Encourage, Inspire & Motivate

 

Diverse group of people learning and studing together.

I have been a follower of the Lord since 3rd grade, if I was 7 years old, then I’m coming up on 50 years of walking with the Lord at some level.  I grew up in a home where going to church wasn’t an option. I remember hearing the stories of Jesus and how He loved others. I also remember hearing about our enemy, the devil and how he wanted to get me to do bad things and follow him straight to hell. I must admit that I was more afraid of going to hell than really understanding God’s love for me. I followed the Lord out of fear of hell. That fear didn’t stop me from still doing stupid things. I am thankful that the Lord was patient with me as I tried things that were fun at the time, but the consequences could have ruined my life.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I truly came face to face with grace. I had heard that word, but not nearly as much as I heard about all the things I must do right. Grace doesn’t give me permission to do wrong, but grace does give me second chances for sure. Grace finds me and makes things right with the Lord. Just the fact that I now understand grace has been a huge win for me. I can’t remember the preacher, author or teacher who explained that to me, but I’m sure thankful I now understand. I don’t walk around guilty and hopeless. I now live my life with hope and confident in the Spirit of God.

I believe that prophesy, according to the Apostle Paul is simply to speak as the Spirit leads regarding my life with the Lord. I believe God’s Word is true and with His help, I’m living according to His Word. Out of my journey, I can share words of encouragement, inspiration and motivation. I don’t write this to promote me, I write this to promote the peace that I have in Him. I think that there are misunderstandings and misinterpretations regarding prophesy in our churches today. Prophesy is from the Word of God and the very Spirit of God, not from a human being. Prophesy is truth spoken through a human as directed by the Spirit of God. It should not be super mystical, in my view. It should be super clear and understandable. Check this out….

1Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy.

32 Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can take turns. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people. (1 Corinthians 14:1,32-33 NLT)

I don’t want to be misunderstood. I’m not trying to get into a “church argument” or a “doctrinal dispute” with anyone. I’m not trying to mislead in any way. I think I and others have often made knowing the Lord appear that we are in a different class. I want to humbly live out my faith and encourage others to come along with me. I will “prophesy” about sin and call it out in my life and in others as the Spirit of God leads. If you’re reading these words and you haven’t surrendered your life to the Lord fully – I pray that you seriously consider this sort of change. Instead of me being in charge of my life, I’m giving that over to my Creator. He leads me to live for Him. He leads me to serve others on His behalf. He leads to me to speak on His behalf. It’s not some fancy, “hoity toity” calling. It’s simply speaking truth in love. He does the encouraging, inspiring & motivating through me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Do Something Now!

Get Things Done handwritingI can’t count the number of times I’m thought about doing something, but didn’t do it for one reason or another. The action that I “thought” about was never done – it was only in my mind. I recently heard a guy say that intention is similar to ignoring. I remember my Grandma telling me that the “road to hell was paved with good intentions”. I’m learning as I get older that people with good intentions are no different than people who don’t care. Their actions are the same. I realize that the Lord will judge us based upon our heart, but our actions reveal our heart.

Jesus was describing the final judgement for His disciples and He spelled it out clearly that when we serve the down and out, we’re actually serving Him. Check this out….

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:31-40 NLT)

This passage of scripture really troubles me at times, because over the years I’ve helped others and felt like they were often simply too lazy to work. I remember one instance when I was in my early 20’s and a guy showed up asking for money so I gave him my last bit of cash, which was $5. I learned later that he was the town drunk. He probably spent that money on alcohol. I have been a bit jaded in trying to discern people who were simply taking advantage of me or people who really needed my help. It’s not an easy decision. I’ve started trying to give items that are needed instead of money. Often people who are in deep need are there because they simply can’t manage money. If I keep giving them money, I’m actually not helping – I can work on their needs instead of their wants. God loves a cheerful giver and He calls His people to give. We are never more like God than when we give – He gave His One and ONLY Son for us. Giving is not just about money and resources – it’s also about our time.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

While We Wait

Patience concept.I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not patient when it comes to waiting. I have a lot of work to do in this area. I was telling someone the other day that I’d rather take the long way around then to sit in a traffic jam that would let me arrive in a shorter time. I obviously don’t have to commute into Atlanta every day. I don’t like to way very long for my food when I go to restaurant either. I really need to be more patient, but quite frankly, I’m afraid to pray for patience!

Paul in his letter to Titus gets right to the point in several areas. He gives straight talk in several areas of growth. I came across the three little words tucked in the middle of a sentence. These three words spoke into my heart about what I can while being patient. Check this out…

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works. (Titus 2:11-14 CSB)

While I wait, I can pursue God’s heart.

While I wait, I can live a sensible way.

While I wait, I can live in a godly way.

While I wait, I can love others like Jesus loves.

While I wait, I can serve others.

While I wait, I can teach with my life.

Waiting is really a part of my life. I often must wait for people to connect for an appointment. I must wait on the lender to get the buyer ready to close on the loan. I must wait on the closing attorney to get the title work complete so that the seller can sell and the buyer can buy. I must wait on the appraiser, surveyor…. the list could go on and on. I’m learning that waiting is simply part of living.

I smiled when I thought of Brad Paisley’s song from a few years back called: Waiting On A Woman.

I’m waiting on the Lord today. I’ve got plenty to do while I wait.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Morning Prayer

Country road at sunriseI love the morning – it seems like everything is new and fresh. Yesterday is now history and time to look forward. I love starting my day in God’s Word and listen to Him speak into my heart as I begin a new day. I decided a few years back that I would not do anything in my day prior to listening to Him.  I believe my time with Him is the most important meeting on my schedule. The morning I was blessed with a morning prayer from King David. Check this out…

8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:8-10 NIV)

Trust – I affirm my love, respect & honor for the Lord.

Rescue – He helps me deal with those who want to harm me.

Teach – He speaks directly into my heart & then I live out my heart.

Lead – He prompts, shows & levels me out – He makes my path clear.

I just want to rest and abide this day under the Word of God. I need Him more than I need anything. His Presence in my heart brings great clarity to my schedule. This morning prayer clarifies my need for Him first thing.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Rebuke

Teenage girl in trouble with parentsThis word carries with it “stern disapproval or reprimand”. I know what it’s like to be rebuked. I grew up getting rebuked occasionally as my parents helped shape my character. I have also rebuked my children at times growing up. It is not fun when I’m the recipient of rebuke, nor is it fun to be the giver of rebuke. When I stop, and think about it, I only rebuke because I care about the person or subject I’m speaking about. I don’t use rebuke to tear down another, but to build something inside them.

I have been rebuked by The Lord. He has “set me straight” more than once in my life and I’m very open to Him keeping me in line with Him and His Word.  Asaph penned a song that included this very subject. Check this out…

At your rebuke, God of Jacob,
    both horse and chariot lie still.

It is you alone who are to be feared.
    Who can stand before you when you are angry?
From heaven you pronounced judgment,
    and the land feared and was quiet—
when you, God, rose up to judge,
    to save all the afflicted of the land. (Psalm 76:6-9 NIV)

I think it’s extremely important to have a healthy respect and reverence for the Lord. He is Creator of all the earth. He is in charge of His Creation and everything I can see or know. He is even patient with some His hard-headed kids like me.  I’m so thankful for His patience and His grace. I don’t deserve to be His kid but because of His Son Jesus, I get to be a child of His. I can’t stop speaking about all that the Lord has done for me. He has forgiven me and He has restored my soul many times. He has given me opportunity to speak on His behalf and to lead others to Him.  As I read this passage in Psalms this morning, I was reminded of a passage that a young preacher was challenged with from the apostle Paul. Check this out…

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV)

I love this challenge that Paul gives the young man Timothy. He is to lift up the Word. The Word of God most definitely corrects, rebukes and encourages. The Word is also a great resource of careful instruction. I want the Word to speak into my life today and everyday as I pursue the Heart of God.

Pressing On!

Dwayne