Mar 29

THE DIFFERENCE WE CAN MAKE!

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

“AND THOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND, AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH: this is the first commandment”  (Mark 12:30).             Our Christ-like conduct and character remain the strongest argument for our faith.   Our lifestyle is a visible manifestation of our conduct and character. To Give God the Glory!, there must be a distinctively different lifestyle that will cause others to inquire about (y)our source of peace, joy, love, and positive attributes.  If you honor Christ in your heart, He will be honored by your life.  Distinctively different  “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”  (Matthew 5:13-16).             Jesus called His followers to be “salt and light.”  As salt, we are to act as a preservative, penetrating the culture to help sustain what is good and right.  As light, we are to counter the darkness and bring forth truth and righteousness to bear.  Jesus said that we are salt and light, but He warned against losing our saltiness and hiding our light (Matthew 5:13-20).  Here are two safeguards to prevent this from happening: SALT            Salt is used to preserve, season, cure, or save for future use.  It changes everything that it touches!  Hence, a salty Christian makes others thirsty for Jesus – the water of life.  Salt can be thought of as a fertilizer to promote growth and development.  It is used to purify, to correct to improve conditions in its surrounding, and as a laxative to clean up messes around it.             Salt as a seasoning is useless unless it is in contact with food and mixed into it.  Jesus calls us to “flavor” society in His name through close involvement with people. LIGHT             Light is defined as something that makes things visible or affords illumination.  Without the light of God’s spirit, we will be in the dark about God’s Word.  The Scriptures characterize light in many different forms but most importantly, it is meant to be visible.  Secret believers need to come out of hiding and be known as disciples.  Their profession of faith must become self-evident through their good works.             Make a difference today in the lives of boys, girls, men, and women.  Let your light shine so that they will see your good works and glorify God. Excerpt: Give God the Glory! Know God and Do the Will of God Concerning Your Life

© 2001 by Kevin Wayne Johnson.

Your thoughts?

Mar 03

National Women’s History Month

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

Do women have a role in the church today?  From a biblical perspective, that is a very silly question.  The Scriptures – God’s Word – undeniably and unquestionably verify that women do have a place as well as an active role in the church.  Their roles are impactful, insightful, and worth further examination.  On a personal note, my covering was provided out of love by a woman pastor whom I respect and honor while we lived in New Jersey from 1997 to 2003.  Women are represented in the church today, being used as a willing vessel by God, to fulfill the position of pastor (leader and shepherd), elder (overseer), deaconess (servant), evangelist (one who proclaims the gospel through the Holy Spirit), and prophetess.  It is recorded throughout The Holy Bible about the importance of the role of women, especially as it relates to salvation and redemption.  Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, teaches us valuable lessons about why and how He related to women during His three and one-half year earthly ministry.  To that end, a look at the lives and historical impact of five women is worthy of mention.          In the original Greek language, ‘the church’ is derived from the word ekklesia (ek – “out of”, and klēsis – “a calling”).  It was used among the Greeks of a body of citizens “gathered” or “assembled” to discuss the affairs of state.  Its meaning is to congregate, thus, the gatherers at any given public worship service are commonly referred to as the “congregation.”  It, too, is derived from the Greek word ekklēsia.  The church is you and I.  We comprise the church and we are taught in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”  Why?  To encourage one another, love one another, and hear what God has to say to us through His Word (rhema).To understand the impact and significance of how God relates to people, let’s observe two important passages of Scripture that will settle our hearts and minds.  First, God is no respecter of persons, that is, He does not distinguish between male and female when He is searching for a willing vessel to get His will done in the earth.  Instead, He requires a clean vessel – one that does not willingly and consistently commit sin against Him – with an open heart toward Him.  God is interested in our clean hands and pure hearts, not our gender.   “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons”(Acts 10:34). Second, God’s Word establishes its accuracy, inerrarancy, and everlasting truth by repeating itself through the writings of many different authors.  His Word says, “It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true” (John 8:17). Let’s examine the lives of five women mentioned in The Holy Bible and how they were used by God to fulfill His plan to redeem and salvage (save) man after the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden.  These women are Mary (Jesus’ mother), the Samaritan woman, Rahab,, Mary Magdalene, and Phoebe. (1)        Mary (Jesus’ mother) – Jesus, the Son of God, is God’s plan to redeem mankind back to Him.  Jesus had to born of man (Son of man), that is Mary, in order to fulfill this plan.  Mary was entrusted by God to carry Jesus for nine months in the womb, as conceived by the Holy Spirit.  She was espoused (not yet married) to Joseph at the time of conception.  Mary and Joseph cooperated with this plan of God so that the Old Testament scripture would be fulfilled.  “BEHOLD, A VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BRING FORTH A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  (Matthew 2:23)             Mary was a young Jewish girl engaged to the carpenter Joseph when God revealed to her that she was to be the mother of the Messiah.  Joseph, advised of these events in a dream and knowing Mary was miraculously pregnant, took her as his wife.  Toward the end of her pregnancy, the couple from Nazareth traveled to Bethlehem for a taxation census, and Jesus was born there.  Mary was present at Jesus’ cruxificion and became one of His followers after His resurrection.  She was instructed to call his name Jesus and she did.   Mary exemplifies the spiritual principle of OBEDIENCE.  Through obedience, Mary is a demonstration of how one person can be used by God to change mankind forever.  Because of Jesus, we are saved! (2)        The Samaritan woman – In the book of John, chapter 4, Jesus reveals Himself to an unnamed woman that He ministered to in Samaria even before He revealed Himself unto His handpicked disciples (John 4:26).  Samaritans were a race of persons formed when Jews married non-Jews.  Jews intensely hated Samaritans and often refused to set foot in Samaritan territory.  Jesus demonstrated that God loves Samaritans, just as God loves Jews.  On Jesus’ journey through Samaria, He stopped at Jacob’s well and asked “a woman of Samaria,” “Give me a drink” (John 4:7).   His disciples had gone away to buy food during this exchange.  This woman’s curiosity peaked as she wondered why a Jew would engage in conversation with her.  It is commonly known that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans (verse 9).  Jesus began to teach a valuable lesson at the well to this woman – The water in the well will quench one’s current thirst, but they will thirst again.  However, the free gift of God is LIVING WATER and is symbolic of everlasting life (verse 14).  When this woman answered Jesus’ question honestly concerning her promiscuity, He knew the time was right to revealed Himself to her. This Samaritan woman exemplifies HUMILITY and TRUSTWORTHINESS.   God trusted her and revealed Himself to her before He revealed Himself to His own hand-picked disciples (all men). (3)        Rahab, the harlot – The name means “violence”; “pride, arrogance”, yet Rahab’s name is specifically mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5).  The great, great grandmother of King David, Rahab is included amongst the faithful in Hebrews, chapter 11.  She was a prostitute from Jericho who hid two Hebrew spies and provided escape for them (Joshua 2:1).  Later she and her family were spared when the city was destroyed.  Rahab was the mother of Boaz. Rahab’s hope and faith in her knowledge of God’s plan for escape prompted her to act on what she believed (Joshua 2:10-17).  Rahab exemplifies FAITHFULNESS.    (4)        Mary Magdalene – She was healed by Jesus and became one of His closest followers. She was present at Jesus’ cruxificion and a witness of His resurrection.  As a resident of the city of Magdala, she was one of the women who came to the tomb to anoint Jesus and discovered that He had risen.  Mary of Magdalene’s name is specifically mentioned in the scriptures – the first of  two – amongst the women who ministered to Christ. “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils.”(Luke 8:1-2) This Mary was further instructed by Jesus, at His appearance to her after the resurrection, to “go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me” (Matthew 28:10).  Mary Magdalene exemplifies COMPASSION and CARING.   Her compassion moved to action was a comfort to Jesus and acknowledged by Him when he asked her to deliver a message to the brothers of Galilee.  He knew that she could be trusted. (5)        Phoebe, a deaconess  – In chapter 16 in the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul is praising and thanking multiple women (and men to a lesser degree) for their diligent work in the church at Rome.  In verses one and two in particular, Paul recognizes and acknowledges the work of a deaconess named Phoebe as follows, “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea. That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.   She is mentioned first amongst all that are mentioned in the entire 16th chapter.  Notice also that her role in the church is specifically mentioned as if to distinguish her, and her diligent works, from the others.  Phoebe exemplifies LOYALTY and DILIGENT SERVICE.  Phoebe’s excellent work in the ministry was worthy of mention to one of the greatest men in biblical times.  Not all women who did similar work were mentioned by name.             What is the role of the woman in the church today?  It is the same for all who have confessed Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, and are children of the most High God: Ø  Love God,Ø  Hate sin,Ø  Give of self (as a servant),Ø  Live holy,Ø  Represent God in the earth (through a Godly lifestyle),Ø  Draw others to Christ,Ø  Lift up the name of Jesus through every word, thought and deed,Ø  Obey the scriptures, andØ  Excellence in ministry. *This article was also published in the debut publication of Precious Times magazine, Los Angeles, CA, 2002. 

Feb 19

Salt & Light

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

Jesus called His followers to be “salt and light”.  As salt, we are to act as a
preservative, penetrating the culture to help sustain what is good and right. 
As light, we are to counter the darkness and bring forth truth and righteousness
to bear.  Jesus said that we are salt and light, but He warned against losing our
saltiness and hiding our light (Matthew 5:13-20).  Here are two safeguards to prevent
this from happening:

Salt as a seasoning is useless unless it is in contact with food and mixed into it. 
Jesus calls us to “flavor” society in His name through close involvement with people.
Light is meant to be visible.  Secret believers need to come out of hiding and be known
as disciples.  Their profession of faith must become self-evident through their good works.

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be
salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under
foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it
giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that
they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” 
(Matthew 5:13-16).

SALT
Salt is used to preserve, season, cure, or save for future use.  It changes everything
that it touches!  Hence, a salty Christian makes others thirsty for Jesus –  the water
of life.  Salt can be thought of as a fertilizer to promote growth and development, it
is used to purify, it is used to correct to improve conditions in its surrounding, and
it is used as a laxative to clean up messes around it.

LIGHT
Light is defined as something that makes things visible or affords illumination.  Without
the light of God’s spirit, we will be in the dark about God’s Word.  The scriptures
characterize light in many different forms, for example:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form,
and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God moved upon
the face of the waters.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  And God
saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness”  
(Genesis 1:1-4).

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth
me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”  (John 8:12).

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness
rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth
the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that
doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought
in God”  (John 3:19-21).

The Colors of Light

White – the white light contains all colors.

Red – the color of intense, physical energy.  When you need a powerful burst of energy,
imagine red or look at something red.

Orange – the next color in the spectrum.  It is a color of energy, too, but a quieter,
more sustaining energy; a more enduring strength. 

Yellow – the color of the mind – joyful, purifying, mental energy.  It is the color of
lemons, smiley faces (buttons), and dishwashing detergent.  Yellow light brings clarity. 
The thing we most often associate with yellow is the sun.

Green – the color of healing and the color of learning; brilliant, emerald green
(See Psalm 23 – Appendix B).  Healing and learning are active processes.  When you think
of green, think of actively healing yourself, through physical action and through active
visualizations.  Think of vigorously learning all you can about yourself and your life.

Blue – a color of spirit, calm, and peace.  As the sun is yellow and usually associated
with sunny thoughts, so the sky is high and blue, and the sea is deep and blue.

Purple – the color of royalty – the inner royalty that is the true you and the outer
royalty of the Divine.  Use purple when you want to feel cloaked in the grand, magnificent,
noble, majestic, and a stately presence within you.

Feb 05

Black History Month

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

Welcome to Black History Month 2008!

It was quite refreshing to watch Senator Obama on January 31st successfully debate (again) for the position of President of the United States of America. I marvel as I watch God use him for such a time like this in American, and world, history. This is his season. While our country assumed that Mrs. Clinton would be the clear choice as the Democratic candidate for this high office, Senator Obama has heads turning!

He is yet another shining example of how God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:16 – KJV)

With eleven months to go in 2008, let your light shine before men so that others will clearly know that our Heavenly Father is in control of all things. Further, as his representatives in the earth, we are the catalysts for change, as Senator Obama has articulated from the very beginning.

Enjoy God’s blessings!

Jan 21

Remembering King

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

“I have an inner urge calling me to serve humanity” – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remarks prior to this ordination as a minister at the age of 19.

 Inspire others to excel through your character, work ethic, and integrity.  

In the Book of Genesis, chapter one, God reveals unto Adam that he is blessed and to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it.  God’s specific instructions are to be productive, raise the level of productivity of those around us, leave a deposit in the earth for the next generation, and to control our environment.  What an awesome responsibility that God entrusts us with!  It takes inspiration to be a productive person and to raise the level of productivity of others because our actions inspire them to do so.

            Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the world’s greatest inspirations.  He truly inspired all Americans to change an entire culture, custom, practice, and mindset – discrimination based upon skin color.  Dr. King is the only American-born citizen who has a birthday as a holiday in his name.  He defined greatness through the service that he tirelessly rendered.  From 1955 to 1968, he led peaceful demonstrations against evil throughout the United States, particularly in the south.  He inspired millions to follow his peaceful demonstrations.  This was partly because of his stance on not being afraid to die for a cause that is just, right, fair, equitable, and scriptural.  Tapped as one of the most important speeches in the 20th century, Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ is replayed every year as America celebrates the life and legacy of this great servant of the Lord on January 15th. 

            Having skipped two grades in high school, Dr. King began college at the tender age of fifteen.  He was such an inspirational leader that he led a 381-day bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama in response to Rosa Parks’ refusal to needlessly abandon her seat.  During the 1950’s, the state law stipulated that she had to surrender her seat to a white person, even if others seats are available.  This law made no sense but the courage to challenge this was lacking.  God is no respecter of persons (James 2:9), and finally, under leadership, the state of Alabama’s decision to arbitrarily defy God’s Word was ignored.  Dr. King declared that “It is better is walk in humility than to ride in humiliation.”  It was a spark that caught thousands on fire to take an active role in bankrupting a corrupt state government system.  However, his compassion was equally comforting when he said that through nonviolent and peaceful protests, “We can turn any man into a friend.”

            Dr. King was so focused on his calling to be an inspirational leader that he only granted one television interview.  This was granted to Arnold McCalah.  Yet, he was arrested thirty times for taking a stand for justice, righteousness, equity, and fair treatment for all people.  On the eve of his assassination, April 3, 1968, Dr. King delivered his infamous ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech.  It was a night in which he was sick and had sent Dr. Ralph Abernathy to speak in his absence.  Instead, he arrived and delivered a powerful and inspirational address that is replayed every year for us to remember.  He described his mountaintop experience as if he knew that April 4, 1968 would be his last day as an earthen vessel for the Lord.  Most notably, at Dr. King’s home going service, one of his sermons was played and he specifically requested that no one boast about his life.  Instead, he requested that we remember him in the following way:

         He tried to give his life serving others.

         He tried to love somebody.

         Remember him a drum major for justice.

         Don’t mention his awards or his Nobel Peace Prize.

Thirty-five years after his assassination, He remains a model for all pastors. His impact on the church, particularly the African-American church, and the community it serves remains the standard against which all preachers are measured.  The chronology of Dr. King’s life is long and impressive, but several key accomplishments that changed America during his lifetime are worth noting:

1947                Licensed to preach and begins assisting his father, who is Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

1951                Graduates from Crozer with Bachelor of Divinity Degree.  He is the class valedictorian and winner of the Pearl Plafker Award for most outstanding student.  He begins doctoral studies in theology at Boston University.

1956

June 4             U.S. District court rules racial segregation on Alabama’s city bus lines is unconstitutional.

1957

September 9            Congress passes the 1957 Civil Rights Act, first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

1959

February             Dr. and Mrs. King travel to India as guests of Prime Minister Nehru to study Gandhi’s techniques of nonviolence.

1960

May 6             The 1960 Civil Rights Act is signed.

December             U.S. Supreme Court declares discrimination in bus terminal restaurants operated for the service of interstate passengers is a violation of the Interstate Commerce Act.

1961

November             Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation on buses, trains, and supportive facilities.

1964January 3            Time magazine names Dr. King Man of the Year.1964

July 2              Witnesses the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by President Lyndon Johnson – the most far- reaching civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

1964

December 10            Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway – the youngest person to win the prize.

1965

August 6            President Johnson signs the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

1967

November 7            Carl Stokes elected mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, the first black elected mayor of a major U.S. city.

1968

April 7 The President declares a national day of mourning for King.

1986                First National King Holiday celebrated.

 Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” (footnote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) 

“Let freedom ring…” are the concluding words from perhaps the most memorable speech in the history of the United States of America:  “Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York…the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania…the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado…the curvaceous slopes of California…But not only that…from Stone Mountain of Georgia…from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee…from every hill and molehill of Mississippi…from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

I Have A Dream, Martin Luther King, Jr., pages 29-31, 1993,Anniversary Edition. “New issues have emerged as a result of rapid technological development, such as the fight to preserve the environment, and a woman’s right to reproductive choice.  These are being addressed all over the U.S. by non-violent protest, inspired by Dr. King’s message.  It is my conviction that as new technologies emerge, they often bring tradition into conflict with new values.  The tools which Dr. King has given us will enable us to confront each new issue as it arises.  The struggles may change, but the tools remain constant, and for that we are indebted.” Source: “A Remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Benedict J. Fernandez – www.kodak.com, January 15, 2001

 

Jan 02

Keep It S-I-M-P-L-E in the New Year

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

Our family theme for 2008 is “SIMPLIFY.” In early December 2007, I told my wife that the Johnson family will focus and aim to simplify our lives in 2008. That means eliminating activities, emails, places and things that do not aid us in achieving our ultimate family goal: Giving God the glory that He desires and richly deserves!

The act of simplication is extracted from Genesis 1:1-5, The Spiritual Principle of Organization. It is one of the seven spiritual principles taught by Pastor John A. Cherry, From the Heart Church Ministries, Temple Hills, Maryland. Being organized simplifies our lives. I learned these seven principles over 12 years ago, applied them to my life, and have watched them work over and over again.

Our 2008 family theme is so appropriate at a time like this because publishing is a tough business. It is very competitive and driven by $ales, $ales and more $ales. Being focused and keeping things SIMPLE is a distinguishing characteristic that gets overlooked by most. On this past Sunday morning, December 30th, I heard three comforting messages from three of America’s most watched pastors:
(1) Dr. Creflo Dollar reminded me that Jesus always spoke the truth, although it was not popular, and to follow Jesus requires sacrifice,
(2) Dr. Robert Schuller reminded me about the awesomeness of miracles, and
(3) Joel Olsteen provided an inspirational message about how to deal with critics and undeserved criticism.

From each of the messages above (about 15 to 30 minutes in duration each), they confirmed that it is time to allow God to do a new thing in my life and ministry. – hence, SIMPLIFY.

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
– Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)

Dec 26

Merry Christmas

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

Merry Christmas today!  As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I also think of why He was born.

He was born to die.  In His death, it is proven through God’s Word that He arose.  When Jesus rose from His grave site, it is symbolic of us being able to rise above the situations and circumstances that hinder us.  Hence, as Christians who believe that Jesus is Lord, we can rise and eliminate from our lives all of the following:

Low self-esteem,

Sickness & disease,

Sorrow,

Loneliness,

Affliction,

Poverty,

Nastiness,

Unkindness, and

Selfishness.

Aren’y you delighted that Jesus was born?  Celebrate Him during this advent season and know that He is the reason for this time of the year.

Oct 26

Our Families

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Uncategorized

I wrote my fourth book in the Give God the Glory! series a time in history when the family is under attack at an unprecedented rate. 

The first-ever rating of prime television’s portrayal of fatherhood was in 1999. It concluded that few fathers are to be found on prime-time television and those that are, usually are portrayed as incompetent or detached.  Of the 102 shows originally reviewed, only 15, or 14.7%, featured a father who has children under the age of eighteen as a recurring central character.  This study, conducted by the National Fatherhood Initiative, reviewed prime-time television on the five major networks from mid-November through mid-December, 1998. 

With each generation, a myriad of facts reveal the deterioration of the family unit.  Its current state is in a crisis mode, but has society considered what God has to say about it?  A Supreme Court decision on January 22, 1973 – Roe vs. Wade – is partly attributable to the more than 40 million abortions performed in America since that time.  That decision ruled that the right to personal property includes abortion. The USA Today newspaper ran a cover story on the front page on May 2, 2005 titled, “The Changing Politics of Abortion.”  The essence of the story centered on how political leaders voted relative to abortion rights – Is it or is it not legal to abort a child?  Up to forty-five percent of Republican lawmakers polled agree that abortion is legal in a few circumstances.  However, the middle verse of The Holy Bible teaches us that “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). 

U.S. News & World Report featured a special report on May 24, 2004, “The Rise of the Gay Family,” highlighting that more and more American children are growing up with same-sex parents.  Although this was not a cover story in this issue, its contents were spread prominently throughout five pages, and labeled as a “special” report, garnering as much attention as the cover story of the week.  In the August 2004 issue of The Vine, an Upper Marlboro, Maryland-based Christian newspaper, the cover story highlighted the anniversary of homosexual Bishop Vicki Gene Robinson’s confirmation hearing.  He was the first openly reported homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church USA.  Also, reportedly, there are 40,000 new HIV infections each year. 

Lastly, 24 million children (34 percent) live absent their biological father and these children are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married (biological or adoptive) parents.  How has this affected you personally? What happened? 

God’s plan for the family is so important that He references family or families in The Holy Bible 285 times!  Moreover, references to father, mother, and child, and their variations, are found 963, 325, and 1,957 times, respectively!  In the first book of The Holy Bible, God reveals unto Abram “…in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12: 1-3). 

So why has the world disregarded God’s instructions pertaining to the family?  I wanted to know why, so I studied, researched, prayed, observed, listened, read extensively, traveled, and wrote.  This is book #4 in the Give God the Glory! series of books and devotionals.  Let’s explore, together, what God’s plan was, and still is, for His family.

 

Together, let’s Give God the Glory!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Oct 24

Making a Difference

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Christianity , Religion

“AND THOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND, AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH: this is the first commandment”  (Mark 12:30).             Our Christ-like conduct and character remain the strongest argument for our faith.   Our lifestyle is a visible manifestation of our conduct and character. To Give God the Glory!, there must be a distinctively different lifestyle that will cause others to inquire about (y)our source of peace, joy, love, and positive attributes.  If you honor Christ in your heart, He will be honored by your life.  Distinctively different  “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”  (Matthew 5:13-16).             Jesus called His followers to be “salt and light.”  As salt, we are to act as a preservative, penetrating the culture to help sustain what is good and right.  As light, we are to counter the darkness and bring forth truth and righteousness to bear.  Jesus said that we are salt and light, but He warned against losing our saltiness and hiding our light (Matthew 5:13-20).  Here are two safeguards to prevent this from happening: SALT            Salt is used to preserve, season, cure, or save for future use.  It changes everything that it touches!  Hence, a salty Christian makes others thirsty for Jesus – the water of life.  Salt can be thought of as a fertilizer to promote growth and development.  It is used to purify, to correct to improve conditions in its surrounding, and as a laxative to clean up messes around it.             Salt as a seasoning is useless unless it is in contact with food and mixed into it.  Jesus calls us to “flavor” society in His name through close involvement with people. LIGHT             Light is defined as something that makes things visible or affords illumination.  Without the light of God’s spirit, we will be in the dark about God’s Word.  The Scriptures characterize light in many different forms but most importantly, it is meant to be visible.  Secret believers need to come out of hiding and be known as disciples.  Their profession of faith must become self-evident through their good works.             Make a difference today in the lives of boys, girls, men, and women.  Let your light shine so that they will see your good works and glorify God. Excerpt: Give God the Glory! Know God and Do the Will of God Concerning Your Life© 2001 by Kevin Wayne Johnson.