Celebrate your way through the week

Praise and worship are crucial in the life of the Christian. They are the backbone of the Christian faith. They are the meat on the bones of hope and gratitude. They are the expression of the joy given by the Lord. They are the essence of the relationship with God. They are the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian. They are the reminder that we live by faith and not by sight because praise and worship are to be part of our lives all the time no matter what our circumstances are. Praise and worship are part of the daily celebration we ought to engage in. The Christian life has many aspects to it and one of them is joy and celebration. We are not celebrating because of what we have and what we see but we are celebrating the One who gives us “faith eyesight” and who provides everything we need. We are to celebrate Jesus because He died for us and gave us life in abundance.

We are to celebrate love, the love of God. His love is why we are here, why we live through Him, why we are blessed and why we are a blessing. People celebrate all the time around the world for many reasons that have nothing to do with God. When you celebrate for all the right reasons, God being the main reason, you are clothed with power to face anything. You don’t celebrate to receive that power. You celebrate and power is a side effect. There is power in dancing for the Lord. You can either actually dance or you can have a dance in your heart that glorifies Jesus. A dancing and celebratory attitude is the key to powerful Christian living. Today I want to encourage you to dance throughout the day. Dance in celebration of the Lord throughout this new week. Keep on dancing. Keep on celebrating the Lord. Keep on focusing on Jesus and you will make it through this week with flying colors. Let your dancing colors celebrate the Lord.

Many would agree that 2020 started off as a difficult year. The losses, the natural disasters and the difficulties people have encountered around the world are pretty heavy. February seems to be a month of hope as many believe that it can only get better from now on. The truth is we never know what is going to happen. Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulations. He didn’t say that to scare us or to be negative. He said it because He knew what we should expect. However, He also said that He had conquered the world and we should stay in faith because nothing is impossible to Him. Any bad thing that will ever happen has been defeated by the Lord. For every problem and for every trial, there is a victory bought by Jesus. Our faith is a shield that gets us to the victory. When we stay in faith and we refuse to doubt and waver, we walk under the protection the Lord is giving us until we get to our breakthrough. How should we be walking under the protection of faith? We should be dancing. We should be dancing our way to victory. We should be dancing through the trials and the misery. Dancing here is a metaphor for keeping a heart of celebration or it can be literally dancing while praising and worshiping. The key is to stay positive, to let God’s joy invade our hearts and to keep eyes on Jesus the victory.

I have found that when I get myself into celebration mode despite my problems, I am changed on the inside. The problems are still there on the outside but they disappear on the inside. Praise and worship affect my mind in a positive way. Praise and worship lift up my spirits. Praise and worship warm up my heart and give my spirit a voice.  It’s the voice of triumph. I no longer say all the negative things that the enemy wants me to focus on. Celebrating Jesus is like kicking the enemy in the head. Dancing while suffering is pushing the enemy away and making room for the Savior in every way. Dancing through the problems is embracing love and demonstrating that we believe God’s love wins. Dancing in the middle of the rain of despair is letting the sun shine through the clouds of doubt. Dance, friend. Don’t let the enemy keep you in one spot with a heavy heart. Move. Walk. Dance. Move forward in faith. Give yourself the luxury of accepting God’s victory. Stare at the Lord while you are dancing. Let His Spirit lead the dance. Stay encouraged. Stay in praise. Stay in celebration mode. Your victory is around the corner. Keep on celebrating the Lord!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 63:7; Psalm 47:1; 1 Peter 1:8-9

Time for a celebration

I mentioned a few days ago how I use dto be weirded out by people raising their hands in church and celebrating Jesus wholeheartedly. It is after I had an encounter with the Lord that I felt extremely comfortable rejoicing in the Lord the way I had seen the “churchy” people do. Celebrating the Lord should be a big part of our being Christians. There is always something to celebrate with the Lord. There is always the Lord to celebrate. Sunday is the designated day to lift up the Lord but like I often say, we shouldn’t wait until Sunday to have church-like moments of celebration. My recommendation is to exalt Jesus every single day. You might be saying, “Well I am going through a lot today and I have nothing to celebrate.” It is in those hard times that we should be celebrating even more. We need to stop the earthquake of problems that is trying to cripple us. When the earth is moving under our feet, we should be stomping our feet in praise. We should be making a joyful noise into the Lord. The enemy hates it with a passion. Let me say that again. The enemy hates it when we celebrate the Lord. He can’t stand the sound of it. He can’t stand the spiritual atmosphere that is created by our praises. He can’t stand hearing the name of Jesus and He can’t stand seeing hope in His name. If you are having a difficult time today, if you are having a great day today, give into to praise. Celebrate the Lord in the bad times and in the good times. Take the time to rejoice over Him. Let your praises be heard right now, today. There is no better day than today to honor the Lord!

 

 

I remember a time when I was so deep into my problems that I wasn’t just experiencing an earthquake of problems but it was more like I was sinking in the quicksand of “no way out.” If you have been there you know what I am talking about. Every way you turn all you see is no exit, no hope, no joy, no rest, no love. I didn’t know what to do. When I was reminded about celebrating the Lord no matter what, I didn’t think it was a good idea. Then I gave it a shot because I had nothing to lose. It seemed that I had lost everything. I found everything again once I looked at the Lord and made Him my focus. With Him you will always find what you have lost and more. He adds to everything. He multiplies and He amplifies. I had a Jesus party. He was my guest of honor. He was the One I wanted to commemorate and glorify. It was the best time ever. You don’t have to be in a specific location to have a Jesus celebration. You can lift Him up anywhere and in any situation. Don’t wait until the right moment because the right moment is all the time. The perfect time to rejoice in the Lord is right now. It’s important to stay in the moment and only have eyes on Him and no one else when you have your Jesus party. As you concentrate on Him, He will change you and bless you.

 

 

It’s time to rejoice. Stop what you are doing and get into party mode for the Lord. This party is going to break the chains that have been holding you down. There is going to be a change in you that will be noticeable. You can’t celebrate the Lord without “feeling the Lord.” It is going to be like Heaven is coming down and visiting you. You are going to visit Heaven so to speak during your moment of praise. Heaven is always rejoicing and exalting Jesus. Join Heaven with your celebration. Give it all you have. Dance, sing, laugh, and let the Holy Spirit take control. Rejoicing in the Lord is very important because it helps maintain a healthy spirit. It feeds your spirit and it nourishes your soul. It gives you a Jesus boost. It gives you an injection of joy. Think of it as a vaccination against morosity, misery, sadness and fear. It’s time to have a celebration. It’s time to let go of the tears, the fears and the anxiety. Let the Holy Spirit lead the dance. Let the Spirit of the Lord give you the songs to sing, the words to say and the zeal to celebrate. Celebrate the Lord each and every day!

 

Suggested reading: Psalm 145:6-8; Isaiah 63:7; 1 Peter 1:8-9

 

Thanksgiving in July

A few years ago I went to a “Thanksgiving in July” celebration in San Diego. I loved the idea of celebrating this holiday in the middle of the summer. I wish I could celebrate it all the time. Giving thanks is a powerful biblical concept. The Bible tells us that we should be thankful all the time. It shouldn’t just be the last Thursday in November; “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:18). This means that we should say thank you all the time and for everything. We tend to thank God when something obviously good happens to us. We get a promotion then we thank God. A loved one gets saved then we thank God. A friend gets healed then we thank God. These are all good reasons to be thankful but He wants us to be thankful in all circumstances. This leads me to think that as long as we have circumstances, we have reasons to be thankful. One way we can show thanks is by our attitude towards our every day situations. Instead of saying “I have to go to work today” we should be thankful and say “I get to go to work today”. Find ways to show appreciation for all you have because it allcomes from The Lord. Look at your circumstances today and find things you can be grateful for. Use words of appreciation, put a positive spin on your life, look at the glass half full and not half empty. Inject positivity in every situation. It pleases the Lord and it will keep you in God’s will. Try it today!