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STAY CONNECTED

Prolonged or repeated cycles of pain, betrayals and hurt can draw back into seclusion. However, God created each of us for relationship, productivity, fruitfulness, joy and abundance and we cannot achieve these on our own. 2 Peter 1:3 says that His (God) divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. We are not meant to live in isolation or independent of others.  There is “healthy co-dependency and interdependence in God’s Kingdom.” God has people assigned to help you fulfill your destiny. In  most things God involves  healthy people to connect with us towards accomplishing His purposes through us; also known as DESTINY!

I guess I should start by defining who “healthy people are”. These are people who are authentic  and are available to stand with you through thick and thin without judging or criticizing you and if criticism was to be given,  they are people who will give you constructive criticism with pure motives to help you advance in live. They are encouragers, people you are free to open up to without fear of your business being broadcasted negatively- you feel safe around such people. They are people whose blessings can be reciprocated in that as they help you while you too help back with ease.

One of the tactics satan uses to steal, kill and destroy is isolation especially when we are in valleys of life. At times the devil uses isolation to convince incorrectly about others. The devil dose this through false perceptions and beliefs about others or circumstances resulting in further withdrawal. This may present as avoiding church, lack of interest in reading the Bible and lapses in praying. The devil’s aim is often to use the negative experience to draw you away from God. Submit to God, resist the devil and He will flee (James 4:7)

Throughout the Bible we see the support systems that existed through communities or friendships. (1) Two are better than one according to Ecclesiastes 4:9 because they have a good reward for their labor. We need one another for support, comfort, encouragement, joy, laughter, prayer, fellowship and communion. When you stay isolated you deprive others of what you have to offer. You have many great things to offer the world. The world still needs you!(2) Where two  of you  agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven (Matthew 18:19), (3)where  two or three are gathered in My Name there I am in their midst also ( Matthew 18:20)-both (2) and (3) allude to the power of corporate prayer, unity and fellowship with one another. (4) Proverbs: 11:14, Proverbs 15: 22, Proverbs 24:6- in the counsel of many there is wisdom and safety- Do not struggle alone, your gifts can help someone else. Another’s gifts can also bless you.

We were not meant to live this life in secrecy and in isolation. God’s grace is sufficient in our weaknesses to bring us healing, deliverance and freedom. Submit everything to God. This week pray asking God to bring you “HEALTHY CONNECTIONS”.  Ask God to direct you to the right church, friend or persons, and community that will support you and help you thrive. If you are in a wrong setting, ask God to expose that too; show you how to exist and the strengthen you to walk away. Most important- stay connected. Alone we are a weak link, connected, we make a stronger bond – A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken- Ecclesiastes 4:12, NLT

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HAVE A “JESUS MEETING”

My favorite TV shows are those that involve renovations and transformations. I can watch the show “Overhaul” and “HGTV” all day. I also love the “Street Racing” show- I guess just the thrill of seeing how dangerous the guys can drive. Recently while watching these shows I heard a phrase that was said in two distinct shows; surprisingly this was my first-time hearing about a “Jesus Meeting”.

These TV shows involve a team or collaborating with others. When disagreements and misunderstandings occurred in the team, they called for a “Jesus Meeting! A Jesus Meeting is where all is laid on the table without reservations and conflicts are addressed then resolutions are made. It’s a come clean, transparency, let’s deal with this meeting!

I then pondered on how frequent we need these meetings with the Lord. As believers, we often try to withhold stuff from the Lord because we think some are too small or irrelevant for Him. God saved all parts of you and He wants all parts of you. So, feel free to share everything with Him. God is a loving God who does not judge or condemn. In fact, He sees the depths of our hearts and knows our prayers even before we pray. Tell God exactly how you feel, how angry you are, how frustrated it is, how happy you are, how excited you are; just be real with Him. Trust me, Jesus understands every emotion; He went through them.

Jesus Meetings are also beneficial when you cannot obtain breakthrough in an area or when we experience repeated negative patterns. Consider coming to Jesus with a Lord enough of this, let’s deal with this attitude! Through prayer, consider asking the Holy Spirit to show you the source of the issue. God sees all things – His exposure will help steer the prayers strategically for the needed breakthrough.

Finally, prolonged undressed conflicts or misunderstands pull us further apart. As believers we are a community of one another.  The Bible directs that we agree with our adversary quickly (Matthew 5:25). Confessing our sins to one another and forgiving one another brings healing (James 5:16). Do your best to address conflicts respectful and prayerfully in a timely manner (Ephesians 4:26-27). Best is to have your own Jesus Meeting for repentance and clean you need to do personally then for direction on how to approach the conflict before meeting with the person you need to meet with.

This week consider the areas you need to bring to the “Jesus Meeting”. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you those areas first in your personal life, then to those you need to address. Transparency with God and with others is essential in our Love walk in Christ.

Scriptures: Isaiah 1:18, Jeremiah 17:10, John 6:37, Matthew 11:28, Revelation 22:17, I Corinthians 13:1-13

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O’ COME ON TO SWEET COMMUNION

The same Jesus that we are celebrating this season was a perfect example of community, communion and good food. When there was no food, He made multiplied some and ensured there were leftovers! Though He separated Himself to pray, often Jesus dined with people and hanged around with people. Jesus seemed to have crossed boundaries and even hanged out with those others deemed outside their circles. When His family mocked Him, Jesus still found people to be around with. Community and Communion were recurrent themes of Jesus.

The fullness of God though cannot be experienced alone. Some aspects of it requires community, fellowshipping with one another and enjoying each other’s company. I’m beginning to experience the fullness of this freedom in Christ. So far, I am learning that this freedom extends beyond the freedom of being saved, delivered and set free; that it is the freedom of just being you. Coming to the fullness of the identity God created us to be.

When we have come to the fullness of this identity, reaching out and becoming a part of a community becomes easy. It is from here too that we enjoy the community of fellow believers, friends and family. This reminds me of the Israelites after Solomon built the temple (1 Kings 8:65-66) and of King David, when the Ark of the Lord was returned to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6). These occasions were followed by days of feasting and celebrations. How much more now that Christ has set us free and reconciled us to God! The holiday season can be lonesome for others; introverts like myself would rather just be left alone!

But this Christmas and holiday season, I encourage you to “come out” and join in communion, community and good food. The holidays should not be the only time that brings the best out of us, but please don’t stay home alone, venture out, enjoy the festivities, go watch the Christmas lights, excite the little child in you, make fun of yourself, be silly responsibly!

This Joy to the world, came over 2000 years ago, for your freedom and that you may enjoy the fullness of life with others. So, Come On, enjoy sweet fellowship and communion with others this week and throughout the holiday season.