By: Tamika M.
As I was walking down the street, leaves crunching under my feet, looking out at the goodness of God's creation, I can not help but be thankful. Although 2020 has been rough, and there have been many challenges all around, the truth we can rest in is that God is God, and God is good! I am reminded of the passage in Psalm 7:17, which reads:
"I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high." (KJV)
We are to praise the Lord for who he is, not just for what he can do, not only when he moves according to our will; thanksgiving is a state of mind and a choice that we choose to make. We can choose to wallow in our problems, or we can choose to rest in the cross. We can focus on what is going on around us, or we can keep our focus on heavenly things.
If I can be honest, life will give us plenty of things to concern ourselves with: money, relationships, and the economy. We can find these things being our focus and not the work and will of God. But if we learn to be content and to trust God no matter what we are facing, thankfulness becomes our heart's response.
Theres a quote by AW Tozer that says:
"Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it."
Thankfulness and gratitude are things that we can do even in our lowest times, even when our lives may not look the way we expect them to look. When we practice thankfulness, we point back to the truth that God is greater, God's plan is bigger, and God is still and will always be in control.
So friend, as we go through this holiday season, I encourage you to be thankful. Thankful for life, thankful for health, thankful for Christ. Learn to practice thankfulness even in small things because a heart of gratitude points away from us and straight to the Father.
By: Tamika Mahomes
One of the most common questions I get is as a Pastor's wife is do I feel the need to be perfect.
And while the answer I could easily give is no, and carry on with the persona that I do not deal with this type of struggle, I am here to share the truth that I like many others often struggle with, the need to be perfect.
But the truth is, the need to strive towards perfection I have found is not limited to my role as a pastors wife, but rather my walk as a Christian.
I wonder, if I don't respond a certain way, will I cause someone to miss Christ?
If I get upset or let things bother me, does that make me less of a Christian?
If I fall short, will I lose my witness?
If I make a mistake, big or small, will I miss it, will I miss someone, will someone miss Christ?
Have you been there? Have you wondered? Have you found your strive to perfection is one that is missed?
Maybe it's not your relationship with God; maybe it's your parenting, or perhaps it's on your job, or even in your marriage.
Whatever it is that you are striving toward, whichever role you are looking to be perfect it, I want to share this truth with you...WE ARE NOT CALLED TO A LIFE OF PERFECTION!
I know that truth might be hard to grasp, I know that truth might be hard to understand, but the only person who calls us to perfection is US!
I love this verse from Philippians 3:12:
"I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me." (KJV)
Did you catch that? Paul didn't say that he was perfect, and he didn't say that we are called to any level of perfection, but he says, I follow after the one who is. And out of my relationship and love towards the one who is perfect, I strive to be more like him.
I don't know about you but, that gives me hope, that reminds me of truth, that tells me that I can lay down my desire to strive to be perfect, and I can instead press toward the one who is! Walking in perfection, is not my job, walking in perfection is not your job, there's only one who is perfect, and that is who we strive towards.
So friend, If you are reading this, I encourage you right now, to stop striving toward a title we are not called to, and instead, look to Christ, and find rest in Him who is perfect!
By: Tamika Mahomes
Here I am...
Sitting back at the computer, writing yet another blog...
If I am honest it's hard, with everything going on, I still feel it is not the right time to come back...
But while I realize that it might not be the right time, I know that in this time, especially in this time, the gospel must be preached...
God's word must go forth...
And this blog must continue.
For on this blog, I share Jesus, and on this blog, I invite others to share Jesus, and while there is a world full of chaos the truth is that in the midst of the chaos Jesus is still moving, he's still working, and he is still calling us to him.
So here I am one more time, resting on God's truth even in the midst of the hardest times.
Friends, I invite you to reflect on this very scripture that brings me hope even in a time such as this.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
The peace of this world is fickle, but the peace that comes from our Father is everlasting, and in God's peace, we can find rest.
While this time is hard, and while we are desperately searching for change, let us find rest in the truth that God and God alone is in control.
By: Tamika Mahomes
"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."
Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)
As we are experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are now adapting to a new reality of being bound to our homes and mandated to social distancing. And while this sudden limit of socialization has caused frustration, boredom, and some confusion, this is a time not to focus on what we can't do but rather what we can do. While this time has forced us to a place of rest, focus, and reflection, it is a time where we can maximize growing in what the Lord's will is.
In today's passage, we see Paul reminding us that we must not waste time but instead make the most of every opportunity. So I ask you today? What are you making of this opportunity? Are you spending your time binge-watching shows on Netflix? Are you spending your time seeing how much online shopping you can accomplish? Are you spending your time scrolling social media? Or are you spending this time to grow yourself and develop into the person that God is calling you to be?
Watching TV, scrolling social media, it all seems like a way to pass the time, but the truth is the more time you spend pouring those things into your soul, the more those things begin to control and lead your life. Could you imagine if you instead spent those hours in the Bible? Could you imagine how we would grow as God's sons and daughters? Our time is not meant to be wasted but rather we need to make our time so precious that we refuse to allow non-essential things to distract our essential relationship with God.
In closing the passage, Paul reminds us not to be foolish and to understand what the Lord's will is. To understand what the Lord's will is, we have to be close to the Lord; we have to read, know, and understand his word. Church every Sunday and listening to online sermons is simply not enough! In order to see change, we must understand it begins with intentional time with the Father. Psalm 19:7 says:
"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple." (KJV)
God's word converts or changes the soul. When we are in the presence of the most high, we have no choice but to be changed and transformed. God's word calls us to be different, it calls us to be set apart, and it calls us to be more like him. So today friend, I challenge you (and myself), to put down the remote, put down the phone, put down the distractions and turn to Jesus, turn to the WORD and ask him, Father, how can I spend this time to be more like you. Let us allow this time to be time unwasted.
By: Tamika Mahomes
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" Matthew 5:13-16
When we reflect on the passage in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus is preaching the sermon on the mount. When we arrive at verses 13-16, we see Jesus sharing the reminder that this thing called Christianity is a religion worth sharing, as he shares that his followers are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
While sharing the gospel is necessary, it is something that many followers of Christ shy away from! We often shy away for fear of rejection; we shy away because we don't want to offend; we even shy away because we don't want to face the backlash. The Bible reminds us that when we serve Jesus, the world may get angry, the world may not agree, and that if we choose to be pleasers of the world, we can not walk in the true fullness of life with Christ.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 KJV
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
Philippians 2:3 NLT
While fear may keep us from walking as the salt of the earth and the light of the world, we must rest in the simple truth that when we share Christ with others, we are essentially taking the focus off of us and putting the focus on Christ.
When we live a life of true surrender unto the most high God, we allow our convictions to lead us to a place where our commitments can't hold us. We develop an understanding that this world is not our home, and our obedience to the Holy Spirit is more important than any commitment to this world.
To be salt of the earth and light of the world, we first have to know who the Word is, we must understand what the Word teaches, and we must draw near to the Word's instructions. If we do not have the light in us, we can not show the light to the world around us. John 8:12 reminds us of this truth, as is says:
“...I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (KJV)
When we allowed the Lord to speak to us through his Holy Word, we allow the light within us to transition to the darkness that is around us. Will you allow the Lord to use you today?
By: Tamika Mahomes
"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these thing do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
As we arrive at today's passage, we find Jesus teaching on an essential subject, worry. As humans we are natural worriers, we worry about how the bills are going to get paid, we worry about who does and does not like us, we ever worry about things that may or may not happen. But here in today's passage, Jesus reminds us that while life will give us something to worry about, but he is the ONLY solution.
If we allow it, troubles on this earth can consume us. When our focus is on our problems, we can never truly fix our attention on Christ! While worry is a problem, Jesus gives us a solution, to seek first HIS kingdom. The thing about seeking first God's kingdom is it requires us to be intentional! When we do not intentionally seek God through prayer, fasting, and devotion, we allow God's kingdom to remain unsought in our lives.
Life will always bring worry, and that worry can lead to distraction or devotion, but whether we are consumed with worry or with Jesus is a choice that is ours.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
Temptation is anything that tempts us to take our eyes off God. Jesus never said temptation (worry) would not come, but the Bible reminds us that while it may happen, Jesus is our way of escape. When we find ourselves caught up in our problems, we can miss Jesus, but when we find ourselves caught up in Jesus, we can forget about our problems.
Verse 34 closes with Jesus a reminder, not to worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough worries of its own. A reminder that problems on this side of heaven are inevitable, and life will always give us reason to worry. Instead of being consumed in worry, we can fix our focus on God's truth, his word, and his ability to speak to even the biggest and hardest situations in our lives. Isn't it amazing that we can rest in knowing that while tomorrow is full of issues and concerns, we do not have to worry because God is in total control!
Today my friend, I want to leave you with this; do not get so caught up seeking the kingdom of your problems that you forget to look after the kingdom of God. Worries come and go, but Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. I encourage you to keep doing your part in looking to Christ and let God do his part in looking after you!
By: Tamika Mahomes
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" 2 Corinthians 5:17
When the new year begins, it is common to find ourselves in a place of reflection. We look back on the last year, the ups, the downs, the expected, and the unexpected. When we begin to examine where we were and where we want to be, we open ourselves up to the opportunity of change. Change starts in our mind; it begins with knowing and understanding that our experience does not have to determine our future circumstances. God's word reflects this truth.
In looking at today's scripture 2 Corinthians 5:17, the Bible shows us that once we truly have an encounter with the Lord, we become new. The newness in Christ requires a change in us. We transform our thinking from allowing our past to define us, to letting God's word to guide us. God's word tells us the truth; God's word shows us wisdom; God's word gives us understanding. When God transforms our mind, he transforms our life.
As you look back over 2019, I want to challenge you to reflect on the state of your heart. Have you allowed your old way of thinking to shape who you are and who you will be? Have you determined in your mind that your current situation is your forever reality? Or have you allowed God to speak to you? Have you let God show you that newness in him requires a change in you?
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that in Christ, old things are passed away, and in HIM (yes, HIM, not YOU), all things are new. Without question, without requirement, without limit, God allows you to be made new in him. The truth is, life can change you, or Christ can change you. We ought not to get to a point where we allow life, people, or circumstances to attain our focus so much so that God can not lead us in a different direction. When we stop allowing life to guide us, and we start allowing Christ to guide us, we can rest in the truth that we can relinquish control and rest in him!
As you look back on 2019, I know you may feel you have more questions than answers, I know people may have let you down, I know that you may have had more bad times than good. But I also know that God wants to move in your life, I know that God brings peace to any storm, he brings change to any willing heart, and he even makes the dirtiest, ugliest and messiest things new. If you start knowing him, he will begin changing you, Will you let him?