A Priestly Blessing

panoramic-3227810_960_720The Bible is filled with so many precious gems. Promises, deep revelations and endless gifts and blessings from our Heavenly Father. I stumbled across this gem during a time in my life when I was feeling really discouraged. As Israel’s high priest, Aaron, the brother of Moses, was commanded by God to speak this priestly blessing over the children of Israel.

The Priestly Blessing

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites, (that’s you in Christ) {Insert your name here}. Say to them:

“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. ”’ “So they will put My name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27 NIV

To be face to face with God the Father and have His light, grace, peace and blessings to fall upon you. Better yet to share His name… what a gift! According to God’s word this blessing is yours, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promiseGalatians 3:26-29 

Today Jesus stands as our High Priest and unlike His predecessors He knows your walk, He gets our struggle. The word says, “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15

Our High Priest who lives and reigns forever is for us and not against us. He is for our freedom, for our victory, for our health, wellness joy and peace. This Priestly blessing is but a fraction of the blessings of God that Jesus Christ speaks over you today.

In all things, Be encouraged Beloved Child of God, the best yet to come.

 


 

Advertisements

Having Hope

Having Hope

hopeI was in a very dark place in my life. My heart was completely broken, my relationships were failing, my life felt like shattered glass. It was useless picking up the pieces. I had given up…on everything, including my faith. Then an Angel in the form of my sister-in-grace reached out to me. She said she had a word for me from God.

He said, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

 When my sister-in-law said this I laughed, I said to her, “My life is falling apart. I can barely get through today without crying my eyes out and you expect me to have hope for the future.”

She said, “This is God’s promise to you, I need you to hold on to His promise.”

“You have no idea how I feel,” is what I said to her, “you’ve never gone through pain like this before!”

“Actually, I have.” Is what she said, I could hear it in her voice. She was telling me the truth. We both went silent for a while. “Do me favor”, she said, “the next time you find yourself so overwhelmed by the hurt that it feels like you can’t breathe, I want you to do this one thing for me.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“I want you to praise Him.” I remembered thinking, its official, she’s crazy! It’s time to hang up the phone now.

“I know that sounds crazy,” Is what she said. Whoa, did she read my mind? “But I want you to trust me in this.” She pleaded.

As I mentioned earlier faith had left the building for me, so this idea of having hope when all hope was lost and trusting God again seemed insane to me. But there was something about her faith and her confidence in this promise that encouraged me to at least try.

Moments later…

There I was lying on the bathroom floor. The cool tile felt good against my tear-stained cheek. The hurt raged within me like a vicious storm.

“I can’t do this, I won’t do this.” I argued, but I promised her that I would. “God I praise You, I give You the glory. Thank you Father, Hallelujah! It hurts Father, God it hurts so bad, but I give You the praise and the glory Lord!”

What felt like the weakest moment in my life became the most powerful and most defining moment of my life. The weight I was carrying suddenly lifted. I didn’t realize how hard I was fighting to keep myself together. I felt this presence that laid beside me and wrapped strong arms around me. Then came the peace that stole in like a gentle wind. It dried my tears and eased my mind. The headache I had that felt like an atomic bomb had gone off in my head, quickly faded away. My heart, though broken, somehow felt…cared for. I don’t know how else to explain it except to say that Hope came in. Now this hope was not a feeling I felt, but a presence. Not a human being, someone far more divine. I believe Christ Himself showed up in that bathroom. I left that bathroom with Hope by my side. I walked away feeling like I can try this faith thing one more time.

Things didn’t change in my life right away. I spent many more days crying and praying on that bathroom floor. Somehow I was able to hold on to God’s promise. Probably because everywhere I went I kept seeing or hearing His promise. I needed a new key chain and there it was, a key chain about having Hope amongst a bunch of goofy, non-Christian key chains. I’d turn on the TV or the radio and I’d hear Jeremiah 29:11. The word “hope” or the phrase, “hope for the future”, would pop up on my favorite TV shows, a commercial, a poster, or in a movie I’m watching. I didn’t have to fight to hold on to Hope because it was all around me. It kept chasing me down. It was as if Hope was fighting for me. Then one day I began to feel it on the inside and soon it began to manifest itself in every area of my life.

That was Seven Years Ago.

I asked God to explain the, “not harm me” part of His promise because what I went through really hurt me. He explained that He would never allow anything to come my way that would irrevocably damage me. Any pain in this life would only be temporary. He would never take me to a place beyond His repair.

What appeared to be a loss was actually a gain. I gained strength that I didn’t know I had access to, knowledge that I didn’t have before and confidence in knowing that I can overcome anything and do extraordinary things through Christ. Above all I came away with an awareness of just how great God’s love is for me. I can truly testify to who Christ is. I can now write and speak with a boldness that I did not have before that says, “God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19

My Prayer for You

I want you to know and grab a hold of this, God loves you child of God with an Unfailing Love. His plans and hopes for you are real and it’s going to touch every area of your life. You may be down and out right now but it’s not for long. It may feel like you can’t but believe me when I say that you can have Hope For The Future. For Christ is your HOPE! It’s an unshakeable, unbreakable promise from God. Signed and sealed by His beloved Son Jesus when He shed His righteous blood on the cross for you. Today I’m living that promise.

When Jesus Praises The Father

When Jesus Praises The Father

Whether I’m feeling victorious on God’s mountaintop or discouraged in the valley, I can count on my praise and worship of our God to lift my spirit. Whether I’m enjoying a peaceful day in the Lord or in the midst of a stormy trial; when thanksgiving and His praise fills my heart and leaves my lips, the atmosphere changes. Somehow I walk away feeling a little bit stronger. I find myself standing a little bit taller and my faith in Christ feels significantly greater. It’s a strange concept. I often wondered how praising someone else could leave me feeling encouraged.

Imagine my delight when the Lord revealed the answer to this mystery through Jesus’ praise and worship of the Father in Matthew 11:25-30.

Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.”

“…Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

An Invitation

Look at what follows Jesus’ praise, an invitation to rest. Jesus’ praise is also recorded in the book of Luke 10:21-24, and it ends with Him telling His disciples how blessed they are.

“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

I like what the apostle Peter says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.[i]

It’s no wonder we’re transformed in the midst of His praises, for it ushers us into His rest. It reminds us of the Father’s unfailing love and that we’re not alone in this. I don’t believe God is seeking praise for Himself, scripture testifies to this. I believe praying, fasting and praise is how we submit our efforts to the Spirit. I see these signs of submission being received as a gentle tug on God’s garment. Like the woman with the issue blood (see Mark 5:21-34/Luke 8:40-48), our tug draws power from God.

Rejuvenation, strength, hope, peace and rest flows to us effortlessly simply because we desire it, we desire Him. It’s not a way to manipulate God into doing things for you, if that’s your intent, you won’t receive His gift. You can’t manipulate for something that is freely given.

Be encouraged children of God. In every situation praise Him and let His Spirit take you to new heights in Him. In Jesus name. Amen.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”[ii]


[i] 1 Peter 1:3-4

[ii] Psalm 28:7

Be A Vessel For God

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a Man (You) therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s (Our Heavenly Fathers’) use, and prepared unto every good work.” 2Timothy 2:20-21

Within us all lie many gifts, gifts that are more valuable than silver and gold.  Your gifts can be used to inspire or destroy. God does not want an ordinary life for you, He urges you to purge yourself from the works of the flesh so that He may use you and your gifts to do great things for Him. For God says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Note that prosperity is  defined as “the state of flourishing, thriving, success or good fortune” and though it is often associated with financial wealth it is not limited to wealth, it includes all areas of your life, your family, your work, your happiness, your health. God wants to prosper you in every area of your life. God not only wants to bless you but He wants you to be a blessing.

You can use your gifts today to be a blessing. God has dropped a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or perhaps that stranger you pass on the street everyday in your spirit and in your path today. Do not pass up this opportunity to be a blessing and to be the vessel that inspires that individual.

I pray in Jesus name that not only you recognize the great gifts that lie within but that you use them to be a mighty vessel for God. I encourage you to be a vessel for God not just today but every day so that when others see you they will know that the Kingdom of God does exist and that He lives in you. Amen.

Thank You God

When Jesus entered a certain village He came across ten lepers. When He saw them He said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As the lepers went they were healed. The scripture goes on to say, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:11-19)

Our God is a God who blesses, keeps, protects, heals and answers prayers each and every day. Like the nine lepers we sometimes fail to give thanks to Him who never fails us. There is so much we take for granted like breathing, waking up with a right mind, the ability to walk, talk, hear and see.  Our family, our jobs, our homes all of these things are gracious gifts from our Lord. So let everyday be a day of thanksgiving to our Lord. God Bless You Saints!

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” (Psalm 100:4. Amen.

Give Thanks

Give Thanks

The Lord said, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”  

“Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?”

 “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew: 25:35-40) NKJV

There are about 7 billion people in the world today, 1 in 7 people are hungry that’s roughly 925 million hungry people in the world today. In my research I found that malnutrition plays a huge role in the deaths of almost five million children each year.  According to worldhunger.org, “The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day.”

There are so many ways you can help: Donate food to your local Food Bank, raise money, start an outreach program through your church or your work place, contact your legislator and find out how the government plans to combat world hunger or at the very least give a hot meal to the homeless person you drive pass every day. This Thanksgiving Holiday give thanks to the Lord by giving to the least of these. God bless and may you be a blessing to someone else this thanksgiving. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

For more information on world hunger visit www.worldhunger.org

Faith Like a Child

“The disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said:  “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom. Therefore whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4) NIV

I have three amazing children who make me laugh and tickle my soul. The other day my six-year-old daughter revealed to me the “keys” to entering God’s Kingdom.  About a year ago my husband explained to my daughter that praise and worship is how we celebrate the Lord. In her wonderful little mind she saw praise and worship as a party for the Lord and from that day on every time she heard her Dad praising & worshipping she would hurry out of bed and join “the party”. The other day one of her friends came by to play and her friend asked if they can do something really fun. So my daughter said okay, she rushed over to our CD player, placed a praise and worship CD in the player and began to dance and worship the Lord.  I couldn’t control the smile on my face. When I looked at her I saw the joy of the Lord all over her face and at that moment she made this scripture come alive for me, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”(Luke 18:16 NIV)

Within every child lie trust, dependence, obedience, acceptance, loyalty, faith, expectancy, innocence and they hold no doubts in their heart. These are the qualities that get you into the Kingdom, these are the qualities that adults, myself included, struggle with every day and our children naturally possess them. Unless we receive the Kingdom of God like a little child by no means will we ever enter it ( see Matthew 18:3)

A Prayer For Today

Father God create within us a heart like a child. Tear down the walls that we’ve built over the years in response to “growing up” in this harsh world of ours. Father God free us from the pain and disappointments that keep us from surrendering ourselves to You. Give us the heart and faith of a child so we may enter Your Kingdom and receive more of You. In Jesus name. Amen

Written By Afiya Duncanson