Time to Pray

“First of all, then, I urge that petitions (specific requests), prayers, intercessions (prayers for others) and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in [positions of] high authority, so that we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This [kind of praying] is good and acceptable and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge and recognition of the [divine] truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 AMP

Prayer is two-fold. Not only is it a request to God, but is also a request made by God.

We should never ask whether or not we ought to pray. We should never question whether or not God hears us when we pray. We should never wonder if we are worthy enough to pray. We should never dismiss praying because of the feeling, belief or excuse that we don’t know how to pray.

The scripture says that God desires that all people be saved and come to know the truth. The devil will use any opportunity to talk us out of praying, and if we believe it, we will devalue the truth of the word of God that has the power to bring us to salvation.

That truth is to recognize Jesus as the head over our lives and honor the request made to us by God by making a request to God through Jesus who completes our petitions.

It’s that simple. Prayer opens the dialog of relationship with the power of words that are manifested through the spirit of God. This action is so important that it validates the very first commandment that tells us that we should have no other gods before him. If we put God first, then his request to us will be of utmost importance to us. And when we do what is good, acceptable and pleasing to God the word says that we will live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. Can you imagine what the prayers of all people would do to our community, our nation, our world? How, because the prayers that we are requested to pray are prayers that have a rippling, trickling effect, that flows from the head down.

Have you ever watched your favorite basketball team and prayed for them to win? When you prayed, did you pray for their shoes that tramples the ground as they pounded their feet down the court? Or how about their socks that were the victim of drenched sweat, and heated friction? I bet those things never crossed your mind. Even though those things are invaluable, and practically no game has ever been won without the stability, traction, and cushion of their sneakers, or the protection, temperature, and moisture control of socks, at the end of the day, it is the head that causes the whole body to be utilized according to their gifts, talents, and purpose. It is the head that changes the atmosphere, influences our experiences, and shapes opportunities. It is the head that wears the crown of responsibility and the oath of promise. When we pray for the head, meaning those in authority, we are essentially covering all who are affected by governed by it.

The peace and quiet life that the bible speaks of in godliness and dignity is a freedom from disturbance and stress which is in essence, Joy (pleasure, delight). Philippians 2:1-2 AMP says, “Therefore if there is any encouragement and comfort in Christ [as there certainly is in abundance], if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship [that we share] in the Spirit, if [there is] any [great depth of] affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ].”

With our prayers in one accord, lives will not only be changed but ultimately saved.

Be Blessed,

G.M.

Proceed with the Process

Luke 22: 31-32 NKJV says “…Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;…”

When you sift something, you separate the good from the bad, the useful from the unuseful, the important from what is unnecessary. Satan has asked the Lord to put us through a sifting process. And God didn’t say ‘But I will save you from this sifting’. Instead, he said that he has prayed for us that our faith should not fail. How significant are the prayers of the Lord? Mark 11:24 ESV says that “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” So if the Lord, in all his power, might, purity, and deity, (who is the beginning and the end, the fulfillment of the word), asks for something in prayer; then he who is the very source of the word ‘believe’ (the truth), has already received what he has asked for and we just have to see it come to pass.

The scripture also used the word ‘should’. The Lord said that “… your faith should not fail”. It may seem that the use of the word ‘would’ is more secure and appropriate for this sentence than that of the word ‘should’. But in actuality, ‘Should’ tells us that he has given us the tools that are necessary to ensure that we have the support and backing that we need to pull through successful and victorious. ‘Would’ tells us that he has imagined the possibility that we could be victorious. ‘Should’ is a command, a stance, an expression, and a statement based on the word of God, while ‘Would’ is often used to ask many questions.

So the Lord has allowed Satan to proceed with the sifting process because it is necessary for our growth and development. Satan doesn’t realize that he is doing us, and God, a favor by conducting a process that separates the parts of us that hinder God’s work in us and through us, from the parts that God is trying to amplify and edify in his kingdom. Satan is only concerned with isolating our good so that he can rain down attacks and terror that contradict, steal, kill, and destroy our Salvation, locking us out of the Kingdom of Heaven, just like he was. But God uses the isolation of our bad, unuseful, and unnecessary parts so that he can destroy all the lies, break the yolks and chains, and free us from bondage. Without this very important preparational process, we cannot proceed to be productive in life and walk in the freedom that God has given us to choose whom we will serve.

When the Lord says that he has “prayed for you that your faith does not fail”, he’s not just saying that he is praying that you don’t stop believing in him when Satan starts to sift you, but even more so, he is praying that your works (the use of your creativeness, talents, gifts, and service) that validate the life of your faith, will continue, and does not die or cease to exist because of the sifting process.

Verse 32 goes on to say that “…and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Although God has not questioned the ability of real faith to withstand the process, he acknowledges that as we proceed, we will question the movement of his hand, his control, what he allows to happen, our feelings about his delay to step in, and our emotional stability to continue to trust in what we cannot see. He has already factored in how the waves will toss us to-and-fro on the deep waters. But once we make it through the storm, he is waiting with great expectation for us to return to him with rejoicing and thanksgiving and that will be able to use our testimony to uplift, encourage and edify all who seek to be strengthened in the Lord.

No matter what you do, do not stop short. Yield to the process because God is sure of your victory. Change the way you speak to yourself, and start speaking like an overcomer, a conqueror, a victor. Child of God – Gather your confidence, your peace, your joy, and your assurance, and Proceed with the Process.

Be blessed,

G.M.

The threshing floor & the wind

Joel 2:24 ESV says that “The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.”

Many years ago in the absence of modern day machinery, Threshing floors were used to separate grain from the chaff. Farmers would have a special smooth flat surface like stone or hard-packed dirt that they would spread the harvested grain over and then have an animal walk on the grain to break the kernels and separate the grain from it’s outside shell (called the chaff). Then they would use forks or similar tools to throw the chaff and the grain in the air (again and again) and the wind would blow away the light and feathery chaff/the shell, and the grain would fall back down to the threshing floor.

Our threshing floor is as hard as a rock. In fact it is the rock of our salvation and as much as others may see blessings of harvested grain being spread out on our threshing floor; there is still some crushing that has to be done. There is still some tools, like forks, that aggressively scoop and toss the blessings into the air, so that what we can’t use would be blown away.

Some people may feel like when they finally get the harvest of grain that they can rest. Some may feel like when they crush the kernels and separate the grain from the shell that even that’s enough. But blessed are those who withstand the winds to throw their blessings upward toward heaven, trusting that the winds that may seem like it would steal or scatter all that the Lord has given to us, would only blow away the things that is not beneficial to us.

We must remember that the wind belongs to the Lord.

Only then shall our vats (our vessels) overflow with the wine and oil that truly transforms, anoints and appoints us through a cleansing that frees us from fear while communicating our commitment and present engagement in the full process that transpires on the threshing floor.

Be blessed,

G.M.

Defined

Character defines a persons personality, qualities, and the distinct nature and features that dominates their mental, spiritual, inner and outer state.

Ones character is displayed to others through our behavior, demeanor, attitude, body language and facial expression. Even more, our character is on display especially through our words. The bible says in Luke 6:45 NIV that “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Our words lay bare our heart that holds the very inner state of our spiritual being and allows people judge us by such defining character.

Character can be seen, heard, and felt. Psalm 146:8 says that “the Lord opens the eyes of the blind”. 2 Kings 6:15-18 NLT says “When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha. “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. As the Aramean army advanced toward him, Elisha prayed, “O LORD, please make them blind.” So the LORD struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked.”

Isn’t it amazing that as you go through and experience the events of your life, that your character can either cause you to see or cause you to be blind? It can cause you to be heard as well as cause those who hear you to be aware and mindful of your character. Your character can also cause the presence of your spirit to be felt, not only by man but by God. And even more important, your character can cause you to have a keen sense of the presence of God and to be in tune with his movement around you.

Character should not be taken for granted. The bible uses character interchangeably in Romans 5:4 with our experience and spiritual maturity. And it teaches us that character is built, formed, and strengthened. The scripture reveals that patience, perseverance, and endurance are what builds our character through those experiences that mature us; and this is what produces hope. Hope that is your faith. Hebrews 11:1 says that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…”. And our faith is what defines us.

Do not let bad company corrupt your good character (1 Cor. 15:33), but when your test and trials come, let the proven character of your faith (which is more precious than gold) “result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7 AMP.

Be blessed,

G.M.

Surprise!

Some may have been wondering what I’ve been up to. Here it is! God has been good. This devotional book “Devotions for a Purposeful Talk” is the next book in the Series ‘G.M. Sunshine Devotionals’. It comes right after “Devotions for a Purposeful Walk”.

God is still doing the amazing and capturing us in ways we didn’t think he could. This book is unlike any devotional you’ve ever read. And I know you will be blessed by it because it is led by the Holy Spirit moving on the inside of me. Check it out and leave me a comment.

Be blessed,

G.M.

Fan the flames!

When we think of fanning the flames it often refers to the intensifying of a situation, whether it yields a good or a bad result.

In actuality, a fire cannot burn unless it has 3 elements, heat, fuel, and oxygen. If any of the 3 are broken the fire will go out. Heat ignites the flame, with that sizzling, crackling, friction and dryness that sets off a spark and needs to be fed. Oxygen allows the flame that was sparked by the heat to combust and burn freely uncovered and unhindered. Fuel works on a condition where more means more and less means less. Fuel can be any material that has the ability to burn. More fuel means more intense heat allowing the flames to rage, draining the air of oxygen, distributing more and more fumes and smoke filled with carbon dioxide. Less fuel uses less oxygen, minimal flame, less heat and less smoke.

But here comes the wind that causes the fire to shift and spread. A rapid move that fans away moisture, creating the perfect environment and motivation for the fire to ramp up and press on. It drives the elements to set ablaze all that is in its path, while on a mission to keep the fire burning and the 3 components unbroken.

“Let all that I am praise the Lord. O Lord my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty. You are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds. You make the clouds your chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind. The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants.” Psalm 104:1-4 NLT

Fan the flames all you messengers and bearers of the good news of the Gospel of Christ. You are the wind that causes the word of God to spread to the ends of the earth. Believers and doers (faith-workers) of the will of God, stand firm in your faith and do not let your flames of fire go out. Keep watch, and be prepared to maintain the three components that keep the fire of your heart toward the Lord burning…

With Heat: (Romans 12:2 NLT “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

With Fuel: (John 6:33-35 ESV [“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”]

And with Oxygen: Isaiah 11:2 ESV “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”    Acts 1:8 ESV “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…”    Galatians 5:22-23 ESV “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Cor. 3:17 ESV

“I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” Luke 12:49 NKJV

G.M.

Hello Wednesday!

In between here and there, wednesday can be a real hard day to get through, but on the 3rd day God got to work on land, He made it appear by gathering together the waters that submerged and kept it from being seen. And when he unveiled it he commanded it to flourish and multiply with seed bearing vegetation that collectively covered and supported each other, so abundantly, creating an ecosystem that supports the very existence of life.

Make today a great day. Unveil the love of the Lord and watch it grow and cover and support everything it touches including the atmosphere around you.

God is love. He is the beginning and the end. He is the word and the word is also with him, and the word that goes forth from his Holy Spirit does not return to him void.

Blessed Wednesday,

G.M.

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