Tag Archives: born-again

THRIVE!

THRIVE 2

SELAH Daily Devotions!

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 KJV

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36 KJV

A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10:10 The Message

 

 SMH!!!!  Coming into another dimension of Revelation of the ‘almost too good to be true’ Gospel of Jesus Christ, my only appropriate response is shaking my head in wonder-filled absolute amazement!  I’m not a novice to this thing we call ‘Salvation’, by no means. I’ve been saved for more than thirty years! Yet, I’m almost embarrassed to admit it; nevertheless, for most of my walk with Christ, I’ve struggled secretly imprisoned by guilt and shame for sins I have committed. And I’m not just talking about those B.C. (before Christ). I’m talking about the since I’ve been saved stuff too! 

Just in case someone else out there knows what I’m talking about, I feel an urging in my spirit, compelling me to put myself out on blast just to let you know that there’s Hope for you also, and it’s “IN” Christ Jesus!

Now, don’t get it twisted!  I’m not trying to push the blame off on somebody else. I’m just acknowledging that for whatever reason I adapted a sense of ‘performance-based-legalism’ that followed me right into Christianity! Do good, get good—do bad, get bad!  This kind of thinking just about seals the deal—you’re doomed for failure and defeat, desolation and destruction because there’s no wiggle-room for our innately flawed human characteristics. You lie because you are a liar, you steal because you are a thief; you sin because you were born a sinner!

The Devil’s had a very long time to master deception and manipulation. Frankly,  he’s become quite proficient in using us against us! He cloaks his best handiwork in fostering our ‘self-righteousness, self-degradation and ultimate self-rejection’! Yall know how he just loves to throw a rock and hide his hand. Unfortunately there’s little need to change his tactics, after all, it still works!

TRUTHBTOLD, on our ‘bestest’ days, we still aren’t good enough to somehow deserve God’s Grace! BUT! That’s what’s so Great about Salvation! Even if we could, by accident, done some ‘right’ act it never would’ve equaled out all of the ‘wrong’ acts we’ve committed.

That’s why God sent Jesus!

God knew the first plan was not and never could work—because ‘they just don’t have it in them’! In Hebrews 10:18 Jesus said it something like this…”this new covenant will not be written on tablets of stone, but ‘I’m writing it in their hearts and in their minds’! Father, prepare me A Body… I, The Righteous One, will come to live in them and will empower them to become righteous and do right things the right way!

OMG, SMH…AGAIN! Didjaheardat?

It ain’t about ‘you’ it’s all about ‘JESUS’!!!

Beloved, it’s time to shut the devil down! How? By taking God at HIS WORD! Hence, God paid an hefty price to deliver our souls from the debt of sin! Don’t belittle the Sacrafice on the altar of false humility, self-pity, self-exclusion, as if it’s an act of penance!  Now, I mean no disrespect, we’re always to be grateful for every blessing God has bestowed upon us, howevvrrr, it’s not enuff to be content with ‘survival’ when God intended for us to live this life to the fullest, exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond any and everything we could every deserve! Hence, GOD wants us to THRIVE! That’s what causes those who’ve yet to receive HIM as Savior and Lord to take a closer look at The Christ In U and begin to envy the Glory of your Heavenly Father resting upon your life! #ijs!

Hence, why keep trying to earn something that God’s already given you for free? Just accept Jesus’ unmerited Love and Loyalty by living  your life to the fullest every day in HIM!

That’s what it means to be ‘BORN AGAIN’ …saved and set free! THAT’S THE REAL BLESSING…I’M NO LONGER OBLIGATED TO FULFILL OTHER’S LIMITATIONS OF WHO I AM, WHAT I’M WORTH AND WHAT I CAN ACHIEVE! YEP, I CAN LIVE FREE! NO MORE CHAINS HOLDING ME!

When we place our personal confident trust not in ‘self’ –not in what we can’t do to earn such Amazing Grace—BUT IN WHAT JESUS CHRIST HAS ALREADY DONE, WE’RE FREE—TO BE, DO, HAVE and ENJOY EVERYTHING HE PURPOSED 4 US B4 THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD! IN OTHER WORDS–THRIVE!  YES…THRIVE!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

DON’T DIE B4 U LIVE!

DON'T DIE B4 U LIVE.jpg

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

The thief cometh not but to steal, to kill and to destroy; I AM come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.  John 10:10

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; Colossians 1:26-27

 

One of the most tragic phenomenon befalling humanity is leaving here without ever knowing and becoming the fearfully, wonder-filled, exceptionally-crafted Masterpiece our Creator intended before you were formed in your Mother’s womb. (Ref. Jeremiah 1:5)

Could that be why some say that the richest piece of real estate in any city is the cemetery? Don’t get melancholic on me! In fact my objective is quite the opposite; to spawn enticing hope-filled adventurous tomorrows!

We live in a society where conformity is the paramount attribute of success. If you want to be in you’ve got to fit the mold, otherwise you’re considered not one of us but part of the othersUnfortunately that leaves a whole lot of us outside of the clique, huh?

But here’s where I stand on such matters; who gave you the authority to authenticate what God has made in the first place? Only the creator of a thing has the right to determine its true value and potential! Hence, too many of us walk around, ignorant of self-identity, self-rejecting, convicted and/or condemned to a lifetime of regret-filled apologizing to others for who I AM!

That is until we come into the personal saving knowledge of Christ Jesus and get a revelation of who and Whose you are! This personal encounter with The Source and Sustainer of The Universe opens up gargantuan possibilities,  unimaginable potential and inconceivable prospectives that eyes have not seen neither have ears heard of!  

Why waste another moment of the precious time alloted to you being a copy of anybody or everybody else when God has distinguished you from every other individual born in the earth. Check your fingerprints?

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

Locked up in you is the answer to someone’s question. You are designed to be the miracle that person’s waiting on! You are the gift of hope to some despondent soul! You are the treasure that one somebody’s been seeking for and was about to give up on, disgusted by a history of repetitious seconds and hand-me-downs! #Didjaheardat? 

Oh what liberating Truth erupts from our souls realizing that despite of what some folk may think or even said about you, in Christ, you have been empowered to stand-sure-footed in His Grace and profoundly proclaim, “I shall not allow anybody to deny me the right to be, become, have and do everything God ordained me 2 BE!  Because I belong to The King of Kings and The Lord of Lords,  I  can do all things through Christ Who Strengthens me! Therefore I CHOOSE LIFE!”

Beloved, TRUST2KNO, Absolutely Nobody, BUT GOD can make you who you are!  DON’T DIE B4 U LIVE! #GO4IT!

SELAH

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

DON’T LOOK BACK!

DON'T LOOK BACK2

 

Selah Daily Devotions!

 

The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back, I gave my back to the smitters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spiting. For the Lord God will help me, therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED. He is near that justifieth me; who will content with me? Behold the Lord will help me, who is he that shall condemn me? Isaiah 50:5-9

 

The Psalmist said, ‘Before I was afflicted, I went astray’. Well, King David, you’re not the only one! Can I get a witness? Before our ears were opened,  you know, before our personal encounter with The Divine Kind, before we met Jesus, all of us rebelled against God’s Righteous standards! Amen 3x!

But! Just like The Prophet Isaiah, when we finally heard that ‘un-mistakable’ Voice of Our Lord speaking to our heart, we turned our face to God and our back to Satan! We made the conscious, irrevocable determination to commit ourselves to our Redeemer, begin a new life, walk a new path, and emphatically denounced our former Task Master, declaring—‘I’m so through with you!’

However, I must confess! Much to my surprise, not everyone celebrated! In fact, some of the same folk that we used to kick it with backndadaydon’t treat me like they used to, since I laid my burden down’! Many of your peeps, who used to ‘have your back’ become back-stabbers or now avoid you like a bubonic plague. Don’t think it strange if some even set traps to get you to fall, just to let you know that you ain’t no better then they are! #ijs For real!

I know we’ve heard the seasoned saints testify, “I’m so glad God delivered me from a miserable life of sin!” But honestly, all of our past life wasn’t miserable! In fact, some of it was down right pleasurable! Y’all, don’t play me nah!

The problem is, the partaa didn’t last! That’s when we realized that we needed some ONE Greater than ‘self’ to pick up the pieces and put our lives together!

But guess what? No one who walks away from the world ever comes up short. Nothing that you give up to follow Jesus is ever in vain. So don’t worry about your haters. Remember, you now have a Friend who sticks closer than any brother; and He has promised to never leave you or give up on you. (Ref. Proverbs 18:24; Hebrews 13:5)

Don’t try to defend yourself, just let your life speak for you! Trust me, some of those folk who walked away, they’re still watchin’. And guess who they’ll come to when they hit that pothole? EXACTLY! The ‘new and improved you’!

For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Hebrews 4:2

Now, before we go any further, it’s important that you understand, that not one of us can claim that we’re in any way, shape or form deserving of such great a SALVATION! It’s totally a Gift of God and not due to anything we ever coulda, shoulda, woulda earned! That’s what’s so awemaazing about GRACE, huh? (Ref. Ephesians 2:8) Hence, clearly Salvation doesn’t make you better than anyone else, however it does make us better off than those who’ve yet to come into a  personal Saving Knowledge of Jesus Christ!

It’s also imperative to note that while Salvation does not exempt us from experiencing many of the same maladies as the ungenerated souls, it does guarantee us that life goes better with Christ, a Surety of a Peace that surpasses all understanding and a Hope that’s beyond this world! #ETERNALLY!!!

Precious one, TRUST2KNOW, God’s got your back! Just keep walking, unashamedly, looking unto Jesus! Trusting in His Promises, with all of your heart, knowing that God’s got a Plan and a Purpose for your life and I hearrrd (in my best preacha voice) that what’s coming is better than what’s been! (Ref. Jeremiah 29:11) #Didjaheardat? #WOW!

So the next time that ol’ lying devil tries to make you doubt God’s Faithfulness and derail your Divine Destiny—tell him—”Obviously, you’ve mistaken me for someone else! I ain’t Lot’s wife! I WON’T TURN BACK!” #BOOMMMM #Didjaheardat? 

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

HOW BAD DO U WANT HIM?

HOW BAD DO U WANT HIM

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Philippians 3:10

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

 

One of the most intriguing topical discussions amongst expectant mothers and women who have become mothers (besides swapping labor stories) is the abnormally-intensified cravings that we experience during pregnancy awaiting the birth of their beautiful bouncing bundle of joy!

While, much to my amazement, my eldest is presently encroaching 50 years of age, yet, I can still summon up that daily occurrence of overwhelming ferociousness, provoking me to walk my big-belly-self five city blocks up to MLK Avenue to get my hands around a 6 in., lettuce and tomatoes, fried onions, mayo, ketchup and mustard, salt and pepper, heavily-loaded with pickles steak and cheese sandwich. This became such a ritual that the moment I wobbled through the threshold of the deli, the cashier would holla to the cook “Steak and Cheese Special for the big lady”. And off I’d be to our little one-bedroom apartment on Oakwood Street, five blocks back, just as happy as if I’d discovered a treasure chest filled with diamonds, rubies and gold.

Somehow, the journey back never seemed as difficult or as long, perhaps because I’d be that much closer to relishing the second I’d take my first bite of my bounty! Oh my, what we won’t do for love, huh?

Well guess what? That’s exactly how believers ought to be in our quest for Jesus Christ!

We see this truth evidenced in the life of The Apostle Paul. We can almost feel the earnest urgency with which The Apostle sought after his intentional personal, intimate- knowing and understanding of “The True One” Who had apprehended him on the Damascus Road. (Ref. Acts 9) It was as if Paul was driven by an uncommonly unique passionate desire that set him on a course that remains unchartered territory to even the most astutely-religious 21st Century church-goers today.

Yet, there is that remnant of us whose yearning for more JESUS consumes most of our waking moments and often invading our nights with dreams and images of His Awesomeness. Imagine my surprise at the realization that not everyone in the church shares this delight-filled insatiable lusting for The Living Water and The Bread of Life! #4REAL!

This might very well explain why some who profess Christ, are content with following Him a far off while others are compelled to dig-out the secret treasures hidden in The Word of God, diligently, intentionally searching the Scriptures daily that they might know HIM in ways that may never be actualized by the second-handed-casually-acquainted follower—experientially! (Ref. Acts 17:11)

The Word of God is Alive and gives LIFE to any who have a desire for The God Who Speaks revealing GOD-SELF through His Auto-Biography, inscribed through Genesis into Revelation, that all who seek Him with all of their hearts, minds, spirit, soul and body may know HIM (TRUTH) intimately. Sadly, not everyone who calls Him Savior seek Him as Lord, huh? #ijs Yall!

Therefore, much to their own sorrow, they miss out on the true wealth and reward of a personal, dynamic, GOD-involved relationship that awaits us who lend our hearts and attention to discovering The Father in the face of His First-Begotten Son, Jesus! (Ref. Colossians 1:15-16)

My precious one, seeking God, although often challenging, should never become be a chore! However, may I submit for your momentary consideration, that our response to His drawing is vindictive of the level of love, faith and commitment towards Him!

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8)

HENCE, WHATEVER POSITION GOD OCCUPIES IN YOUR HEART DETERMINES HIS PRESENCE IN YOUR LIFE! #IJS HOW BAD DO U WANT HIM?  

 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

CONSIDER THE COST…

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SELAH Daily Devotions!

What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. Psalm 116:12-13

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2

 

I’m not trying to start nuffin, BUT! Have you noticed that ‘hoof-n-mouth disease’ has reached pandemic proportions amongst so many church-folkes? #ijs

Perhaps that’s why other folk seem to so easily tell you what you should do in any given situation, ‘Because if it were me, I’d _____!” Someone once said, unless you walk in another man’s shoes, you’ll never appreciate the depth and weight of each footprint. Okay, I just made that one up, k? However, the point is, unless you personally experience each moment in every episode of that person’s journey, (which is virtually impossible) not from the perspective of a spectator, but as the starring participant, you can sympathize but not really empathize with them!

Even more perplexing is how long we struggle with submission to the commandments of The Only Savior as Lord of our lives! Could it be that we can never fully understand the passion of Jesus that caused Him, after being shamelessly mocked, brutally beaten, scorned and scourged all night then jokedly crowned with thorns, to make His way up Golgotha’s Hill, carrying that Ol’ Rugged Cross where His hands and feet were nailed, crucified for what you and I would do? Didjaheardat? #braintilt!

Awemazingly, the scriptures reveal that it was the Heavenly Father’s pleasure to see Jesus endure every second of this crushing death. (Ref. Isaiah 53:10)

Ever since the Garden of Eden, there are somethings that God never intended us to know. Why? Because He loves us too much to jus sit back and allow the fatality of sin to run it’s course, separating us from Him eternally? But, but? I know, that makes no sense at all!

We forget that His Thoughts are infinitely higher than ours and His Ways are incalculably above and beyond humanity’s limited capacity of understanding. (Ref. Isaiah 55:9) Astonishingly, Jesus agreed to this before the foundation of the world, and while we were yet sinners! (Ref.Romans 5:8) The Life dying in order for the dead to live? WOW! That’s Grace, huh?

According to Romans 12:1-2, all that God expects for so great a Salvation is for us to live out everyday, blessed, trusting in Him, as beaming reflections of His Love and Glory to a lost and dying world! Unfortunately, yet still many reckon that more than they are willing to give! (Ref. Luke 18:18-24)

However, there’s a remnant of believers who’ve sold out for the sake of The Cross and are gratefully committed to sacrifice their all to see more souls come into The Glorious Kingdom of God!

What shall U render? Well…HOW MUCH DO U OWE? #countupthecost

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

UNDER THE INFLUENCE

UNDER THE INFLUENCE 2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to god must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ Hebrews 11:6

 

The other day I heard someone say something that I thought was quite profound, at least thought provoking. It was said that “we are swirling towards eternity at the speed of life!” History is being written every day. Memories are being made, every day. Lessons are being taught and learned, every day. Attitudes are being formed and developed, every day.

As I began to think about this, several questions flooded my mind. First, does God’s Presence influence your life? How has the Presence of God influenced your life? What impact has God’s Presence made in your circle of influence?

We love to sing the song, “Jesus you are the center of my joy, all that’s good and perfect comes from you; you’re the Heart of my contentment, Hope for all I do….” But when the music stops, how’s your walk?

The Bible does not merely ask us to have faith to believe that God does exist. But we must also believe that God is who He says He is, that God is with us and that God is for us. (Ref. Hebrew 11:6) Accordingly, if we desire to please The Lord we must walk out our lives under the influence of His Presence that we may exemplify our beliefs throughout the course of daily living.

Does your character reflect the Presence of God in your life? Does the influence of God’s Presence affect the choices that you make? Does your life style reflect the influence of God’s Presence?

We are living epistles (letters) and folk are reading our mail, every day! How is the Presence of God in you influencing your readers? Just a thought! #ijs (Ref. 2 Corinthians 3:1-3)

The Bible says, we are the salt of the earth. I believe that means that we ought to make someone who doesn’t know God, thirsty for a drink of The Living Waters. (Ref. Matthew 5:13-14) As Christians, our greatest desire should be to allow the influence of God’s Presence to be reflected on those around us so much so that it provokes them to envy  and thirst for The God that we worship and  ultimately seek to claim Him as their personal Savior and Lord! 

KEEP IT MOVING! LIVE EACH DAY UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF GOD’S PRESENCE IN YOUR LIFE! 

SELAH! 

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

CHAINED? OR CHANGED?

chained-or-changed-2

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

When crowds of people came out for baptism because it was the popular thing to do, John exploded, “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God’s judgment? It’s your life that must change, not your skin. And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as ‘father.’ Being a child of Abraham is neither here nor there—children of Abraham are a dime a dozen. God can make children from stones if he wants. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire. Luke 3:7-9

 

Have you ever asked someone, “Are you saved?” to which they responded, ‘matter-of-factly’,“uuuhhh…Mama told me I been baptized!” or “I belong to First Bed-Rock of The Divine Pentecostal Kingdom Fellowship” Don’t shout me down, now yall….jus wondering?

Seems to be a lot of that going around, huh? We’re living in a world where pretty much everybody’s ‘saved’! I mean, just look at the explosion of ‘Mega Ministries’, that have popped up in this country alone, right? Kinda makes you wonder why Jesus hasn’t returned! Well, may I submit for your consideration, while church attendance is a critical component of our spiritual development, church membership doesn’t make you a Christian any more than living in a garage makes you a car!

I understand how one might be confused, given the ‘mob mentality’ of the more contemporary theological persuasions of The New Millennium Era, that more means better. This is nothing new! According to our scripture text, it’s been going on since the days of John The Baptist! One might wonder, given the number of churches and folk who pour into the buildings any Sunday morning, why we don’t see much change as individuals, in our families, communities,even as a nation?

Simply put, too many folk try to cut across the field, by-pass the cross and creep into the Kingdom through an imaginary backdoor!

That’s why some imposters casually enter the church house, ‘carrying their chains, tuck them quietly under the plush pews, sanng, shout, dance up and down the aisle, sit like a bump on a log while the sermon is presented, Hi-5 your neighbor 10x, turn around 7x, repeat the benediction, greet your neighbor, pick up your chains and get back out there and do what u gotta do’!

Beloved! Jesus came not to set up another system of legalistic religious rituals, but to restore the personal intimate relationship, severed by our First Parents, Adam and Eve’s rebellion against the righteous commands of The True and Living God! And when He ascended back to The Throne Room on High, Father God sent The Holy Spirit to live inside of anyone who makes a conscious decision to humble themselves, repent and put their personal faith in The Only Saving Grace of Jesus Christ! The indwelling Presence of The Spirit of Jesus, empowers us to live a holy, separated, consecrated life of triumphant deliverance in the midst of this dark and depraved world! Didjaheardat?

“…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose,” Philippians 2:13

Sadly, despite the finished work of the Cross, Satan has yet been able to keep too many of God’s precious ones, illegally chained to stuff that Jesus has already secured their glorious freedom from! But that’s why we’re here, right? To shine out for God by spreading the Good News,“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

CHAINED? OR CHANGED? #WOW

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee