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Green With Envy

Happy Friday!  Hope you had a great week!

In my personal devotion and prayer time this week, the scripture in Psalms 37:1, “…..and neither be thou ENVIOUS against those who do wrong” kept coming back to me replaying in my head.  It got me to really thinking about ENVY.  Envy is considered to be one of the Seven deadly sins of the Catholic Church. In the Book of Genesis envy is said to be the motivation behind Cain murdering his brother, Abel, as Cain envied Abel because God favored Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s.  Envy can derail your drive, focus, and motivation if you let it.

How many of us have heard the old saying, “Green with envy.”  That saying is so true because although envy can’t change your color, if you let it rule you, it changes the essence of who you are.  Coveting what others have going for them is still alive and well. And we’re all susceptible to it. No one is immune. An interesting thought I had, is that it is rare to hear someone preach or teach about the things in our life that are not readily seen (the invisible sins..as I call it).

Here are a few things that I’ve learned over the years that will eradicate envy:

1. Recognize and accept your own worth before God and embrace the uniqueness of your gifting. Many times we fail to see our own value and worth because we are focused on others who we are just as gifted and talented as no less but can see it.  Note Paul’s words on this:

Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way – the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair? The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.  You are Christ’s body – that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything (1 Corinthians 12:21-27).

2. Remember that you have no idea about the sufferings that the person you’re envying faces behind closed doors. You may want to trade your life for theirs on the surface, but if you knew their problems and sufferings, you’d quickly change your mind and thank God for the life that you have.  We actually could be envying something that would be very painful for us if we were in that person shoes.

3. Reassess what you’re coveting. I hear a lot of young people say things like, “I wish I could preach like he does.” Or, “I wish I could write like she does.” Or, “I wish I had their kind of money.”

By contrast, I’ve heard very few people say things like: “I wish I would witness more like they do” or “Win souls to christ like they do” or “I wish I knew the Lord like he does.” Or, “I want to respond to my enemies with the kind of grace that she does.” Or, “I wish I could consistently return good for evil like they do.”

If you want to envy something, don’t envy a person’s gifts, platform, or possessions. Covet the way they know the Lord and the way they exhibit Him in their treatment of others.  That is how you eradicate envy.

Charles Spurgeon once said
The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of the divine presence, worshiping God and communing with Him all the day long, however long the day may seem. True religion lifts the soul into a higher region, where the judgment becomes more clear and the desires are more elevated. The more of heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we shall covet. The fear of God casts out envy of men.”

 

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

PayDay Is Coming!

Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. Proverbs 24:27

I grew up in the pentectostal church and, growing up,  I remember the church members during devotion or testimony service sing “Put your time in…PayDay is coming afterwhile.”  It made me think of what that song really meant….We have all seen the results of hard work. We have seen people who have applied themselves to their work and their craft and seen the benefits that hard work yields. Many times seeing the things that have come from hard work can be incredibly inspirational, prompting us to redouble our efforts at our craft. We rightly believe that if we put in the time and the effort we too can reap the same types of rewards. We know that through diligence we can have the large house, the cars, the summer homes and maybe even the boat. So we plug along waiting to see the payoff or that Big Payday at the end of the hard work. The problem is sometimes we confuse the order of how the process works.

Sometimes we run into problems because we miss the process and only see the results. To have the end results others have you have to remember that they only got it at the end, not the beginning or the middle. They had worked, toiled and struggled to become successful before they got the trappings of success. Many times we become discouraged along the way because we are not seeing the results soon enough. Always remember that you can’t compare your beginning or middle to someone else’s end. When they were working to get where they are now, there was a time when they were exactly where you are right now.

Don’t get discouraged on the way to the end of the road. The process is designed for you to get the rewards at the end. We have to work on our craft, study hard, apply elbow grease and then begin to see the payoff. If we got the rewards in the middle we would never finish the process. So as you work, struggle and sacrifice to build something always remember what you are building now, will be how you get the rewards later on. You can rest assured…Payday is Coming!

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Missing Piece

“For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 8:25
There are times in life when we know we are going to be victorious. We know we have done everything in our power to ensure that we will walk away with the victory. We have studied, prepared, sacrificed and we know that we are on top of our game. We are prepared with a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and a contingency plan with each of those. We are confident, but not cocky, prepared but not over prepared, relaxed and ready for what we know will be the best day of our lives. With all of that we walk in and know in a few hours our goal will be achieved. The stars are aligned and we know how it is going to turn out, and then somehow it doesn’t go our way leaving us to ponder what went wrong.  Have you ever wondered, after all my preparation things still don’t go as I planned!!??

In all of our preparation, planning and plotting we often miss that nothing is ever a done deal until it is a done deal. Many times when we have done all we can we think that there is nothing left to do. No matter how hard we may try, the simple fact is there are things beyond our control. We can and must prepare, work, plan and sacrifice, but the missing ingredient in any true victory is the favor of the Lord. The true difference between victory and defeat in life is the favor of the Lord. We can do all that we are able to do but true victory will always rest in the hands of the Lord. God’s will added to our work is the missing ingredient in success.

On this Tuesday take the time to find the Lord before you find the plan. When you put the Lord first he blesses your labor, your struggle and your sacrifice because you begin to align your work with His will. When your work aligns with His will He gives you the missing piece of His favor. The favor of God is what makes the difference between equal proposals, equal resumes, and equal work. You can do all you can do, but there is alway something that only the Lord can do. So today, find your way to the Lord, and you will the missing piece, His favor.

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Accept What God Allows

Good morning, I was reading the 11, 12 & 13th chapters of Job in my devotional time this morning.  I remember thinking to myself…Lord why am I reading this book?” Now if I was not obedient to His Sovereignty over my life I would have missed this blessing I am about to tell you of. It pays to LET GOD LEAD. A daily surrendered heart to the finished work at Calvary keeps God in the leadership position. It also keeps me engaged in a conqueror lifestyle.

Job’s life exemplifies the value of a consistent presence of HOPE. He lost everything -wife, kids, job, home, good health, friends etc. – with no prior warning. It just happened to him, one loss after another. To make matters worse, he had 3 associates coming to him with various ideologies that supposed the idea they knew why Job’s life fell apart. Throughout all of the hardships Job encountered, he maintained an attitude of HOPE and EXPECTANCY.

Now that seems pretty significant to me. I can understand the devastating blows life can hit you with. That can be severe in nature. Job is the prime example of how to ACCEPT WHAT GOD ALLOWS. You see ACCEPTANCE is the answer to all my problems. We have a glaring lesson in the book of Job that supports the thought. All of the loss Job sustained WAS ALLOWED BY GOD. There was a bigger picture available for us to understand. Job’s losses were directly related to a Spiritual lesson between God and the enemy. Job, his wife and children, all of Job’s associates mentioned in the book only had an awareness for what they could see – A LIMITED PERSPECTIVE AT BEST. Yet Job had the willingness to TRUST God in his uncertainty. Why? JOB KNEW GOD IS SOVEREIGN. This is the type of faith in God you must have, because many people will only see you from their perspective or level of experience or exposure for that matter!

There is a knowing that you must have that  stands on the word that the Apostle Paul wrote to the people at Corinth, in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Remembering Elisha

This past week has been much of a whirlwind to say the least.  I just returned from Orlando Florida where 8 of our leaders from our Church went to Bishop TD Jakes’ Pastors & Leaders’ Conference.  What an amazing time we experienced.  The conference was absolutely phenomenal, had an opportunity to catch with old ministry friends, and colleagues, and learn from some insightful speakers and session leaders.

While in Orlando, I received a message that a dear friend and colleague in ministry, Pastor Wilma Yellock had passed away, then later that night, I received a call from my Aunt that my little 3 year old cousin Elisha had been rushed to hospital and things weren’t looking good.  Unfortunately not long after, I received the news that Elisha has passed away into the arms of the Lord.  Thoughts of Elisha will be filled with memories of his laughter, his love of Toy Story, his cheeseburgers with Ketchup only :-)…But God is Faithful!

What do you say after that type of news?  I was reminded of the scripture in James, that says, “WHEREAS YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN TOMORROW. FOR WHAT IS YOUR LIFE? IT IS EVEN A VAPOR THAT APPEARS FOR A LITTLE TIME AND THEN VANISHES AWAY.” (JAMES 4:14)  Our life is but a vapor, and many times we spend all of our energy, our time, our money, our efforts on things that never exhaust all of the potential that God placed within us.  We only a limited time on this earth, so while we are here make the best of it.  For we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.  But we must continue to trust in the sovereign will of God.  Most of will never be able to understand or comprehend losing a child and so young, But our ways and thoughts are not those of God.”

Take a moment today and say to yourself, if my life is but a vapor, what am I allowing to vaporize my life that has no meaning?  Maybe you need to pick up the phone and tell that person you argued with ‘I love you’ or take the time to send a card or a quick email, What about the person that does so much for you….have you told them thank you.  In the final moments of your life….Will people be able to say that their life had meaning? Will you be able to say that you exhausted all of your potential?  Will people reflect on the beauty and sunshine you brought to their lives?  Or will your life just be vaporized by all the things that never last anyway?

This week, I have in the incredible honor and yet difficult task of Officiating Elisha’s celebration of life…Please keep me, our family, his mother, and his grandparents in their prayers.  Pray for strength, peace of mind, and most importantly healing! Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal! (2 Corinthians 1)  If you would like to contribute to the family please do so by clicking here ——>Elisha Josiah Axson Jones

May The Peace of God be With You Today!
Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Success Comes With a Price

Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit. Proverbs 12:12

Many times when we achieve success we don’t realize that there are unintended prices to success. We have seen people become incredibly wealthy, and not be prepared for the onslaught of “charitable” requests that come with people knowing you’re wealthy. We have seen people of extraordinary athletic ability not be prepared to become role models and live up to the character expectations that are forced upon them by their adoring fans. Success comes with it’s own rewards, but success also always comes with it’s own unintended consequences.

The one place that most of us do not expect to find consequence is with the people who are on our sides. Unfortunately, when you become successful there will sometimes be people who have been along for the ride who become jealous of what you have achieved. While you were working and struggling together at the same level all was well, but when you got the promotion that put you at a level they were yet to achieve, you found that those who were at one time your friends have now become your biggest detractors. They begin to believe that you have changed, and you are not like you used to be now that you have moved on up. In some cases the accusation makes us wonder if success really has changed us.

The truth of the matter is success’s largest unintended consequence is not that it changes you, but it will shine a light on other people. There are some people who are only comfortable while you struggle together. But when you no longer struggle, they either feel entitled to your blessings and your success or they change.  When you both have the same goals and dreams you can be the best of friends, but can you remain friends after you succeed. A true friend does not become jealous when you succeed but rather cheers for you and keeps on their game knowing that success is possible. Please understand that you can only truly be in relationship with people who are riding the same wave you are on. Being on the same wave does not mean that you have achieved the same success or the same status but that you are both on the same side. When you have people who are on your side and you are on their side it does not matter who has the most or who has the least, you appreciate each other simply for who you are.   So don’t worry if success will change you or not, just pray that it won’t change the people around you. Be Successful!

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Functional Dysfunction

Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice. Proverbs 23:9

Have you ever had the feeling that your words were just not getting through to someone? You see their problem, and you know the solution that will get them to what they say is their desired result. So as a friend, you venture to explain step by step what they should do, how to do it, and what will happen if they follow your fool-proof instructions. You feel like you have done a good thing having helped a friend solve a problem that they had been dealing with for quite some time. Later on you get the startling phone call that they somehow have gotten into the same place that they were before because they did the opposite of what you advised them to do. They ask you for advice, again. The cycle beings, again. You know where this will end up, AGAIN.

The truth is that we often miss is some people actually like being dysfunctional. Or what i Like to call functional dysfunction.  People who only can function in the midst of dysfunction.  If nothing is going wrong then things are not normal.  While that may seem insane, look at the evidence. You know people who never listen to the advice that will get them out of their issues, they just do the same thing and hope for a different result. They do stuff that won’t work, but seem blissfully happy while trying the latest and greatest scheme that does the same thing as the last scheme and predictably fails miserably. Then they come to cry on your shoulder, and you patch them back up. The problem is they leave feeling better and you wind up frustrated. Frustrated because, you know that it is only a matter of time before they will be back with the same problem, and you will give the same solution for them to ignore.

Now is the time for you to do something different. Stop trying to advise people who are not listening. If they are not on listening terms with good advice you should not be on speaking terms with giving them good advice. The truth of the matter is people who are invested in their dysfunction are just wasting your time. It does not make you a bad person if you accept that trying to help them is just frustrating you. It makes you someone smart enough to look for a fertile ground to plant your seeds of wisdom. Don’t worry what they will think when you stop advising them, they aren’t listening anyway.

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Uncategorized