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Happy Thursday!

Happy Thursday!

May I begin this devotion, in saying not sure who this message may be for, but I am trusting the Lord that it will minister to the intended person or people. Amen. David says in the psalms, “Where can I flee from your presence?” Nowhere. You will never be in a place where God isn’t. Pastor Warren once stated; "If you’ve trusted Jesus, He’s with you in your heart". Glory! From this day, may you dig in and start trusting God going forward. Remember HE is with you. His presence does not evaporate or disappear. HIS presence is always present. If you are facing something do not rush in trying to fix it. Spend some time in prayer. If the circumstance demands your immediate attention, 'PRAY'! Now let's flip it a bit! I have a major paper to write, rent is due, my refrigerator is lacking food and I need another text book for my class. Don't forget to PRAY! Or my family is depending on me for housing, food and medical needs. Don't forget to 'PRAY'! Question: are you alone in a situation? David was not only a sheep herder, but also an appointed king. As a youth, he fought a bear and a lion. As a king he fought enemies more than once. 1 Samuel 18:7 states; "So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” WOW! Now you may not fight a bear, a lion or an army, however, like David you are facing some real stuff. Pray, stand, walk with God as you face your situations. Take note, God was with David from a young age into his adulthood. Yet, David was prepared, equipped, available and vigilant. YES! So, may I ask a question: "How can you get better acquainted with God"? You conquered difficult circumstances throughout your life, including 2020. You have advanced, why go back when the Holy Spirit is moving you forward? Interesting! Once more, I believe the Lord has place this simple devotion to encourage someone today to focus and remember that "I made it through". Pastor Marvin Sapp wrote a beautiful song (2012) after his wife transitioned into glory entitled; "My Testimony". This song still moves my heart. A section of the lyrics goes like this "So glad I made it, I made it through In spite of the storm and rain, heartache and pain Still I'm declaring That I made it through See, I didn't lose Experienced lost at a major cost But I never lost faith in you So if you see me cry, It's just a sign that I'm I'm still alive I got some scars, but I'm still alive In spite of calamity, He still has a plan for me And it's working for my good And it's building my testimony So glad I made it, I made it through". Praise God, you made it through and 'YOU ARE MAKING IT THROUGH'! Romans 8:31(NKJV) says; "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" JESUS said; “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV). Keep standing because you're never really fully alone. It you fall, stand back up. If you're extremely nervous about what you are facing, 'PRAY'. P.S......if this message wasn't for you, totally pray for someone who is going through. THANK YOU! 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "We're In This Together"

Fleeing to Strength by James Banks

Fleeing to Strength by James Banks

"You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies". 1 Corinthians 6:20 “Parry four!” When I began fencing in high school, my coach would shout the correct defensive position (“parry”) against the move he was making. When he extended his weapon and lunged, to repel the attack I had to listen and respond immediately. That active listening brings to mind the prompt obedience Scripture calls for in the area of sexual temptation. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 Paul writes to believers tempted to solicit pagan temple prostitutes, telling them to “flee from sexual immorality.” Sometimes we are to “stand firm” in challenging circumstances (Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 6:11), but here the Bible practically shouts our best defense: “Run away!” Immediate action guards against compromise. Small compromises can lead to devastating defeats. An unrestrained thought, a glance in the wrong place on the Internet, a flirting friendship when you’re already married—each are steps that take us where we shouldn’t go and put distance between us and God. When we flee temptation, God also provides a place to run. Through Jesus’s death on the cross for our sins, He offers us hope, forgiveness, and a new beginning—no matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done. When we run to Jesus in our weakness, He sets us free to live in His strength. Prayer: Lord Jesus, out of love You gave Yourself on the cross for us. I give myself to You in obedience to Your will. Remember: God alone can meet our deepest needs and give us soul-deep satisfaction. 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "We're ALL IN"

Wash ME!

Wash ME!

"Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin". Psalm 51:2 (NLT) In our backyard, we have a non-functioning water feature that collects water when it rains or when our automatic sprinkler system turns on. Stagnant water will sit unless it is removed. On the other hand, when the water feature is operational, the attached bowl captures recycled flowing water that is relaxing to watch and allows birds to drink or play in. Now non-operational and left unattended over an extended period of time, pesky mosquitoes appear. Mosquitoes love to hang out and breed in such places and most often, make it their home. Let's flip it a bit more. If we leave trash out for a long period of time, that condition could attract unwanted critters and their cousins. Stagnant water, leaving trash out for extended periods of time are invitations for unwanted guests. Not cool! Loved ones, the same applies to our spiritual lives. May we intentionally allow the Holy Spirit to clean the areas in our lives that are unclean. Where sin is active areas in our hearts are comprised. Unclean areas of our lives are invitations for 'DEMONS' to make themselves at home. Meditate on: Ephesians 4:27 (NKJV); "nor give place to the devil". Action: guard your heart against allowing Satan to take, influence or cause you to drift away so that he can take possession of your mind. Remember, we are challenged every day 24/7 with his schemes and tactics. However, may we vigorously pray that our desire is to obey God's will, rather than our fleshly desires. Beloved, the struggle is REAL. But ask God to wash me oh Lord cleaning me from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Glory! God loves us! 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "I'M ALL IN"

Holiness

Holiness

Are you living a HOLY life? Are you honoring God with your life? Let's keep going. If your co-workers or neighbors asked, "Is (your name) a Christian?" How would they answer? "Absolutely, I would consider attending their church"! Or would they respond; "I doubt it. Highly questionable according to their behavior". Would they respond with; He or she prays at every meal and prays for people who are hurting. Their life models the bible teachings. Let's keep going. Or would they say, "That person is the worst"! Their integrity is highly questionable and cuts people down all the time." Beloved, we are living in a time when people 'saved and unsaved' that walk in the integrity of the Word. Not just when people are around, but when no one is watching, a distinct and set apart life that can be easily identified. Amen! Action: I am a child of God and I can live out the following verse: "Because it is written, “Be Holy, for I am Holy.” 1 Peter 1:16. Meditate: Christians, no matter who we are, where we live or our status in life, have been called to live holy and blameless before God. Prayer: Heavenly Father, I desire and intentionally walk in the fullness of Your Word. May I be willing to submit daily to You fully. Amen. 2021 'INTENTIONAL' "Holy Spirit Reveals What Is TRUE"

Our Nation Needs Our Prayers!

Our Nation Needs Our Prayers!

Willow Street Church of God, Our Nation needs our prayers! Political division, fighting a virus, layoffs, racial inequalities, greed, job loss and mental exhaustion have caused immense suffering. We are called to be salt and light on the earth. May we, Willow Street Church of God, pray daily and vigorously for healing from our Heavenly Father. May we 'NEVER' leave our first love, Jesus. It is imperative to remain committed to His holy Word and always faithful to the kingdom agenda. Pastor Lloyd

Merry Christmas WSCOG & Friends!

Merry Christmas WSCOG & Friends!

2020 has been challenging yet filled with many opportunities to witness God's faithfulness. Beloved, your faithfulness is sincerely appreciated, and your steadfastness to serve our surrounding communities is God-honoring. In this season and always, may we encourage each other in remembering that HE is faithful to complete the good work in each of us. My hope and prayer is that you will be renewed in a fresh way, never doubting that God is walking alongside you. Let us rejoice! A child was born unto us to provide hope and joy! Again, thank you for all that you do; its a total honor to serve with you! Merry Christmas and God bless you always! Pastor Lloyd P. Harrison, Jr and the WSCOG Leadership team

Lazer Focused

Lazer Focused

"For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us.” And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel". Acts 6:14‭-‬15 (NKJV) Throughout his career, Kobe established himself as a clutch NBA shooter. There is a short list of popular NBA players that wouldn't hesitate to take the big shot when time was running out. Kobe was known to be a laser focused shooter and yet, an excellent defender. On January 22nd, 2006, in a comeback victory at home, Kobe finished with 81 points and beat the Toronto Raptors. He was most certianly laser focused. What a game! According to Acts 6:14-15; Stephen's focus was on Jesus. Matter of fact, Stephen was laser focused! Though people with twisted words, inappropriate behaviors, and false accusations tried to get in his way, Stephen remained 'FIRM' in the faith. He refused to let worldly distractions obscure his heavenly focus. Spiritually, I can imagine heaven cheering with a glorious celebration of joy. YES! From his vantage point, he saw Jesus. The One Who had captured his heart. That uninterrupted view gave him strength to face his foes with courage. Questions: Where is your focus? Are you laser focused in the promises of God, or the things of this world only? Pondering thought: Kobe was admired for his skillset, however don't forget that he spent countless hours practicing. Stephen spent valuable time developing his faith. YES! Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to remain laser focused on and in my faith. AMEN! 2020 'INTENTIONAL' "Jesus is My Focus"

Adjusting to God? Try to Get God to Adjust to US?

Adjusting to God? Try to Get God to Adjust to US?

During my research, I came across a paragraph that captured my attention.  A.W. Tozer a biblical scholar wrote; "It is 'NOT' the ability to persuade ourselves that black is white or that something we desire will come to pass if we only wish hard enough. Faith is simply the bringing of our minds into accord with the truth. It is adjusting our expectations to the promises of God in complete assurance that the God of all creation cannot lie". May I encourage you to remember examples when Jesus was either challenged or tempted?  John 6:38 (KJV) states; "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me". Jesus always adjusted to the will of God. Questions: How are we using this time of social distancing?  Are we building or working ourselves toward our glow-up / grow-up?  Are we developing our skills and abilities?  Or digging deeper into the Word, to continue the process of GROWING and GLOWING? Last question. Or are you spending most of your time trying to get God to adjust to your desires, expectations, or requests? Let's punch this point out just a bit more. A fifth-grade boy who had heard a sermon on persistence in prayer was praying by himself in his room one night. As his dad passed his door, he heard the boy praying over and over again, "Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo." The next day, the dad asked his son what he was doing. The boy replied that he had given the wrong answer on a test for the capital of Mexico, and he was praying that God would make Tokyo the capital of Mexico. I think the boy was a little unclear on the concept, don’t you? But sometimes, we do the same. We want God to adjust to us rather than our seeking what God wants from and for us while adjusting to Him. Beloved, remember you’re in the process of GLOWING UP!  Your light is glowing brighter.  It's the enemy's job to discourage you from seeing yourselves as the glowing light unto the world. 2020 'INTENTIONAL' #glowingup #ThisLittleLightOf Mine #GrowingDaliy

The Sleeping Church

The Sleeping Church

"While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept". Matthew 25:5 (KJV) Martin Luther once dreamed that the devil was listening to reports from his agents on the progress they were making against the Kingdom of God. One reported, "A company of Christians were crossing the desert, and I loosen the lions on them, and all were lost." The devil replied, "What good was that? Their bodies were lost, but their souls were saved. I want their souls." Another little devil reported that a company of Christians were crossing the sea by a ship. I sent strong winds and caused the ship to go on the rocks and all were lost. Satan again said, that was nothing. Because their bodies were lost, but he wanted their souls. A third agent gave his report saying, “after years of trying, I finally managed to put the church to sleep.” And hearing this, hell and Satan rejoiced. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary states; "The first verb implies the nodding and napping of persons sitting up at night; the second means "they began to sleep," actually. All, wise and foolish, did this; so in itself, it was not sinful, it was only natural. This circumstance is not to be pressed to prove that all Christians will be asleep, or cold and careless when the Lord Jesus will come". Yet, many may be so, but many also will be looking for his coming. This devotion was drafted to remind ourselves as Min. Dawn would say; Stay ready so you don't have to get ready'.  We have the opportunity, the duty, and JOY of being READY! GLORY! Beloved, STAY READY! 2020 'INTENTIONAL' "JUST WIN the DAY"

Assumptions and Arrogance

Assumptions and Arrogance

by Pastor Ed Vasicek

Four people—a pilot, a professor, a pastor, and a hiker—were flying in a small plane when
the engines died. The pilot said, “There are only three parachutes. Since this is my plane, I’m taking one of them.” He put it on and jumped out. The professor said, “I’m brilliant and the world needs me, so I’m taking a parachute,” and he jumped out.
Then the pastor told the hiker, “I don’t want to be selfish, so you take the last parachute.” The hiker replied, “There are still two left, so we can each have one. The professor jumped out with my backpack instead of the parachute!” Though the professor thought he would land safely, his assurance was based on faulty thinking.
Some people have an assurance of salvation based on faulty thinking. They believe that church attendance, baptism, volunteering for a good cause, or just being good will gain them approval from God. 

Meditate on: 
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 16If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.

17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. 18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.  19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

2020 'INTENTIONAL'
"May Your Confidence 'REST' in the Jesus"

Complain or Rejoice, You Choose!!!

Complain or Rejoice, You Choose!!!

When I was in the first grade, we learned to draw and stay in the lines. My parents gave me a box of ten crayons. My ten crayons were big and fat and hard to keep in the lines. My friend Ricky that sat right in front of me had a big box of 64 Crayola Crayons. He had 8 times the selection I had for colors. His crayons were skinny and if they dulled he could sharpen them. As we drew there was a weekly prize for the best, he always beat me! Being a competitor and week in and week out, I LOST! One day, I asked him to borrow his flesh color for people, he said; "NO"!  I knew there was a sharpener right in his box. I learned to rotate mine as I drew to keep the point sharp. I thought, "This is not fair, he can beat me, I don’t have a chance". One day, I decided I was going to get good enough that I would win. I started learning how to get different shades out of one color. I practice hard to keep my coloring in the lines. WOW....I got better and better. I learned how to softly mix two colors and make a different color. I started winning some of the weekly contests, not all but at least some of them. Ricky could still beat me on some, but I made a choice: not to complain and focus on the ten fat Crayons I had or the 64 skinny crayons he had. Take note, I learned at an early age that life is not fair or things may not line up the way I want them to. My parents taught me to do the best with what you have and God will help you. Now Ricky, from a young age was driven, competitive and doubled whatever was given to him. It wasn't that he was rich, he achieved more by making do with what he had. The point here, you have enough crayons to add colorful meaning to your life. To splash on the pages of your life with joy. To bring brightness of God's Word to discouraging moments. Do the best with what you have, learn to reduce the noise of negative thinking and God will help you with more crayons as you progress along. Matthew 25:14-18 (NASB) says; “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.  To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.  Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.  In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.  But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money". 2020 'INTENTIONAL' "Think Different, Before Complaining"

Equipped!

Equipped!

"The Lord has opened His armory And has brought forth the weapons of His indignation, For it is a work of the Lord God of hosts In the land of the Chaldeans". Jeremiah 50:25 (NASB) As a youth I loved comic books that told stories about super heroes that used super powers to fight off evil. However in this earthly realm, we fight spiritual stuff daily and the enemy is a relentless foe. He and his friends never let up. Praise the Lord, because He has equipped us with an arsenal that is full of weaponry. Weapons for our use. To name a few praise, worship, the Sword (Word of God), and prayer are weapons of warfare. Take joy in that our Heavenly Father has equipped us, empowered and commissioned us. Yet, many that have not discovered the weapons the Lord has equipped are not approaching this spiritual warfare in full confidence. There is a reason why it is called warfare. It’s ongoing! The enemy's focus is to kill, steal and destroy the life God has purposed for us. Let's keep going here. I read once; "The key in warfare is seeking the Holy Spirit to learn which weapon to appropriate". Questions: So how are you going to approach this week? Are you weapons up? Have you sought the Lord to guide you in how and when to use your weapons? Encouragement: remember 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 that states; "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled". Seal in your hearts: Ephesians 6: 10-17 "10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God". Well beloved, may we all experience a wonderful week and approach the days ahead of us with confidence in using our weapons. Glory! 2020 'INTENTIONAL' You're More Than a Conqueror"