When you have lived a long time in a negative environment one of the most difficult things, after you are removed from it, is to accept praise.

Often you mistrust it because when people praised you in the past they usually wanted something from you so you doubt the sincerity of the current praise.

Sometimes you find it so refreshing that you act like an excited puppy wetting himself while being petted and begging for it not to end. You feel like a starving man given a plate at a buffet and overeat on that praise making yourself and the giver sick to the stomach.

Sometimes you may allow it to go to your head and then do something unwise bringing on the criticism. After all, in the workplace, one aww nuts wipes out ten attaboys. You may even purposely sabotage yourself because you are more comfortable with criticism.

Usually, you feel uncomfortable and unworthy of it so you downplay it discouraging people from praising you because they feel it is unappreciated.

If any of this is you, rejoice that you escaped the environment that made you this way. Thank God for the freedom. Ask Him to help you discern what is real praise and what is manipulating flattery.

When presented with sincere praise, receive it graciously and with true humility knowing that it is God who has given you whatever talent you have as well as the opportunity to use it. You have nothing of yourself, but God loves you enough to give you what you need to become what He created you to be so walk in gratitude for that love giving Him the praise.

1Cor 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

Those who criticize you falsely have not read this verse and think they are special and you are not. Do not listen to them. You are special. God loves you and made you different and gifted you differently.

Learn the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Reject the destructive and heed the constructive. It will also help you deal with praise.

Live with what God says about you not what the people in your past said or what people may be saying now that is destructive. They may have come from the same background and only know criticism so that is all they can give.

Don’t listen to the devil. He criticized the perfect God so all he knows how to do is be critical and make unwise choices.

Listen to God for He will do all things for the good of those who are His children. That may include some constructive criticism, but it will be done in love and peace and righteousness will come from it. He is also full of praise for those in His Son as they seek Him and obey.

Be blessed and encouraged today. Jesus died for you because He loved you sees great potential in you as a child, warrior, and co-heir of the Kingdom. Receive His love and praise. Maranatha


Not What If, What Now

March 28, 2017

Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

There must come a time when we quit thinking about what if and ask God what now or we will never be fulfilled or fruitful.

The what ifs from the past will never happen. Forget about them. Most of the what ifs we worry about in the future will not happen, but they will cripple you with fear and doubt so kick them to the side. The future is in His hands and He has a fruitful one for you if you will seek Him and pray for the what now.

Father, my what ifs have only brought me sorrow, guilt, regret and fruitless days. Redeem and restore them in the what nows. Show me what you have for me now and as I walk in that allow my faith to grow and squelch the what ifs.

Allow me to anticipate with joy and faith that what You have for me in the next what now will bring glory to You and reveal more of You and our relationship to me. That will mean at the end of my days the walking in the what nows will wash away the what ifs that were hurtful with the glory of the what nows that were wonderful. Amen and Amen!

Long-winded Preachers

March 19, 2017

I posted on FaceBook a video by Todd White that is nearly two hours long. It amazes me that people willingly sit to hear him that long.
I am always hearing people complaining about long-winded preachers. I had one deacon that felt seventeen minutes was good enough and if you cannot get it done in seventeen minutes you need to work on it.
Todd speaks of watching three hours of TV. We will stay for extra innings on a work night even if it means we only get fours hours of sleep.
How long did Jesus preach when He had to feed the multitude? People worked from sunup to sundown and yet they listened to Paul preach until midnight.
Neh 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
Neh 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
The morning started at 6 AM so approximately six hours and no music. Many are glad to sing 45 minutes and only have a 20-minute devotional. If you sing 45 then the preacher should have at least 60. The music is to prepare your heart from the sermon so if it takes 45 minutes to do that you need maybe a 90-minute sermon to get the job done.
When I was a Baptist, my Pentecostal friends said the problem with the Baptists is that they leave before the Holy Spirit shows up. That is bad theology because He is always there, but He does not always have control of the service, but I got there point.
Thankfully, no Pentecostal ever complains about the length of a sermon because the Holy Spirit will never want them to leave before He is done. Every Pentecostal preacher who reads this would say, “From his mouth to God’s ear” for they know that is not accurate. We have folks that would nearly agree with that Baptist deacon.
Set the crockpot for 1 PM instead of 12:30 and forget about the sporting event. You will not starve and the team will win or lose without you.
Count your blessings that the morning service is not six hours and the evening service until Midnight. Even more, be glad we are not meeting daily like the early Church. Then again, maybe we should mourn because we do not have the attention span and zeal they had. After all, they turned the world upside down and we could sure use that today! Maranatha!