Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 3/30/14

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 3/30/14

Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia. Taught by Minister Courtney Harkness and Minister Will Gravely.

Today’s Subject is: Developing a World Wide Witness

Today’s Scripture Selections are From:
Mark 16:15-16 (NCV)
Luke 5:2-7 (NLV)
Luke 19:10 (ESV)
2 Corinthians 1:3-6a (GNT)
Psalm 96:1-3 (TLB)
Matthew 9:35-38 (NCV)
Acts 1:8 (NLT)

Highlights From Today’s Sermon:

God doesn’t just want to be a blessing to us, but through us!

Psalm 37:21-22 (NIV)
Mark 16:15-16 (NCV)
Jesus is telling all of them to go everywhere in the world to share the Word.

Your church should be collecting witnesses globally. Think about this, if you are originally from another country than the country you live in, what if you went back to your home country and helped save all of the nonbelievers that you know.

Jesus wasn’t telling his disciples to reach more people. He’s having a conversation with them telling them to reach all people.

The Great Commission is a turning point from one group of people getting God’ grace and mercy, and hearing and receiving God’s News, to where all people have access.

Do you really want everyone to be saved? Do you only want a small segment to be saved? Are you really praying for everyone to be saved?

The Great Commission is about our job of telling people, not God’s job of saving people.

Jesus said don’t worry about the added details, backlash, etc. He would do that, just go and share with everyone.

I can develop a world wide witness if I…

1. Download God’s salvation plan as my relational search engine for the lost.

Luke 5:2-7 (NLV)

The disciples worked all night and caught nothing You know they had an attitude. That’s such a frustrating moment because you know there are fish in the water, you feel like you are fish watching not fishing. Then you wonder if they know that you’re above water trying to get them, and if they are just waiting you out until you give up.

When this happens you are less eager to do it again. So many of us haven’t fished in years. The same is true with us sharing our faith with others. You come to church, read your Bible, but when was the last time you let down your ‘nets’? When was the last time you shared your faith with others? It’s usually a bad experience that stalled you.

Simon said he’d put down his nets because Jesus told him to, so he obeyed and ended up with so much fish that his nets broke. Looking at this story, we should keep fishing.

Keep fishing. Even when the friend, co-worked, or neighbor who seems turned off by our invitations to attend church, spiritual posts or text messages, etc.—keep fishing.

There’s a secret sourcing online called “Phishing” it’s another fishing where there’s an extraction of information from us without us knowing. Think of top online search engines: Google, Bing, and Yahoo. They all have certain things in common:

1) Access to Data: Google has the most data. They keep track of everything. They can tell you your social security number, what you ate weeks ago, where you live, where you’re gonna live, your goals, your dreams, who you’re going to marry in two years. They know it all.

A good search engine gets the answers you’re looking for. Nothing frustrates a person more than asking a question and getting off-the-wall answers. A person asks a Christian, “what did you do today?” and the Christian responds, “I was blessed and saved by the Lord who lifted me out of darkness…” That is not the answer they were seeking. They wanted to know what you did that day, what activities did you participate in, and where did you go?

2) Targeted Search: They will put topics and results in order of relevance.

Getting directly to the answers is key.

How accurate is your ‘search engine’? Do you have access to all ‘web pages’?

Are you prejudice? (not in the racial setting) Are you a sinner profiler? Do you look at people and determine whether or not they are saved? “I know they are going to hell”

We evangelize believers and disciple the lost. Jesus said save everyone. Jesus didn’t say for us to determine who are saints and sinners.

Luke 19:10 (ESV)

Jesus is seeking the lost. We’re trading God’s good stories with other believers, church goers, but not to those who are nonbelievers, and those who don’t go to church. That’s not discipleship.

I can develop a world wide witness if I…
2. Bookmark my experiences to refer people to God’s home page for help.

2 Corinthians 1:3-6a (GNT)

How do your experiences refer people to God?
Your tough times, suffering, etc can associate with others—all of which you must share with others, with the lost, with nonbelievers, with those different than you.

The vast majoring of us would avoid pain and suffering because it hurts, plain and simple. It’s easy to believe in God when everything is going great.

We must capture our experiences so we can ‘bookmark’ them and go back to them to reference how we made it through with God. Some people are currently in ‘bookmark’ relationships, careers, etc. But when God saves you from something, when He gives you a new job, don’t post on social media, “God blessed me with a new job” and then your next post is a picture of you with a bottle of liquor partying in a club, bar, etc.

Make your suffering count!

Everything that happens in your life aren’t always about you. Sometimes it’s used as a commercial unfolding in other people’s lives. We sometimes want to focus in what we’re going through without interruptions (not trying to be disrespectful to others when we do it, we’re just trying to focus, have tunnel vision)—like recording your tv shows and then fast forwarding through commercials because you want to focus on the show, the content, the story, and not be interrupted with commercials.

God places ‘commercials’ in our lives to give us a breather, a pause, a break.

If some else’s story can help you how do you know that your story can’t help others?

Psalm 96:1-3 (TLB)
‘Sing a song’: Many of us have predetermined years that we call our ‘testimony’ but they are outdated, from many years ago, but not current. They are from our past sharing what God pulled us through back in the day, but where is your testimony from today?

A ‘thug’ testimony from 20 years ago is absent of current testimony. Someone was a thug 20 years ago, but what is God doing right now in their lives that they can testify about? Being a sex addict or deviant years ago is no longer your testimony, what has He saved you from currently? What can nonbelievers see happening now in your life?

‘Sharing the song with the world’: Have you ever listened to music you’re ashamed of? Be honest. The pop album, song about violence or sex? What do you do when you’re around other people and you are ashamed of what you’re listening to? You put headphones on or turn the volume down. When you’re alone the song is cranked up to level 10, but when others are around you turn the volume down to 3.

Are you ‘bumping’ worldly music but turn down songs about God? Are we embarrassed about letting the word know we’re a believer?

Ever been next to a car with loud bass that you can hear the music almost clearly, and it shakes your car? Why is your music about God not loud enough for others to hear?

God is always good regardless if you say anything or not, but by not saying anything what message are nonbelievers getting? When good things happen and the credit isn’t applied to God, who and what then becomes the source of that good? Who or what gets credit for the goodness coming to that person if it isn’t God?

Satan has been trying to steal God’s credit for thousands of years, and your silence about God’s glory makes you an accomplice to satan’s crime. There’s no such thing as a ‘silent witness’. It’s called an ‘obstruction of justice’ in the court system, but it’s called an ‘obstruction of grace’ in God’s Kingdom.

Share your story with all people—believers and nonbelievers!

I can develop a world wide witness if I…
3. Log into prayer to always maintain a strong connection to God.

Matthew 9:35-38 (NCV)
Acts 1:8 (NLT)

There are more people willing to receive than people willing to share God’s Word, testimony, grace, love, story.

There’s no ‘backlog’ on receiving the Gospel. It’s like going to the grocery story with tons of people waiting in line but only two registers open, it’s so frustrating.

Jesus said pray that people will go out and share, not that people will come in.

Many people who claim to know God the most, witness the least here’s why—your circle of influence is mostly or all Christians, believers, and you’re isolated in a bubble. There are no connections or relationships with nonbelievers, so then who can you possible witness to?

Those who are recently saved do more witnessing because they are fresh in being saved from darkness so they want to celebrate, share with others, and bring other people to see and know God as they do.

– You give to charities but do you say that check is given because of God?
– Do you really feel and care for the poor and homeless?
– Are you okay with writing a check but you’re not on the ground, in the ditches, sharing and witnessing to those you’re helping? Or do you think you’re sharing from your distant location just because you wrote a check?

God’s store houses are half empty because only half of us are witnessing.

There’s a method to it all.

1) Strategy: even the music played at church is strategic. If it is a song commonly played on ‘worldly’ radio stations and even on gospel stations, such as today’s song, “Happy”, it does something for nonbelievers. It tells nonbelievers, “this is a pretty cool, hip, happening church because they also listen to and sing this song just like me”. It connects believers and nonbelievers with familiarity of the song.

So your strategy for witnessing and sharing your story should be:
– Starting with family. Many of you need to help save your own kids.
– Then once your family has been witnessed to, you branch off to friends.
– Then go to your neighbors. Do you even know their names? You start off by connecting with them and then sharing gradually your story, who you are, where you came from, what you have been through, your beliefs, that Jesus is your savior, and how God has blessed you. As your relationship grows the more you share.
– After branch out then if you have social media accounts, you then share there. But don’t broadcast what God’s still working on with you and to the areas where God has changed you. Don’t sit up there and show pictures of you partying, etc but there aren’t any pictures and videos of you witnessing, ministering, and serving. REPRESENT GOD’s BRAND

Here’s the deal, looking at the empty seats in your church, we’re talking about world wide ministry, but is there even a local witnessing?

Why is it someone else’s responsibility to fill the seats in your church? Why not take the responsibility? Why not connect with other ministries to bring people in to fill the seats? Why aren’t you bringing people in who don’t have a relationship with Christ and putting them in those empty seats?

————————————————————————————————————–

Now this part you hear from me every Sunday: Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community and the entire world.

Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here:

http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com

You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com

Have an amazing week family. Remember that you know you have seen Jesus if you believe the Word of God, embrace God’s will, and follow the way (Jesus) to God.

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 3/16/14

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 3/16/14

Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia.

Taught by Founder/Senior Pastor, Bryan E. Crute, Minister Courtney Harkness and Minister Will Gravely

<strong>Today’s Subject is:</strong> Do It for The V.I.N.E.

<strong>Today’s Scripture Selections are From:</strong>

John 15:5-8 (NIV)
Colossians 1:6 (NLT)
Luke 22: 54-62 (NLT)
Matthew 10:33 (NLT)
John 21:15-17 (CEV)
Acts 2:1-6 (GNT)
Acts 2:14, 38-31 (NIV)

<strong>Highlights From Today’s Sermon:</strong>
The fruit of faith in Jesus Christ is a Changed Life

Colossians 1:6 (NLT)

<strong>I can do it for the V.I.N.E. if I…</strong>

<strong>1. Validate my relationships with God by sharing my faith with others</strong>

Luke 22: 54-62 (NLT)

Jesus needs me the most when there’s an opportunity to share my story.

– Nobody can share my story like I can.

It takes you to tell all of the details of your life’s story.

– Do you share your story as often as Jesus wants you to?

Sometimes people don’t validate Jesus because then they risk vindicating themselves to preserve their social status.

Mark 10:33

Whoever really knows Jesus wouldn’t deny him. If you really knew him and how much he loves you, you wouldn’t deny him.

As long as truth is silenced then the end goal is reached.

Deny means to refuse or withhold.

<strong>I can do it for the V.I.N.E. if I…</strong>

<strong>2. Indicate my devotion to God by offering my services to others.</strong>

John 21: 15-17 (CEV)

I will measure your love for me based on how much you love my children, how much you love those who hate on you, how much you love your spouse…

Repetition is for emphasis.

Jesus kept repeating himself to place emphasis on what was important and needed.

<strong>I can do it for the V.I.N.E. if I…</strong>

3. Nurture my desire for God using my gifts for others.

Acts 2:1-6 (GNT)

God is still God no matter what you think about the Word He speaks.

If you haven’t read the Bible you have your own interpretation on the Bible based on what others have told you. You don’t truly understand what you are practicing.

People speaking tongues are taught by another person, but how do you know what’s said and translated are accurate?

You are multilingual. We’re all multilingual.

IT people speak IT language. Mother’s have “mom” language. Lawyers speak legalese.

Nonbelievers need translation for Christian speech. “I’m blessed and highly favored…” means what to a nonbeliever?
We also need a translation for believers because many of us don’t know what we’re talking about.

<strong>I can do it for the V.I.N.E. if I…</strong>

<strong>4. Expand the family of God by extending His love to others.</strong>
Acts 2:14, 38-41 (NIV)

Peter went from badmouthing Jesus to being a faithful follower.

Ask yourself, do we really care about Christ? Do we really care about the mission? Do we really care about salvation? Why go to church? Why pay bills?

We talk but do we care?

Try this with every person you encounter, especially nonbelievers, just tell them, “Jesus loves you” and allow the conversation to go from there, or just allow the message to remain with them while you part.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-Now this part you hear from me every Sunday: Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community and the entire world.

Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family!

Visit the chat room here: http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com

You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com

Have an amazing week family. Remember that you can do it for the V.I.N.E. if you validate your relationship with God by sharing your faith with others, indicate your devotion to God by offering your services to others, nurture your desire for God by using your gifts for others, and expand the family of God by extending His love to others.

Love always,

Natasha

 

Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

LATE POST: Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 3/9/14

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 3/9/14

Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia. Taught by Founder/Senior Pastor, Bryan E. Crute, Minister Will Gravely, and Minister Courtney Harkness

Today’s Subject is: “Giving God perMission”

Today’s Scripture Selections are From:
Acts 20:24 (MSG)
1 Timothy 2:4-6 (ETRV)
John 3:16-17 (NKJV)
James 4:4
2 Corinthians 5:19, 20 (TLB)
Matthew 28:18-20 (NLV)
John 17:18 (MSG)
John 17:19-23
Acts 20:24 (NLT)

Highlights From Today’s Sermon:
Acts 20:24 (MSG)

Encourage and promote opportunities we have on a daily basis.

There was an article Pastor Crute read that said Millennials don’t know what life is like without the Internet, because it’s always been there. So they also don’t know what it’s like without smart devices. Today’s sermon will provide a technological translation for our Millennials, and those tech-transfixed.

Today’s sermon is on giving God perMission.

Mission is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as (paraphrased):

1) Act or instance of sending [this definition is now considered obsolete]
2. Course of sermons and substances…to quicken Christian faith
3. Specific task where person or group is tasked to do something

Don’t we do all three?

Giving God, sharing Christ per each mission

The number one issue that is prevalent today is Do We Even Care?
Do we care about the mission and our role in it?

Acts 20:24 Paul is speaking about what matters most to him and to continue what God started; the job Jesus gave him.

What matters most to you?

To give God perMission, I must…
1. Accept His invitation (confirm His friend request)

1 Timothy 2:4-6 (ETRV)

Do you have friend requests in your inbox that you haven’t accepted? Have you ever had people around you who wanted to be your friend but you don’t want to be their friend, for whatever reason, so you try to not outwardly reject them so you try to ignore them instead?

It’s a space of indecision because you don’t have to accept them as a friend nor outwardly reject them. How long can you avoid them?

We’re doing the same thing with Jesus who sent us a friend request that we ignore.

You eventually face the person you’re avoiding, so what will your excuse be for not accepting their request?
I didn’t see it
– I’m not on there that much, so I haven’t seen it
– I saw it but then got distracted and forgot to press ‘accept’

Will you look Jesus in the eye and lie or will you tell him the truth, “I didn’t want to be your friend”

Some of us don’t check our inbox, being too busy, so we’re not aware of the reality of whether there’s a savior or not. Some of us check but don’t care either way. Some of us come to church but don’t commit to accept the ‘request’.

John 3:16,17 (NKJV)
God loved the whole world, even those you can’t stand.
God loved Hitler, He loves North Korea, He loves everyone.

James 4:4
Friendship with the world is hostility toward God. Whoever wants to be the world’s friend is God’s enemy.

How do you reconcile what’s said in James 4:4 with what’s said in John 3:16,17? Some people use James 4:4 to not love everyone. The word “world” in that passage means the ‘system’ of the world, not humanity. Why would God and Jesus contradict themselves and tell you to love everyone and then tell you otherwise later on?

9/11 Analogy
Think of 9/11. Some people recognize the impact but weren’t directly dealing with the immediate danger. Just like 9/11 we’re all on different floors facing our own realities.

What we’re facing in the world is a ‘burning building’.
You can’t say “I’m saved now so I don’t want to have to see or smell the smoke” that’s not what God wants. You’re not to run from the burning ‘building’ and not help others. The mission is to make sure you run through it telling others to get out, to help others to get out. Just because your floor isn’t burning (or maybe you escaped, or didn’t come in yet), you can see the building is impacted and will fall. What about the other people inside of the building?

Think about this—Jesus is the exit door of the burning building.

Will you be a seeker or a cynic?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. You can’t sit comfy with religious rituals, knowing when altar call, testimonials, etc take place and how. The real commitment to Jesus is when you’re baptized telling the world, “I am already saved and this is my coming out party for Jesus!”

Are you ready to come out of the ‘burning building’? Jesus is the exit door. Are you ready to accept Jesus’ friend request?

To give God perMission, I must…
2. Follow His plan…(Like His page)

2 Corinthians 5:19, 29 (TLB)

We’re called Christ’s Ambassadors. There are two types:

1. Ambassador at Large– not confined to stay within boundaries of a nation. Can visit other nations

2. Ambassador Extraordinaire– represent country and sovereign ruler of the nation.

Many are scared to share the Gospel. Scared of what people will think, say, and do to them. You may fear losing friends who will think you’re one of those “crazy Christians”. But you’re protected by “Christ’s Diplomatic Immunity” which is a system set up by Jesus to protect you.

It’s counterproductive to point out sin when Jesus is blotting it out.

Some churches think the way you dress and speak determines who can be accepted by Christ and saved. This is wrong.

“Liking” His page cosigns and says that you agree with Him. If God is restoring His World to Himself this means that you have to restore yours, you have to forgive others.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NLV) Jesus is peptalk with his disciples.

Jesus knew this wouldn’t be easy, there would be rejection, and mistreatment of His disciples. He’s not sending them out to fail. He’s equipping them with what they need to follow through with the mission.

To give God perMission, I must…
3. Work on my assignment (update my status)

John 17:18 (MSG)

This wasn’t just a prayer for disciples who walked with him when he was flesh in the world, but also to those after he returned.

Your mission could be wrapped up in your vocation. Ministry is not just religious. Ministry is your life. How you serve mankind. It could be sales, IT, nurse, doctor, lawyer, as a student.

You don’t just have one mission, but many. You don’t have to wait for it, it’s there, you must discover it. Jesus has already given it to you. He’s given you the skills and tools.

John 17:19-23
Jesus told his disciples that he had outlined things for them to take with them and make it theirs, sometimes switching it up to achieve the same mission. It’s like Jesus saying “I go on a diet so they can lose weight. I lift weights so they can get stronger…”

Acts 20:24 (NLT)

Some of us drown out what God wants us to be doing with other mess, with busy work, etc. But not with God called us to do. Some of us are so focused on career goals, financial goals, checking off “lists” but not paying attention to what God calls on us to do.

Measuring oneself against all of the plans you set up for yourself keeps you focused on busy work but not God’s work. God will change your vocation if He has to change your perspective. When you lose your job, etc. it may be God’s plan to change your perspective.

The problem with thinking Acts 20:24 is only for pastors, ministers, etc. limits God’s reach. It’s for all of us to share God because religious leaders can’t be in your office, going cubicle cubicle, room to room. They can’t be on every street corner, and every restaurant and every event—but the rest of us can. We can share at our jobs, with friends and associates, with family, and with total strangers.

We have to overcome our fear of sharing God, sharing Jesus, sharing what Christ has done in our lives, and sharing the exit door out of the ‘burning building’.

————————————————————————————————————–

Now this part you hear from me every Sunday: Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog, or send me an email. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community and the entire world.

Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here:

http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com

You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com

Have an amazing week family. Remember to accept His invitation (confirm His friend request), follow His plan (Like His page), and work on your assignment (update your status).

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 3/2/14

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 3/2/14
 
 Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia. Taught by Founder/Senior Pastor, Bryan E. Crute.
 
 
 Today’s Subject is: Have You Seen the Son of God?
 
 Today’s Scripture Selections are From:
 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV)
 John 11:38-40 (NCV)
 John 6:40 (MSG)
 John 14:5-7 (GW)
 Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT)
 
 Highlights From Today’s Sermon:
 
 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV)
 
 Ask God to shake you up, to put a defibrillator on you and jump start your heart, and bring you back to Him.
 
 When was the last time you saw the son of God?
 
 Where is Jesus in your life? Is Jesus trending on your timeline? What are you watching on TV? Who influences your life and decisions?
 Are we so fixated on everything else in the world, instead of what God wants us to do and say?
 
 We are to love our brothers and sisters from the LGBT community, just as Jesus loves them.
 
 Who is the decision maker that thinks it’s okay to keep broadcasting the professional athletes who ‘come out of the closet’ and admit to being gay? Who is the decision maker who feels it’s okay to probe these people’s lives, to hold numerous interviews with other athletes, broadcasters, reporters, owners and managers of the athlete’s team (and his competitors teams)?
 
 All sports fans want to know is “can the athlete deliver what they promised to the team and fans on the field, court, etc?” All sports fans want to know is, “can he/she help us win this season and throughout his/her contract?”
 
 I know I’ve seen Him if I…
 1. Believe the Word of God

 
 John 11:38-40 (NCV)
 John 1:14 (NIV)
 
 Story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. A great friend of Jesus’s. Jesus was hurrying to get to him. The community is in an uproar over Lazarus’ death, and when Jesus got to the tomb where Lazarus’ dead body he told them to remove the stone that covered the tomb.
 
 Martha was Lazarus’ sister and a student of Jesus. She tried to stop Jesus from resurrecting her brother. She was fearful of the application to the theory she had been hearing about in her teachings. She would “amen” the teachings in class, but now was fearful.
 
 It’s something else when you step outside of the classroom and put into practice what you said “amen” to.
 
 Have values been placed in a tomb with a stone over it?
 There used to be a fear of God. But now we’re just going through the motions. Now we’re substituting God for other things. Now we’re making up our own rules, and versions of what we see as obedience to God.
 
 When a culture begins to create its own gospel, it creates it’s own savior. When the savior isn’t Jesus Christ then what are you accepting and embracing? What are you ingesting and taking in as your reality?
 
 What does God think about your behavior?
 
 We used to call it wrong, sin—now we call it an ‘opinion’ which is a manmade principle. Now no one is feeling or being held accountable for their actions.
 
 Adultery used to be called out as a sin. It was admonished. Now we make excuses for its practice.
 
 Believing the Word is not what is being said, but who is doing the talking. The Holy Spirit moved along the lives of men and touched them to pen the Bible.
 
 So knowing and believing this, then you should be confident saying this outside of the church. There should not be venom in your approach but you should not be shaken from what you know.
 
 If you could get a 1.25 hour meeting with Warren Buffet each week would you go to the meetings? Would you go each week and learn (and apply) over time what was needed for financial wealth attainment? Or would you say no because you don’t want to meet him long-term because it will take too long to get rich, and you feel rushed to get to wealth immediately, even though you didn’t go broke in one day?
 
 Why would you sit with him? Because he’s a subject matter expert.
 
 If you could meet with Michael Jordan weekly to have your child be trained by him in basketball, would you? Why? Because he’s a subject matter expert. Because he’s said to be the greatest basketball player to have ever played.
 
 So why wouldn’t you want to be taught by Jesus, who is a subject matter expert?
 
 Haven’t you seen his glory? We’ve taken the glory of God and substituted for the glory of man, and called it “celebrity”.
 
 Whenever you see someone who looks stunning you say, “wow”. You have an image of what beauty is, what a celebrity must look, smell, dress, and act like. You see no flaws in a celebrity until you see them not airbrushed, not reading a script, not buffered by a team of professionals.
 
 There are a lot of people who have decided to play around with what God created. There are a lot of people with botched plastic surgery. There are a lot of people with bad Botox.
 
 God never endorses beauty from the outside in. He endorses beauty from the inside out.
 
 I know I’ve seen Him if…
 2. Embrace the Will of God.

 
 John 6:40 (MSG)
 
 Having, accepting, and obeying must all come together. A full integration of practice and principles. You can’t have principles without practice. Without practice Jesus says, “you don’t love me“.
 
 That’s the culture that we’re in. We know a lot more than what we do.
 
 To align with Jesus you must obey him. Life doesn’t begin until there’s an integration.
 
 If you’re wondering why this “kingdom stuff” isn’t working for you, then maybe you need to look at what you’re doing. You can’t say, “I‘m a Christian, but not one of those Christians…” You can’t be a conditional Christian picking and choosing which of God’s laws you want to keep. You can’t be a Christian in church and then flip outside of the church.
 
 You have to read, study, and know the Bible. You have to be committed. What comes from you should be Him. You have to be all-in.
 
 I know I’ve seen Him if…
 3. Follow the way of God

 
 John 14:5-7 (GW)
 Colossians 2:6-7 (NLT)
 
 Thomas said to Jesus that they didn’t know where he was going, so how did they know the way. Jesus replied that he was the way.
 
 Jesus told his disciples not to let their hearts be troubled.
 
 Jesus knew Judas would betray him, Peter would deny him 3 times, that he was going to be crucified and killed, and that satan was working against him and the disciples. He spared them of all of this, and instead told them not to worry about things.
 
 Everybody doubts at some point in your life. You shouldn’t be proud of it. How can we doubt a God who saved us, cleaned us up, and got us out of mess?
 
 The way of God is an established course or path that takes us to where we need to be. It has good and bad, success and failure, rain or sunshine, even two inches of snow (joke for Atlanta, GA)—there are options and you have to choose which direction you want to take.
 
 A true shepherd takes care of their flock, each individual sheep. Shepherds would (and some still do) know each individual sheep they had, and they would name them. Impostors would hear a shepherd calling his sheep by name, they would try to emulate the shepherd and call out to the sheep. But the sheep wouldn’t respond and come to the imposter because they didn’t recognize the voice.
 
 We have a lot of impostors in the world calling out your name, you have to decide if you go to them or ignore them because you know that’s not the voice you were born to hear.
 
 A child raised to hear and respond to their parents voices will not come to an imposter calling out to them.
 
 You haven’t learned God’s voice yet if you allow yourself to be led astray.
 
 Don’t look for the smooth path. It doesn’t exist. Don’t continue to be biblically ignorant. You learn Jesus’ voice by reading his word.
 
 ‘Just as you accepted Christ Jesus (believe him), follow him (follow the way), let your roots grow down into him and be built on him (embrace him), then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.’ [paraphrased Colossians 2:6-7]
 
 The true litmus test for a person who has seen Christ? Thankfulness.
 How can you be thankful and not share Jesus with others.
 
 It’s not about “us four and no more” any longer. It can’t be.
 
 We need to flip making people’s private decisions public and public decisions private.
 
 
 
 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
 
 Now this part you hear from me every Sunday: Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community and the entire world.
 
 Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here:
 
 http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com
 
 You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com
 
 Have an amazing week family. Remember that you know you have seen Jesus if you believe the Word of God, embrace God’s will, and follow the way (Jesus) to God.
 
 Love always,
 
 Natasha
 
 Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
 
 
 

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2/23/14

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 2/23/14

Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia. Taught by Elder Ron Sumpter, Courtney Harkness, and Marlon Montgomery

Today’s Subject is: Love…It’s The Law!

Today’s Scripture selections from are:

2 Corinthians 8:7-8 [Scripture selected during the offering time]

1 Corinthians 16:14 (NET)

Romans 13:8-10 (NIV)

Luke 10: 25-29 (NIRV)

Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT)

Luke 10:30-37 (CEB)

James 2:12-13 (TLB)

Highlights from Today’s  Sermon:

Everything CAN be done in love. If so, then why aren’t we doing EVERYTHING in love? Love is the law.

Are you a law breaker? Have you fallen short of loving someone else?

Love is God’s only requirement  of me concerning everyone else .

No debt should be outstanding, only love for others should be your debt. But your credit card, mortgage, and other bills should have a zero balance.

God’s love doesn’t hurt anyone. God wants us free. He wants your only debt to others to be is to love them.

God’s Word is simple. Love is simple. It’s supposed to be simple. We have a life responsibility.

I can satisfy the law of love, if I…

1.   Let God decide who deserves my love.

Passages selected: Luke 10: 25-29 (NIRV), Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT)

Jesus said love your neighbor as you love yourself. Your neighbor is your fellow human being. Look at your neighbor through God’s eyes, not yours. God looks at them with no strings attached. You can’t sit back and say, “I don’t want you to be my neighbor because I don’t like that you keep putting your trash cans in front of my house” First God says you have to love Me. Love me with all of the passion and praise that you give in church when you have high energy, etc.

Once God gets our attention He shows us how to love others, our neighbors. No strings attached.

When God is in our life it’s easier to receive His instruction.

We keep trying to impress others, Jesus, and God, but we’re not doing what we’re supposed to. We’re talking the talk but not walking the walk.

– An example of this is in Luke 10:25-29 when the man whose an expert in the law but then he wants to show off and try to test Jesus (the true expert in all things) and ask Jesus a question of “what must I do to receive eternal life” Jesus switches it up and tells the man to tell him the answer. Once the man answers the question, then Jesus said, “go and do likewise”. Don’t just talk about it, go and do it. You know it to be true, so then go do it.

We should also let God decide who deserves our love.

When you think of the Stand Your Ground Laws in Florida and elsewhere, it is crazy to think that these provisions were actually entered into and supported as laws. It’s easy to say that Michael Dunn (the shooter involved in the “loud music murder trial”) should have allowed God to decide who deserved his love (instead of shooting into the car at those teenagers and killing, Jordan Davis), but we can’t do that ourselves in our lives.

  • Don’t judge the shooter. It is not our place to say, “he deserves what he gets”. It’s not your place. Let God decide.
  • There is justice and then there’s hatred painted the color of justice. We have to make sure that we can see the difference.
  • You may be saying, “I haven’t shot anyone” but that doesn’t make you innocent. The Lord is your judge. Have you pulled a trigger with your mouth? Have you injured some people with your criticisms and then walked away as though nothing happened? Has your eyes and body language shot like bullets at someone that you prejudged or simply disliked?

Everyone deserves our love, especially the ones who you think deserve it the least.

It’s easy to love your friends but you may feel it difficult or impossible to love your enemies.

  • The Bible says that with God all things are possible. God first must start with us and change our attitude. You will think of all the reasons why someone doesn’t like you, why they are discriminating against you, or hate you. You have to get rid of that out of your thinking, your heart—let the offense go. Let it go! It’s not worth holding on to. Get rid of the burden.
  • It starts with us. We have to let go. We expect God to do tremendous things in our life but we keep holding on to our burdens and we’re cluttering up our lives and blocking our blessings

I can satisfy the law of love, if I…

2.   Extend mercy to others as needed.

Passages selected: Luke 10:30-37 (CEB), James 2:12-13 (TLB)

Have you given a few dollars to someone on the streets and then you pat yourself on the back thinking you really did something great?

When we’re watching someone on a descent, downward spiral, are we the thief, priest, Levite, or samaritan?

Being Like the Thief

Do you strip people of their joy? Nasty attitude is what it looks like to be a thief?

Being Like the Priest and Levite

When Jesus mentioned that a person could be a thief even if they are a priest, Levite, or see themselves as a samaritan, do you question what he means by comparing these types of people? How could a priest be in a position not favorable to Jesus? By sitting back and watching, thinking that saying a prayer is good enough, but not jumping into action to help others, by crossing to the other side of the road and continuing on your journey. The Levite did the same thing as the priest did, he simply crossed to the other side of the road knowing that the man was injured and needed help.

  • When you see someone going through some things do you tell them, “I will pray for you” or do you go and help them?
  • When you see a person with their car  broken down on the side of the road, do you say, “I will pray your car get fixed…that you aren’t stranded for long…that you don’t get injured” or do you go over and try to help them?
  • When you see a homeless person are you satisfied with giving them a couple of dollars and a prayer, or do you go a step further and offer them a warm meal and warm place to temporarily stay.

Being Like the Thief

When you see someone who was robbed, beaten, etc. do you rush over and help or do you flee in fear of being robbed, beaten, etc?

Being Like the Samaritan

A samaritan stops and helps, and does the best they can. The samaritan bandaged up the wounds of the injured man. The samaritan offered a ride on his donkey. Then he took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he paid the innkeeper two full days worth of wages and asked the innkeeper to take care of the injured man, and that when he returned he would pay the innkeeper for any additional costs.

Now think of that. Can you truly say that you are a samaritan? A modern day look at things is that our donkey is our cars. Are you willing to pick up and total stranger, mend their wounds, place them in your car, and take them to shelter where they can rest and heal? Are you willing to pay for the supplies, food, and any other expenses required to help them?

Do you have the type of compassion of the samaritan? Do you fully see the condition that other people are in, or do you see the situation?

  • Have you seen people who come into work each day with an attitude? Do you see the attitude or a heart that is trying to love itself because it doesn’t feel as though no one else does? What do you see? Are you responding to their condition or are you reacting to what you think you see?
  • We cross to the other side of the street with people through our mind, farther from the truth, but comfortable for us. We quickly come up with an explanation as to why they are where they are, and we use this an excuse to not help meet their needs. It’s a conscience, deliberate decision, to not love people. And we think it’s okay because we say we don’t hate them. We think God is grading us by how few people we hate and not how many people that we love.

There will be no mercy to those who show no mercy. If you withhold mercy it will be withheld from you.

  • Watch what you think and do. Our thoughts are oftentimes what condemns us. There are no condemnation to those who belong to Christ Jesus.
  • Think about how many times you were supposed to be dead. How many time your were caught in the wrong place, enjoying the wrong things, with the wrong people, but God’s mercy and grace came through for you.

It’s not love for the sake of love. Mercy is love spread widely across. Mercy is how love covers all grounds. Not just love on top, but rolling down a hill. It has to reach you, you can’t reach it—you cry out, “Lord have mercy on me!” and Jesus responds, “I did.” In Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, mercy was shown to all of us.

There is always someone lower on the mountain than you. You can’t stop mercy from rolling. In our selfishness we try to slow it down and dictate, and control, how fast God’s love gets to others. You have to be careful with that, because if God’s love can’t roll through you it will roll over you, because there are some other people lower down the hill than you that His love is trying to reach—and if you try to slow it down it may just roll over and past you. It may have rolled over others to get to you.

Maybe you feel as though God’s love hasn’t reached you yet, maybe you feel that way because you have been so consumed with what’s not going right that you haven’t even seen his love coming your way. Or maybe you have been so focused on running away, that it just hasn’t caught up. Or maybe you’re so busy trying to dictate who deserves love, that you have positioned yourself to have His love roll right over and past you.

If God’s love is rolling down hill then it’s picking up speed. His speed is going to outrun you the faster it rolls, faster than you can get to it. It’s going to catch up to you.

What are you going to do when God’s love comes to you? Are you going to surrender? Are you going to try to push it away or run away? Or are you going to let God be God?

——————————————————————————————————Now this part you hear from me every Sunday:  Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community.

Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here: 

http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com

You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com

Have an amazing week family. Remember that love covers everyone including your family, friends and strangers, and even your enemies. The law is love. It is God’s expectation of and from us. Don’t try to dictate who gets it, when, and how much. Show mercy to others if you expect mercy to be shown to you.

Love always,

Natasha

 

Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

 

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2/16/14

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 2/16/14

Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia.

Today’s Subject is: Love is Loyal

Today’s Scripture selections from are:

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)

1 Samuel 18:1-4 (GW)

1 Samuel 19:1-5 (TLB)

1 Samuel 23:15-18 (CEV)

 2 Samuel 1:25-26 (NCV)

Highlights from Today’s  Sermon:

Loving others requires LOYALTY

Loyalty is complete dedication.

Years ago people negotiated, did business, and made agreements with a hand shake, your word was your bond.

Social media has allowed us to reach a lot of people at one time, but it can also be harmful because it limits our identification of who is truly our friend. You have 400, 800, or over 1,000 so-called friends but they aren’t all friends. You have an address book filled with thousands of names, but they aren’t all truly your friends. These are people who you socially affiliate yourself with. These are people who have shared interests that you engage with from time to time, for small windows of time—but they aren’t really your friends.

I can love with my loyalty as I…

  1. Defend my friend’s honor against unfair attack

Now this statement isn’t just for an individual defending people, but this calls for the church to defend others from unfair attack.

There is an increase of athletes and entertainers publicly coming out of the closet and admitting that they are gay/lesbian. Your loyalty is based on whether or not you defend that person’s honor when they are attacked because of their sexual orientation or preference. Will you just sit idly by and do nothing? Or will you join the crowd and begin judging and attacking someone?

The same question is directed to the church. The church is where we are to come for refuge. The church historically has had the reputation of protecting the people. Many churches now have joined the crowds and taken part in attacking rather than including others. The church is supposed to rally around the person being attacked and stand as their advocate, taking them in, and praying for them.

Another thing to defend is issues with jealousy. When you hate/jealous (of) others you look less like Jesus and more like satan. You lose your holy perspective.

  • Jesus vouches for us to God because he loves us.
  • We need to learn to vouch for others.

I can love with my loyalty as I…

  1. Encourage my friends success in uncommon adversity

When our friends are going through hard times we need to lift them up. We need to keep encouraging them to reach the finish line. If you want to see who your true friends are, it’s the ones who are standing beside you the entire time.

Like Oprah Winfrey has said many times, “your true friends aren’t the ones who ride with you in the limo, their the ones who ride with you on the bus when you can no longer afford the limo”.

It’s not in the good times that the character of those who surround you is revealed. It is in adversity, especially the adversity that blindsides you, that is when you will find out what people are made of——do they stand by your side, help you up when you feel (and are weak), or do they walk/run away to distance themselves?

I can love with my loyalty as I…

  1. Value my friends presence in case of unforeseen tragedy

Being there is a sign of loyalty.

Have you ever noticed that when someone passes away that people are there, bringing food, sending their condolences for the first couple of weeks—but soon people return to their every day lives and engage less with those who still mourn the loss of a loved one?

In moments of tragedy a friend is there. When you love someone, you make sure that you are there for them. You invest time in them.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Now this part you hear from me every Sunday:  Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community.

Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here:

http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com

You can also send me an email at: breakingbreadwithnatasha@gmail.com

Have an amazing week family. Remember that loving others requires loyalty, and to love with loyalty you must defend your friends honor against unfair attacks, encourage your friends success in uncommon adversity, and value your friends presence in case of unforeseen tragedy.

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2/2/14

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 2/2/14
 
 Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia. Taught by Dr. Bryan E. Crute
 
 Today’s Subject is: Super Bowl 2014: Prepare to Win
 
 Today’s Scripture selections from are:
 1 John 5:4-5 (GW)
 Corinthians 4:8-11 (TLB)
 Philippians 3:12,14 (MSG)
 Isaiah 30:21 (GW)
 
 Highlights from Today’s Sermon:
 In preparing to win, I must be willing to…
 
 1. Pray Through The Pain
 Athletes sat that pain is weakness leaving the body. For believers, pain is “will” aka the “flesh” dying.
 
 Learn to play through the pain.
 
 2. Focus My Energy
 Once you make up your mind to follow Jesus you must focus on staying on your path.
 
 Have to ever experienced that when you do things God’s way, on His path that things don’t yield the desired results quickly?
 
 Opportunities that came to you as a non-believer don’t come to you as quickly once you become a believer.
 
 You lose three jobs, house, etc. after becoming a believer, don’t have the same drive, go to church and volunteer, but not seeing results.
 
 It’s all about focusing not on what you think you deserve but on what God requires of you.
 
 In critical situations, adrenaline pumps through the body and provides the burst of energy to push through the most insurmountable situations. It provides energy to the most important areas of the body, not the most visible. We have a tendency of focusing on the most visible acts and actions instead of the most important.
 
 What’s happening inside of you that’s causing you to live for God at half speed? Is it your attitude? Forgiveness of others?
 
 Transitioning nervous energy to practical energy— how do you focus learning to be still in your nervousness, not running around? Athletes have to learn how to quickly transition to practical energy in order to play focused in their sport. There has to be a sense of stillness and calm even in the most chaotic situations.
 
 What if God wants you to just be still while you’re busy trying to put dissipate and feel like you’re doing something.
 
 3. Adjust to His Audibles
 Calling audibles is having insight in what the opponent is going to do. God is the ultimate audible caller. He will call an audible last minute and tell you to change plans because He sees what the enemy is about to do. When you’re unwilling to listen to Him and instead continue with the plans then you have a busted play. We’ve all had busted plays, they are called regrets.
 
 When you don’t hear God’s voice it’s because you’re only trying to hear what you want to hear. When things go wrong you turn to the Bible seeking scripture that you want to see to support what you want to happen. You are looking to the Bible to give you insight into God, after He’s already told you what to do. You are avoiding and ignoring Him. When God says turn left, turn left. Don’t question or argue with it.
 
 How do you know when it’s Him?
 
 The relationship you have with Him, the familiarity in knowing His ways. A caller ID may say one thing but the voice on the other end is familiar— you know that voice.
 
 Sometimes you need to question whose voice it is not.
 
 Don’t focus on what happened in the past. Don’t waste time asking Him about the past, stay focused on the path ahead of you and tune in to Him so that you can hear any audibles that He might call.
 
 
 —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
 
 Now this part you hear from me every Sunday: Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community.
 
 Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here:
 
 http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com
 
 Have an amazing week family. Enjoy Super Bowl Sunday, and please please please remember to play through the pain, focus your energy, and adjust to God’s audibles!
 
 Love always,
 
 Natasha
 
 Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 
 
 
 

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 1/5/14

Unfortunately I missed church today, so instead of sharing a sermon with you, I will share these beautiful verses that I hope you also will share with others:
 
 Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death; ardent love is as unrelenting as Sheol. Love’s flames are fiery flames — the fiercest of all. Mighty waters cannot extinguish love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If a man were to give all his wealth for love, it would be utterly scorned.
 
 Song of Songs 8:6, 7 HCSB
 
 There is no emotion or feeling more powerful than love. God is love and knowing that there is no greater force than He, we can say the same about love. You cannot buy or sell it. You cannot trade it or trade up for it. You also can’t run away from it or switch quickly from it to hate. Love is intoxicating, overwhelming, and breathtaking. Love is light and life. Love is growth, courage and strength. Love is giving birth. Love is peace. Love is forgiveness and mercy. Love heals all.
 
 Why not share some today…
 
 
 Love,
 
 Natasha
 
 
 Copyright 2013-2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 12/15/13

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 12/15/13
 
 Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia. Taught by Dr. Bryan E. Crute
 
 Today’s Subject is: Live W.E.L.L.! – Christmas Presence
 
 Today’s Scripture selections from are:
 Romans 12:14-18 (LB)
 1 Peter 3:8-11 (GNT)
 Colossians 3:15 (AMP)
 Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
 1 Peter 3:12-14 (NIV)
 Ecclesiastes 8:15 (CEV)
 Proverbs 17:22 (GNT)
 Proverbs 17:28 (ESV)
 James 1:19-21 (MSG)
 
 Highlights from Today’s Sermon:
 “If someone mistreats you because you are a Christian, don’t curse him; pray that God will bless him. When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow.Work happily together. Don’t try to act big. Don’t try to get into the good graces of important people, but enjoy the company of ordinary folks. And don’t think you know it all!Never pay back evil for evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honest clear through. Don’t quarrel with anyone. Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible.” Romans 12:14-18 (LB)
 
 Peace: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
 
 If you don’t have money to buy gifts, don’t let that upset your peace. If you do have the money, thank God for it. We must seek and embrace the peace, don’t wait for someone to initiate it.
 
 To live W.E.L.L., I must learn to…
 
 1. Waive my right to retaliate against others.
 
 “To conclude: you must all have the same attitude and the same feelings; love one another, and be kind and humble with one another. Do not pay back evil with evil or cursing with cursing; instead, pay back with a blessing, because a blessing is what God promised to give you when he called you. As the scripture says, “If you want to enjoy life and wish to see good times, you must keep from speaking evil and stop telling lies. You must turn away from evil and do good; you must strive for peace with all your heart.” 1 Peter 3:8-11 (GNT)
 
 Waiving your right to retaliate takes you (as God says) and not God. When you are in a position to retaliate (and may be entitled to) waive your right to do so.
 
 When you get bad service at the store, restaurant, etc don’t use that as your opportunity to lash out and retaliate for all of the wrongdoing against you.
 
 It’s not always what you say but how you say it.
 
 What does humility look like to you (in your world)? What do you look like being humble?
 
 Do you know what dying to yourself look like? How do you die to yourself when you don’t know yourself? Deny yourself the pleasure of laying someone out when they deserve to be laid out in your opinion. Close your mouth and don’t react.
 
 Example: Holiday traffic, your turn signal is on in the parking lot (or on the street) and you’re hoping that other drivers will be gracious, but instead they speed up and they try to block you from making your turn, and the other drivers behind that driver do the same thing—-what are you supposed to do?
 
 Do you blow your horn? That’s retaliatory. Do you force your way over anyway? That’s retaliatory. Do you give a “magical finger”? That’s retaliatory (besides all of the fingers on your hand are supposed to be raised together). Do you stop your vehicle? You may not want to do that because you may have a lot of vehicle horns blowing. You may have to just keep driving farther down and re-route yourself to get to your destination. Don’t retaliate. Waive your right to retaliate. God is working on you.
 
 Traffic example is used because a lot of people lose their mind and forget about God when caught up in traffic.
 
 Peace is serving as the umpire. When you retaliate then you get a strike against you. Three strikes and you’re out.
 
 The most well-intending people can get on your nerves. You can respond or you can realize that God is testing you. Don’t tell the person(s) that you know God is testing them using them, just pass the test.
 
 Some of you have failed a test on your way from church.
 
 “And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].” Colossians 3:15 (AMP)
 
 2. Express my cares to God.
 
 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
 
 Amazing how these letters are written to Christians. Why do you think that is? Because Christians lie. You have to remember your lies when you tell them. Let your “yes” be a “yes” and your “no” be a “no”.
 
 He’s laid out the formula to not get your ‘feathers ruffled’ or living with the tension and stress.
 
 The assumption is that when you pray and give it to God, you leave it alone and don’t pick it back up. You trust that He will take care of everything.
 
 When you thank God for what He’s done, you can’t thank Him and be ungrateful at the same time. You must be appreciative of what He’s done in the past as well as thanking Him for what you need (and Him taking care of it). When you do all of that you will experience God’s peace.
 
 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.” 1 Peter 3:12-14 (NIV)
 
 “So I think we should get as much out of life as we possibly can. There is nothing better than to enjoy our food and drink and to have a good time. Then we can make it through this troublesome life that God has given us here on earth.” Ecclesiastes 8:15 (CEV)
 
 What does it feel like, and what goes through your mind when you feel like you are suffering and you are innocent, and you don’t know why you are going through these things?
 
 When you know you have done something wrong you are looking for something negative to happen to you. You take credit for it. But when you haven’t done anything wrong we question why it’s happening. We suffer because God has us go through trials and tribulations, hardships and pain, just as Jesus did (and he didn’t do anything to deserve it). No you can’t waive that right to someone else. You have to be formed in your character.
 
 It’s like a person with physical muscular definition but no mental strength. There’s nothing more discouraging that seeing a buff person that’s mentally weak. You look good but you can’t handle life’s pressures. The definition must align with the ability to execute. If you’re going to look strong then be strong all around.
 
 Get some spiritual strength.
 
 How do you get stronger? Repetition, consistency, pushing through it, know that it’s a gradual process, add more weight, discipline, stretch the muscle, once you reach a threshold push yourself to the next one, add healthy fuel.
 
 For every physical truth there is a spiritual parallel.
 
 Express your cares to God, tell Him, and let Him do what He does.
 
 3. Laugh often with others.
 
 “Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.” Proverbs 17:22 (GNT)
 
 Get a life. Lighten up. If you’re gonna deal with it then laugh about it. You can choose to laugh. No matter what you’re going through.
 
 Why don’t you laugh more?
 
 Excuses: Fear, distracted by pain, stressed out, tired
 
 Do you think not laughing is going to make this go away?
 
 Laughter is like medicine. Research discovers that laughter boosts your immune system.
 
 If you’re hanging around a group of people and they are looking worn out and miserable just like you, put a placeholder there and go find people who will make you laugh like crazy.
 
 You can tell which married couples are also friends, they laugh together not just at each other. You don’t have to demean someone to laugh with them.
 
 Being cheerful keeps you happy.
 
 A baby’s laughter is contagious. There’s nothing like it. The innocence and purity of a baby’s laughter makes you laugh. The stress is still there but laugh anyway.
 
 Get a life.
 
 4. Listen openly to God and others
 
 “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” Proverbs 17:28 (ESV)
 
 Do you know of someone who talks too much?
 
 “Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.” James 1:19-21 (MSG)
 
 Visualize a 4-way intersection. When you get there it’s an unspoken rule of courtesy that the first one there has the right-of-way. The person who arrives third believes they have the right-of-way, but the person who arrives first believes they have the right to proceed, and the second person decides to just drive—what happens? Car crash. That’s what happens during our conversations.
 
 Let your ears lead. Let anger straggle along in the rear. Listen more than you speak.
 
 Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you zone out and then they ask you to tell them what you heard, but you’re lost because you’re trying to remember the last thing you heard, but you didn’t hear their full statement.
 
 When people have conversations and you’re cutting each other off because each person is trying to get their two cents, and trying to talk over the other person. We do the same thing in prayer. You must pray, sit still, and wait for God to speak back to you. Too many of us quickly say our prayer and then walk away. When you do that you don’t stay still long enough to hear Him and then you get frustrated because now you have to figure it out on your own, and you waste time asking Him for signs—you wouldn’t have to ask if you had sat still and waited for Him to guide you.
 
 Ever do landscaping?
 
 You are very interested in the details and the environment before you begin planting. You need to figure out the lit and shady spots. God knows the shady spots in life. He knows where there may be stumps in your life that may need to be uprooted, where there were some trees that came down but the roots need to be replanted elsewhere.
 
 If you’re gonna live well then make sure to listen to God. Whatever He wants to take out or put in, He knows where everything needs to go, He’s just waiting for your cooperation.
 
 Do you remember last week when you were asked to ask God, “What do You want to give through me?” As you ask God, He already knows the children who will be the recipients of your giving. In this holy moment we get the opportunity to hear from God and then give the blessings.
 
 ———————————————————————————-
 
 Now this part you hear from me every Sunday: Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community.
 
 Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here:
 
 http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com
 
 Have an amazing week family. Remember to Waive your right to retaliation, Express your cares to God, Laugh often with others, and Listen closely to God and others. Claim and embrace your peace!
 
 Love always,
 
 Natasha
 
 Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
 
 
 

Sunday Sermon Share Day: Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 12/8/13

Welcome to Sunday Sermon Share Day for 12/8/13
 
 Today’s sermon comes from Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church in Marietta, Georgia.
 
 Today’s Subject is: Be Happy! Christmas Presence
 
 Today’s Scripture selections from are:
 Psalms 119:1-2 (NCV)
 Colossians 3:1-2 (MSG)
 Philippians 1:13 (NLT)
 Philippians 1:14 (NLT)
 Philippians 1:15a (TEV)
 Philippians 1:15b-16 (TEV)
 Philippians 1:17 (BBE)
 1 Timothy 6:18-19 (TLB)
 Matthew 6:33
 Acts 20:35 (TEV)
 
 Highlights from Today’s Sermon:
 
 5 Things You Need to Know About Happiness:
 
 1) Don’t look for happiness, create it. You’re as happy as you choose to be 2) Happiness is not a goal, it’s a result of right thinking and right acting (behavior). If you make it a goal you will never be happy. You have to be self-absorbed to achieve the goal. 3) My habits create my happiness. We shape our habits and then our habits shape us. 4) Happiness based on happenings is temporary. 5) Happy habits are as addicting as bad habits, but a lot more rewarding. Bad habits take time to develop just like good ones
 
  No matter what happens, I can be happy if I…
 
 1. Look at every problem from God’s perspective.
 
  “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” Colossians 3:1-2 (MSG)
 
 When I Face Problems with His perspective…
 
 – It’s a witness to unbelievers
 “For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ.” Philippians 1:13 (NLT)
 
 – It’s an encouragement to believers.
 
 “And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ.” Philippians 1:14 (NLT)
 
 Sometimes God qualifies you through hardships. Other people take note. God gives you the opportunity to shine and He becomes the reason for you to explain how you got through the hard times.
 
 No matter what happens, I can be happy if I…
 
 2. I never let others control my attitude.
 
 “It’s true that some preach Christ because they are jealous and quarrelsome.” Philippians 1:15a (TEV)
 
 CRITICSThese are the people who love to argue, love controversy, and love to start mess. They are jealous. Never let your critics control your attitude. The moment you allow yourself
 
 Comrades “Others preach from genuine good will. These do so out of love, and they know God’s given me the work of defending the gospel.” Philippians 1:15b-16 (TEV)
 
 You shouldn’t let your friends control your attitude. Sometimes the enemy uses your friends. Sometimes God allows your friends to go against you. Sometimes they go against you even though they are your friends. You live for an audience of one.
 
 Competitors “But those are preaching Christ in a spirit of competition…” Philippians 1:17 (BBE)
 
 A person is ego-driven when they have to put others down to pull themselves up. When people know that they can control you emotionally, you are done. People who can push your buttons, know you so well that they know how to control you. The Bible says that we are not to be controlled by others, only God.
 
 Conspirators/Enemies “(But those are preaching Christ)… not from their hearts, but with the purpose of giving me pain in my prison.”
 Philippians 1:17 (BBE)
 
 
 Do you have any known enemies? When you have enemies they can control your attitude. You can become defensive, for example, the enemy can get close geographically and they can sense your nearness and exploit it. A lot of people miss out on their blessings because the natural tendency is to distance yourself from those who can do you harm, and when you do you have to rely upon others to relay to you what your enemy is doing. Bring them close. You don’t have to be friends, share information, etc. But God can’t make them your footstool if you keep them away.
 
 No matter what happens, I can be happy if I…
 
 3. Choose to be generous.
 
 Generous people are generally happy people
 
 “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven—it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.” 1 Timothy 6:18-19 (TLB)
 
 Money affects all of us, either because we have it or don’t. Money is spoken more in the New Testament than any other subject. It’s a means to an end. Kingdom principles and laws are counterintuitive to our natural bend, some people don’t realize it. God understands the stronghold money can be to us. If you don’t know how to handle money and you keep fixating on what you don’t have, instead of what God has already provided then money has a stronghold on you
 
 2 Ways To Be Generous
 
  1. By reason
 
  What can I afford?
 
 What can you afford to give? When you look at your finances and gave, were you stretched at all? No, because you gave what you felt you could afford to give. You gave what you were comfortable giving.
 
  2. By revelation
 
  God, what do you want to give through me?
 
 When you give by revelation it’s not based upon what you have in your possession, it’s based upon what God has placed upon you to give from your mind and heart. Many people don’t tithe freely because they are in debt. The job/career we prayed for God gave us, so that was His gift to us. Then the money we earn from that job we see as ours, not His.
 
 But then we are fixated on paying the debt we have incurred from bills. We salute ourselves because we are pleased that we are paying monthly debt, but we can’t bring ourselves to pay back God a portion of the money He gave us. We can’t bring ourselves to tithe 10% of our earnings because we don’t think we can afford it, we don’t see it in our budget. The Bible says we are to owe no man anything but love. We create the debt and we create the debt cycle that our families are in. Our children learn the process from watching us. They learn how to get and stay in debt from watching how you enter debt, and stay in it.
 
  Close your eyes and ask yourself this question, “God what do You want to give through me?”
 
  What number came to your mind? Did that number stretch you? Do you have the money to give? God did not say that you had it. If the amount that came to mind is one that you don’t presently have access to (you can’t afford it or you don’t even have it in your bank account) then that was revelation generosity.
 
  People quickly reference Matthew 6:33 but get it wrong. Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness and these other things will be taken care of. But we reverse it and we look to God to take care of things first and then we will seek Him.
 
 How can you allow the government take taxes from you and then you don’t pay God what is His? The government takes it from you because they know you won’t give it freely. God doesn’t take it from you, He gives you free will. He trusts you and watches to see what you will do and how you will live. The government takes God’s money from you and you justify not paying Him.
 
 You need to understand the value of money and how it works. People joke about Jewish people and their money-handling ways, their dedication to watching closely how their money is spent and invested, but why laugh or balk at them? They are doing what they are supposed to.
 
 You live a fear-based life because you lack. You say you love Him, believe in Him, then act like it. Admit that you don’t believe what you say you do.
 
 You must choose to be generous. If you are generous with your time you get more back. If you are generous with your money you get more back.
 
 We misappropriated God’s money. We desire wealth but haven’t learned to operate with a wealthy mindset because we are afraid of going without, and that’s not faith.
 
 “….Remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.’ ” Acts 20:35 (TEV)
 
 ———————————————————————————-
 
 Now this part you hear from me every Sunday: Be sure to share highlights from sermons at your church or place of worship here on my blog. Feel free to also visit and contribute to our community chat room where we can have healthy, positive, dialogue on the sermon I shared today, Breaking Bread daily posts, or issues impacting the Christian community.
 
 Remember there is absolutely no preaching, passing judgment, converting, recruiting, or focus on any specific church or religious leader. Those are the rules. We’re here to share words of love and peace inspired by the Word of the Bible. We’re here to uplift and never tear down. If you can roll with that, then you can roll with me and the Breaking Bread family! Visit the chat room here:
 
 http://chatroll.com/embed/chat/breaking-bread-with-natasha?id=lCL-CHvZOne&platform=wordpress-com
 
 Have an amazing week family. Remember the rules to happiness and then make them happen for you!
 
 Love always,
 
 Natasha
 
 Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant unless otherwise noted. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com