Thursday, January 24, 2013

Having Strength for Greatness

Acts 9:1-31

The Damascus Road: Saul Converted

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.[a] It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Ananias Baptizes Saul

10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”
And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting hishand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”
13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus,[b] who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.

Saul Preaches Christ

20 Immediately he preached the Christ[c] in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”
22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesusis the Christ.

Saul Escapes Death

23 Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. 24 But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. 25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.

Saul at Jerusalem

26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. 29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. 30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.

We are all so Great!  I keep saying that I am so excited about this year because of Greatness that God has spoke to me that this is the year for it!  Today we are going to focus on strength.  In order to be great we must have strength.  Recently I had gone through a few things that I felt was unnecessary but when I prayed about it and had my quiet time with God he the Holy Spirit said I have to strengthen you.  In order for you to do what I have called you to do, you must have strength and these things you go through will only make you stronger.  I received those words and felt so much better afterward because the work that he has planned for me, the places he is taking me I am going to need his strength.    There is  so many examples of strength in the bible but today I want to focus on Paul.  The Apostle Paul had no reason to think he would be great in the  sigh of God because he murdered Christians for a living.  He had a goal to kill them.  He had no hopes, no dreams for Greatness.  But that was until he met God.  On the road to damascus he came to know God and  realize that he now has hope for Greatness, that he has been predestined for Greatness but had not known it.  His life before God mirrored something different than what God was offering him.  Paul had an amazing journey with God and an amazing ministry.  However if we think about his former life and the new life he had in christ you can say that he would need  strength to make it through.  He suffered a lot for the sake of Christ and the only way he did it was through strength.  Things got shaky and windy but he did it, he made it, he was great!  If paul had tried to do what he did in his strength he would have failed.    The only way to Greatness was through God's strength.  He wisdom was not enough,  nor his knowledge, or even his understanding but he did it all in the strength of the Lord.  Paul was truly transformed by God Holy Spirit ( the strength that makes living the Christian life possible) and he God a new Name!  He went from Saul the man who Killed Christians to Paul the man who preached the Gospel Of Jesus Christ and      saved Souls.  This excites me to know that if I remain in his strength I can do Great things and be Great.

Paul always acknowledged Gods Strength in his life.

2Timothy 4:17

But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and thatall the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

Paul knew that he had to put off the old man that he once was and walked in the strength of the new man that God had transformed him to be.  The old man is weak but the New Man is Strong and full of strength because it is from God Almighty!

Ephesians 4:17-24

 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of[a] the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind,  having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;  who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
 But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:  that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,  and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,  and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.


If God Brings you to it, he can bring you trough it

All Strength comes from God
2 Chronicles 16:9

We can't full serve God without fully surrendering to his strength
Isaiah 40: 28-31
Isaiah 41:10
1 Chronicles 16:11
Philippians 4:13
Psalm 18:32-34
1 Corinthians 10:13

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beautiful Awakening Womens Group on Facebook

Beautiful Awakening Womens Support Group. 

I have now created a group on facebook for this ministry.  This group serves as a community to share, encourge, and lift up one another.  We will share ideas, life lessons on all topics.  It does not have to just be on bible matters but on life.  I thought it would be great to have a live group where we can interact more and post comments and thoughts on messages, devotions, and things I post here on the site.  I am excited about this.  It is wonderful to have a place to share and communicate with other belivers.  I belive this is a step to greatness and moving forward.  I am just getting started with it so join in anytime.  I have already posted a questions.  Please let me know if you have any trouble getting into the group.!/groups/395212853899805/

- Toccara

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Greatness Is Love...Love Today


For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[a] 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Father the only way that I can be truly great is if I know how deep and wide and how far your love reaches out to me.  I know you love me, I see your love on the cross but let me grasp it.  I need to take hold of it, I need to feel it, be that same love you are too me so that I can experience you in a way I never have before.  I want to have the heart and mind to love you the same you love me even though I can't but just to know It is a desire.  I know your love can take me many places, it can take me where I never thought I could go.  Your love is my strength.  I want to stand firm in your love, knowing that I can mot be shaken because I know your love and that love you have for me.   In Jesus name I pray Amen.

People of God,  Do you know that Greatness is in us because of Love.  We do not deserve anything good that God gives us but because of Love it is possible.  Even though, he still sets us high, he still lifts us up and put greatness in us.  Jesus said to his disciples that they should do the same work as he did and they will do even greater works.  Why would someone entrust a work that is so precious and important to us?  Because the simple fact that we can get it done.  He created us for greatness,  He loves us enough to want us to be happy, and of good cheer.  He loves you beloved.  He really does.  He desires so much for you, more than you desire for yourself.  Try loving today like God.  Try loving your Neighbors instead of hating them, try forgiving those who hurt you, Jesus did it by going to cross so if he did it we have to also.

- Toccara

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Letting go of the Acts of the Sinful Nature


To be Great we must rid ourselves of things that God does not like.  Things that hurt others and ourselves.  These are things that I found some people to think are easy to get rid of but actually can be one of the most difficult to rid ourselves of, because we were born with the tendency to do them.  We are not born this way or that way but born with a good change to have one or more of these flare up at times of our lives.  I have learned to not judge those who may struggle with one of these because of the simple fact that I too have somethings that are not always pleasing to him.  I too had things to work on that is an act of the sinful nature.  The good news is that since we are born again and are made a new creation in Christ we are no longer held bondage to do these things.  I can see these things come up and crucify them.  I can actually crucify them before something even comes up.  Why?  Because I know it is a part of my Flesh and that I still have Flesh to deal with on a daily basis.  But the word of God tells us to rid ourselves of the acts of the sinful nature.

 God's Word Translation puts it this way:
Galatians 5:19-21
Now, the effects of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. I’ve told you in the past and I’m telling you again that people who do these kinds of things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Amplified Version Says this:
Galatians 5:19-21
Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency,
20 Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies),

21 Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
As stated in the scriptures we cannot inherit the kingdom of God. This does not just mean inherit Eternal life but this also means understand God, and the things concerning his kingdom that we are to do here while we are walking planet earth.  The only way to start walking in Greatness is if we fully understand the Kingdom of God and understand him.  This helps because when something arises we do always know how, why, and when but if we know God we can know he is working on our behalf.
Now are something of these things you want to rid yourself of?  Not always.  We sometimes get settled in our ways that help us make excuses for not wanting to change or not changing but the word says this:
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:14
And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Romans 6:18
So if we are all believers the bible tells us that all those acts of the sinful nature we can get rid of.  This is the only way that we will become Great.  God is already setting us up to obtain it but we have to make the changes.  We have to take initiative to say this thing, I am not going to do no more.  I am going to check myself in these areas because this is God's desire for me to be clean and Holy before him.   God wants to set us high above the nations as listed in the previous message.  He desires for us to be the head and not the tail, above and never beneath, a Lender and not a borrower.  He set these things in stone for us, we are heirs to these blessings.  Greatness!
I did not forget about the good stuff but I wanted to get first things first out the way.

Galatians 5:22-25
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self -control,  Against such there is no law.  And those who are in Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the spirit let us also walk in the spirit.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Obedience and Blessings Vs Disobedience and Curses

As we are just getting started into the New Year, I thought this would be a great way to get started.  As we all know Obedience is a must.  It is just not something that came about when Jesus came but it was from the old.  When the Israelites were delivered from Egypt they God promised them basically the world if they just obeyed him.  He told them the blessings of obedience and then the curses.  Since this year is a year of Greatness we have to start with the basics of obtaining it.  We can only really be great when we are adherent to God’s word and his standards.  He is so fully of wisdom and knowledge to get us where we need to go and on the path of greatness.  He promised that he will set them high above the nations and all the blessing shall over take them.  Not just come to them but over take them where they will never fun out.   These blessing would include all that is listed in the scriptures below.  So in order for Blessings (greatness) to overtake you we must be obedient.  We must be in small things and in the big things.  We are going to start messages that teach on the things we must be obedient in.  This is going to be very important and key to being great.  We are not just going to learn about greatness but we are going to be Great!  Just as those in the bible were great we are going to be too.  Today I am providing important scriptures giving us a taste of what we are going to possess and what we are not going to possess.   We want the blessing not the Curse.   I am so excited about this year because we are all going to grow, Grow because we are going to be studying and doing the word.  We are going to put it to work.



Blessings on Obedience

Book of Deuteronomy
28 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:

3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

4 “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

7 “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

8 “The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

9 “The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. 14 So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Curses on Disobedience

15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.

17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

18 “Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

19 “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

20 “The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me. 21 The Lord will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. 22 The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. 24 The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.

25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away. 27 The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. 28 The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. 29 And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.

30 “You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall lie with her; you shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but shall not gather its grapes. 31 Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your donkey shall be violently taken away from before you, and shall not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have no one to rescue them. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all day long; and there shall be no strength in your hand. 33 A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually. 34 So you shall be driven mad because of the sight which your eyes see. 35 The Lord will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.

36 “The Lord will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods—wood and stone. 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you.

38 “You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, for the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olives shall drop off. 41 You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity. 42 Locusts shall consume all your trees and the produce of your land.

43 “The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.

45 “Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever.

47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. 51 And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you.

52 “They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you. 53 You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you. 54 The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind, 55 so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity, will refuse[a] to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, 57 her placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates.

58 “If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, 59 then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sicknesses. 60 Moreover He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. 61 Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed. 62 You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God. 63 And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess.

64 “Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known—wood and stone. 65 And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. 66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. 67 In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.

68 “And the Lord will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.