Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Seeing pictures of my granddaughter's prom last night stirred up memories from forty-eight years ago when I was in the sixth grade. Middleton Attendance Center was an all black school comprised of first thru twelfth graders - massive. Each year, every grade level voted for a princess with a twelfth grader as the reigning queen. I voted for my friend, Sherry, because she was clearly the most beautiful girl in all of elementary with locks that hung magnificently down her back, shiny white teeth, pleasant smile enhanced by dimples to live for - always dressed nicely. Did I say she was also one of the most brilliant?
To my surprise, Sherry voted for me and so did, apparently, most of our classmates because I won. SHOCK and AWE - for real! I had no expectations - was not even in the running. How could they make a terrible mistake like that? I was a keen student but in my opinion, not even pretty. Honestly, I was rather homely looking. My mother dressed me nicely, but bless her heart; she could not do hair - that didn't help. She was so horrible at it that I started doing it myself in fourth grade - at nine years of age. LOL! It still looked terrible but was an improvement and got better over time.
In a special school assembly, the winners were all escorted to the stage wearing our glamorous gowns, long white gloves - arms resting on the arms of our escort. For this special ocassion, my parents took me to the salon to get my hair done, but mama, unfortunately, allowed daddy to take me shopping for my shoes. I'm not sure what possessed her to do that. I could not believe my eyes. Daddy bought me penny loafers. Who does that? PENNY LOAFERS - to wear with my elegant teal gown that mama bought. The two of them were total opposites. The suits hanging in daddy's closet were from forty years prior - no fashion sense whatsoever. On the other hand, mama had a great fashion sense. Even though fashionista was not a word back then, she was definitely the epitome of it. Showing my displeasure to daddy would not have been to my benefit so silently, I suffered embarrassment and hoped that my formal dress would distract from my black loafers. That was going to be a little impossible ascending the stairs to the stage, which seemed to rise forever. With no other options, I had to smile and bear it.
Homecoming night, they chauffeured us to an illuminated football field. Since mama took me shopping for this one, I was pleased with my outfit.
To this day, it's mind-boggling that the classes voted for me. I remember seeing Sherry's face and the biggest smile radiating from it when the announcement came. I can't say it was a dream come true because I never dreamed of it. However, it was a rewarding experience and a pleasant memory in spite of the 'walk of shame' down the aisle in loafers.
In life, we will experience many 'walks of shame' with many regrets - wishing that we could rewind and start over. The good news is when we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we can start fresh and new. He experienced the greatest 'walk of shame', 'The Via Dolorosa' - the painful way. His grief was the most painful and shameful of all as he struggled through on the street in Jerusalem - carrying his cross for his crucifixion. He was hung up for our hang ups.
Isaiah 54:4 Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
We may not always completely forget the embarrassing moments whether minor mishaps or major sinful regrets; we still have the covering of the Lord who casts our past away from us when we throw our lives at his feet. He suffered shame, so we don't have to.
Sherry and I reconnected the year my daughter passed in 2015. She found me and was very comforting - even more so when I learned that she met my daughter, KaShanta when she worked as a beauty consultant at the mall while attending college. I never knew that. Before passing, she started The KaShanta Sims Foundation
which will help cancer victims look and feel beautiful in spite of their diagnosis.
My classmate is just as beautiful today - inside and outside - always smiling - speaking an encouraging word. She is a fulfillment of the scripture. In my estimation, she so deserved to be the winner, but she preferred me over herself. I'm still humbled by the experience. I felt so undeserving of the gift that was so freely given to me.
What a wonderful world it would be if we all adopted the attitude of Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.
That is exactly what Jesus did. He preferred our freedom over his agony so much so that he laid down his life so that we could pick ours up.
PEACE! Jesus declared that the kingdom of God is at hand, meaning here with us now. It has arrived. Jesus (the second Adam) ushered the kingdom of God to earth once again -- righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. We know that the Father is absolutely soverign and that Jesus is the King of Kings (us). Every king has subjects
- under his authority and control. As such, we owe allegiance to Jesus as our supreme ruler. We are the Royal Loyals in his domain. Loyal subjects seek to bring pleasure to their ruler.
Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."
Seek God!! Seek means to pursue or be pre-occupied with. We have to pursue submission. In Matthew 6:33, the word seek in the Hebrew means 'WORSHIP'. Wow! Seek means to worship God. Let me say it backwards, Wow! Oftentimes we are guilty of seeking the things of God (what's in His hands) as opposed to seeking the face of God and what's in His heart.
The Difference between Religion and the Kingdom
Religion seeks the things of God. Religion is often manifest in rituals - on the outside. It is a substitute for the Kingdom. In direct contrast, the Kingdom is on the inside. It's really not necessary to seek things when we are heirs in His Kingdom, because really all things (from basic necessities to prosperity) are inherent. Our Master didn't even say pray for it, though we often do. He said it would be added as a result of our seeking first the Kingdom.
We are thus ambassadors or Servant Leaders, if you will. What is an ambassador? An official agent with a special mission. An Ambassador is the highest ranking diplomatic representative appointed by a government to represent that government in another country. We are in this world but not of it. We are in heavenly places in Christ according to Ephesians 1:3.
Scripture also states in Isaiah 58:14, Then shalt thou delight (delight - to submit to God and be happy about it) thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob, thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. This is a direct result of keeping the fast that God has chosen.
2 Corinthians 5:20 says, 'Now, then we are ambassadors for Christ"... If that be the case then we have to preach the Kingdom to all the world as his messengers. Matthew 9:35, "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." We are to go and do likewise. Mark 16:15, And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)
Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost is the good news, the Kingdom of God! As servant leaders, the most important thing we can do in the earth is preach the gospel to those who are lost and in need of the savior. Everything that we need is in Him!
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life to which you were summoned
and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before
many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the Good Fight
never let the enemy force you to back down
Continue to fight the good fight of faith if you desire to wear a crown
As believers, don't go through hell on earth and miss the rapture
Satan has only a little time remaining before his long awaited capture
We need to live everyday like we were dying
We can't go on passing people who are hurting and crying
When we die daily to self, Christ is richly alive in us
So search for wondering souls who are lost in the Kingdom, it's a must
Wear all your armor given every single day
In spiritual warfare, fight to kill, that's how you keep the devil at bay
It's time to do war on the flesh
so it won't be the one thing that keeps knocking us
March bravely around the enemy's camp
and watch the walls fall down when you
Satan's playing for keeps
and ultimately his mission is to destroy our very
Let's fall down on our knees and go before the throne room in repentance
Christ is waiting,
waiting for His warriors to take their rightful place
And give the kingdom of darkness a big blow to the face
Hit the enemy in his weakest spot by constantly reminding him of what's to come
Continue to fight the good fight of faith soldier, for the battle is already won
I have fought the good [worthy, honorable, and noble] fight, I have finished
the race, I have kept [firmly held] the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
"THE ONLY THING YOU CAN DO ABOUT YESTERDAY TODAY IS - MAKE SURE YOU DON'T WASTE TOMORROW".
Bishop Ken Sims
Your past has nothing to do with your future. Now, I know there are those who would argue the point. I'm not saying that your past isn't important. It is in the sense that we should be thankful to God for covering us with his grace, but most of us are bound by our past.
There's a story told about a young elephant that was chained to a stake in the ground by an eight-foot chain. This was part of the training required for him to perform in the circus. Whenever the young elephant would feel a slight resistance from the chain, he would spontaneously stop tugging. This continued over into his adult life. When he weighed several tons, he was yet bound by that same stake in the ground. The point is: that elephant was strong enough and well able to free himself but was still bound by his past.
Stop and think! Are you like that elephant on an eight-foot chain? Many of us are so bound by our past. We fear the future because of the past. Listen! Life is so short. You cannot afford to think back. Those who think back, go back. Don't drag your past around with you. Cut yourself free and discover the possibility of succeeding.
FORGETTING THE PAST
Paul, the apostle stated in Philippians 3:12-14, "Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (AMP)
Notice! Paul states, first of all, that he counted not himself to have arrived at perfection but that he was able to forget his past. That puts him right smack in the present. That's the position in time I want to focus on - the present.
Most of us fail before we give it a try. Often, our mentality is: if I try this, sudden death is inevitable. We've been trained by our surroundings and negative people to fail before we make an attempt. I call that a lack of faith.
First, we must learn that the most important moment in our lives is NOW. Hebrews 11:1 states, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". Secondly, we must not be afraid to make decisions. It is in making decisions that we become airborne for reaching our goals in life.
Every thing that we see with our natural eyes came from a realm that we cannot normally see into. There are things about the spirit world that we would rather not acknowledge but that will never make them go away.
If you have ever experienced terror from things that go bump in the night, this broadcast is for you. This is the third interview that I've had with our dear friend, Rob McConnell, Executive Producer of the 'X'Zone Show, an internationally syndicated program heard around the world. You will learn how you can gain the victory over these tormenting entities.
An unfamiliar long distance number rang at our house this morning. On the other end was an apologetic manager, who gently approached me regarding an unfortunate incident that took place revolving around our now deceased daughter, KaShanta. It happened on the morning of the day she passed.
I knew on June 11, 2015 that it would be an inevitable trek down 'forgive them lane' so I did - by faith. Periodically, I would be tormented by reliving the incident and being unable to suppress it. Retreating to my prayer closet in worship and praise would lift me up for a season. However, my inner conflict continued unresolved. Another two months would go by and I would be confronted with it yet again.
Finally, on February 11, 2016, I started writing a letter in hopes that it would act as a systemic cleansing for me and I would no longer be haunted by this ghost of my past - figuratively speaking. At the time, I was unaware that it had been exactly eight months since KaShanta's death. That unveiling came after the letter was sent. I believe numbers are of significance to God. On numerous occasions, He has used them to confirm and reveal things to me. According to my studies, the number eight is for new beginnings. It was definitely indicative of a new beginning for me.
The director, of the same company, called an hour after the manager did to apologize for the agony that our family was experiencing. There is really nothing that they can say that will change anything, but at least, they showed genuine concern, which spoke volumes to me.
Last week, I was gathering information for The KaShanta Sims Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, when I heard the Spirit of the Lord say, "Forgive!" I stopped typing, repeated the word, "Forgive" and said, "Yes, Lord, I do". At the time, I wasn't aware that he was not speaking of forgiving others, but of forgiving myself.
Many pray according to Matthew 6:12 without understanding what it means. We are really telling the Lord not to forgive us if we don't forgive those who wronged us. No one has ever suffered the things that Jesus did in His body, soul and spirit - at the hand of men. Yet, He humbled himself, forgave His creation, and prayed for them. As the greatest example who ever walked on the planet, inhabited the heavens, or descended to the depths of the earth, He has earned the right to tell us to do as he has done.
Forgiving does not mean that you will forget everything. Nor does it mean that you now have to become bosom buddies with the perpetrator. It does mean that you will be set free. When you hold unforgiveness in your heart, ironically, you become the prisoner. Furthermore, when you forgive, you set yourself free.
I thought I had forgiven all who injured my daughter and myself. Nonetheless, I found out today that I was holding myself captive with. I was so overcome with guilt, shame, and regret that I did not realize that I blamed myself for several things that happened - many of which were really beyond my control.
The Lord has such a sense of humor and wanted so much for me to be free that He even showed me a picture of KaShanta doing something silly that only her sister, daughters, and I could appreciate because we have all been targets of her practical joke. Once clarified, I realized she would never have wanted me to be tortured by the past - no matter what. I started laughing - all by myself. In my minds eye, I saw her smiling face and her action as she was accustomed to doing. Later I shared it with her sister, Milia, who agreed with me about the conclusion that I finally arrived at. We took turns crying and then laughing together - giving ourselves permission to be human beings.
Included in our daughter's obituary was a poem she penned. The last line reads, "My morning is finally here". Indeed, her struggle with HER2 triple negative breast cancer was over at age 38. She is free from all torment that was ever inflicted on her - be it mental anguish or physical trauma. Today, I can say, "I forgive myself. My morning is finally here"!
...Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes
in the morning.
It's okay to forgive yourself.
In Him we live, move and have our being!
The BLITZ is designed to come against our marriages, our families, to destroy our children, our nation, friends and loved ones. It is designed to cripple the unity in the body of Christ and to stop the advancement of the Kingdom of God on this planet.
So what is the blitz? Adolf Hitler used the term blitz, which means relentless attacking and bombardment
. Hitler’s Luftwaffe, a generic German term for an air force, bombed London in World War II. It was one of the most tenacious, most advanced, and most battle-experienced air forces in the world. Although, the aircraft that were to serve in the Luftwaffe
were technically superior to that of most nations, Winston Churchill encouraged the citizens of London to make it their finest hour. They endured and survived Hitler’s onslaught.
Football is another arena where the term blitz is used. It means to rush the quarter- back and put pressure on him - to crush him. This technique involves several defensive players.
Satan has called the BLITZ. He wants to kill you. His purpose is to stop the mandate that God has assigned to you. He’s bent on destroying as many souls as he can. Get ready believers, the pressure is coming - stronger. We must be devoted to both resisting and preventing aggression.
JOHN 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Idle believers pose no threat to the devil. Actually, he has a fetish for lukewarm Christians and enjoys toying and manipulating them. When one is lukewarm, he knows they are not serious enough to suggest a threat to him, because they are too involved with the world, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Many will suffer because they were unprepared.
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness…
The Word of God tells us to stand; having done all, ‘STAND’. It’s time to make a solid front - one that cannot be breached. We must lock arms. Lock and load regardless of our denominational backgrounds. Satan has monopolized division in the body, and has succeeded in the art of divide and conquer. To break this yoke, we must sound the alarm. The trumpet must be heard in the Church. The world is asleep in the dark. Leaders must fall on their faces before God. Christians must awake in the light. Let us make this our finest hour!
"Forgiveness is not an emotion. It is a choice. If we choose not to forgive, we are the ones in bondage." Bishop Ken Sims
I am reminded of what a child said when he prayed, "Forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets." I laughed so hard when I read that - knowing, of course, that the child thought adults were saying trash baskets when they said trespasses. But wasn't that appropriate?
Matthew 6:12 "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us".
In essence, when we pray the above verse, we are telling the Lord to only forgive us when we forgive those who wronged us.
Some people have a lot more garbage to dispose of than others. Little or much, the Lord has made provision for us to free ourselves by utilizing His word.
I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Forgiving is not always an easy thing to do, but it is vitally important that we do so for our on health - both spiritually and physically. Jesus taught us how to do so before the cross, on the cross and even after the cross. No other person has ever suffered the things that Jesus endured on our behalf. On the cross, He asked His Father to forgive those who crucified him for He perceived that they did not really understand what they were doing or who they were now indebted to. He humbled Himself and allowed His own creation to crucify Him. We often say that we want to be like Jesus and we mean well. Frequently, we find that it is easier said than done. Even so, the grace necessary to be victorious has already been provided. As previously stated, forgiveness begins with a choice. Mine! Yours! It is a mental ascent of our soul, but more importantly a matter of the heart - our spirit. When we make the confession, God accommodates us with the strength that only He can give.
Forgive! It's not a suggestion. It is a command.
In the twenty-first chapter of St. John, one of Jesus’ disciples whose name was Simon Peter, decided to go fishing. His fellow disciples said, “We will go with thee.” After toiling all night long, they caught nothing. Jesus called to them from the shore the next morning, “Have you any meat yet?” They answered, “No!” Jesus responded, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship.”
They toiled all night and it profited nothing; but when Jesus showed up the next morning, everything changed. Psalm 30:5b ...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
There are many who are toiling today through a dark season. Doing the same old thing, the same old way – day in and day out. Nothing seems to be working. Jesus’ disciples were plagued by the same fate. Jesus told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. When they did, they pulled in 153 fish. It was supernatural that the net did not break from the heavy load. What happened? They received a fresh word from God. Obedience to the fresh word resulted in a large fresh catch.
Is that you doing the same thing and expecting different results? If so, ask the LORD for a revelation. The moment it comes, act upon it. When Jesus gave his followers a fresh word, they immediately acted upon it. They received illumination that not only changed the way they fished, it changed their lives.
Listen for the instructions of Jesus in every endeavor so that you don’t spend your time casting effort to the wind. All of the elements they needed were in place. The water was there. The fish were in the water. They had nets. They had a boat. What they didn’t have was a divine word causing a paradigm shift. When God gives you a fresh word, know that the elements are already in place and be prepared to have your life changed also. The word to them wasn’t just about fish. It was about their commission. It was about catching souls for the Kingdom.
My question to you is: Have ye any fish yet?” If not, do as Jesus instructed, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship.” The right side will always result in enormous blessings for the kingdom of God.
JOHN 21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
JOHN 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."
JOHN 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
(Scriptures from KJV)
A prophetic word began to flow from Bishop Ken Sims (my husband) after a counseling session I had with a sister-in-the-Lord in March. I placed a microphone to his mouth to capture and share it with her, but I'm also impressed to share it with you. It came just two months after his two-week hospitalization. He was still very weak and was not expected to live:
"God said to stand
still and see the salvation of the Lord. Stand
still! This is not your fight. Stand
still and see the salvation of the Lord; and when you're stand
ing still, there's no need for your knees to buckle or knock together. Stop listening to what the enemy is saying and start taking the Word of God at face value. What the enemy says is nothing but a threat. You shouldn't even be at the point of wondering how is God going to work this out, or where are the finances coming from? This is His battle. This is not your battle, and you're not going to be able to figure this one out. He wants you to stand
still and see his salvation and that means total dependence on him; that means not trying to figure him out in your finite mind - how is all of this going to transpire and who is going to get what advantage over what situation. God rewards faithfulness and God is a just God.
What you need to do and continue to do is pray and watch the salvation of the Lord. Just stand and watch God do what he does best and what he does best is just being God.
Goliath and David are symbolical for you right now. You have to really, really just take a step back and see the whole threat that David was dealing with. See what it is all about and then you can adjust that in the spiritual. Step away from it and let God fight your battle.
This is not a situation where one day you are believing and one day you are not. It is important to keep your feet fixed. Keep yourself anchored in the promises of God and don't be like the person that you discuss and don't be vindictive. Watch your attitude. The best thing you can do right now is to pray for your enemies because they don't know what the nature of the threat is that they are bringing forth against you. They could get into a lot of trouble. Just let God take care of them and keep your focus on the Lord. Keep your eyes on Him in the whole scenario so that in the end, it will pan out the right way - the way it is supposed to go. You focus on becoming whole and dealing with your own life and just be very careful that your anger doesn't come through in a way that you're saying wrong things that could withdraw the hand of God's judgment away from your enemies. So guard your anger. Pray for them and you are going to see God work a miracle.
To every person that is involved in your whole situation: you don't need to be numbering troops. God is well able. Don't look at what you have and what you don't have. Don't let your knees buckle and don't shake in your boots.
We have the chief lawyer. The Lord anticipates what the enemy is going to do before he even does it. God is not going to allow you to fight by yourself - that's why he has placed Giants in the faith all around you. We have WON! We don't have anything to fear. Your enemy is restless and fearful. He doesn't know what your next move is. You hold the trump card."
STAND! Jesus is our trump card.