2 Pet 1:5-9 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind,forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
On Jan 1st 2018 the first day of the new year, I celebrated the last principle of Kwanzaa -Imani meaning Faith with my family. What an added enjoyment to the Christmas holiday to reconnect to my heritage and culture in this expression. Since recently discovering my DNA results were predominantly from the Ivory Coast I have been searching for ways to stay identified to my roots. Thanks to Dr. Maulenga Ndabezitha Karenga chair of California State University Black Studies Department for instituting this modern celebration based in Zulu and Ashanti traditions. Renowned by over 25 million persons in the United States, Canada and across the African diaspora, Kwanzaa is ritualized from the day after Christmas (Dec 26) and ends New Year’s Day.
Originating out of despair, Dr. Karenga felt the need to empower and unite Blacks following the Watts riots aftermath in Los Angeles. Sparking from police brutality, looting and rioting in Watts left over 30 persons killed, a thousand injured and over 40 million in property damages. Kwanzaa derived from phrase “matunda ya kwanzaa” (meaning “first fruits” in Swahili) was to celebrate history. It consists of seven days of lighting the kinara (candleholder) and celebrating the Nguzo Saba (7 values) in order- Umoja(unity), Kujichagulia (self-Determination) Ujima(Collective Work and Responsibility, Ujamaa(Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith),
For us Christians, Faith should be first. Peter stated in his second book that we are to make every effort to add to our faith. It is going to take effort sister. With faith as the foundation for all the other additions to come, it must be built solid on Christ. So what is it? Heb 11:1 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Faith is believing God, in His words and His Son. Faith is trusting and having confidence that God is, was and will, always do and be, just what He says he could and would. In short grasp that we have a God that Loves us so much to send his Son.
Concern (C): Sister where is your faith today? You are starting off a whole new year. Do you believe in what God can do for you? I know you have been hurt, disappointed, shut out and shut down. But in Matt 9:28 it says, “When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he (Jesus) asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Don’t be spiritually blind to what the Lord can do for you, respond like the men Yes Lord! Even after years of being in a certain place God can change your life still.
Encouragement (E): Move Mountain Move! With just a mustard seed of faith Jesus says we can move a mountain. Matt 17:20. He (Jesus) replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Impossible yes of course for us but nothing is impossible for God. You Know that Jesus ain’t never lied! If your desires fit into His desires for your life consider it Done.
Action (A): Show your faith by taking a step out on it. James 2:14-20 “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 1 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. ” Sister, it is time for you to Move …and that means out of your own way! Jesus time and time again asks us where our faith is. It is that important! He can do no miracle in your life without it. Don’t let him pass you by like he did faithless towns. Don’t let him wipe the dust off his feet from your dreams! Turn your faith dial to Miraculous Level and set your hope course to More than You can Ask or Imagine speed. Show it by what you do today and the days to come. Ask him for a great 2018 full of your intents. Here’s to a great start.
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