It Ends Tonight – 12-31-15

Necessary Endings – Part 7

It Ends Tonight – Stop The Killing

Proverbs 18:21

Stop killing yourself with negative talk. Have you ever considered that you are your own worse enemy? Life can be demanding but consider the words of Charles Swindoll: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

The words that come out of our mouths are not just something we do. Words are a reaction that reveals who we are because words are a window into the soul. Words are significant. The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” simply is not true. According to the Word of God words can hurt more than we realize. Consider the words in Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Consider this proverb. Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived pursued a goal to offer instruction, understanding and wisdom. There is a repeated theme in Proverbs that “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”. Wisdom is the focus of proverbs with emphasis on developing the Godly character of its reader. Every Christian should strive at becoming more Godly in character. Proverbs 18:21 is no exception. In this passage Solomon highlights 4 major points to ponder.

  1. Words Cause Death: Tongues can be weapons of mass destruction. Tongues can kill marriages, families, friendships, churches, careers, and dreams.
  2. Words Cause Life: The tongue can be “a tree of life” according to Proverbs 15:4. Tongues can make marriages sweet, families strong, and churches healthy.
  3. Fruit is Forthcoming: A person’s words is figuratively called the fruit of his mouth or lips in Proverbs 12:14 and Proverbs 13:2. The positive words from your tongue will Bless your Life in a positive way. The good words that come from your mouth can open doors, uplift you when you are down and create fruitful lasting relationships. However, the negative words that come from the mouth can Bring your Death. Your words will either bring the fruit of life or the fruit of death.
  4. Choices Are Crucial: What lies at the foot of this passage is the power to choose. Life is all about choices. We can choose to speak life or choose to speak death. Most of who we are, good or bad, is because of what we have spoken about ourselves. You will either love to talk positively or negatively. Either way, you will choose the outcome.

In 1973 Roberta Flack hit the R&B charts with a song called Killing Me Softly. It was as if the words to a song sung by a young man shone a light on everything that was wrong with her life. “Strumming my pain with his fingers. Singing my life with his words. Killing me softly with his song.” We have a tendency to see ourselves based on what we feel others think about us and we talk our own self into defeat. The man didn’t know her, knew nothing about her pain or her past. Yet, she allowed his words to kill her softly.

Sociologists have a theory called the Looking Glass Self. It was developed by Charles Horton Cooley in 1902 with a premise that a person’s self grows out of societal relationships. The term refers to people that shape their concept of self based on their perception of how others see them. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we see ourselves the way God sees us instead of worrying about how others see us. If that were the case our words would bring life based on the fact that God sees us as His masterpiece.

How do you change negative communication?

  1. Pause: Take the time to think before you speak and life will be so much easier. Proverbs 10:19 – “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is” There is an old adage that says, “It is better to be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.”
  2. Pray: Ask God to bring your speech under control. And then rely on His power to transform you. As the Psalmist prayed in Psalm 19:14 is another prayer: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
  3. Practice: Practice kind words and your inward and outward conversations will improve with time. Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
  4. Praise: Hebrews 13:15 – By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

On the last night of 2015 many people are contemplating New Years resolutions but consider a most viable asset to success in 2016; the tongue. Are you killing yourself with the words that come from your mouth? Let the killing end tonight. Make a vow that negative talk that defeats, depresses and denounces ends tonight!

Because of Him!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

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Necessary Endings – Part 6

Are You Ready To Change?

“Out with the old. In with the new””

Matthew 9-16-17

As the end of the year approaches many just want a fresh new start with new opportunities. However, a fresh new start will not emerge through osmosis. There must be change. A look in the rear view mirror of 2015 could very well be comprised with “self motivating” inner talk to change eating habits, drinking habits, smoking habits, exercising habits, spending habits, dating habits, and so on. It becomes wearisome to consistently begin a New Year with old frustrations.

Resistance to change is an action taken by a person or a group of people when they fear that change will cause them harm. Resistance to change comes when the old way brings more comfort than the thrill of new possibilities. Some would rather die than change. Receptivity to change will yield positive results when the movement of the Holy Spirit prompts the change. When what gets old in your life has run its course there must be a change to contain what God has for you that is new!

Jesus simply taught, “Out with the old, in with the new!” How did Jesus teach a lesson that certain endings were necessary? In Matthew 9:16-17 Jesus said, No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.”

The question is, “Are you ready for change?”

Most people want to do away with the old and embrace the new but first they must learn this lesson from Jesus.To embrace the “out with the old, in with the new” one must understand that when God gets ready to do something new:

  1. There Must Be New Preparation To Contain New Contents: New wine skins were prepared to contain new wine. There were no exceptions. There was too much at stake. You stand the risk of loosing too much. New wine skins were placed through a rigorous process to make them ready. If new wine was placed in old skins the fermentation process would cause the old wine skins to crack under the fermentation process. Preparation is essential to what will be placed within. If you have been through a lot in 2015 perhaps God is preparing you for what He’s about to put in you. Never ignore new struggles that surface. It could very well be that God is preparing to put something new in you. Perhaps it’s new patience, new love, new ambition that you didn’t have in 2015. God’s not going to put more in you without preparing you to contain the contents.
  2. Internal Change Results In External Expansion: The process of fermentation taking place on the inside of the new wineskins caused the wineskins to expand. Because the wineskins were prepared to contain the contents expansion was normal and even expected. That’s just what happens when you place new wine in new skins, the fermentation process causes it to expand. In the bible wine is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, which every believer receives at the point of salvation. When the Holy Spirit dwells within the life of a believer the spiritual reaction is fermentation. Spiritual fermentation will stretch the person’s faith beyond capacity to achieve more for God’s Glory.
  3. Old Methods Are Hazardous To New Productivity: The Pharisees were like old wineskins. They were rigid, un-flexible and stuck in their traditional lifestyles. Their minds or hearts were not pliable. They could not receive Jesus because He would not be restricted or relegated by their rules. It was time for change and when Jesus stepped on the scene He symbolized the “New Wine of the Gospel.” The New Wine of the Gospel will stretch you to do away with the old to walk into what’s new. It all boils down to every Christian taking a look at life and asking the critical question, “Am I ready for change?”

When God gets ready to do something new in your life He will take you through something to prepare you. The process will make where you at uncomfortable and force you to expand your territory or else you will crack under pressure. The key is realizing that what once worked for you doesn’t work anymore.

How do you prepare for change?

  1. Open Your Heart: The new wine of the Gospel is the power of the Holy Spirit and the new wine skins are those who have become a new person in Jesus Christ. On the Emmaus Road two travelers opened their hearts to the Gospel. Luke 24:32 (KJV) 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
  2. Allow The Spirit To Do The Work: The Holy Spirit works in us to promote change and bring God Glory. Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV) – 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
  3. Pour Out Your Contents – Give God the best you have on the inside in 2016. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:17 (KJV) 17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. Paul was saying that we should pour out our lives in service to God with a life that would bring Him Glory.

Jesus poured out His life. God prepared Jesus a body. He is the New Wine of the Gospel and on Calvary He poured it “all” out. He left nothing but He gave it all and as a result, we have new life. This is a clear message to the Body of Christ that life is about moving on to newer heights and newer possibilities in Christ.


Dr. Oscar T. Moses


Cracking The Church Culture Code

Necessary Endings – Part 5

Cracking The Church Culture Code

Deuteronomy 2:1-7

Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people that define everything they do from the way they talk, what they believe, what they eat, their language, social habits, music, arts and so on. Every church has a culture code that defines who they are. Some churches have a frigid culture because the culture demands it. The members are non responsive, non cooperative and non productive. There are other churches that are fashionable in culture. They embrace whatever new ideology that emerges. Then there are other churches that are fruitful in culture. The fruitful cultured church is open for change; not change that deviates from the will of God but change to expand the Kingdom of God.

We frequently ignore culture in church that allows non-productive cycles to continue until it becomes so bad that it must be addressed. Aldous Huxley, the author of the dystopian novel, Brave New World says, “Facts don’t cease to exist just because you ignore them”.

Some church culture codes must be cracked if they are to thrive and regenerate. The failure to break negative cultural pratices within a church will lead to a culture of mediocrity, a culture of routiness, and a culture of victimization with devastating effects in the life of the church of missed opportunities.

Cultures of Mediocrity: As tragic as it may be, many accept mediocrity in church; no challenge, no commitment and no change. A look back over a life of mediocrity in the lives of individual church members will later in life foster some regrets. A life of regrets becomes a nagging opponent of “What should have been done when there was a chance to do it.”

Cultures of Routiness: Just because a church has done something for a long time does not mean that it is relevant or right. To get where you never been you have to do something you have never done.

Cultures of Victimization: When everyone shifts blame to others of why nothing progresses it creates a culture of victims. There has to be a paradigm shift from victim to victor. The question today is “How do we crack the churches culture code?”

In Deuteronomy chapter 2 we see the congregation of the Lord on the verge of cracking cultural codes that will ultimately lead them to the Promised Land. The Children of Israel turned a 250-mile journey or perhaps a month trek towards the Promise Land into a 40-year circling saga in the wilderness. They developed and nurtured a culture of grumbling, complaining and defying leadership that lead to nowhere. God became so angered by their rebelliousness that He delayed their destiny and deferred their dreams of entering the Promised Land. For forty years the culture of negativity caused them to wander in the wilderness until all of the chief complainers died. To those that remained it was the words in Deuteronomy 2 that would define their future. Just before entering the Promised Land, God brought them to a place called Gilgal. It was there that God would take away the reproach of Egypt from them.

This is Moses’ narrative of the account: “Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed Mount Seir many days. And the LORD spake unto me, saying, ‘Ye have compassed this mountain long enough.’

Moses did not make it to the Promised Land. Joshua would lead the congregation into Canaan. Before entering the Promised Land it was necessary for some practices within the culture to cease. Change agents such as Joshua and Caleb had to defy the majority perceptions of the masses and set the pace for change.

What is the lesson?

  1. Culture can be restrictive to growth.
  2. There are some events in our lives that are time sensitive.
  3. Old behaviors cannot possess new boundaries.

How do we crack the church culture code?

  1. People: Dr. Samuel Chan made a monumental statement in his book, “Cracking Your Churches Culture Code”: Culture eats strategy for lunch. Change agents are mandatory. They are people that are willing to be used by God to affect a change such as Joshua and Caleb.
  2. Perception: To crack the code a congregation must see beyond the present.
  3. Preparation: To crack the code a congregation must began to behave as people that are moving into the promises of God.
  4. Power: The Power of the Holy Spirit sets confusion into order and creates the atmosphere for change.

Because of Him!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses


When God Says, “NO!”

What’s So Amazing About God’s Grace – Pt. 6

When God Says No

2 Samuel 7:18-29

God answers prayer but His answer may not be the one you are looking for. What do you do when God says, “No!” to your prayer request?

King David made the initial plans to build a temple erected to God because he wanted God to have greater honor. David shared his desire with Nathan the prophet and God spoke to Nathan concerning the matter. The Lord’s response was not the one David wanted. The LORD declared that after David’s death He would allow David’s son to build the temple. When King David received God’s response to his request he went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”

Food for Thought

We don’t always understand why God says, “No!” However, consider these four (4) possibilities:

He Has Another Plan

There is an old Yiddish Proverb that says, “When man makes plans, God laughs.” The bible teaches us in Jeremiah 29:11 that God has a plan for our lives. It is important for us to remember this is God’s Story, not ours. We are merely actors playing a role in the divine play of life and there are times when what we ask for goes against the plan of God.

The Timing Is Not Right

God didn’t deny David’s request. He simply said, “Not now.” David’s son, Solomon, would get the answer to prayer that David prayed for. Sometimes the prayer request you pray for is not for you. I once heard a quote by W.T. Glynn that Paul Tillich once said, “Above the throne of God are suspended prayers that God has not answered yet.” The truth is, we may never see the answer to our prayers in our lifetime.

Your Heart Is Not Ready

James wrote in his epistle that some of our prayers are derived from our own lust and have nothing to do with the will of God. Some prayers are unanswered because our hearts and desires are not in the right place.

To Better Understand God’s Grace

The Apostle Paul asked the Lord to remove a thorn from his flesh three times and the Lord said, “No”. However, God’s “no” taught Paul that God’s grace will help you get through the “no” and will sustain you with a steadfast hope.

When God Says “No” Remember What’s So Amazing About Grace.

 Grace Helps You Look Up – Although God said, “No” David looked up and gave God praise.

Grace Helps You Reflect Back – Grace will remind you of all of the undeserving times that God said yes when He should have said no.

Grace Helps You Move On – The great hymnist Isaac Newton’s words are ever so dear; “Grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me on.”

How did David respond to God’s “No?” David did 3 things:

  1. He Looked Up: When David realized that God would not honor his request he went in before the Lord and began to pray. His prayer was not one of haughtiness but that of humility. His prayer was not of protest but of praise for the promises of God. Although God did not answer “yes” to David’s prayer, David began to praise God for what He promised to do for his family.
  2. He Reflected Back: In verses 23-24, David began to reflect on what God had done in times past. He reminded God of what He had already done while at the same time reassuring himself that God has always kept His people’s best interest at heart.
  3. He Moved On: In verse 29 David moved on. He has resolved in his mind that “Father Knows Best”. David said to God, “The answer you gave me shall be established forever and we will do what you have said. We will magnify your name forever and let the house of David be established before you.” You said it and that settles it!

Be Encouraged!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses


Necessary Endings


Ecclesiastes 3:1

The late Dean of Black Preachers, Dr. Gardner C. Taylor once said, “Life is a series of partings.” Such is life, a series of meetings and partings. On this past week NBA Superstar, Kobe Bryant, announced his retirement after 20 seasons of basketball with one team, the LA Lakers. He expressed these words: “My heart can still take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye. It’s all I have left for this season.” The critical question to answer is, “How do you adjust to changing seasons in your life and know when its time to say goodbye?”

The writer of Ecclesiastes says, Ecclesiastes 3:1 – To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. “Times and seasons” are a regular part of life, no matter where you live. God is at work even in the most difficult experiences of life and He let’s us know when it’s time to move on. Consider these three thoughts:

God Works In Seasons

God has certain seasons for certain settings and situations. There is a season to be fruitful (Psalm 1). There is a season for elevation (I Peter 5-6). There is a season for heaviness (1 Peter 1:6) to develop your faith. Jesus even had a season in the wilderness. For forty days and forty nights, according to Matthew 4, He was tempted by the devil. There is even a season to speak up against what is wrong in the world as Paul told his young preacher Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2.

God Appropriates The Time

There is a right time and a wrong time. The author in Ecclesiastes 3 gives 14 examples of the right and wrong times. For instance he says, “There is a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to kill and a time to let live,” and so on.

God Has A Purpose

 God has purpose for everything, even our painful seasons. God permits seasons of pain for a divine purpose. Pain has a purpose. The devil promotes painful seasons for our gloom but God permits painful seasons for our growth. The devil delivers painful seasons for our destruction but God permits painful seasons for our development. There is a season and time and purpose under the heaven. The Problem is three-fold:

  1. Not knowing when your season for change has come.
  2. Holding on to one season too long.
  3. Not being prepared for the season God has designed for you.

Rests assure that getting to a new season requires ending the old one. How do you prepare for the changing season in your life and know when its time to move on?

  1. Be Spiritually Sensitive: Respond to the Spirit to recognize the Season – know when its time to move on. John 14:26 (KJV) 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
  2. Be Strategically Stationed: There are times you must change your environment and your friends to get where God wants you to be.
  3. Be Purposefully Prepared: “It is better to be prepared and not have the opportunity that to have the opportunity and not be prepared.”
  4. Be Peacefully Patient: Psalm 27:14 – Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Perhaps, you are in an uncomfortable place in life right now. It could be that God is telling you its time to move on.

Be Encouraged!

Dr. Oscar T. MosesNecessary Endings Image of Closed Door.png

What’s So Amazing About God’s Grace?


“Can We Really Do Whatever We Like?” –  Romans 6: 1

In 2008 recording artist Tip Harris better known as T.I. produced a song called Whatever You Like. It was released as the lead single (second overall) from his sixth studio album, Paper Trail (2008):

“Stacks on deck, Patron on ice and we can pop bottles all night. And baby you can have whatever you like. I said you could have whatever you like.”

The relative question for the Christian is, if God has freely given grace to overcome our sins why can’t we do whatever we like? The Apostle Paul addressed this question in Romans chapter 6 which is called “The Declaration of Emancipation” because it declares that we are no longer slaves to sin. The Apostle Paul senses a “Do whatever you like” understanding of God’s grace based upon interpretation of grace abounding over sin given in the previous chapter (Romans 5:21).

Romans chapter 6 captures the thoughts of the reader who would sarcastically think, “If grace abounds when there is sin, let’s really sin so that grace can really abound!” It is for that reason that Paul opens Romans chapter 6 with the question, “What then, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”

Romans chapter 6 is a clear directive to every believer that grace does not allow us to do whatever we want as though God is ok with it. To live how you want, to do what you want without respect for God’s will, way, wishes and His Word and then lean on God’s grace as a means to support a sinful lifestyle is grace abuse.

Lewis Smede says, “Grace is not a ticket to Fantasy Island. Grace is not a potion to charm life to our liking. Grace does not cure all our cancers, transform all our kids into winners, or send us all soaring into the high skies of sex and success. Grace is the amazing power to look earthy reality full in the face, see its sad and tragic edges, feel its cruel cuts, join in the primeval chorus against its outrageous unfairness, and yet feel in your deepest being that it is good and right for you to be alive on God’s good earth.”

What’s So Amazing About Grace?

Grace Leads You to Commitment

Charles Spurgeon in a sermon titled, “The Obedience of Faith” said, “The more of faith in Him you have, the more of obedience to Him will you manifest.” Our faith should drive us to holy committed living.

Grace Lifts Your Consciousness

When one becomes aware that everything they have or have become is a result of God’s grace it is as if a bright light illumines ones spirituality.

Grace Lightens Your Convictions

When the Christian does sin there remains the assurance that grace is still working on their behalf. What it all boils down to is this; if your heart is not right you will never know the value of God’s Grace! Conviction of sin is necessary to appreciating grace.

In The Grip of Grace,


Dr. Oscar T. Moses

What Trouble Taught Me!

What Trouble Taught Me!
Psalm 142

Psalm 142:1-7 (MSG)
1  A David prayer—when he was in the cave. I cry out loudly to GOD, loudly I plead with GOD for mercy.
2  I spill out all my complaints before him, and spell out my troubles in detail: 3  “As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away, you know how I’m feeling, Know the danger I’m in, the traps hidden in my path.
4  Look right, look left— there’s not a soul who cares what happens! I’m up against it, with no exit— bereft, left alone. 5  I cry out, GOD, call out: ‘You’re my last chance, my only hope for life!’ 6  Oh listen, please listen; I’ve never been this low. Rescue me from those who are hunting me down; I’m no match for them.
7  Get me out of this dungeon so I can thank you in public. Your people will form a circle around me and you’ll bring me showers of blessing!”

Trouble is a teacher! There are many lessons that trouble can teach you. Trouble can teach you what you cant learn on campuses of academia such as Harvard or Yale. There are some things you learn from the school of hard knocks.

This message is for the person who seems to be hit with trouble on every side. This message is for the person that feels that no one understands them. It’s for the sick person, the broke person or for the couple whose marriage is on the rocks. This message is for the person that tells the wrong people about their troubles. It is for the person that seems to fall into the same old “trouble trap” all of the time. The message is tailored to teach that trouble is a teacher.

David wrote this psalm based upon trouble in his life. He instructs the reader to be a good student of trouble because trouble is the kind of teacher that will not mind giving repeat lessons. David was a favorite student of trouble. Trouble was familiar with David and David was familiar with trouble.

This psalm is about a period in David’s life when he was knee deep and elbow steeped in trouble. He was on the run from King Saul. His life was at stake. During the time David ran from Saul he spent a lot of time hiding out in caves. Scholars say that this psalm was written from David’s experience either in the cave of Adullam or the cave of En Gedi.

Jealousy, envy and rage drove Saul to hate David and to seek out his life. David found himself in a cave crying and complaining and telling God all about his trouble. David learned sone valuable lessons during his times of troubles. The first lesson he learned was:

  1. Trouble taught David about God: When David cried unto the Lord and complained about his trouble he had reached the boiling point and was overwhelmed. Yet he realized that God knew about it. David said in verse 3 that his spirit was overwhelmed but the Lord knew his path. David learned that God knows about our troubles. That may seem insignificant to some but when trouble comes your way the first somebody you should want to be informed is God. David said the Lord knew His path. Therefore He trusted God to show him the way through His troubles. God knows where the traps are. God knows where the enemies are hiding. God will also navigate him through troubled waters. Trouble taught David that God knows the path you are traveling and if He knows the path He will lead you through.
  2. Trouble taught David about his enemies: David also said in verse 3 that his enemies “privily” laid a trap for him. The word that caught my attention is “privily”. The secret traps that enemies set can be vicious. The private conversations that enemies have to plot and plan ones demise can be treacherous, Here lies the tension in the text. This was David’s path in life. He had to walk this way. He had to encounter some enemies that would persistently attempt to trap him. Trouble taught David that life brings with it enemies that are strategically stationed by Satan to create trouble in your life.
  3. Trouble taught David about his friends: Trouble has a way of making friends dissapear. Listen to David’s words in verse 5. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.” David’s friends denied him. King Saul was such a powerful tyrant that no one wanted to be associated with David. That’s people! Some are with you when you’re up and doing well but when you’re down and out they will not return you’re text, calls or emails. Trouble taught David that friends will let you down.
  4. Trouble taught David about himself: He’s crying in verse 1 and in verse 5 he is still crying. He is at a low point in his life and his enemies are picking up speed but trouble taught David three things about himself:
    1. Trouble taught David that he trusted God to make a way. This is repeated behavior for David. This is not the first time he has been in trouble. David trusted God when trouble came before and that He always made for David to overcome.
    2. Trouble taught David that he was not as strong as he thought he was. He learned that some of his enemies were stronger than him. There are some battles that were not meant for you to fight. You must turn them over to the Lord.
    3. Trouble taught David about premeditated praise. David asked the Lord to bring him out of this prison of trouble that he may praise His name. He had a made up mind to praise God even though he was going through a difficult time. He literally says, “I want to praise you in public around the people of God.” This is why he says the righteous shall compass around me and watch you bless me. David realized that “this too would pass.” Trouble taught David that trouble does not last always and that praise should be intentional.

Perhaps you are experiencing a time of trouble in your life. This story of David is tailored to teach us that trouble is a teacher and what troubles teaches us depends on what trouble finds in us. When trouble comes your way there has to be something within that propels you through the difficult times. I heard one old adage say, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog!” Sounds good but sometimes your strength can’t match your opponents but the late Lucie Campbell who now sleeps the longs sleep said, “It’s something within.”

Born in 1885 and the youngest of nine children Lucie’s father was killed in a train accident right after she was born. Her mother was met with trouble trying to take care of nine children. She moved them to Memphis Tennessee and exposed them the performing arts. Lucie’s sister was the only one her mother could afford to take piano lessons but Lucie listened and learned how to play piano on her own. She graduated valedictorian of her class became a teacher and obtained a Masters Degree. She became the Music Director of the National Sunday and Baptist Training Union Congress in 1915.

How was she able to make it through the troubled times? She explains it in her first song published in 1919, Something Within: “Something within me that holdeth the reins, Something within me that banishes pain; Something within me I cannot explain, All that I know there is something within.

What is that something within? Hope! Hope becomes the defiant resistance not to resign in your trouble and the divine inspiration to live another day. Hope says I know that troubles will not last always and that God will make a way some how.

We must understand that trouble is God’s way of drawing us close to Him. The story is told of the little boy that was playing in the bathtub with his little play ship and his mother kept hearing splashing. She went in the bathroom to see what the noise was about and saw the little boy making waves pushing the water. The mother said, “What are you doing?” The little boy said I found out that when my ship gets to far to the other side of the tub and I make waves it brings the ship back to me. Here it is! Sometimes God makes waves because we get too far from Him and each wave brings us closer back to Him!

Still Learning!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses



Don’t Just Sit There!

Don’t Just Sit There!
2 Kings 7:3-10

Have you ever experienced a period in life when you didn’t know what to do? The easy way to respond to those periods is to do absolutely nothing and wait for time to unfold. However, doing nothing could possibly cause you to miss out on opportunities that await you if you were to press ahead. There are times when God places us in situations to develop our faith character. If you have ever been in a position where you didn’t know what to do then you will be able to identify with the four men in this bible story.

God uses adversity to stretch our faith. Israel was at war with the King of Syria. The King of Syria decided the best tactic of war was to starve Israel. The water was cut off to the Israeli camp and no food or commerce was allowed in the city. Eventually, a famine arose with catastrophic results. At the gate of the city lay four lepers that were forced out of the city because of their illness. Lepers could not have contact with those in society and when they encountered people they were required to announce themselves, “Unclean.” They were lying641 at the entrance of the gate sick, starving, separated and surrounded by the enemy when they decided to enter into a discussion with one another: “Why are we sitting here just waiting to die?” They began to weigh their options and discovered there were three options available.

Option #1: If they continued to sit at the gate they would surely die of hunger.

Option #2: If they went back into the city they would be rejected and still die of hunger.

Option #3: If they went to the enemies’ camp, they might receive pity and receive food. Even if the Syrians killed them, it was better to die quickly than to die slow from hunger.

What did they do? They decided not to sit and do nothing but they took a stance! They weighed their options. Death was the prospect for all three places; where they were at; where they came from; and where they thought about going. They became proactive, analytical and adventurous in their situation.

  • They were proactive: “Why sit we here until we die?” They thought to themselves; “What sense does this make sitting here waiting to die? If we are going to die at least lets die trying to live. Let’s not wait until death overtakes us.”
  • They were analytical: They began to analyze the situation. “If we say, we will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also.” ‘Let’s try to figure this thing out!”
  • They were adventurous: “Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.”

Here is the outcome! They waited until sundown and headed to the enemies camp. As they approached the camp God gave them assistance and made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of a great army coming their way. The Syrians fled the camp and left all of their goods and food. The four men came into the empty city and were able to eat sumptuously then they said, “We just can’t keep it to ourselves!” They ran back into the city and shared the good news with the starving city of Samaria.

Here is the question. What do you do when life’s situations hems you in?

  1. Be Proactive to the Promises: For the Christian we understand that God promised us that all things are working for our good (Romans 8:28). God never gave promises for us to never activate. God gives us the opportunity to partner with Him for our good. However, many are not standing on the promises; we are just sitting on the premises. We sometimes wait on God to move first when God is waiting on us. When the men initialized moving towards the enemies camp God gave them assistance.
  2. Be Analytical In Your Adversity: These four lepers were in a situation but they gave some thought to what they were going to do next. Having faith does not mean to jump out without thinking but your thinking allows God to get involved in the process and inject His will and supply His wisdom. James 1:5 instructs the believer to ask for wisdom and God will liberally respond.
  3. Be Adventurous in Your Attitude: Just know that while you are in your situation God is assessing your attitude. These four men had an attitude of being adventurous. They came to a conclusion that if they did nothing; nothing would come their way. The Christian must embrace the attitude of the Apostle Paul when he said, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
  4. Be Triumphant in Your Testimony: The story is a fixed facsimile of 4 men whom the masses had concluded a write-off. Yet, these men discovered there is life even after others have counted you out. They could have kept the good news of discovering the food in the empty enemies camp to themselves but instead they decided to share the good news to those who counted them out. The lesson is clear to rise above small mindedness. When God brings you out of a bad situation your response to others should be the same response that he has had toward you. GRACE! 1 Peter 4:10 – “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Bust A Move!

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

dont just sit there


Hope For Hard Times Part 2 – Things Are Not As Bad As They Appear

Things Are Not As Bad As The Appear
1 Corinthians 13:12-13

There is an old adage that says, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” It pertains to persons who have become so involved with the details of an issue that they lose sight of the larger more significan matter. How do you handle life when things appear so bad that you feel hopeless?

The Apotsle Paul wrote this passage to those who could not see the forrest for the trees and encouraged the reader to hold on to hope in hard times. 1 Corinthians 13:12-13“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

This passage teaches us 3 things about life’s dissapointments:

We Have A Limited Look

For now we see through a glass darkly.” It’s like Forrest Gump’s mother said, “Life is like a box of Chocolates! You never know what you are going to get!”

We Have A Lesson To Learn

“Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” The key words are know and known. Paul is saying although we have learned about God but we are not finished learning about Him. It is a life long process and one day all of our questions about life will be answered.

We Have A Love That Will Last

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” One day faith will be no more because faith is believing in what you cannot see but when we get to heaven we will see Him face to face. Hope will be no more because hope means expecting what has not arrived but when we see Him face to face it will complete any expectations. Love is the greatest because God is Love and God is eternal.

Here it is! There will be times in all of our lives when lifes dissapointments surface and rearrange the furniture in our lives. Unexpected trials and tribulations can leave you scratching your head. Life can throw curves that cannot be anticipate but we must maintain hope that things are not as bad as they appear and that God is working something better for our good. We must learn not to see the glass half empty but half full, we must make lemonade when life hands us lemons. We have to learn how to look on the bright side and say un the words of Charles Tinley, “I know the Lord will make a way somehow!”

What do you do when you cannot see the true picture of your life? Life does not always present an accurate picture of what we see because we are looking through a glass darkly. There are obstructions in life that don’t always present an accurate picture but we must believe that when life looks bad God is up to something even if its in the dark. The truth of the matter is God’s sometimes leaves us in the dark.

How do you handle life when situations appear bad? How do you make the best out of a bad situation?

  1. Keep On Living: Some people allow bad situations to kill them long before they are dead. They lose hope and allow the bad situation to be the nail in their coffin. However the child of God believes that problems are platforms for God’s performance.
  2. Keep On Listening: When things appear bad make sure that you are tuned into the right frequency. Tune into station B I B L E! The word of God will give you faith to see life from a different perspective. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing the word of God.”[1]
  3. Keep On Leaning: Be careful whom or what you lean on when life’s troubling situations surface. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.” [2]
  4. Keep On Looking: Never count God out of the equation but expect Him to show up. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”[3]
  5. Keep On Loving: Why? Because love conquers everything and God is Love. 1 John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”[4]

We must remember to keep on loving because love conquers all and when we see Jesus face to face we will understand it better by and by.

Looking Towards Heaven!

Hopeless Pic 2 Man

Dr. Oscar T. Moses


What To Remember When It’s Not Your Turn

What To Remember When It’s Not Your Turn
John 5:1-9

Have you ever watched other people get the blessings that you have prayed for? The truth is, there are seasons in life that are designed to make us wait. The problem with waiting is often God’s timeline stretches beyond our patience and we see other people get the blessings that we have prayed for. If you have ever felt that way you will be able to relate to the man in this story.

Jesus entered Jerusalem for a feast and encountered a man lying near a pool called “Bethesda”. It had five porches with sick people lying all around it. It was believed that an angel of the Lord came down from time to time to stir up the water and whoever got in first would be healed. This man had been there waiting 38 years. When Jesus arrived, he saw the man and knew how long he had been there and asked a question. “Wilt thou be made whole?” His response was, “Sir I have no man to put me in the water when it is troubled by the angel. By the time I get there someone else is already in.”Jesus said, “Rise! Pick up your bed and walk!” Immediately, the man picked up his bed and walked after waiting 38 years. At a deeper look we discover that this man had three (3) things working against him:

  • Age: The normal life span in this day was 40 years old. We do not how old he was but one can speculate that he wasn’t an infant when he got there.
  • Ailment: He is sick. We do not know the nature of his illness; we are simply informed that it prevented him from walking.
  • Anxiety: No one has offered him help. For 38 years he has been waiting and wondering, “When will I get my chance?”

Yet, Jesus uttered 5 words. “Wilt thou be made whole?” The man does not answer the question but immediately makes 3 excuses:

Excuse #1Abandonement:I have no man to put me in the pool.”

Excuse #2Frustration:Every time I try to get in the water.”

Excuse #3Entitlement: “Someone gets in before me.”

There is a message in this story. Life can be frustrating when waiting on God and if we are not careful we will “forever be the victim” making excuses and blaming others for where we are in life. Yet, the good news is God Sees You and He Knows Your Frustration. Verse 6 informs us that before Jesus spoke a word to this man He saw him and knew how long he had been in his situation.

Jesus didn’t heal every one at the pool. Why? There are two answers that evolve here. The theoretical answer is it is possible that this man was probably in the worse state and Jesus knew he would respond to the Words of Life. The theological answer in this story is God is sovereign. God’s sovereignty speaks of His position and His power. In other words, He can do what He wants to do.

Here is the question for those who are waiting on God to move in their life. What should you remember when waiting on God?

Position Yourself

This man believed that if he was going to get better he had to be somewhere around that pool. He could not have been hanging around the cow pasture or down at the fish market but he had to position himself around the pool. However when positioning yourself for the blessings of God; it’s not a place but a posture. The posture is one of humility. 1 Peter 5:6 – “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” Stop focusing on “why not me” and learn how to celebrate the victories in the lives of others. There are times when God will elevate those around you to see your reaction.

Prepare Yourself

It is better to not have an opportunity and be prepared then to have one and not be prepared. It may seem futile but your labor will not be in vain! Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” You Will Never Leave Where You Are Until You Prepare For Where You Would Rather Be.

Pace Yourself

Have patience. One writer says, “Patience is a virtue because it makes us better people. What did we miss out on? Did we hurt someone we love because of lack of patience? Patience is the ability to sit back and wait for an expected outcome without delay, tension or frustration.” Psalm 27:14: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”           

Next In Line?

Waiting In Line John 5

Dr. Oscar T. Moses