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Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div.

Visionary Strategist Faithful Innovator Inspirational Essayist

Salvation and Stilettos Blog

Blog

Be it Fully Resolved... We will NOT Lose!

Posted on December 9, 2014 at 7:48 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam,
This is my last post in a Blog Series for 2014.  I will more than likely post again, I just do not plan to begin a new series as I am trying to focus the last few weeks of 2014 on a writing project that needs my attention. [More Details Later :)]  THANK YOU for your patience and flexibility!

As I began this series, Disciples' Do's and Don'ts, I was not sure of how the Holy Spirit would lead us through Matthew 10.  But as I look back I must say that this brief journey has encouraged and challenged me as a follower of Jesus Christ.  Thus, as we now reflect on these final verses of the chapter, I am even more aware of the need for my commitment to the teachings of our Savior to be FULLY RESOLVED.  In other words, especially as I think about the social climate of today - police brutality, black on black crime, child abuse, school shootings, cyber-bullying, racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and discrimination on all levels - there is no space or time for believers to waver in their faith.  When we are not the light or when we only let our light shine in convenient places, we lose every time....not necessarily as victims of the above but as weak and double-minded people who miss the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ in this dark world.

When we take up our cross and choose to live for Jesus, the hope and faith and love and joy and peace that fills our hearts will be disturbed.  That is a given.  The devil has come to steal, to kill, and to destroy.  Therefore, any challenges to us bearing fruit of the Spirit is to be expected. But this is our HOPE... our Lord has come that we might have LIFE and that we might have it more abundantly and GREATER is He that is IN us than the evil that is in this world!  So, my friends, we must be FULLY RESOLVED to live our lives at maximum capacity in our faithfulness to following Jesus Christ.  

And with all of that being said, Jesus makes it clear in these final verses of Matthew 10, exactly what it looks like to live a life that is FULLY RESOLVED to follow:

38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 
39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
 “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me." [MSG]

40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 
41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and 
whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 
 “We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it." [MSG]

42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
"It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.” [MSG]

Friends, Be it FULLY RESOLVED, that when you take up your own cross, look to Jesus, become a messenger carrying the Gospel, endure acceptance and rejection of you and your Jesus, start small in your giving and receiving kind acts, you will NOT lose!

BlogFam, Are you FULLY RESOLVED to follow Jesus?

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW ME on TWITTER @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept
VISIT www.MyVIsionFast.com - It is time to prepare our hearts and minds for the annual My Vision Fast, January 5-25, 2015... men and women from everywhere will be fasting and praying about God's vision for their lives!  I hope that YOU will join us!!!


Disowned and Divided...It's Your Choice!

Posted on December 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam - 
Take a look at our verses for today....  Now, let me warn you before you keep on reading the words of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew, that it might not be easy for you to read and it might not be easy for you to ACCEPT this as a very real part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The question to be answered is this: Are you FULLY committed to following Jesus?  
Now read our verses for today...

Matthew 10:32-37
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36     a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 

Again, I ask.... Are you FULLY committed to following Jesus?
This is a question that only you can answer and whether you think you are or not, you are answering this question EVERYDAY of your life.  Everyday you are making the choice to follow or to not follow Jesus.  Everyday you are making the choice to be identified with Jesus or to disown His life, ministry, and His teachings.  Everyday you are making the choice to put Jesus in first place or in second, third, fourth, or even fifth place or lower in relation to your family or other close relationships.  And everyday, the choice is not easy.

It is not always easy to choose to be Christ-like when it seems like everyone around you is going in a completely different direction.  It is not always easy to put your relationship with Jesus Christ above mother, father, sister, brother, or children.  It is not always easy to resist the temptation to "fit in" so that you can stand for Christ or to be the cause of division in your family due to your conviction to obey the leading of Christ.  It is not always easy to say YES to Jesus; yet, everyday, we make a choice.

So, in this moment, I really want to encourage you to choose wisely because everyday your choice has consequences that reach beyond today.  Everyday your choice has eternal consequences and in your choosing, you determine whether or not you want to be disowned or divided eternally.  Always.  Forever.  To infinity and beyond.  This is how long the consequences of your choice for your soul today will last.  So, again, I ask:  Are you FULLY committed to following Jesus?  This is a question that only you can answer and whether you think you are or not, you are answering this question EVERYDAY of your life. 

Friends, I pray that you would choose JESUS everyday and that everyday that you do, I pray that it gets easier to choose Him FIRST.

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW ME on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

DO NOT BE AFRAID!

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
I will be very honest with you.  I was not sure if I should make this one possibly lengthy post or break it down into two different posts.  And as I write, I am still not sure so I will just flow, as usual, and we will see how the Spirit leads our conversation...

The first thing I want to say is that leaders of any group of people have influence.  The influence that leaders have over a group can determine if, how, and when the group reaches their goal or completes their assigned task.  I believe that JESUS is the greatest leader that has ever lived and that His influence has been felt for centuries as evidenced in the lives of so many who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ.  I believe that he continues to lead, guide, and direct those who follow Him [His teachings] toward the goal of expanding the Kingdom of God on earth and by giving them/us the energy and infusing our passion to complete the task in very specific ways.

Thus, it is no surprise that Jesus would make mention of the kind of student-teacher, servant-master relationship in his instructions to the disciples as he sends them forth.  In Matthew 10, He acknowledges the order of these kinds of relationships...

24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 

I think we can all respectfully agree on that statement regardless of the myriad of ways it can be observed and experienced in our present lives.  Yet, Jesus continues to nuance the consequences of such relationships as He highlights that the response of some people to the ways in which Jesus is sending them forth to lead will not be devoid of criticism.  He continues...

25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

In other words, Jesus says, I am sending you forth as the leaders and teachers that you are.  I am sending you forth with a very specific message and you can expect to hear the same insults, critiques, negative speech against you.  Jesus is identifying with the disciples in letting them know that if their teacher has experienced all of this and if He is now sending them forth with the same message, then they as students turned teachers in this instance will likely hear the same.  But Jesus does not stop there.  He gives them some advice for how to handle these discouraging and even disparaging encounters...


26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Friends, DO NOT BE AFRAID!  

DO NOT BE AFRAID because you will not be caught off guard!  You do not have to worry about not knowing what to say or how to respond or being left out of anything necessary for ministry.  Just follow the Lord's instructions and keep your ear tuned in for His voice.  When it is time to speak, stick to the script that He has given to you.

DO NOT BE AFRAID because none of your "enemies" can touch your soul!  In other words, there is a limit to the impact their attacks can have on you and the part of you that matters the most in eternity, has already been saved and is forever protected.  Your soul is untouchable by anyone who tries to bring you down!

DO NOT BE AFRAID because if the Lord will take care of the sparrow/birds of the air so that they do not fall out of the care of our heavenly Father and if your Creator cares enough to know the number of hairs on your head, you can rest assured knowing you are already in the Father's care because you are worth more than those sparrows!

BlogFam, keep moving forward!  YES, you will be insulted and attacked and threatened BUT GOD has already given you the grace to endure it all just as Jesus did.  DO NOT BE AFRAID!  We have been forewarned of some of the ugly consequences for speaking about the Kingdom of God.  DO NOT BE AFRAID! The good and the bad is part of the journey and if Jesus had to endure it all, what makes you think that you won't as a follower of Him?

DO NOT BE AFRAID!

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @AudraSunshine and @SpiritedConcept

Major Headlines!

Posted on November 20, 2014 at 9:29 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam,
I am convinced that Jesus knew the headlines we would read about today.  I do not think that Jesus is in anyway surprised or shocked by the twisted dramas in the lives of people all over the world.  We might be taken aback by the hatred, betrayal, and negative motives of people in the news or at our jobs or in our homes or down the street; but none of this mess catches Jesus off guard.  Actually, he mentions a few of the scenarios in Matthew 10 as he forewarns the disciples of situations they might see as they carry the Gospel and possible reactions to it.

Matthew 10:21- 23
21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Friends, verses 21 and 22 have been MAJOR HEADLINES in this century and most likely in centuries before the 21st.  I honestly have not gotten used to reading or hearing about them.  I do not think I ever want to get used to living in a world so full of everything that is not characteristic of our Creator.  And the ONLY way, I can keep my head above the fragments of evil and the shadows of death in this world is to KEEP MY EYES ON JESUS and PRAY about the headlines!  

Now, this might be easier said than done because in naming these MAJOR HEADLINES, Jesus does not put the disciples above experiencing hatred or persecution themselves.  Those who follow Christ might find themselves in the headlines for one reason or another and it might not be because you are so anointed.  It just might be because your presence or your message has agitated the status quo making people - friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors - feel uncomfortable with the TRUTH.  But you are not given a pass or given any kind of exemption, you are to stand firm to the end and just keep pressing on through the "towns" and places the Lord has sent for you to go.

Friends, BE STRONG IN THE LORD and in the POWER of HIS MIGHT! And in all your efforts, may your intentions be to make JESUS the MAJOR HEADLINE of your life!

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW ME ON Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

Keep Going!!!

Posted on November 10, 2014 at 11:03 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

As much as I love to bask in the glory and peace of being in relationship with Jesus Christ, I have been on my journey long enough to know that everyday has not made me "feel" the glory and I have definitely had days where peace seemed to escape me.  And reading today's verses raises mixed feelings inside of me.  I mean, who wants to read about Jesus sending his disciples out to face the realities of rejection and ignorance and disapproval by neighbors and strangers, alike.  Nobody wants to deal with all of that but for some reason, Jesus sends them anyway... He sends US anyway.

Matthew 10:16-23
16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 

Jesus sends them anyway.  
And Jesus sends them with a workable plan should they encounter any opposition.  Now admittedly, it is not the kind of plan that we might come up with on our own as this plan does not utilize any physical weapons or strategies for revenge.  This plan is pretty much contrary to our natural instincts of self defense and self preservation.  But this is the plan Jesus gives to the disciples so that they might best represent the Kingdom of God as they spread the word on their way.

Be Shrewd.
Be Innocent.
Be on your Guard.
Do not Worry.
The Spirit will speak through you.
Stand firm to the end.
You will be Saved.
Flee when persecuted.
Keep going until the Son of Man comes.

I think that sums it up....and honestly, these nuggets of wisdom can be applied to any and every situation in our lives.  So, while at first glance, we might question why Jesus would send his disciples...US... out into places where we will encounter wolves, flogging, detainment, betrayal, rebellion, hatred, and persecution, one thing we know is that Jesus never sends us out without being fully equipped for the task.  And our obedience to His wisdom is necessary, not just for our success, but for the Gospel to go forth.

So, my friends, do not be so surprised when you experience these kinds of situations in your own life.  Jesus has forewarned and forearmed us so that we can KEEP GOING and so that the kingdom can keep growing!  Just follow His advice and you WILL have glimpses of his glory and walk in His peace.

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW ME ON Twitter @AudraSunshine and @SpiritedConcept


No Luggage, No Reservations, JUST GO!

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 10:31 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings! 

BlogFam, 
I learned how to pack my own clothes as a child.  Our family took several trips a year and so I learned about the things that needed to go in my suitcase to make my trip flow much easier.  I knew I needed to pack play clothes and dress clothes and a few extra outfits just in case anything happened or plans changed while we were away.  I needed to pack shoes and toiletries, underclothes and jewelry, purses and a jacket.  I also needed to pack anything related to our specific destination that I anticipated would be helpful during my stay.  I cannot tell you how many suitcases I have packed and over-packed during my lifetime!  

So, when Jesus basically tells the disciples in Matthew 10 to go but leave your suitcases behind, do not take any personal items with you, and go to a place where lodging is not guaranteed, well, frankly, that makes me a little uncomfortable.  Check out the verses for yourself!

9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. [Matthew 10:9-15]

I can tell you that this just does NOT seem to be the kind of travel arrangements that would make anyone comfortable!  No Luggage, No Reservations, JUST GO!!!  And wherever you are NOT welcomed, "SHAKE THE DUST OFF YOUR FEET" and keep it moving! 

WOW!

My Friends, what are we to learn from this passage of scripture?  As a disciple of Jesus Christ, what is the take away from this 'No Luggage, No Reservations, JUST GO kind of mission?  

Well, let me try to explain.  I think that Jesus is basically telling disciples then and now, when I tell you to go to the places I send you to:  


  • DO NOT GO WEIGHED DOWN
  • DO NOT GO TIED DOWN
  • DO NOT GO AND HAVE AN EMOTIONAL BREAKDOWN
  • JUST GO AND LAY THE TRUTH DOWN 


DO NOT GO WEIGHED DOWN
9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.

In other words, friends, anything that is not completely necessary for your life's mission, LET IT GO!  We carry way too much baggage around from our past that hinders our present and delays the future effectiveness we can have in promoting the Gospel!  It is time to let go of toxic people, romantic hurts, conversational offenses, materialistic ambitions, shallow dreams, twisted plots, old grudges, and negative attitudes.  All of these things and many others like them are weighing you down and keeping you from being FREE to pursue God's purpose for your life.  People cannot force you to carry what you are choosing to hold on to so that you can constantly be reminded of what did not work, what made you mad, and what hurt your feelings.  LET IT GO!  Let it go, unpack that bag, take it out to the dumpster, and do not let that stuff weigh you down.  BE HEALED and SET FREE so you can MOVE ON, Move forward, move out, and move up!!!



DO NOT GO TIED DOWN
11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town... 

BlogFam, I know that you "like" where you are or maybe you have simply just gotten used to it because you are really scared to leave.  For when you do actually leave, you will have to TRUST GOD and in your state of comfort, complacency, and carelessness, you have grown to like doing what is EASY.  But what is easy is not always what is the KINGDOM thing to do!  When you commit your life to Christ, you commit your life to not being tied down to any one particular place longer than your assigned time in that place.  You also commit to Christ knowing that everywhere you go, people will not welcome your presence or your message.  We cannot get tied down to the point where we never remain OPEN to the ways God wants to lead us and use us beyond where we currently reside and serve.  As long as you find peace, then rest there.  But the moment you are not welcomed and you are being ignored, leave.  GO WITH GOD and do not prolong your stay!  This world is not our home and the only permanent reservations we have as disciples of Jesus Christ are the reservations we have with God in eternity.

DO NOT GO AND HAVE AN EMOTIONAL BREAKDOWN
14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 

I have to tell you that I have cried many tears in my life for many different reasons.  I have cried the common tears of joy and tears of sorrow.  I have also cried tears for love lost and love gained.  And as it relates to this verse, I have cried tears of welcome and tears of good byes.  I do not think that we should totally dismiss the emotional responses that we have to life's transitions; but, we cannot get stuck on the triggers to those responses at times of transition.  When it is time to leave, SHAKE THE DUST OFF YOUR FEET and move on to your next divine destination!  

Living as a disciple of Jesus Christ necessarily means that people will reject you and dismiss you and cuss you out and roll their eyes at you and leave you hanging and break up with you and walk away from you.  I appreciate that Jesus does not paint this pretty picture of everyone loving the disciples just because they entered the room, the home, the town, or the church.  We all need to be very clear that when you are preaching, singing, teaching, serving, volunteering, and doing anything positive to show the love and grace of God, everyone will not jump on your bandwagon.  You need to know this.  You need to know that Jesus knew this.  You need to know that Jesus  told his disciples this for a reason so that they/we could be prepared IN ADVANCE to be turned away and denied a pulpit to speak in, a bed to sleep in, and even family and friends to confide in.  And because we know this IN ADVANCE, we also know that the good Lord has already made provisions for us IN ADVANCE so that we can SHAKE THE DUST OFF OUR FEET and know that our latter reign will be greater than our former pain!

JUST GO AND LAY THE TRUTH DOWN
7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 

Lastly, we have to take it back a few verses in order to keep our focus and our message clear.  We cannot focus on what we have to leave behind or the places we cannot go or the emotional roller coaster we might have just experienced.  We must keep our eyes on JESUS.  Our message must be centered around JESUS.  Our ears must be kept in tune with JESUS.  Our Savior told them to proclaim ONE sermon.  "The Kingdom of heaven has come near."  

Jesus tells them to, JUST GO and LAY THE TRUTH DOWN!  The acceptance or the rejection of this message is not the disciples responsibility.  The disciples only have to speak it and let God deal with the rest.  When we start adding to the Gospel or taking away from it or keeping our mouths closed about it because we are weighed down, tied down, or just had an emotional breakdown, our ministry gets twisted.  But if we just GO AND LAY THE TRUTH DOWN - The Kingdom of heaven has come near! Then, we can encourage ourselves through the HOPE of the message we share and the one who gave us the message in the first place!

BlogFam, on today, I pray that you would have a WONDERFUL day and that you would surrender to the Lord all the things that have you weighed down.  I pray that you would ask the Lord for the courage to leave all the places that have you tied down.  I pray that you would ask for healing from your emotional breakdown.  And I pray that from this day forward, you would JUST GO and LAY THE TRUTH DOWN!!!

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW ON TWITTER @AudraSunshine and @SpiritedConcept

No Witness, No Testimony, yet I still BELIEVE!

Posted on October 20, 2014 at 9:42 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam, I believe that the power of God that was available to the people in the Bible is still available to us centuries later.  

I had to open with that statement.  I had to open with that statement because I am personally challenged by our verse of reflection for today as we continue this series - Disciples Dos and Don'ts.

Here is the verse for today - Matthew 10:8 - 
 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

I promise you that I could not even read pass this verse on this morning because I felt some kind of way for NOT having witnessed or actually testified that I have seen God move through me in this way.  I have definitely PRAYED for the sick but I do not know that my prayer or the touch of my hand was the point of contact with the Holy that that one person needed to be healed.  I have never raised the dead.  I have never seen the miracle of one being cleansed of leprosy...or any other kind of skin disease.  I have never performed an exorcism or seen a demon driven out of a person.

Now, before we both get depressed because of the things we have never seen or done, let me repeat my original statement: I believe that the power of God that was available to the people in the Bible is still available to us centuries later.  I believe that even if I have not witnessed it in these very specific ways.  

Now, in the 21st century, perhaps, many of us would take the liberty to expand the meaning of the words Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 10:8.  Perhaps, we might say that we see these kinds of moves of God in different ways in the 21st century that are not limited to the physical well being of others but might as well include the healing of social or economic "sicknesses" such as racism or poverty, the raising of dead situations such as broken family relationships or passion-less dreams, the cleansing of impure thoughts or twisted motives, or the driving out of demonic or evil actions by voting against laws or politicians that have a blatant disregard for the justice and liberty of all people.

Maybe the expansive interpretation of the text versus the literal words of Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 10:8 is how we have come to understand the way in which the power of God works today.  I do not doubt that there is room for that understanding and I do not doubt that the literal words of this verse have been the experience amongst some 21st century Christians.  I am only saying that, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I felt some kind of way for NOT having witnessed or actually testified that I have seen God move through me in this LITERAL way.

BUT here is my hope... Jesus said "FREELY you have received; FREELY GIVE." 

My HOPE is that I can witness and will be able to testify of the literal and even the expanded understanding of Matthew 10:8 because Jesus also promises that whatever I ask in His name, I will receive AND whatever I FREELY receive the power to do in His name, I will then be able to FREELY give to whomever He sends me to.

So, perhaps, the challenge for me, and maybe for you, as well, is to PRAY for the POWER to LITERALLY do what Jesus sent his disciples out to do.  If you believe that the power of God that was available to the people in the Bible is still available to us centuries later, THEN we should ALL be witnesses of and testifying about the POWER of God that works through us to  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. 

Do YOU really want to operate in that kind of POWER and AUTHORITY?  Maybe that is why we do NOT ask for it.... because we do NOT really want it for one reason or another... or should I say for one excuse or another.  BlogFam, whether you want it or not, I know that it is available to YOU and as FREELY as you have or will receive it, you must FREELY give, heal, raise, cleanse, and drive out!

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

FOLLOW ME on Twitter @AudraSunshine and @SpiritedConcept







GO There and SAY This!

Posted on October 15, 2014 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam,
Have you ever been the bearer of good or even bad news?  Have you ever had to be the one voice to carry a message to a certain person or group of people?  Have you ever been told to say something in a very particular way in order to convey what the sender of the message actually intended for it to convey?  

Well, I can answer YES to all of these questions.  I have had to deliver good and bad news.  I have had to give a message to certain people and groups of people.  I have also had to say something in a very specific and strategic way in order to best convey the intent of the sender of the message.  YES, I have been there and done that!  I have had to go there and say this!

Now, up until this moment, you have probably been recalling the messages you have had to carry on behalf of parents, bosses, friends, teachers, co-workers, etc.  BUT I want to invite you to recall the last time that you heard a word from the Lord AND you shared it just as it was given to you.  Think about that for a moment.

Seriously.  When is the last time you heard a word from the Lord or felt a deep impression in your spirit to go there and share this with a specific group of people  or one specific person?
Can we talk about that for a minute?

These days, we all have so much to say.  We have thoughts and opinions about everything and we are willing to open up our mouths or send a tweet or update our Facebook or linked-In status or post a caption on a picture for Instagram about randomness.  So, it just makes me wonder if anyone is truly open to hearing and sharing the simplicity and authenticity of the message that the Lord asked his disciples to share.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ [Matthew 10:5-7]

Jesus said GO There and SAY This!
GO to the LOST and proclaim this simple message: The Kingdom of heaven has come near!

That is all they had to say!  Now, if we went to church on Sunday morning and the only thing that the preacher said was the one liner that Jesus told his disciples to say, we would feel  some kind of way about that.  We would probably feel shortchanged.  We, as in us church people, would think it it was obvious that the preacher had not studied.  We would have something negative to say about that one sentence sermon.... unless you are a huge fan of efficient worship because you would certainly, more than likely be getting out of church very early.

I wonder if a preacher has ever preached this ONE line.  The Kingdom of heaven has come near.  I wonder if any preacher would dare to try it.  Clearly, JESUS felt this one line to the LOST was a sufficient and salvific message to  convey.  What more do you think needs to be added to it?  AND who are you to think that your additional rhetoric better clarifies or expresses the words of Jesus Christ in these verses?  This has got me thinking... and praying about how much I say that is NOT directed to the salvation of the lost AND how many words I use that overshadow the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.  What about you? 

Jesus said GO There and SAY This!
Friends, Where are you going?  And what are you saying?

Disciples of Jesus Christ, I pray that on today you would be still to receive the message of Jesus Christ to you.  I pray that you would also be clear about the message that Jesus Christ wants to get through you to those who are LOST.  Do not sugarcoat it!  Do not apologize for it!  Do not be embarrassed by it!  Just keep it simple.  One Line.  The Kingdom of heaven has come near!

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

Disciples Dos and Don'ts: Introduction

Posted on October 14, 2014 at 9:22 AM Comments comments (0)
Greetings!

BlogFam, 
It is time for a NEW blog series.  It has taken me a week or two to discern our next direction and today, I invite you to journey with me as we walk through Matthew 10.  In this passage of scripture, Jesus gives very detailed instructions to the disciples that he sends forth to do His work in the earth.  I invite us to reflect on His words to them and what it might mean for us on today.  BUT we must first answer a very basic question... here it is... ARE YOU A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST?  And your answer is either YES or NO.  Period.

I know that you might be wondering why this is the first question I am asking.  Well, I am glad you want to know and I will be glad to tell you.  I am asking this question because the instructions, the sacrifice, the benefits, breakthroughs, and the blessings of discipleship do not apply to those who are NOT disciples.  It is just that simple.  There are so many who want to "get in where they fit in" but the Kingdom does not work that way.  There is a place for everyone who says YES and receives Jesus as their Savior.  You do not have to force your way or sweet talk your way or slither your way into discipleship.  That is not possible and the Lord cannot be fooled by your foolishness.  I just know that in Matthew 10, these instructions were given to disciples, followers of Jesus Christ and not to the general public or even to the entire synagogue/church membership.  These instructions were given specifically to those who were following and listening and pursuing and pleasing Him.  

So, again, I ask... ARE YOU A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST?  And your answer is either YES or NO.  Period.

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;  Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;  Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
[Matthew 10:1-4]

Jesus specifically and intentionally called His disciples.  In these verses, the traditional twelve disciples are named.  This is important because if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, He knows YOUR name as well.  I do believe that our Lord knows the names of ALL of the disciples in the 21st century who love, trust, and obey Him.  I hope you answered YES to the question I posed moments ago.  If you were not able to answer YES, then I can only imagine that it is because you do NOT know Jesus as your Savior or perhaps you have not completely surrendered your all to Him and have some growing edges toward Jesus becoming your Lord, the supreme authority in your life.  I pray that TODAY would be the day that you Acknowledge that you are a sinner.  Believe that Jesus died for you. Confess Him as the Lord and Savior of your life.

Jesus will call His disciples by name, just as He did in this passage.  He will ACKNOWLEDGE them [call their names].  He will empower disciples with the AUTHORITY to do His work in the earth.  Then Jesus will ASSIGN disciples specific tasks to accomplish in the authority that has been given.

Our verses for today say that disciples have been given the authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.  In later verses, Jesus will give more specific instructions as it relates to when where, how, and maybe even why he has given such authority to them.  However, on today, I just simply need you to answer the question: ARE YOU A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST?  because, while this series my encourage those who are on the periphery of discipleship, it is definitely intended for those who are intentionally surrendered to Jesus as Savior and Lord. I hope and pray that you can/will say YES.

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
Delesslyn

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