PASSOVER

israel-flag_fk9O-wdulamb

And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.  And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord‘s passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.  And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.  And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.                                                                                         Exodus 12:1-14

 

 To the nation of Israel Passover is the most important commemoration.  This time was instituted by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as a continual reminder of how He freed them from Egyptian slavery. They were under Egyptian rule for 430 years.

 What I find interesting is God told Abraham hundreds of years before that his people would go through this hardship. He further explained that He would personally have to deliver them. God told him this before Abraham had any children. Abraham believed God and was satisfied.

 The Israeli presence in Egypt began via of the enslavement of one of their family members named Joseph. Because of envy and jealousy Joseph’s 11 brothers wanted to kill him; but decided to sell him into slavery to some Ishmaelite traders heading to Egypt. They sold Joseph to Potiphar, a high official of Pharaoh, ruler of Egypt.  Joseph was just 17 years old when this happened to him. God had given Joseph the ability to interpret dreams. He was also committed to the God of his fathers. He knew that God was continually with him.  Whatever Joseph did God made it prosper. His masters prospered while he was in their service. They made Joseph the head overseer because of this. While in the service of Potiphar, Joseph was falsely accused of sexual misconduct by Potiphar’s wife.  As a result, he was put in prison. Even then the keeper of the prison recognized Joseph’s leadership ability and placed the entire prison under his supervision.  It was while he was serving in Pharaoh’s political prison that two of Pharaoh’s closest servants were placed in prison.  While there they both had dreams that really disturbed them.  Joseph interpreted both dreams accurately.  Later Pharaoh, himself, had two disturbing dreams.  He called for all the wise men of his court but they could not interpret his dreams.  Finally, Pharaoh’s cupbearer, who had been imprisoned by Pharaoh and was under Joseph’s care while imprisoned, remembered Joseph and how he interpreted his dream successfully.  He shared his experience with Pharaoh and Joseph was summoned to the court of Pharaoh. Joseph was 30 years old when he stood before Pharaoh. He interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh successfully. He explained that God was letting Pharaoh know that for seven years Egypt would have an overabundance of food. Then they would have seven years of famine. He suggested that Pharaoh pick out someone for the responsibility of food storage in preparation for the seven years of famine.  Pharaoh gave this responsibility to Joseph, thus making him second in command in the land of Egypt.

 Two years into the famine Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy food because the famine was very severe in Canaan. They did not recognize Joseph when they saw him. Joseph finally revealed himself to them. He also made special provision for the entire clan to come to Egypt so he could take care of them during the famine. There were 70 people who went down to Egypt and lived in the territory of Goshen. 430 years later there would be approximately 3 million leaving Egypt and heading for the Promised Land of Canaan. Joseph died at the age of 110 but before his death he made the tribal elders promise to take his bones with them when they returned to the land promised to them hundreds of years before.

 Years later, another Pharaoh came to power who knew nothing about Joseph. He became concerned that the Jews in Egypt were multiplying too fast.  They were a people who worshipped one God unlike the Egyptians who worshipped many gods. He decided to make them slaves. He killed the first born males by throwing them in the Nile River as a means of birth control. But the Jews kept multiplying. They were in a sad position—they could not free themselves from Egyptian bondage. THEY NEEDED A DELIVERER WITH SUPERNATURAL ABILITY.  Moses tried to in his own strength but failed.  He had to flee for his life.  Many years later the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would send Moses back to Pharaoh with one message: LET MY PEOPLE GO.  

 There were ten plagues that God used to convince Pharaoh that He meant business.  It is interesting to note that each plague mocked the Egyptian gods. 

  1. Hapi–god of the Nile -plague waters turned to blood.
  2. Heket–Fertility-Head of a frog-plague frog
  3. Geb–god of the earth dust-plague Lice.
  4. Khepri–god of creation-movement of the sun-rebirth-plague-swarm of flies.
  5. Hathor–goddess of love and protection–plague of death of cattle and livestock.
  6. Isis–goddess of medicine and peace-plague ashes turned to boils and sores.
  7. Nut–goddess of the sky-plague hail rained down in the form of fire.
  8. Seth–god of storms and disorder–plague-locusts sent from the sky.
  9. Ra–The sun god-plague–three days of complete darkness.
  10. Pharaoh–The ultimate Power of Egypt-the son of Ra manifested in the flesh–plague–death of all the first born of Egypt.

 Credit to:  Ten Egyptian Plagues for Ten Egyptian gods and goddesses by IN THE DOGHOUSE.COM.

 During the first nine plagues God, through Moses, did everything for the Jews’ emancipation.  He gave special protection from these 9 calamities to the Jews while plaguing the Egyptians. But to be protected during the last plague they had to be obedient and follow God’s instructions.  Their salvation was now in their hands.  Each household was to take an unblemished lamb and on a certain day slaughter in a special way. Then take the blood of the lamb and put it on the door posts of their home. They were to roast the lamb whole with all of its insides and no broken bones.  They had to eat unleavened bread and bitter herbs with it.  They were to have all of their clothes on and their things packed.  If any of the lamb was left they were to burn up the rest of the lamb up before morning.  That night they were to stay in the house and not go out until morning.  That night their God sent the angel of death throughout the land of Egypt and killed the firstborn child, including Pharaoh’s son. Their God promised that when the angel of death saw the blood on the doorposts of the houses the angel of death passed over that house and no one was killed.

Pharaoh immediately sent for Moses and commanded him to take the nation of Israel out of his country. They were given gold and silver and precious stones by the Egyptians and clothing for their many years of rigorous servitude. This is why Passover is the most important Celebration.

 Just as He had promised hundreds of years before the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob kept His promise to deliver them. He is the same God who promised to bless all who were a blessing to the descendants of Abraham. Again I state no one could claim this like the African American slaves.  They, however, did not receive the blessings due them.  I firmly believe this is available to us as their descendants. I believe the only way we will achieve true freedom and equal rights will be via His supernatural intervention on our behalf in remembrance of the African-American slaves to which so much is owed. I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS THEE.

 Your comments are welcome.

 Lucy Payne

LUCY

HAPPY 69TH BIRTHDAY TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL

 

And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:  Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Nehemiah 1:5-9

 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;  Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.

Ezekiel 39:27-29

 This month the nation of Israel is celebrating its 69th year of nationalism or should I say re-nationalism if there is such a term. After over 2,000 years in exile the Jews in May of 1948 became a nation again as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob promised He would do. Jews from the entire world are finally going back to the land they said their God gave them by helping them defeat the former inhabitants or the Canaanite or Amorite tribes who are descendants of Noah’s son Ham.

While they were seeking nationalism they had the backing of the United States. They have continually relied on this country for support in various areas in their attempt to remain a nation. America has been there for Israel. President Truman openly congratulated the nation on the day of its rebirth; thus causing other nations to respond positively to them.

The other countries surrounding the new nation vehemently opposed them and have been at war with them since its inception. In spite of all of this, the Nation of Israel has been helped by this country from its rebirth to the present.

Recently, former President Obama had been a great help to Israel by helping to build the IRON DOME SYSTEM giving the Jews greater protection against missile attacks from surrounding nations and terrorist groups who are opposed to them.

As I have stated before, this country could not have helped the Jews if it were not for the African Americans who built this country’s foundations via enslavement. We made freedoms available to them; freedoms that are still not available to us because of racial hatred. God has promised to bless all who are a blessing to Abraham and his posterity. No one, in my opinion, can measure up to the sacrifice made by the African American community who has blessed Israel and also the world.

AS STATED BEFORE HAPPY 69TH BIRTHDAY ISRAEL.

Your comments are welcome.

Lucy

Lucy Payne

BLACK HISTORY REVISITED

Deuteronomy Chapter 11 verses 18 and 19

 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Map of Israel

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I love it when it is Black History time.  To me it is a time for us to celebrate our many accomplishments as African Americans—the good and the not so good.  We need this time to evaluate our goals and directions.  We need to evaluate and determine what our strategies should be for future accomplishments.  

 More than anything we need to take the time to make sure our children know their history.  We need to make it a topic of continual discussion.  If we neglect to teach our children their history someone else will use their ignorance to their own advantage and our children’s disadvantage.  This is what the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob meant when He instructed the nation of Israel to be diligent in making their history, laws, beliefs, etc. known not only to themselves but to their children on a daily basis.

 Please note Genesis chapter 18 verses 18 and 19 which states:

 “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”

______________________________

My main focus is on our American enslavement.  I know this is a hard and bitter subject; but I believe that embodied in this cruel and unjust experience is a wealth of blessings that may revolutionize our lives today. We as African American slaves by building this country built a foundation for the nation of Israel and also the world.  These are the true so called (founding fathers) of America. As stated before we, as well as they, have never had the privilege of enjoying the fruit of our labor and ultimate sacrifice.

 The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob made a covenant promise of special blessings that we seek to experience and enjoy, all because  our enslavement have been a blessing to the Jewish people more than to any other people.

 Your comments are welcome.

Lucy PayneLucy

 

PROPHESY/PROPHECY

Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

I remember asking my Sunday school teacher how I could find out what the will of God was for my life. I had a certain love for the Lord Jesus and I was more than grateful for my salvation. I wanted to know more about how one could find out God’s perfect will for his or her life. My Sunday school teacher told me to read my Bible more and trust the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me by opening and closing areas in my life. My teacher emphasized the importance of having an attitude and a committed heart and a willingness to obey the Lord by allowing Him to direct you in every area of your life. You must surrender your life to Him completely.

Later in my life a minister pointed out about prophesy. Have you received a word of prophesy over your life. This minister stated he was having a particular serious problem that generated deep concern and doubt. To help him during this time the Lord reminded him of prophesy that was spoken over his life. This gave him the direction that he needed to pursue in answer to his dilemma. This proved to be the right steps to take.

As I thought about this I remember prophesy that was spoken to me years ago in my early twenties. I was taking a seminar. When I got the chance to speak to the seminar leader, I focused on the problems of the black community because of slavery. His response was, “Well slavery was just the white man’s sin.” Then he asked me my name. I told him, “Lucy.”  He said your name means light or bright. Maybe God wants you to be a light to your people as to the truth of His word. At first I felt he was just pushing me off; but my passion has grown even more over the years.  I want Godly answers to what we have had to face past, present, and future.

It is truly my burning desire to bring help, hope, and physical changes to our community for the better. I desire changes that cannot be taken away.

When the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob delivered the Jews from their Egyptian enslavement it was complete. As long as they were obedient to God they were protected and prospered.

This same God that promised to bless Abraham promised to bless all who are a blessing to Abraham and his descendants. I say this emphatically— no one in all the earth has blessed his descendants more than the African American community through our ancestral enslavement. They were never compensated for this. We who are their descendants have a claim before the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who made the promise. It is my firm belief that He, above all, wants to make this promise a physical reality.

As usual your comments are welcome

Lucy,

PASSIONATE ABOUT AFRICAN AMERICAN PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

slavery-today

OVER 400 YEARS AND CLIMBING!

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

St. John 4:34

  And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

St. John 21:25

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What are you passionate about in your life?  What do you care about to the point that you focus on it day and night? What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime? What are you willing to commit to fervently for the rest of your life to experience its success?

Growing up in the Payne home was not a good experience.  My parents argued and fought all the time.  We were very poor and our home was full of sickness.  I had Asthma very badly.  It was hard for my father to find and keep employment.  We were on Welfare, which was degrading and dehumanizing.

My father was a very abusive man to his children and his wife. On top of all this we experienced the destruction of our home by fire.  Even now when I think of this I get terribly emotional.  My parents were not at home and our lives were saved by my oldest sister. She was not asleep and she got all of us safely out of the house.

In the midst of all of this, there was one thing my parents made all of their children do—go to church and school.  No matter how raggedy our clothes were or how many holes were in our shoes, we had to go. Church and school were mandatory.

I loved the Bible stories about Jesus and how much He loved me in spite of everything.  Now I understand why the Gospel is supposed to be preached to the poor and downtrodden. The Gospel brings about a supernatural hope.  It creates faith over what you see, feel, hear or experience. It brings about an honest and true belief in your heart and imagination that all things are attainable no matter your situation.

Even now, as I look at the plight that we as African Americans continually face, I am convinced that our physical, emotional, spiritual, and economic salvation have already been accomplished in Jesus.  He has already made specific arrangements for all our needs according to His promise found in Genesis 12:3. But, like any benefit we must learn how to receive what has already been provided and use it wisely for our individual and collective betterment.

When the God of eternity made this promise to Abraham, I believe He also had our African American community in mind.  He knew that our enslavement would bring about enormous prosperity to the Jews and the rest of the world via this country. As I look at the various issues facing our community my passionate desire is to see this promise materialize in our everyday lives. 

Your comments are welcome.

Lucy Payne

Lucy

 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

happy-new-year_m1scbnu__l

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

I Samuel 30:6

 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psalms 43:5

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day can be a very hard and trying time. While it is good to know that you have been granted another year on God’s calendar, it can render you severely depressed if you have had a very hard and trying year prior to the new one.  So many times you just cannot see yourself enduring another year or you just do not have strength of mind to proceed further.

2016 was a very trying time for the American people as a whole because it was a presidential election year.  In my opinion all of the candidates were substandard and did not have answers to the problems that we as a nation are facing. Ultimately, and in my opinion, we had to make a choice between the lowest form of political filth and greed. Voters had to take courage and choose between the lesser of two evils.  Many decided not to participate at all. All are wondering what the next four years will produce under this new administration.  This concern on top of any other personal burdens is enough to bring about a deep depression.

I remember some time ago when I felt overwhelmed and I happened to mentioned it in a passing conversation.  I will never forget the response I received because the person knew that I believed in Jesus and had shared my faith and testimony openly. I was severely raked over the coals. What’s wrong with the faith that you say you have in Jesus. You say you are born again and have the Holy Ghost. You say Jesus can take care of you. Well what’s wrong now? Being depressed and now having to deal with this lack of compassion brings about a deep feeling of guilt and failure as a Christian on top of your depression. I believe that is why we have so many passive Christians. Instead of making disciples of all nations we keep our Savior personal.

Anyway for New Year’s I decided to reflect on all the positives that happened in 2016. This made me feel a little better. I then began to think of some goals that I wanted to accomplish for 2017. I started to come up with a plan in order to accomplish these goals. During this time two scriptures came to mind about facing depression. David and his men came back home and found that their wives and children had been carried off by the enemy. They had just come from fighting one battle and were too severely exhausted to go any further. David’s men wanted to kill him because of this situation. The scripture pointed out that DAVID DID NOT LOOK TO ANY MAN FOR HELP BUT HE ENCOURAGED HIMSELF IN THE LORD HIS GOD. HE ENQUIRED OF GOD FOR COUNSEL AS TO A PLAN OF ACTION. Following God’s leading David took as many men that he could and they were empowered to get all their families back and more. David not only returned everything to each man but he also shared equally all that was gained. He experienced depression and anxiety but instead of relying on man he embraced God even more than before.

As I meditated on these two scriptures and started to read the Bible I began to take heart. I began to think about the verse of scripture that I have been so passionate about: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:3). This passage contains a Godly promise that I believe holds the answer to many of the problems we as African Americans face in this country.  Just as David encouraged himself in God and obtained the victory needed. I believe this promise makes this same God available to us for victory. Happy New Year!

Your comments are welcome.

Lucy

Lucy Payne

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION IN RETROSPECT

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

~~Luke 2:10-11

christmas decoration

By the time Christmas 2016 came I found myself in a much better spirit.  The more I meditate on this scripture it becomes overwhelmingly apparent that we need the Savior.  Even when we have done our best in life there is always a feeling of insufficiency or lack. Something always seems to be missing. There is an emptiness that seems to stay with you. At least this is my experience.

I was very young when I reached out to Jesus for His salvation. I believe I was about 8 or 9 years old.  Anyway, putting my childlike faith and trust in the fact that Jesus came into this world to be my Savior I came to the front of my church and accepted Jesus as my own personal Savior from my sin nature and also the fact that I found myself practicing sin as a result. I asked Him to become the Lord or Boss of my entire life. I know this does not mean that I am a perfect Christian; but I am trusting in Jesus’ righteousness and His perfection.

Even now 60 years later as I look back on my life I can say Jesus has been faithful to me, for me, and through me. I am thankful that I committed my life to Him at a young age. He has kept me out of the many pitfalls that so many young people get trapped in and as a result mess up their lives.

I enjoyed this Christmas because I spent a lot of time reflecting on what I was able to accomplish because of the Lord Jesus Christ. I especially thank Him because I still have hope for my life in Him. In essence Jesus was born to save me from my sin and give me a future hope.

This is why that promise He made to Abraham means so much to me. We as African Americans have a lively hope in this one promise.

Your comments are welcome.

Lucy

Lucy Payne

THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY IN RETROSPECT

thanksgiving-dinner-image2

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

(I Thessalonians 5:18)

 “…neither were [they] thankful…”

(Romans 1:21)

This year my Thanksgiving celebration seemed very hard and trying.  I went through the motions of holiday preparation but my spirit was very heavy and full of deep future concerns. When I looked on Facebook and other social medias I could tell that I was not the only one feeling this way.

Cares comes to all of us especially in the African American community.  It seems like before you can take care of one thing successfully another pops up.  We as a community can never really exhale.  We seem to function on continual shortness of breath. Yes, somehow we continue to survive.  I don’t know about you but I am tired of just surviving.  In the midst of it all I desire to be victorious even if everything is against me. Let me be for myself by doing what is necessary to keep an atmosphere of success mentally and emotionally regardless of the situation.

The above scripture is something that God pointed out to me. “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God…”  Many times I find myself saying “Thank you” anyway. It’s not easy; and it does not mean your situation changes immediately. But it seems to put some control back in my hands or it may give me a thought on how to pray about my situation.

Many times I reflect on just how the slaves were able to endure over four hundred years of rigor. They had to create their own hope mentally and emotionally with some type of positive expectation.  If they could do this we should be able to be overcomers. I am sure God has granted us this ability also. I still see this one promise as our avenue of blessing.  We must learn the proper way of drawing from this account, which God has already prepared for the African American community.  He is a God who keeps His word. So, let’s cheer up!

Your comments are welcome

Lucy Payne

Lucy

THE DAY AFTER

depressed-person-in-silhouette

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

This election has been a horrible experience for all Americans.  I was looking on Facebook and many have equated the entire campaign and election to how we as a nation felt on 9/11.  The only thing that is different is the date is now 11/9.   To me 9/11 was a wakeup call for all of us as Americans.  I remember going into work that morning.  Nearly everyone in the office had strange looks on their faces.  My worker said a plane just accidentally flew into one of the twin towers in New York City.  She had a small television in her office and other workers were standing around watching.  I remember going over to her desk.  I looked at the television and saw a second plane fly into the second tower.  I remember saying that is not an accident this act was deliberate. My initial reaction to all of this was fear for my children whom I had just dropped off at school.  Were they in harm’s way? Should I leave work and get them out of school? How much food and water do I have at home? Do I need some dog food for Trixie and Raoul? How much money do I have in the bank? Should I draw it all out and let my bills bounce? How much charcoal do I have at home so that I can cook outdoors if the need arises due to a nationwide energy failure? What about candles or lanterns used for outdoors?  Finally, should I rush out a buy a gun to protect my family although I am fearful of guns? Which is the lesser of the two evils?

I again experienced this same fear and rampant emotionalism on 11/9 the day after the election. Even now I still deep concern.  I have noticed that many in the African American community who voted for this president-elect have had to justify why they cast such a vote knowing the type of person the president-elect appeared to be from his campaign. Many of these have been branded as enemies or betrayers within our ranks. I also found out that the other candidate received the most popular votes; more than the president-elect.  Then, too, we have found out that a large number of votes were suppressed or not counted, and there were threats to voters by many of the hate groups.  Knowing the so-called friendship that this president-elect has with the Russian leader sometimes you wonder did he secretly have them hack our election computer system in his favor.  After all it was stated he made a jester for them to hack our system to find the lost emails of his opponent during his campaign.  It does make you wonder what the real deal is; and where do you go from here or what can you do about this mess.

It is interesting to note that for weeks after 9/11 the churches all over the nation were packed.  Recently on Facebook everyone seemed to be talking about relying on God due to the 11/9 after the election results.  All you saw on Facebook was God is still in control.  It is good that we do know where to turn. Needless, to say there is still so much discouragement and depression in the African American community. When you consider what we have had to face or have been continually subjected to, no matter who’s in office you can understand our deep concern and our vulnerability.

One of the things I love about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is that no matter how hopeless the situation or how desperate the need He will and has always founded a means of deliverance for His people.  In fact when you read about the enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt God told Abraham this would happen and that He, their God would deliver them.  He also promised to bless those who blessed His people. He is the God of His word no matter what and He has the power to deliver.

Your comments are always welcome.

Lucy

Lucy Payne

I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS THEE – PART 3

011-peter-cornelius

Acts Chapter Ten – KJV

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.  He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:  And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,  And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:  Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends. And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?  And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.  And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

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This was the promise the God of the universe made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3.  Thus far we have looked at scriptural stories of people who received special attention based on this promise. It is interesting to note they were the most unlikely individuals. In other words they were people who were not Jewish nor were they Abraham’s descendants or particularly religious. They did, however, receive a special blessing because of what they did and how their actions blessed the Jews.

It is interesting to note that at the beginning of church age there were only Jewish people.  In order to get the disciples of Jesus Christ to include non-Jews the God of the Universe gave a special vision to Peter the apostle.  At the same time this God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gave a special vision to a non-Jew by the name of Cornelius who was a Roman Centurion stationed in Israel who was still under Roman control.

In the 10th chapter of Acts, Cornelius was fasting and praying.  During this time an angel came to him stating God had heard his prayers and seen his abundant alms giving to the Jewish people.  God acknowledged that Cornelius was a devout God-fearing man.

Here again we see the fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3  God, through His angelic messenger told Cornelius to send for the Apostle Peter to tell him what Cornelius’ inner most being truly longed for.  He desired to know God in a more true and personal way.  He was, however, a Gentile, a non-Jew.  He did not have what was required in order for him to enter in to this type of relationship.  God made all of what he truly desired available to him through a special encounter.  Peter the apostle came to him and presented to Cornelius the only way of salvation through the finished work of Jesus Christ alone referred to as the new birth or being born again.

Again the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob honored His word/promise.  It is interesting to note that this encounter ushered in a new era.  As stated before, at its inception the church of Jesus Christ contained only Jewish members.  But after Cornelius’ conversion the Jews began to preach the gospel message to Gentiles as well. Today the church of Jesus Christ is mainly made up of non-Jews.

Your comments are more than welcome.

Lucy