The Journey

In my own life I’ve noticed that I tend to put a lot of focus on the destination. I’m always thinking about where I’m going. So much so, that sometimes I fail to really appreciate the development and preparation that takes place during the journey. The journey is what molds and prepares us for our destination. 

As I thought more about this, I thought about the story of Abraham in the bible. In Genesis 12, God tells Abraham to “Go to a land that I will show you…” God didn’t give him specifics. He simply told him to go. During Abraham’s journey, he experienced battles, famine, strife and conflict. Yet because of his obedience, because he trusted God, He also gained new identity, financial blessings, and ultimately saw God’s promises fulfilled in his life. There are few specific characteristics about Abrahams journey that stood out to me. 
The first is that Abraham remembered God at every stage of his journey. The bible tells us numerous times; that as he journeyed, Abraham built an altar to the Lord. 
“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, I will give this land to your posterity. So Abram built an altar there to the Lord…” (‭Genesis‬ ‭12‬:‭7‬) Abraham didn’t allow himself to forget why he was doing what he was doing. He remembered and cherished the small steps, places, and moments that God spoke to him. And most importantly, he believed what God had promised.
The second point that stood out to me was how Abraham came out of the famine more blessed than he went into it. According to the scripture, almost immediately after Abraham decided to trust God, leave his home land, and embark on this journey; he encountered a severe famine. 
“Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down into Egypt to live temporarily, for the famine in the land was oppressive (intense and grievous).” (Genesis 12-10)
Even in the midst of famine, Abraham didn’t second guess if he really heard from God. He didn’t pack up and move back to his home land. And because of his faith and perseverance God blessed him in the midst of the famine. Obedience pays!!
“And he (Pharaoh) treated Abram well for her sake; he acquired sheep, oxen, he-donkeys, menservants, maidservants, she-donkeys, and camels.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭12‬:‭16‬ AMP)
SO ABRAM went up out of Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the South [country of Judah, the Negeb]. Now Abram was extremely rich in livestock and in silver and in gold.”(‭Genesis‬ ‭13‬:‭1-2‬ AMP)
The final point I’d like to discuss is how Abraham became “Abraham” on this journey. Abraham started his journey when He was 75, He didn’t see God’s promise until He was 99 years old. Yet Because he listened to God, And because he was faithful to follow what God had commanded; He was given new identity on his journey. 
“And he [Abram] believed in (trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness (right standing with God).” (‭Genesis‬ ‭15‬:‭6‬ AMP)
“Then Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, As for Me, behold, My covenant (solemn pledge) is with you, and you shall be the father of many nations. Nor shall your name any longer be Abram [high, exalted father]; but your name shall be Abraham [father of a multitude], for I have made you the father of many nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful and I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭17‬:‭3-6‬ AMP)
Abraham didn’t need all the specifics of God’s plan before he decided to be obedient to follow. He didn’t know the battles, famines, and conflicts that he would have to endure. But he trusted, relied on, and remained steadfast to what God had told him. Abrahams purpose, promise, and identity were revealed to him during his journey and because of his obedience. I guess you could say, His faith, and willingness to trust God through the journey; made him who God wanted him to be! 


By Alphonso Sensley II

#MorningThoughts

Purity on Purpose

Today I was thinking about purification. And how purity happens on purpose. Purification always involves a filtration process. A subtraction and extraction of certain elements. Purification also often involves direction. Water has to flow in a specific direction in order for the filtration system to be effective. 

When it comes to our lives, and specifically areas of our lives God wants to change; the key is to constantly have our hearts flow towards God. It’s a decision. Change doesn’t always happen instantly. But with our mind and heart set on the things above; we can and will see sanctification, purification, and change. 
We won’t be perfect, but as long as we don’t abort the process we will be perfected. God is Able, we just have to be willing!
#NightThoughts

The Weight of His Promise

The weight of His promise In awe of His goodness. This beautiful burden my heart carries with gladness. So I’ll keep pushing onward, till this burden births it’s purpose.

This weight is sure; but not heavy. This weight is expansive; yet easy. It strengthens me, It fuels me, It encourages me and uplifts me. The weight of His promises I carry now with me. Never to put them down; His promises now part of me.
God let your promises be part of us. Let us be found in them and them in us. Strengthen our faith to carry this weight, teach us patience, help us to trust.

The Bridge Builder

The Bridge Builder

When it comes to relationships; it seems We’ve learned to become experts at building everything except bridges. 


When it’s time to build a bridge; there will always be opposition. There will be voices saying it’s to costly. There will be voices saying a bridge is not needed. There will be voices decrying the look or placement of the bridge. Not to be taken lightly, Bridge building can be treacherous. Bridges are often constructed in the midst of adverse conditions. Conditions where if you’re not careful, you can easily slip and lose your footing during work. A wise Bridge Builder takes all of these things Into account. But along with all the negative possibilities; The Bridge Builder also understands the benefits of the completed bridge. 
The Bridge Builder understands that the bridge will provide a pathway over a chasm or pit; that It will allow others to pass safely over treacherous terrain. The Bridge Builder understands that the bridge will connect two previously separated pieces of land. And The Bridge Builder understands that the bridge will give access for the many to that which had previously only been accessible to the few. 
We hear all the time about failed relationships, business deals gone bad, friendships ruined, and bridges burned. It sometimes seems safer to just be an island and just worry about our own. But I believe God wants us to be more. I believe God wants us to seek Him and find the places where He is calling us to be menders, repairers and Bridge Builders. 
#AreYouABridgeBuilder?
#WeNeedBridgeBuilders #MorningThoughts 

God Is With Us

Even though I know that God is with me; Sometimes I forget. For whatever reason, Sometimes I feel like I have to do it on my own. I end up worrying and letting fear or doubt get the best of my thoughts. Yet God continues to show me and remind me over and over that He is Emmanuel.

He proves that He is with Me. He displays his faithfulness. He illustrates His patience and His mercy. He demonstrates His saving power and grace. He gives second and third chances. He rescues me. He delivers me. He sets me Free. He answers my prayers. He walks with me step by step. When I can’t see where to go, He tells me to step forward and trust. He leads my feet onto the right paths. And with every step I grow stronger and more confident.

Not more confident in myself; but a confidence in who God is. A confidence in His Goodness and Faithfulness. A confidence in the future He is leading me into. A Confidence in His Perfect Love.

Fittingly, as I wrote this I looked out my window to see this wonderful rainbow! God’s promises endure! Trust Him!

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By Alphonso Sensley II
#MorningThoughts

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18

Who Is Our Neighbor?

Who is our neighbor?

Jesus describes a story in which a Jewish man was robbed, wounded, and left half dead. He describes a Priest who saw him hurting, but chose to pass him by. He describes a Levite(A person dedicated to God) who also saw him hurting but likewise made the decision to pass him by. Finally, Jesus describes the actions of “a certain Samaritan who saw him and had compassion.” So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” (‭Luke‬ ‭10‬:‭34‬ NKJV)

To really grasp the impact of this parable we must understand who the Samaritans where in comparison to the Jews. Samaritans had markedly different beliefs than the Jewish people. They worshipped differently and in different places. They had different customs. The scriptures they considered Holy were even different. It was frowned upon for Jewish people and Samaritans to keep company together. Each group believed the other had a skewed view of who God truly was.

Yet Jesus uses this parable as an example of who our neighbors really are. I believe this parable shows us that our neighbors aren’t just those who believe, worship, or pray the same way we do. In fact, Our neighbors are likely to be different than we are. As followers of Christ we are to love people the same as we love ourselves. Jesus calls it “The greatest commandment.”
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭37-40‬ NKJV)

At the end of the parable of The Good Samaritan Jesus asks: “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (‭Luke‬ ‭10‬:‭36-37‬ NKJV)

With this in mind today let us remember who our neighbors are and more importantly, how we are supposed to treat our neighbors. Let us not be deterred because of different beliefs, opinions, or customs. Let us truly love our neighbors as ourselves. Let us Go and do likewise!!!

By Alphonso Sensley II

#MorningThoughts