Rejected by First Impression

Have you ever been rejected by a place of worship even as you are entering? Was it the clothes you were wearing? Or maybe someone in the church recognized you for a past discretion and hurriedly ran in and told the greeters to tell you that you are not welcome there? If you ever had this issue, the problem is not with you, it is the church.
Some churches have a strict dress code where you must be in what is considered Sunday best. Some see ethnicity as an issue while others go by the gossip. These types of churches tell the same story of Bartimaeus who was initially rejected by Jesus’ followers and accepted only when Christ called for him. They hear the Word but do not listen.

And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. Mark 10:46-52

When someone is seeking salvation it is not our place to reject him or her, we should welcome the person no matter the appearance. We all were hurting at one time in our lives and sought refuge in Christ, were we rejected? If our intentions were and are true, Christ will not reject out plea and so should places of worship.

In the passage above, Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus and was hushed by the crowd. He was physically blind and dressed in rags. It was not a pretty picture. Through all the noise of the crowd Jesus reached out and heard the cry of His heart then called on him to come. The crowd quickly changed their attitude when they heard Him. They welcomed Bartimaeus only after Jesus invited him. If that is what it takes for us, we are wrong.

I have preached in places where people were in their Sunday best and I was wearing shorts and a collared shirt. Boy did I get some looks but God does not see the outer appearance, He sees the heart.

Do not reject anyone no matter their appearance or known sins but be welcoming as Jesus welcomed you when you first sought Him. We live for Jesus because He died for us. No person or thing in this world can save us the way God did through His Son, Jesus. He died for all people.

The next time you see a member of your church look at someone in disgust for their outward appearance, ask them to look into their own heart and see how dirty it is.
Be blessed,
In Christ,

Rob, Servant of God

Do Not Fear Failure

One of the missions at Path-Way Worship Ministries is to help people get closer to God. We have had what many would consider success but not without some failures. Thing is, we do not always know the right thing because that is God’s Plan and we do what we can to assist along the way. We do not believe that there are failures but we are saddened when things do not go the way we had hoped they would. Scripture tells us that God will direct us in the way we should go, so when we accept a failure and pray for guidance, God listens.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 

What Does Failure Look Like To Us

 Failure is that point where we believe nothing is going to go how we perceive is the right conclusion to a problem or situation. It is defined as a lack of success, a deficiency, and the action or state of not functioning. Failure is that final straw of giving up. Man’s biggest failure is giving up hope. If we give up hope and do not know God’s Love we are in trouble. The weak human heart is discouraged without God in the center. Loving God gives us hope for a future even if we have to suffer along the way.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 

True Failure is When You Quit And Let it Rule You

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins Hebrews 10:26

For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 2 Peter 2:21

God told Moses to tell the Israelites to keep His Word on their hearts. He reiterated that to Joshua and added that doing this leads to success. Jesus tells us the same but concludes that by not doing so and continuing in our worldly ways will lead to darkness suffering and death.    

God’s Word gives us the hope and encouragement we need to accept failure and keep moving forward towards the goal which is eternal life with God. 

God’s Word Encourages Us To Get Back Up And Keep Moving

“You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord: When men fall, do they not rise again?
    If one turns away, does he not return?
Jeremiah 8:4 

for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.  Proverbs 24:16

We are:

persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed 2 Corinthians 4:9

One of Walt Disney’s favorite sayings that he kept close to his heart was to keep moving forward. That helped make him and the dream a success. There are times when we make mistakes and let the failures rule over us. We cannot let failure rule us because the devil sees that as an opportunity to take us away from God. So we must learn from our mistakes and overcome them. 

God’s Word Encourages Us To Accept And Learn From Our Mistakes

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. Psalm 119:71

Because if we do not learn then we are destined to repeat the same mistakes.

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Proverbs 26:11-12 

Sometimes God Allows Us To Fail But Is Right There To Set Us Straight 

God gave us free will to make choices in our lives. These choices can point us to Him who created us or to the one that will destroy us. If we have God in our hearts He will guide us to the solution.

The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down Psalm 145:14

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Our failures are lessons that teach us that God cares for us and will not let us fall. Our faith, trust, and obedience in and to Him ensure our place in His Kingdom. After all, we are His inheritance.

Learn From The Past, Don’t Repeat It

God wants us to forget about our past and press on towards the eternal prize. If we learn from our faults we will not repeat them. Forgetting does not mean to totally ignore it because if we do ignore it we are bound to repeat it.

Brothers,I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

We can move forward from failures and mistakes if we have the Love of God in our hearts. Jesus sent us the Helper or Holy Spirit to dwell within those who believe and have faith in Him as our guide. We can defeat the fear of failure by embracing our mistakes, learning from them and moving forward with the Love and Hope of Jesus guiding us and picking us up where we fear to tread.

Brothers and Sisters, do not let failures and mistakes get you down. Figure out what went wrong, pray on it and let God guide you to the right thing. Take the time to Let Go and Let GOD do what He needs to in your heart to turn you to the correct path. Remember, it probably will not be the path of least resistance but it will lead you to success in the spirit and what God wants you to accomplish. Do not be afraid to fail. God Loves you and is with you always.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God

First Appearances Are Deceiving

Have you ever gone somewhere and felt really out of place because the others that were there looked different than you? CROSSover Praise Band had that happen last night. Basically we had a Blues Brothers experience without the cage even though it was a church function. Everyone that was there was dressed like cowboys and girls and the first thought from a couple of the band members was that we were out of place. As the night went on the first band up was a group of older gentlemen and one 18 something all playing guitars and they played classic country rock, a couple Beatles songs, and a song from the 60’s. All of a sudden the view of the two that were concerned changed. They saw how the group was received by the crowd and figured that we would fit in just fine. Myself and our bassist had no issues from the start and they were looking at us apologetically. Jesus did not deceive us with His appearance but there were so many expectations on how the Messiah would come to save the world. The Wise Men from the East thought He would be born in the palace. Others expected a fanfare with much pomp and circumstance. But Jesus came humbly in a lower to middle class family born amongst His Father’s handiwork. The fanfare came quietly to a group of shepherds who amplified the song of the angels who announced His birth, finding Jesus asleep on hay in a wooden trough. Does not sound very exciting. How many even in this day and age would consider a great ruler to enter into the world the way He did? How do we first appear to others as we walk down the street? As we enter places of worship? Our work, school, or other places we go especially for the first time. Some people want to make really good impressions dressing and acting in ways that they normally would not be only to realize they could have been themselves the whole time. If we really want to be like Christ, we do not have to dress to the nines or hide we just need to be ourselves. Brothers and Sisters, if you have to be someone different to meet people you are not being who God designed you to be. You do not have to conform to worldly ways to be liked nor do you have to change and blend in. There are so many who have no clue who they are because they trust society’s view more that their own. Be who you are by being that Child of God you were designed to be. With Love and Hope, Blessings, Rob, Servant of God

For Everything A Reason

Concluding our look at acronyms for fear I believe if we look at it from the Scriptural perspective we will find that everything has a reason for being. We are no accident, God made us for a larger purpose and each one of us plays an integral part in the total plan. I know, some of you are probably asking yourselves if all the troubles in this world are part of the miniscule plans for our lives and I cannot answer that. But what I can say is that everything happens for a reason and that reason is for God’s ultimate glory.

God brought everything known and unknown into existence then He created us. We are meant to take care of His creation. This purpose has many different intricacies about it though. First and foremost we were to live with the land and the animals and were charged with the well-being but God knew we would falter thanks to the darkness that took over our hearts. God gave each of us a mission to help mend each other to restore us to our original purpose but we messed that up too. 

Why is there so much wrong with the world?

There are many reasons but the ultimate one is the choices that we make dictate how the world will be. Too many people have forgotten God’s compassion and love even though it is built into our hearts. In fact, God’s Love is built into our DNA. When we chose to ignore God’s Love our whole self changes and we are no longer marked His. This is a win for the devil because he wants to be God. But those of us with the Mark of God (His Word and Love) can defeat the devil inside and bring those lost back to God. 

Why do we Suffer?

We suffer because we are separated from God due to sin. But the more we suffer for God’s Glory once we have turned back to Him, the closer the Kingdom comes to earth. We suffer in this life because there is a better life waiting for us In Christ. Jesus suffered for our sins even though He did nothing wrong. He was the innocent lamb led to slaughter by all of us. We have all held that nail that pierced His skin.

Why Do We Ask Why?

We humans are curious creatures who desire knowledge. We ask so that we may learn, we learn so that we may do, and we do so we may gain more knowledge. Are we trying to know everything? Some may desire that but it is not our place in our current state of existence.

What Do We Do?

We try to figure out the reasons things happen when what we really need to do is take everything by faith, trusting that God, in His mercy and grace, will grant us what we need when we ask but in His timing not ours. Our dependency should be on God because His is the reason for everything.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we need to pray for the world that it heals and turns back to God. It starts with our closest family, our community, and goes all the way up. To find the reason for all things we just need to turn back to God and put our faith in the Blood of Jesus which God used to save us for all time. Love One Another Just As He Has Loved Us. Have faith that God has all things in His control and it is His reason that things happen.

God’s Grace and Mercy be with you

Rob, Servant of God

What Path Will You Follow

According to Jesus there are two paths, the narrow and the wide. One leads to light and the other leads to darkness. These two paths are totally different in nature and at one point in our lives we need to understand that it is our choice on which path we take. One path is easy yet at the end the most dangerous. The other is very hard to stay on in fact you might think you are walking a tight rope but the reward is great. After this choice is revealed to us we must decide where we go from there.

The wide path is one where God’s Word is present but not followed. It is the ways of the world with little attention to the desire of having God in our lives. If fact you could say that it is literally having the devil as your guide.

The narrow path is God’s. It is where the Word is ever present and followed the best we can in our misshapen, human lives.  We are held to a standard that is very difficult to keep but the difference between the two paths is in whom we put our faith, our trust in. It is who we turn to in times of trembling.

The narrow path leads to the Kingdom of Heaven. God sent Jesus to guide us to the path and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide us and keep us on the path. Yes we have free will but unlike the wide path where free will allows for no immediate punishment for our mistakes, the narrow path corrects us and keeps us there.

The wide path keeps people in the world. It is filled with woes and worries over basic needs and wanderings. There is no clear cut edge on either side so there is much wavering. You can still know God and stay on the wide path but you will not see God and feel His presence once your path ends.

The path we take is determined by us when we reach the crossroad between innocence and understanding. It is a choice we make on our own but there is always still time to change our minds. We can choose to live in the world and gain nothing at the end, or choose Christ and gain everything.  God wants us to choose life with Him. What will you choose?

Brothers and Sisters there is a fine line where the grey is so thin that it is barely seen. It is thinner than a strand of hair. We cannot stay there but must choose the path we will take. I urge you to trust God and Keep His Word on your heart. That will help you stay on the narrow path to life.

There are so many ways the devil deceives and we could be walking the wide path while thinking we are on the narrow, that is why God gave us His Word, His Commandments, His Son. I have said before that there is a difference in believing and being in Jesus, this is where that is the most important. Being in Christ, walking in His ways the best we can is the way to stay on the narrow verses just believing and not walking beside Him.

The Choice is yours.

Rob, Servant of God

No Weapon Will Stand Against Us

Have you ever been falsely accused or your livelihood put at risk because of hatred or because your faith does not follow someone else’s worldview? This world has gone upside down to the point of evil being good. Christians are being persecuted through thought word and deeds that oppose God’s Will. However, in this season of accusations we have a promise from God that protects us.  

no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord. Isaiah 54:17

The weapon that we are currently dealing with is words and actions that create false notions, accusations, and idealisms against those who desire to do the right thing and who still hold on to morals and ethics that are within the values of the character and Image of God. Yes, some of the accused are guilty but when the lust for power causes people to create false truths, the innocent are guilty until proven otherwise.

As we saw in the last year and the very recent weeks past, celebrities, politicians, and others have made fools of themselves trying to cover their own faults and sins by making accusations against others. Some have been proven true and the guilty are taken care of but in other cases, the accusers own skeletons come out and they stand accused and suffer the consequences of their own guilt as well as the added punishment for false accusations against another.

I am not saying that some of these “movements” are bad and products of the Adversary but they are being misused to the point that those who are truly victims have lost their voice. Judges and others have now ruled that hard physical evidence is the only way of proving things unless the truly guilty admit to it without being pressured because mental states and words can be falsified and fabricated.

As this unravels we will see the politicians put in place by the Adversary start to lose themselves and their greed will be brought to light. Other agents of the devil will slowly be revealed and there will be a change coming. I believe this will further divide families and put to the test Christians who desire the world more than Christ. We have entered a time of tribulation that can be overcome.   

Rob, Servant of God