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.”

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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

 

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!

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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

THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY IN RETROSPECT

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“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

EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!

Below is a post I did on Facebook to my family and relatives on Facebook.

i-voted

 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Deuteronomy 30:19, 20

Good morning Shephard Clan.  Please allow me to share something that has been on my heart for some time.  I have noticed many of your comments about your faith and trust in God and how He has been blessing each and every one of you.  Your testimonies are encouraging and that is the reason why I believe your vote should reflect your absolute loyalty to the God you say you love and honor and serve.    We cannot afford to be ‘mouthy’ Christians only to let our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ down or sell Him out just for our perceived comfort.  The way our government is set up this election will have far reaching effects on our lives, our children’s lives, and definitely on our constitutional freedoms and our right of choice for the next hundred years or for the rest of this century.
I will be the first to admit that our choice of candidates leaves much to be desired.  However, we are duty bound to pick the candidate who will best serve and support the Bible and the claims of Jesus Christ on our lives.  We are supposed to fulfill the great commission that Jesus gave to each and every one of His followers. The past eight years have been a hindrance to this.  The body of Christ the church has been under attack under the label of being tolerant or intolerant.  The Constitution has been used to attack our personal freedoms especially if you are a Christian.  Please note it was the JUDAEO-CHRISTIAN laws, ideology, and beliefs that emphasized personal rights and freedoms for all.  These rights were God given rights.  Now under the so called Living Constitution these are no longer God given but have been reduced to what the government will allow you as your rights and the way the high courts interprets the Constitution if they consider your case at all.  Remember you have to have money for even this procedure.  I say all of this because I believe it is time for a definite change. In considering all of what’s at stake Donald Trump would be our best choice.  I know he leaves a whole lot to be desired but I believe he is open for suggestions.  Once he steps into this high office and the pressure hits him I truly believe he will change.  Another thing that is in his favor is he has paid for his own campaign.  That means he does not have a lot of interest groups he has to satisfy.  Unlike Hilary who owes favors to a lot of people that she must pay back. More than likely the present administration was also faced with interests groups who contributed to his campaign budget.  Maybe that is why our needs and interests have not been properly represented during the past eight years.  Although he received the overwhelming majority of our vote, apparently, that was not enough.  I firmly believe this will be the case with the present Democratic candidate.  Hilary has already stated her commitment agenda.  I personally believe we as Christians and also African Americans can’t afford the next four years under a Democratic administration. It is time for a definite change.

I heard a story about a black woman who was a slave in the north.  When she heard parts of the constitution she set out to obtain her freedom because she saw where her enslavement violated the Constitution of the United States.  She ultimately won her freedom based on the merits of the Constitution. Now this same Constitution is being interpreted to the point where personal rights and freedoms are almost non- existent.  If one feels you have used let’s say your freedom of speech you can be sued.  You will then have to go to court to fight such a case.  What common person has the finances to fight such a case?  Our Christian churches are under heavy scrutiny in this area.  At one point Ministers were asked to surrender their written sermons to city officials before they could preach them. All of this was started under this Democratic administration and it will continue as part of their future agenda.

Whoever occupies the White House for the next four years will have the responsibility of picking new Supreme Court Judges.  This is very, very important as these justices serve for a lifetime. Usually when they make a ruling based on their interpretation of the Constitution, it becomes the law of the land.  Such ruling like the right to an abortion— giving a woman the right to terminate her pregnancy if that is her personal desire. The so called Marriage Equality ruling supposedly based on our Constitution was made by this high court and, therefore, became law.  Now the issue is if you have had a sex change what public bathroom you are supposed to use.

The Dred Scott Supreme Court decision along with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution should help all of us take this presidential election in a more serious manner when it comes to choosing new Supreme Court justices.  These choices will not only affect us but our children and grandchildren.  Their future hangs in the balance. It was the 13th amendment that was drawn up to end slavery in the United States.  However, read and pay attention to the clause that talk about being a criminal as it relates to slavery. Think of the prison population here in the United States, currently.  How many of our people were in jail that DNA testing had to prove their innocence after years of incarceration.
The Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott a slave is still a slave whether in a slave state or a Free State or territory.  They also stated that African-Americans are not and would never be citizens of the United States of America.  Please think about this when you cast your vote.

As always I invite your comments.

 

Lucy Payne
Lucy

BIRTHDAY/VACATION

“And he [Jesus] said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while…” (Mark 6:31)

 

46757084-birthday-cake-pic

September is my birthday month.  Feeling tired for some time I decided to take a break from EVERYTHING.  I went to Durham, North Carolina for a two day healing conference. It has been a long time since I have been on a plane— approximately sixteen years. It was an interesting experience to see how the entire flying procedure has changed. Anyway, I am happy to report that I made it through that entire adventure coming and going. I enjoyed the conference very much. I also made new friends who I found out are deeply committed to the claims of Jesus Christ.  One in particular gave me a surprise birthday gift. giftbox I was so overwhelmed with joy and love. We did exchange email addresses. Needless to say, this was the highlight of my trip. I especially enjoyed my motel room. I found myself resting more, mainly due to the absence of my grandchildren jumping in my bed.

I feel everything would have continued on a happy note if I had not turned on the television in my room. Again, I was brought back to the reality of the ills that black people face, and that is the killing of our young men by the police.  Charlotte, North Carolina was in an uproar with rioting and demonstrations over a recent shooting presently under investigation.

Civil Rights Activist and Comedian Mr. Dick Gregory made a very interesting statement. He said when you think of all the black policemen in our nation thousands of black policemen and yet we do not hear of them shooting a white person. We as black people are plagued with this problem all over the nation by policemen shooting black people, in particular black males. Needless to say my heart became troubled again while enjoying my mini vacation. 

It is still my firm belief that our answer to our many problems that we face as African Americans descendants of slaves can only be resolved supernaturally. Many of the problems we face remind me of the Egyptian bondage faced by the descendants of Abraham.  Beforehand, God told Abraham about this stating He would have to deliver them from this bondage. It is the same with us here in America. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will have to bring about our deliverance. In fact, I believe He has already accomplished this. We, however, must learn how to appropriate what He has already accomplished for us based entirely on His promise and grace.

I returned from my vacation reaffirming my commitment to learn just how to appropriate God’s blessing for the benefit of my people.

Your comments are welcome.

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

I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS THEE – PART 2

 

Luke 7 Roman Centurion and his servant

Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.  And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.  And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.  And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, that he was worthy for whom he should do this:  For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.  Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:  Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.  For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.  When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.              -Luke 7:1-10

Another biblical story that demonstrates this wonderful promise is found in the above book of Luke in the New Testament or covenant.  In this scripture, the history of Israel has changed.  They are no longer under Babylonian dominion but under Roman captivity.  This was a very painful and harsh time in the life of the Nation of Israel.  The people were still looking for their Messiah or king to come forth and deliver them from Roman tyranny.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ was now on the scene. He did many wonderful works and miracles of healings, but His message was different.  He made claims that He was the Son of God, meaning He was equal with God the Father.  With all His power and ability Jesus made no moves against the Romans.  In fact as far as the religious leaders were concerned He broke the Mosaic Laws especially when He performed miracles of healing on the Sabbath day.  There continued to be friction between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders and elders.  Jesus was not doing what they felt a king of Israel or their Messiah was supposed to do; and therefore; they rejected Him and His message.  They sought to destroy Him and constantly looked for a way to do it.

 

What is interesting to note is that this story is about a slave, a servant.  This servant was very sick and in deep pain.  His master loved him and did not want him to die.  His master was a Roman Centurion who heard about the many wonderful works, miracles, and healings that Jesus performed.  He was afraid to come to Jesus on his own because he was not a Jew. By rights he would be considered an enemy of the Jews because he was a Roman with power and authority over them. Desperate to get help for his servant who he loved, the Centurion went to the Jewish elders in his district that he was responsible for. He asked them to approach Jesus to see if He would come to help his servant.  Although they were at odds with Jesus, the elders approached Him on behalf of the Centurion’s servant.  They stated that the Centurion was worthy of this because he had shown a certain love for the Jewish nation and had built them a synagogue.  Remembering the ancient promise, Jesus immediately started walking to the home of the Roman Centurion.

 

The Roman Centurion knew about power and authority because he exercised his power and authority everyday over the soldiers as well as his servants.  He related this understanding to Jesus recognizing the authority Jesus had.  Still feeling unworthy to ask Jesus to come under his roof he asked Jesus to speak the word only and my servant will live. Needless to say Jesus was astonished at the faith of this Roman Centurion.

 

When the elders got back to the home of the Centurion they found the servant perfectly whole. The love the Centurion had previously shown the Jews by building them a synagogue brought about the healing of his servant. God always honors His word.

 

If we as African Americans in this country hope to get much needed help, it must be supernatural.  God is the only one who can do it.

 

Your comments are most welcome.

 

Lucy