are acknowledging that He is Lord and Master over our life. We are reminded that He is sovereign. As we read His word and stand on His promises we build our faith and learn to walk by faith and not by sight. We are building ourselves up to enjoy the blessings and the fullness of our Almighty God. 

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭NASB‬‬)

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬ ‭NASB‬‬)

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭5:6‬ ‭NASB‬‬)


If you are like me, then we collectively labored in prayer for some things in 2015. We fervently prayed for a circumstance to change, a breakthrough, or a desire to come to pass yet on January 1st nothing changed. Many of us have pressed through trials in 2015 that didn’t seem like a blessing at all. If you made it through or still standing in the trial and waiting for answers to prayers be encouraged today that you are still blessed. God’s Grace has carried you through it all and sustained you. His strength is why you are able to make it day by day. His presence is with you. God will never leave you or forsake you. God has heard every prayer. He has seen every tear. He has seen your struggles. God said in His word, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NASB‬‬)



As you go through 2016 continue to remain faithful to God. Your tears, your prayers, your waiting, and your struggles are not in vain. They all have a divine purpose. Psalm 128:2 says to “revel in the goodness.” To revel means to take great pleasure or delight in something. Enjoy the blessing of God’s presence, His grace, His strength, and His peace. The answers to your prayers are coming. Some may happen in 2016 and some may occur in following years. Whenever they come God’s word says YOU DESERVE IT! Be Blessed, Be encouraged, and enjoy it!

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, we thank you for being sovereign. We thank you that you see all that we are going through and we thank you that you hear all of our prayers. Thank you for your grace and strength that has carried us through. Lord we go into a new year with a heart of expectancy that 2016 will be a blessed year! Lord we pray and stand by faith that you would heal all those who need healing. We pray that you would send provision for those that stand in need. Cover and protect every marriage represented here today. Encourage singles. Heal broken families. Bring back wayward children. Save or lost family members and friends. Lord, you see what every person reading this stands in need of. We pray for you to meet every need according to your perfect will. As we wait on prayers to be answered give us strength to remain faithful to you. Cover us in your grace and peace. Align our hearts with your will. Give us the wisdom to we need each day and help us to enjoy the fullness of every blessing you bestow up on us. On this day we choose to enjoy your presence and revel in your goodness. Thank you in advance for the answer to our prayers. Thank you that your word says we deserve every blessing coming our way. In Jesus name. Amen

What Do You Need? – Part 3

God Will Provide

What Do You Need? – Part 3

Written by Felicia McKnight

6/24/15

“You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 MSG

Continue to be encouraged as you wait on God to move in your life. The first part of this scripture in the message version reminds us that you can be “SURE” that God “WILL” take care of “EVERYTHING” you need. Everything is the sum total of “all”. God is so sovereign that He knows the what, when, where, and how our needs should be met. Our role is just to trust that God will honor His word. According to dictionary.com SURE means you can be “free from doubt, confident, convinced, assured, unfailing, or never have disappointing expectations.”

Philippians 4:19 says that the needs will come in the form of glory that is poured from Jesus. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t miss the needs Jesus has already given you. From His glory He is pouring into you the strength, peace, and grace you need to sustain you.

Isaiah 40:31 NKJV says…

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. .

Isaiah 26:3 NKJV says…

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV says…

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Your circumstances may remain the same, but you are being renewed daily (2 Corinthians 4:16). Your mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).   Goodness and God’s unfailing love are following you all the days of your life (Psalm 23:6).  All of these things are the glory of Jesus being poured upon your life daily in generous amounts.

As you stand in need of something the word of God is the hope you must hold on to. Whatever your something is God is going to take care of every aspect of meeting your need. He is meeting those needs right now. It may not come when you want or how you want it, but you can get rid of doubt today. You can stand assured, convinced, and confident that God is unfailing. God will do what He said He would do and His expectations never disappoint. God is able is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. (Ephesians 3:20)

Be blessed and encouraged on today!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, as we wait on you to move in certain areas of our lives we thank you that you are already meeting our needs. Thank you for sustaining us with your strength, peace, and grace. Thank you for keeping our minds in perfect peace as we keep our minds stayed on you. Thank you that for renewing us daily. Thank you that your mercies are new every morning. Thank you for your goodness and unfailing love that follows us all the days of our lives. Forgive us when we take your daily blessings for granted. We thank you for your word and the promises you have given us for every aspect of our life. Even when we don’t know what the outcome will be our what it will look like we thank you that you are sovereign and that you know. We thank you that your ways are better than our ways. LORD, we thank you that today we can go throughout each day with assurance and confidence that you are a God who does not lie. We thank you that as we have laid our matters at the altar that the outcomes will be exceedingly, abundantly, above all we could ask you for or imaging according to the power that works in us. All glory and honor belong to you. In Jesus name. Amen

You Are Cordially Invited…

You Are Cordially Invited…
Written by Felicia McKnight
12/13/14

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28-30‬ NIV)

Invitations. The older I get the more I receive. Invitations to bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, housewarmings, graduations, birthday parties, holiday parties and more. The purpose of an invitation is to invite you to an event to celebrate a special occasion with friends and/or family. You typically receive the invitation because you have a relationship with the party host. With celebrations you typically arrive with a gift in hand. Most occasions have some form of entertainment involved along with food. Some allow you to walk away with a small gift or party favor thanking you for your attendance. With most special events you leave with a happy feeling for the person celebrated or just a wonderful feeling of having had a good time.

Today you are receiving a special invitation from Jesus! His invitation in Matthew 11:28-29 says, “Come to me.” The details of the invite are as follows:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28-30‬ MSG)

Have you ever had to force yourself to go to a party or special event? Either you were in a bad mood, not feeling sociable, or just did not feel like going, but you went anyway? When you left you were so glad you got out of the house because you ended up having a good time. That is what Jesus wants to accomplish with this invitation. The purpose of this invitation is for you to come to Jesus one way and leave feeling better than you came.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28‬ AMP)

If you are tired, weary, burdened, worn out, burnt out, overburden, and need a refreshing of your soul then it is time for you to come to Jesus. Even if you don’t feel like it go to Him anyway. It’s time for you to check on the reply card, “Yes, Jesus, I will attend.”

As with most events you need directions. Allow me to be your google maps for today. How do you come to Jesus and leave different than you came?
1. Bring A Gift
2. Enjoy Your Time With Jesus
3. Walk away with a party favor.

BRING A GIFT
Coming to Jesus simply requires that you come to Him in a place of humility and surrender. Whatever is worrying you, whatever you are struggling with simply say how you feel to Him. That’s a form of prayer. In lieu of gifts Jesus wants your burdens and in exchange He will give you peaceful rest.

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” (‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭2-3‬ NKJV)

ENJOY YOUR TIME WITH JESUS
Jesus inviting you to come to Him indicates that He desires a relationship with you. He wants you to hang out with Him and to learn from Him. You learn more about Jesus by reading another gift we have been given, the Bible. As you spend time with God you cultivate your relationship with our Heavenly Father. You learn more about His ways and His character. You learn of His promises for the matters you lay before Him at the altar of prayer. You learn about our savior. You learn of a God who loves us unconditionally and who loved us so much that He put His only son on a cross to redeem our souls. The more you learn of Him the more you draw closer to Him. There is an amazing feeling after you have been in the presence of good company and great conversation. With Jesus you enjoy the company you are in and it is time well spent.

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (‭Psalms‬ ‭16‬:‭11‬ NKJV)

WALK AWAY WITH A PARTY FAVOR
After you accept the invitation, give God your burdens, and cultivate your relationship with Christ, then there is a blessing for you to keep. God will give you rest for your soul. God will give you peace and joy regardless of the circumstances you are in. I love how Tony Evans described this in his book “Kingdom Woman:”

“Real joy has nothing to do with how things are going. Joy is a question of your state of mind, regardless of how things are going. In fact, joy itself is called a fruit of the Spirit. Joy has to do with a God-given internal ability to cope well. It can produce peace in the midst of panic and calm in the midst of turmoil.”

Just as there are times you don’t always feel like attending a special event but after you attend you are glad you did is the same with accepting Jesus’s invite. It may be a struggle for you to come to Him and surrender, but once you do you will wonder what took you so long and you’ll be glad you did. Be Blessed and Encouraged!

PRAYER
Heavenly Father, thank you for the invitation to come to You and to abide in You. May every person who is tired, burdened, and overwhelmed find the strength to surrender every care and concern to you. Give them peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. Give them rest for their souls. In Jesus name. Amen.

It’s Time For The World To Know Another Name

He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. (‭Psalms‬ ‭46‬:‭9-11‬ NLT)

It’s Time For The World To Know Another Name
Written by Felicia McKnight
12/3/14

I along with the majority of the nation sat glued to the television set as I waited to hear if there would be indictment charges against Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Mike Brown. As I listened to the prosecutor tarry on in his statement I had an anxious feeling of wanting him to just get to the point. I sat in amazement once the announcement was made that there would be no charges against officer Wilson. I was disappointed wondering how many more young men will have to loose their life to senseless violence. Will there ever be a day where the Trayvon Martin’s and the Mike Browns can get through alleged criminal accusations without it ending in a life lost?

What happened next saddened me even more. Violence, gunfire, looting and not so peaceful protests broke out in our country. I understand everyone handles anger differently, however solving violence with violence does not equal peace or justice. It just equals more unnecessary outcomes of destroyed property and injured lives. Businesses had to suffer for something they had no involvement with and the cycle of destruction continues.

Regardless of whose fault everything is I just sat in heartache at everything that was taking place and I pondered on the question where is God in all of this? Where was the church to help people deal with their emotions differently? If more people knew Christ would the outcome have been different?

That night I began to pray over everything that was going on and over my own thoughts. I was at peace as God reminded me that He is here and He is a sovereign God. For those who are in disagreement with the grand jury’s outcome for this case be reminded today that we serve a God who sees all and knows all. I stand on the same statement I made with George Zimmerman. If Officer Wilson killed Mike Brown with wrong motives then God knows. God is the ultimate judge. “God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?”(‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭12‬ NLT). If these men truly had wrong motives for killing these individuals, then God sees what the justice system can not see. God said in His word, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.’” (‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭32‬:‭35‬ NLT). I look back at George Zimmerman. Although he was not convicted of killing Trayvon Martin based on what I have seen on the news he is suffering way more consequences outside of the jail system then he probably would have in the jail system.

I am not sovereign like God, so I don’t know why things like this continue to happen. Why did 911 happen? Why do girls keep getting abducted in Nigeria? Why is it everyday I turn on the news there is more bad than good taking place? The only conclusion I can draw is that evil still exists in this world. We may not understand why things keep happening and we may not always understand the outcome. What we need to know is that “Our faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (I Corinthians 2:5 NKJV). I pray the eyes of our nation will look up towards the hills from which cometh our help. Our help comes from the LORD, the covenant keeping God, Yaweh,who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2). This nations help comes from the God who can cause wars and protests to cease, so be still and know that He is God. (Psalms 46:9-10)

It’s now the Christmas season where we focus on love, peace, joy and the one who can give it to us. At the funeral of Mike Brown, Jr his stepmother spoke and mentioned a prophetic dream Mike Brown, Jr had just before he died. He told his step mother, “One day the world will know my name.” That prophecy has certainly come to pass. However, in the midst of all of the anger, disappointments and violence it’s time for the world to know another name. That name is Jesus! The one who’s birth we are celebrating in this season.

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭9-11‬ NLT)

Jesus….the one who died on the cross for us.
Jesus….the one true living God.
Jesus….the healer.
Jesus….the deliver.
Jesus….the one who is compassionate of man kind.
Jesus….the forgiver.
Jesus….the one who sits at the right hand of God interceding for us.
Jesus….at his name demons tremble.
Jesus….at his name circumstances change.
Jesus….the lover of our soul.
Jesus…the King of kings and Lord of Lords.

Jesus….Jesus….Jesus!

Whatever you are going through and whatever your emotions are concerning politics and the justice system…..Jesus….Jesus….Jesus!

Be blessed and encouraged on today!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, I rejoice today knowing that we can be still and know that you are God. I pray the eyes of our nation will look up towards the hills from which cometh our help. Our help comes from the LORD, the covenant keeping God, Yaweh,who made heaven and earth. Lord, I pray that you will be a healer to our hurting nation and that you will send forth peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray for souls to know you as their Lord and savior so that they can experience your love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, healing, and peace. May you be all these things to us and this nation. In Jesus name. Amen

Song: “Oh How Precious” by Kathy Taylor http://youtu.be/d8yJHejtPpw

Lessons From An Immobilized Foot

Lessons From An Immobilized Foot
Written by Felicia McKnight
8/20/2014

Psalm 46:10 NKJV
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

I am convinced that our almighty God, the creator of heaven, earth, you and me speaks to us in all sorts of ways and through all of His creation. I was especially blown away when God decided to use my recent encounter with my injured foot to teach me a spiritual lesson.

This summer I launched out on my journey for the second time to become a jogger. That was a failed attempt when I once again injured my foot. I thought this was a one day injury but the swelling and the pain persisted for several weeks. After not being able to wear shoes or have successful workouts I finally decided to stop operating in my gift of procrastination and go to the doctor. When I arrived for my first visit the doctor predicted that I had a stress fracture and would possibly need to wear a boot. Before he finalized his diagnosis he first ordered an x-ray which did not show a stress fracture and then an MRI to look more internally at the bones and tissue around my foot. Throughout this process I was hoping and praying I would not be put into one of those non-fashionable boots. I kept thinking about how hot it would be if I had to wear one and how it did not match my fabulous summer shoe collection.

As I waited patiently in between doctor appointments and reflected on the benefits of wearing a boot for the proper healing God begin to speak to me “Be Still and know that I am God.” Being still in its literal sense is something hard for me to do. I guess I take after my grandmother in that I do not know how to sit down somewhere and be still. Sleep is as close to I can get at being still. I struggle with being still. As a toddler I know time outs were not an effective punishment for me because it required me to be still. As I continue to journey through this life God is determined to have His way with me and show me how to “BE STILL and know that He is God.” Maybe there is someone reading this that is like me. We try to help God out and fix things or make things happen in our own strength and ability. The God we serve just wants us to be still and trust Him and know that He is God! As I reflected on this spiritual lesson that God keeps trying to get me to pass I realized He decided once again to give me a lesson from an immobilized foot on being still and knowing that He is God.

Lesson #1: Let God Fix it
My foot had been injured for several weeks yet I continued to go about my daily business. I did not go to the doctor or urgent care when I initially sustained the injury. I still continued to work out only making matters worse. My foot continued to swell causing me not to be able to where closed shoes. The pain went from my foot up my leg to my knee. I have no clue what else may have suffered because I didn’t seek proper medical attention right away. How many times do we find ourselves needing God to fix some area or relationship in our life yet we continuously get in His way? The more we interfere with matters the worse things get. Remember Sarah and Abraham? Sarah tried to get in God’s way and speed things up by having Hagar conceive a baby for her husband. Sarah’s interference only made matter’s worse. It created strife in her home and caused another individual to get hurt.

In my case I simply needed to go to a doctor and let their area of expertise handle my injury. Likewise in life we need to bring our matters before God when they arise instead of trying to solve our problems on our own. God is sovereign. He sees all and He knows all. He knows exactly what it will take to fix our situation. He knows the end from the beginning and the journey it will take to get there. He knows how to cause all things to work together for the good.

Lesson #2: Being Still Is a Time For Self Examination
After my first visit with a physician my next step was to have an x-ray. If the x-ray did not show a fracture, then I would need a MRI. The purpose of these tests was to allow the doctor to see what the natural eye could not see. When a fracture did not appear in my x-ray I had to get the MRI, because the MRI allowed them to see the tissue and other components of my foot that would not be picked up by an x-ray.

When we are going through challenging times often the problem we see with our natural ability is not the problem that ultimately needs the repair. When we are still and waiting on God He uses those opportunities for an in depth look at our soul. It’s an opportunity to see what areas He needs to work on in us so that we are ready for all that He has in store for our lives. Many times God won’t fix the situation until he fixes us first.

Lesson #3: While You Are Still Remain In God’s Presence
After the doctors reviewed my x-ray and MRI it was determined that I would be placed in a boot. The good news is it’s only for a few short weeks. Whew! Wearing the boot allowed my foot the opportunity to rest and be still. It was immobilized so that I would not put normal daily pressure on it. It allowed my foot the opportunity to be in a secure place so that no further injuries were sustained and the healing process could take place.

While you are allowing God to work on you and your circumstances rest in Him. Pray more. Read the word more about what God is speaking to you or what the Bible has to say about your circumstances. While you are resting in God you are in a safe and a secure place that will allow transformation to take place. God wants us to be secure in Him and in His presence. God wants us to be still in His word and in His promises.

Psalm 91:1-4 NIV
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Lesson #4: While You Are Still God is Working
While my foot is in the boot being still in a safe and secure place there is a healing taking place behind the scenes. My natural eye cannot watch the fracture mend or the muscles heal, but I can rest assure that while my foot is secure in its boot there is a healing taking place. “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 NIV)

God wants us to be still and know that He is the God we read about in the pages of the Bible and that He is faithful to perform His word. He wants us to be still and know that He is faithful and will keep His promises. God wants us to trust Him and know that he is working behind the scenes. We can’t always see what God is doing. We don’t always know how God is doing it. All we know is that it will be done and whatever we are waiting on God for will surely come to pass. We just need to be still and KNOW that He is God. “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV) “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)

What is it that you are waiting on God to do? Do you keep getting in His way to accomplish your desired outcome in your own strength instead of relying on God’s power? Are you waiting on God to show up in your finances? Be still and KNOW that he is Jehovah Jireh. Are you waiting on God to heal you in some physical area or to heal a relationship? Be still and know that He is Jehovah Raphe. Are you in need of a peace of mind and searching for it in places other than the word of God? Be still and know that He is Jehovah Shalom. Whatever need you are facing today surrender it to God. Rest in His safety and in his security knowing that He is working it out by His power and his might. One thing I know about God is that if we take our hands off and let Him take control He can do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we could ask Him for, think or imagine. Be still today and know that He is an Ephesians 3:20 God. Be blessed and encouraged.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, we praise you for being the Sovereign God that you are. We thank you that you see every aspect of our life and that you know the beginning from the end. Thank you for the reminder today that as problems arise we need to only be still and rest in you while you work out our situations according to your plan. Thank you for the inner transformation that takes place during the time of stillness and thank you for the outcome that will be exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can ask you for or imagine. In Jesus Name. Amen

Grace Not Grudges

Grace Not Grudges
Written by Felicia McKnight
8/13/14

Matthew 18:15 NIV
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

While attending my women’s devotional group meeting the Holy Spirt spoke to us and said, “We have to extend grace and not grudges.” It held a profound meaning to our topic of discussion; however it hit home with me and some experiences that I encountered in my own life.

I went to the doctor for a problem that I had been experiencing. I typically go to this particular office because I am able to get a same day appointment, and I am normally in and out within 45 minutes to one hour. On this particular day my wait time was extremely long. I went through the normal check in process. I was called back within 15 minutes. My vital signs were taken, and then I was placed in a room colder than Alaska….at least it felt that way. While in there shivering I brought a book I had been reading. I managed to read two long chapters of the book, check my work e-mail, my personal e-mail and stare at the wall and still no one had come in to see me. I had been at the appointment an hour already and I had grown frustrated, because I needed to get back to work for a meeting and I had missed lunch. I stepped out of the room to see if I had been forgotten about, and the medical assistant informed me I would be seen next. Next turned into another 15 minutes of waiting. I stepped out again and just as I was stepping out the doctor was coming out of the room and I was told she would be there shortly.

Now my disclaimer to this story is that I can be a confrontational person in the sense that if I experience a problem with someone or something I make it known at that time. I don’t like having to hold on to things for days or weeks unless I just have to. If I am extremely upset I have learned to allow time to cool off so that I don’t say words that can’t be taken back. In this case I was more frustrated than angry until the next scene of this story took place.

The doctor entered the room and I let her know I was extremely frustrated that I had to wait an hour for her to come into the room. While I waited no one bothered to inform me that the wait time was longer than normal. With an attitude she corrected me and told me that I had “only” waited 40 minutes and she proceeded to tell me about her issues and the issues at the clinic. As she proceeded to talk in an unprofessional tone my anger level quickly elevated. A million things were going on in my mind. First, of all I couldn’t believe the doctor was talking to me that way. As a patient I did not care about those things. I just wanted the medical team to display some customer service and for my problem to be treated. It’s safe to say I escalated from frustrated to angry really quick and my issue still had not been looked at. Also, running through my mind is that I had to remember I am also an employee of this organization. As mad as I was I had to pray for Jesus to guard my tongue so that I did not say anything that would misrepresent Christ nor get myself in trouble with my employer.

At this point I was so mad I didn’t even want this woman to touch me at all. Now I am angrier because I’ve wasted over an hour waiting and now debating with this woman who next had the nerve to ask if I still wanted to be treated. I took one of those deep breaths that is also a quick prayer, because I was trying my best not to go off on the lady and I was determined I was going to be treated but it wasn’t going to be by her. Before I could say anything she told me she did not need the attitude from me and was going to get her boss. Once again I was blown away because I did not curse this woman out nor did I have a nasty attitude with her. I just simply expressed my concern with the lack of customer service and now her attitude. For me my prayer was answered immediately, because little did she know my letter of complaint was already drafted in my head to him.

Her boss, the Medical Director, finally came in. At this point I was boiling yet I remained as calm as possible. Woo Sah! I let him know what had taken place and that her behavior was completely unprofessional and unacceptable. When he seen my badge he went on to give me some inside information as to why things were so slow that day. As a Human Resources professional who knows what goes on behind the scenes I could totally understand from an operational standpoint why things were backed up, but as a patient everything that had taken place was still unacceptable especially this woman’s behavior. The Medical Director was very compassionate and sympathetic. He treated me and I was well on my way. I had some other test that I had to do and I was even extended favor in the process so I didn’t have to wait even longer. Before I left the office the Medical Director asked if it was OK for him to bring the physician back in so we could all talk and that’s where our scripture for today comes in. Yes, I was going somewhere with this story.

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (Matthew 18:15-16 NIV)

The physician returned to the room and we had a brief conversation. I reminded them that I may have been an employee of the organization and can understand the behind the scenes stuff that caused this incident. However as a patient and if I was anyone else this once again was not acceptable and I expressed all of my concerns about the entire visit. She apologized to me in front of the Medical Director. I did let him know that she has provided care to me before and I’ve never had this type of issue. Then something strange happened. The physician asked the Medical Director to leave so we could both talk. I had no clue what was about to take place next but let’s just say I was praying I remembered I was a Christian with whatever was going to take place.

The physician went on to tell me about the bad day she was having and her frustrations with being overbooked that day and some other things. She sincerely apologized and said that when I was upset my complaint was the spark that lit her fire causing her to become defensive and go off on me. When she explained herself that is when grace kicked in. Ultimately she was just having a bad day. I can understand that as we all have bad days from time to time that cause our emotions to get the best of us. I was able to receive her apology and let her know that there were no hard feelings. After we talked a little more she even hugged me as I walked out of the door. This experience ministered to me after I cooled off and looked for God in the situation.

As a Christian when I heard her excuses the first time I could have been more compassionate yet I was not. I was grateful that God used the Medical Director to allow the physician and myself to talk out our differences. I was also grateful that I was open to the idea as I know most people would not have been. We were able to work things out and now all is well.

My story was in a professional setting, but it certainly applies to all relationships. As we go through life we will encounter many confrontations with individuals. If we handle them appropriately then our Christian light can shine. Our scripture reminds us today that God wants us to work things out with others. He wants us to be at peace with one another. “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18 NLT) Life is too short to hold on to the hurt, pain, and frustrations people cause us. It is a blessing when we can discuss our issues with the other party and walk away in peace. It is a blessing to be at peace with someone rather than walking around with negative feelings towards that person which often leads to unforgiveness or what we may call a grudge. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:18 NIV)

I remember prior to my doctor’s office experience I went to someone to address their faults and the hurt they caused me. Out of that we were able to have a peaceful conversation and I was so full of peace. Since I genuinely cared about that friendship I didn’t want to keep walking in silence with those unresolved issues. I trusted that if I prayed and allowed God to go before me then all would be well.

I like the message version best:
“If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. (Matthew 18:15 Message)

When we find ourselves in challenging circumstances with people we have to pause and ask God how He wants us to handle the situation. According to scripture God wants us to attempt to work it out and be at peace with our neighbor. We can approach people in love and have civilized conversations to work out the matters of our heart. The bible says that if they listen then you know you have a friend. It is such a blessing, a joy and a peace when you are able to walk away with a matter resolved and a friendship still intact.

Who do you need to resolve matters with on today? Pray and ask God to guide you on your approach and prayerfully you too can walk away with a friend. Be Blessed and Encouraged on today.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, I lift up all of us who have experienced some hurt, disappointment, and frustration from someone we care about. For those of us holding on to it I pray that you will guide us on an approach to resolve these matters with that individual. Guard our mind and our lips to say the right words that will bring forth a heavenly resolution. We pray for both parties that hearts would be softened and receptive to the conversation and the matters at hand. We know that you are the God who heals and may your healing touch be on each of these relationships. Sometimes people do have bad days that cause the emotions to win over our character. Give us the wisdom and strength to extend forgiveness, compassion and grace. May grudges never be an option. In Jesus Name. Amen