Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Week He Changed Everything: Monday-Let the Praises Begin!

Let the Praises Begin!

Many of us celebrated Palm Sunday on yesterday, which is identified as Jesus triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. This triumphal entry was during the Festival of the Passover, and just a few days before His crucifixion. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the crowd spread their clothes and palm branches on the road. The multitude cried out to Jesus in praise, “Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David! Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest” (Matt. 21; Mark 11; Luke 19; John 12)!

The children praised Him. Adults applauded Him. The crowd celebrated Him, and the rocks would have praised Him if no one else did (Luke 19:40). There was a praise party going on in the streets of Jerusalem and Jesus was the guest of honor. He entered the city with His mind on what had to be done. His mission? To save the world from their sins.
Can’t you see our Lord riding in on a colt? Can’t you see His eyes fixed on His purpose? Can’t you see His thoughts focused on the cross? Everyone participated in the praise party, and Jesus was the center of their praise. Starting today, you and I can have a praise party in honor of the King. Our praise party doesn’t have to wait until we get to church or until everything is going well. No. We can have a praise party for Jesus right now, right where we are, right in the midst of whatever situation we may be in. No matter what’s going on in our lives, praise can go right there, right in the center.
The Holy Lamb (Jesus) entered into the city of Jerusalem with you and me on His mind. He knew who would betray Him. He knew who would not believe in Him. He knew who would reject Him. He knew who would make false accusations against Him. He knew that His close friends would abandon Him. Jesus knew all that awaited Him in that city. Yet, our Hero, came riding in.
After all Jesus has done for you, after all He has endured for me, for all the things He continues to put up with from us, most surely, we owe Him our praise. Beloved, let’s do like the multitude did when Jesus rode in on a colt. Let’s have a praise party for our King! Let’s lay all of our issues at His feet, bow down in reference, and worship Him. Honor and extol Him.
If you don’t know how to praise the Lord or need a little help, just begin with words of thanksgiving on your lips. Tell the Lord “Thank You!” Thank Him for His goodness. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Thank Him for being the Holy Lamb who took our place on the cross. Let the praises begin by thanking Him for everything.


REFLECTION
The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD! Hail to the King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13, NLT)

Encouraging You to Walk in Freedom! ™

Excerpt from Walking in Freedom: The Week He Changed Everything. 7-Day Devotional Guide to Remembering Jesus’ Sacrifice for our Freedom by Rhovonda L. Brown. Copyright 2015 by Rhovonda L. Brown.

Coming soon! Soon you’ll be able to download my new ebook centered around Jesus and His sacrifice.

Unexpected Guest

An unexpected guest always shows up at the wrong time. He comes when the house is a mess and no one is dressed. There’s no food cooked and nothing in the fridge. Out of the blue, in the wee hours of the night, “fo day in da morn′in” (is what the old people would say), he unexpectedly appears.

He shows up like he owns the place. Without warning, giving no time for the family to prepare, the unexpected guest arrives on our doorsteps. He isn’t considerate, doesn’t plan ahead or calls before he comes. He’s not concerned about how the master of the house may feel about him dropping by or how the visit will be an inconvenience. None of that is on his mind. He is not thinking about how his visit will cause such a ruckus. He’s only focusing on doing what he needs to do and accomplishing what must be done. I call it just plain selfish and rude! How dare he show up uninvited….. and baring bad news!

At 3am, an unexpected guest showed up on my family’s doorstep. Knocking hard on the door and demanding to come in. We couldn’t stop him. It was out of our control. He barged in before we had time to open the door and welcome him in. He didn’t care that I was sleeping real good in my warm bed. He wasn’t concerned that I was not in the mood for any company nor was he bothered by the fact that I was oblivious to the reason he was there. After he shared the bad news, I think he got a kick out of seeing me struggle for words to say. With no explanations or apologies, the unexpected guest made himself comfortable as he went about his business. With papers in hand, he came for the life of my grandfather.

By now, you would think that I’m used to this guest. One may wonder, why am I caught off guard? For I’ve been here before and I’ll be here again. Nevertheless, every time, each time, uninvited, Death unexpectedly shows up at my front door.

So here I am, as before asking the same question, “Why didn’t I?”

Death came today. At the appointed time, he arrived at my grandfather’s door (Eccl. 3:2). He offered no condolences. Didn’t say a word, but did what he was assigned to do. Every being must go through the threshold of Death; since the day Adam and Eve sinned, Death was given that responsibility (Gen. 3). Though it stings, it hurts, and can be frightening, most assuredly you and I will die (Eccl. 3:20, Gen. 3:19).

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27, NKJV)

Whether we try to run from it, delay it, avoid it, or ignore it, Death will come knocking. In your mind, he’ll show up at the wrong time, but it will be the right time. With the death certificate signed by the Creator, he carries our souls to judgement (Rev. 20:10-15). Either we’ll be condemned to eternal damnation because we’ve rejected Christ or welcomed into God’s arms of grace to spend forever and always in paradise with our Savior Jesus Christ. For our names were written in the Book of Life (Rev. 20:15)!

My sister, dealing with the loss of a loved one? Weep if you must, knowing God shall wipe away every tear that you shed (Rev. 7:17, 21:4). Go ahead and cry. It’s alright. As a believer, we understand we’re not crying as if we have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13-18). God comforts those who mourn (Matt. 5:4). Most importantly, “For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died” (1 Thess. 4:14, NLT).

But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:
Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?
It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God! (1 Cor. 15:51-57, MSG)

Encouraging You to Walk in Freedom! ™

Originally posted 3/19/15.

Were you encouraged by this devotional? Purchase my new devotional book, Walking in Freedom!. It’s has 30 thought-provoking devotionals that will intensify your walk with Christ. Take the 30-Day Challenge! 

Just Ride

Greetings Freedom Walker!

Each day God is showing me how to enjoy this journey without asking so many questions. At times, He has to tell me to stop being a backseat driver

image

and just ride. While enjoying this journey this week, I reflected on how we make plans about what we will do tomorrow, next week, next month, and the next year. But death has a way of changing things. It has a way of knocking us back to reality, knocking us back to the here, the now.

Death has a way of making me reflect on my own life. Death, somehow, has a way of reminding me that life on this earth is but a vapor. We’re here today, but we may be gone tomorrow. Tomorrow is not promised. So, we have to live each day that God gives us to the fullest.

As we make ready for the weekend, I challenge you to live life to the fullest. Enjoy life. Have no regrets, knowing in your heart you lived each day like it was your last.

Be blessed and enjoy your weekend! 

Your sis
Rhovonda L. Brown

P.S. Will you continue celebrating my birthday month with me? Simply celebrate every blessing that God gives you, seen and unseen. Praise Him for being Lord over our lives.

Journeys

Each of us has different seasons in our lives, and I like to call those seasons, journeys. All Believers are traveling on some kind of journey. Ever wonder what kind of journey the Lord has you on?
JUST WAIT JOURNEY
Maybe God has you on the “just wait” journey. The “just wait” journey is a season in your life when you want to move forward, but God won’t let you. You want to turn the pages to the next chapter in your life, but God keeps telling you “just wait.” You want to get pass the mess you’re in or whatever you’re in, but you have to wait. Everything is moving at a slow pace. Your prayers are taking forever to be answered (so it seems). Everything is moving slow. It seems like it’s taking you forever to get from point A to point B. Right now, God has you waiting, and if you’re impatient like me, this might be the most difficult thing for you to do.
HAPPENING NOW! JOURNEY
Maybe God has you on the “happening now” journey. The “happening now” journey is a season in your life when everything seems to finally be manifesting. This is the journey when all the things you have been praying for, seeking God for, all of your desires are finally becoming a reality. Where the doors were once closed, now God is opening them up for you. He’s opening doors of opportunities, doors of financial stability, the door of healing, doors of favor. Everything is happening right now! What a journey!
ALONE JOURNEY
Maybe God has you on an “alone” journey. The “alone” journey is a season in your life when you feel like you’re all alone. You feel like you’re walking this journey all by yourself. You have no one to talk to. You call your friends, your pastors, your prayer warriors, and none of them answer. No one is available. You can’t seem to find anyone who understands you, understands what you are going through, or understands what you’re feeling. You feel like you’re all alone on an island. You feel so lonely. God has you traveling on the “alone” journey.

No matter what journey God has us on, there are some things we can do while we’re experiencing these seasons.

JUST WAIT JOURNEY
If God has you on the “just wait” journey, you must continue to keep praise and thanksgiving on your lips. As you wait, don’t complain, but pray for stamina on this journey. Be patient because God is building up your trust and endurance. Soon, you will see those things you’ve prayed for come to past. Most importantly, keep your eyes on God.
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Heb. 10:36, NIV)
If God has you on the “happening now!” journey, give God praise and thanksgiving! Appreciate everything He’s doing for you and through you. Be thankful for the gifts, but don’t get caught up in the gifts. Worship the Giver and not the gifts!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (Jam. 1:17, NIV)
If God has you on the “alone” journey, find your comfort in your praise, your worship, and your thanksgiving to God. Engulf yourself in the presence of God. Dive deep and remember that God is always there. Although you can’t feel Him, He’ll never leave you. Jesus calls you friend!

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (Prov. 18:24, NIV)

Whatever journey God has us on let’s do what 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will.”(HCSB)

QUIET TIME

Encouraging You to Walk in Freedom! ™

My birthday is March 16th. All month long, I will be doing something special to celebrate my birthday. For today, I’m giving the 16ths person who leaves a feedback a FREE Walking in Freedom! e-book.

For more devotionals to keep you focused and encouraged visit my website
Originally posted July 18, 2012

Woman in the Mirror

I am so quick to want other people to change. I want those around me, people I know, to change their way of thinking. I want them to change their actions, their attitudes, their decision making. Sometimes, I say to myself, “Why can’t they see what I see? Why can’t they understand my point of view? Why won’t they do things my way?”
To truly change others is humanly impossible for any of us to do. The only One who can truly change us is God almighty! He alone transforms a person’s way of thinking, their actions, and their attitude. Instead of spending my time and energy on trying to change the people around me, I need to begin with me.
What changes can I make within myself? What can I do differently? Well, for a start, I can do better on controlling my mouth (Prov. 15:1). I need to work on thinking before I speak (Prov. 29:20; Prov. 15:28). Every now and then, I have a Peter moment; I allow my emotions and my temper to get the best of me, causing me to react without thinking, and sadly, sinning against God (Mark 8:33; John 18:10). I can work on that complaining spirit that tends to pop his ugly head out every now and then. Oh, yeah. I can definitely need help with my patience.
PONDER ON THIS……..
We all can change some things about ourselves. The Spirit fights against the sinful nature and the sinful nature fights against the Spirit (Gal 5:17). Although, we are Believers, we still fall and disappoint God. It’s so easy to look at the next person and see their faults (Matt. 7:3-5), but it can be a little challenging to recognize our own faults.
Things to Consider: Are there some things about yourself that needs some adjusting, a little work? What changes can you make? Maybe you can work on changing your attitude about another person. Could you be less intimidating or less judgmental (Matt. 7:1-2)? How about trying to be more encouraging and less critical? Instead of finding things to complain about, try being grateful and more positive.
Sisters, we cannot change others, but there are some changes we can begin to make within ourselves. We can change how we see others. We can try to see things through their eyes and put ourselves in their shoes.
Let’s start with the woman in the mirror. Change that person. Then, allow God to make the changes in the people around us.

It’s Wednesday, Hump Day. Here’s our biblical principle to help us over the hump.

Don’t judge others, and God will not judge you. If you judge others, you will be judged the same way you judge them. God will treat you the same way you treat others. “Why do you notice the small piece of dust that is in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood that is in your own? Why do you say to your friend, ‘Let me take that piece of dust out of your eye’? Look at yourself first! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. You are a hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to get the dust out of your friend’s eye. (Matt. 7:1-5, ERV)

QUIET TIME

Encouraging You to Walk in Freedom! ™

Originally posted January 19, 2012

For more encouragement, purchase my new devotional book, Walking in Freedom!

Early Morning

Spending time with God is the most important part of our day. Having that alone time with Him, makes the day go by better and it keeps our mind focused on the things of God. Early morning time with God allows us to bring our petitions, our worries, and concerns to Him, as well as those things that we’re thankful for (Psalm 136). That special time with God gives us just what we need to make it through the day.

When we wake up and consult God, especially early in the morning while everyone is asleep, it just seems like God can really speak to us and we can really hear Him. When the house is quiet, there’s no distraction, no movement going on, God can have our undivided attention. When it is quiet, we can hear God’s quiet voice even better.

Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
  Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
  My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.(Psalm 5:1-3, NKJV)

Let us Prayer: Lord, help us to seek You first. When You wake us up and our feet touch the floor, help us to fall to our knees and seek You. You alone can give us what we need for the day. You alone will take care of us and be right by our side. You will give us direction for that day. Lord, help us to make You a priority. Father, help us to make spending time with You our number ONE priority. Lord, give us a heart for You. Give us a heart that chases after You, a heart that desires to make You first, and a heart to please You. Forgive us for not seeking You first and for not putting You first. We thank You, Father, that You never give up on Your children. You are so patient with us. Thank You for allowing us to talk to You, and hear from You no matter where we are. You’re an ever-present God (Psalm 139:7-12). We love You and we thank You for loving us. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

My sister, early in the morning, let’s seek our heavenly Father.

It’s Monday…already. Let’s walk in freedom together!

I’ve published my first devotional book, Walking in Freedom! For more devotional about quiet time, and to help keep your focus on God order your copy of Walking in Freedom! today. Take a look inside.

*Originally posted January 1, 2011 on marthamaryministries.com.