Christian

Faith in God During American Slavery

African-American slaves wrote many heartfelt songs, often referred to as Negro Spirituals. It is noteworthy that the people who enslaved and and oppressed them are the same people who introduced them to Christianity.

One would think these slaves wouldn’t be open to hearing about Jesus from their oppressor, but Jesus opened their hearts to believe the Good News. That’s the only plausible explanation for it.

The Bible says of Lydia, ” The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.” Acts 16:14.

Yes, He can do that, even under the most desperate and cruel circumstances. Just as the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, He opened their hearts as well.

One of my favorite hymns is Give Me Jesus. The words are simple, yet they are deeply moving. I was not surprised to find out it is an African-American spiritual, written by slaves looking to our Lord and Savior for deliverance. Just as He brought deliverance to Israel through the leadership of Moses, they believed He would deliver them from slavery. And He did.

In the morning when I rise,
In the morning when I rise,
In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus, give me Jesus,
You may have all this world,
Give me Jesus.

I can imagine these desperate Christians singing these words from their heart, looking for deliverance when Jesus comes to take them home. This exemplifies loving God with all your heart and soul, strength, and mind.

When I come to die
When I come to die
Oh, when I come to die
Give me Jesus

Many of the spirituals and songs were birthed out of the trials and struggles of those in slavery. “Give Me Jesus” is an excellent example of how the victims of American slavery were able to express in song God’s presence and care in the midst of heartache and pain.

“Give Me Jesus” is but one of many spirituals written during slavery with no known composer or text writer.  “Persons in slavery, deprived and besieged in this life, might have nothing earthly to hold on to. But, if they were Christians, they believed they had an inheritance in God” (Warren, 1997, 37). 

The tune GIVE ME JESUS, written by African-American slaves, appears in nineteen hymnal collections and supplements today.

Dear Lord, May we cling to you, seek you, and worship you with the same devotion and love as our brothers and sisters in Christ who cried out to you in their pain and trusted you in the midst of cruelty and injustice. Forgive us for our petty complaints and help us to be thankful for all our many blessings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

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Bibliography

Costen, Melva Wilson. African American Christian Worship, 2nd Edition. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007

Warren, Gwendolin Sims, Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit: 101 Best-Loved Psalms, Gospel Hymns, and Spiritual Songs of the African-American Church. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997.

http://www.negrospirituals.com/singers.htm

Christian

Daily Scripture, 4/16/19

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

Daily Scripture, 4/14/19

“A righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112: 6-7

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 


Christian

Daily Scripture, 3/27/19

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.
 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.” Psalm 143: 8 & 10 NLT

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Tim Riesner on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

As Pure As the Driven Snow

Have you ever wondered what that means?

To be “as pure as the driven snow” refers to the snow that has been blown into a drift where no one has walked through it. It is as clean as it was when it fell from the sky. 

King David cried out to the Lord, “Create in me a pure heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:10) And “God testified concerning him, I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” Acts 13:22

I find it meaningful that David, a man who committed adultery and murder, would be God’s example of a man with a pure heart. This tells me that no sin, nothing we did in the past that has been forgiven, can keep us from being a person after God’s heart. “Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7)

What did God see in David’s heart? Does God see those things in my heart? In your heart?

No matter what we do outwardly that may look good to others, God sees our heart. If we are selfishly motivated, arrogant, or proud, God knows.

God sent the prophet Samuel to Jesse and told him, “I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” 1 Samuel 16:1

Samuel thought for sure that Eliab would be chosen, but the Lord said, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7

Finally, Jesse brought in David, his youngest son, who was tending the sheep. The Lord told Samuel, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” 1 Samuel 16:12

God chose David to be King, instead of King Saul. Saul didn’t obey God’s commands because he “was afraid of the people …and gave in to them.” (1 Samuel 15:24)

 He sacrificed offerings to the Lord. But Samuel said to Saul, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22) We need to follow God’s commands, not motivated by what people think.

God knew that David was unafraid and would obey His commands. He knew that David believed the Promises. God knew David did not depend on his own strength and ability. He didn’t think too highly of himself, but was humble in heart. David said, “He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.” Psalm 18:17

David trusted in God and in His Word. He prayed, “Show me your way, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me.” (Psalm 25:4) We can get a glimpse into David’s heart when we read the Psalms he wrote. I want God to say that I am a woman after his heart. Don’t you?

In 1 Samuel 17:47 David said to Goliath, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands.”This is what David believed in his heart, but he didn’t become this strong overnight.

“David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,  I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:34-37

My prayer is that, just like David, our faith will grow stronger every time we put our trust in the Lord and depend on Him to win the battle.

“(David served) God’s purpose in his own generation.” (Acts 13:36) I believe that God is looking for people with a pure heart to accomplish His purpose today. Will he use me? Will he use you?

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Csaba Pap on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 


Christian

Has God Put a Desire In Your Heart?

Has God put a desire in your heart? Has He made it so crystal-clear that you know for sure it came from Him?

Did things go great at first, but then problems started to arise? If things don’t go the way you expect, don’t begin to doubt what you first believed. Do not doubt yourself and your ability to accomplish the task.

Remember: God never does things the way we think He will. Just because problems arise doesn’t mean we should give up. In fact, I think it would be safe to say, problems will definitely arise!

Nehemiah spoke about “what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem.” (Nehemiah 2:12)

God put it in Nehemiah’s heart to rebuild Jerusalem. Do you think he may have run into a few problems? Of course he did!

We are instructed to learn from the past. For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 NIV

When God puts it in our heart to do something, we can expect a spiritual battle to be right around the corner.

At first, everything happened quickly and easily for Nehemiah. The king granted all of his requests: letters to the various governors to provide safe travel and permission to take lumber from the king’s forest. The king even sent army officers and cavalry along with him on his journey to Jerusalem.

When Nehemiah asked the people to take on the great challenge to rebuild the wall, they enthusiastically agreed. They “worked with all their heart” (Nehemiah 4:6) and repaired the walls. Things were going great!

Then opposition began. The people were ridiculed mercilessly. “What are those feeble Jews doing? (Nehemiah 4:2) The enemy will always attack you personally. Who do you think you are? You can’t do that!

The enemies plotted together to stir up trouble. The strength of the laborers began to give out. What they started doing with all their heart, they began to doubt their ability to accomplish. They began to fear their enemies. (See Nehemiah 4:10-12)

Does any of this sound familiar? Because this is exactly how things work today! Be encouraged because things are right on track.

When the enemy came against them, “Each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.” Nehemiah 4:18

When spiritual forces come against us, we must take up the Sword of the Spirit as we work. What does that mean for us? The Word of God and prayer are our weapons against the enemy.

By staying in the Word, we can hear the voice of God. Through prayer, we commune with the Almighty, which is intimate communication and the sharing of thoughts.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…” Hebrews 4:12

“Take ..the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God … and pray” Ephesians 6:17-18

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12

Is my faith being tested? Will I still believe what God has said when the enemy comes against me? Am I trying to accomplish something in my own strength? Or am I trusting Him to do it, knowing that my part is obedience?

Paul said, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” Philippians 1:6 NIV

Put your trust in God, pray and read the Word. Now carry on, Christian Soldier!

(The story of Nehemiah’s determination to rebuild Jerusalem is found in the book of Nehemiah.)

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog

Photo by John T on Unsplash

Bible

That’s Not What I Expected!

Sometimes God has a plan that is nothing like our expectations.  If only we would just trust Him, but instead we think we know what He should do. Learn how God just might do things in a completely different way than you expect!

Meet Naaman, the Commander of the Army of the King of Syria, a valiant soldier and highly regarded by the King. He was wealthy and respected by everyone; he had prestige, servants, and lived in grand style. I’m sure he had the best clothes, a beautiful home and (well you get the picture). Oh, he did have one little problem. He had leprosy.

His wife had her own personal servant girl, of course. Lucky for Naaman she was an Israelite. Even though she had been captured by a band of Syrian raiders, this little girl had compassion for her master (owner). 

One day, she told her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:3)

Desperate to be cured, Naaman reported this to the king. The king, also anxious to see his best general cured of this egregious disease, sent Naaman to the King of Israel (with a lot of money, to boot).

Naaman expected the King to cure him of his leprosy in return for a substantial payment; but that is not what God had in mind. In fact, when the King of Israel discovered what Naaman wanted he panicked, thinking the King of Syria was trying to pick a fight. (See how this is not going as expected?)

When Elisha the prophet heard about this, he sent for Naaman. So Naaman gathered his entourage, his horses and chariots, flags and whatever, and he paraded to Elisha’s door.

Naaman must have thought pretty highly of himself, making a grand arrival with all those horses and chariots, and lots of money. But Elisha doesn’t even bother to come out and greet him! Instead Elisha sends a messenger who says, “Go wash yourself in the Jordan River seven times.”

Naaman expected the Prophet of God to dramatically wave his hands in the air and call on his God to cure him in some spectacular display. But once again, not what he expected. 

Naaman probably thought, “Who does this guy think he is? I’m not going to take a bath in that muddy river! Naaman, used to being treated with honor and respect, refused to do what Elisha said and stomped off in a rage.

I know what you’re thinking: What!? How can Naaman be that stupid? Doesn’t he want to be cured? 

But don’t we do the same thing? We pray for something, but it isn’t answered the way we expect. So we think our prayer isn’t being answered at all. Or, maybe we don’t like the way it is being answered.

It isn’t surprising that Naaman got angry. The Jordan River is a dirty, muddy river. We wouldn’t want to bathe in it either, especially if we tend to think rather highly of ourselves. (Ouch!)

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This isn’t the Jordan River, but this river is similar in muddiness.

Only after his servants convince him, does Naaman agree to go and dip himself in the dirty river. When he followed God’s plan, he was completely cured and his skin became like that of a young boy. Things turned out even better than he expected!

Naaman exclaimed, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” (vs. 15) And he vowed to never worship any other god but the Lord.

Read the story of Naaman in 2 Kings chapter 5. There’s a lot more to the story!

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

1st Photo by Andre Guerra on Unsplash

2nd Photo by Leo Nard on Unsplash