Prophets of Hope

This first week of Advent we look at the hope of the birth of the Messiah and His triumphant return. To understand this hope we look towards the prophets. The first candle on the Advent Wreath represents not only hope but the prophesies that empowered this desire within the people.  Three of the prophets gave specific clues to the family, place, and actions of the Messiah who would be the Savior. The Messiah that the Israelites were seeking would save them physically but they did not fully understand that it would be their very souls which could be saved.

A Righteous Branch

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.” Jeremiah 33:14-16

The people knew from the time of David that his line would eventually produce one who would keep the tribes together. This ruler would be just and God-fearing by ruling with a loving heart. Here, Jeremiah is speaking of both times that our Savior/Messiah would come because He turned many back to God’s Word, disrupted and corrected man’s distortion of the law, and He will come again to restore Jerusalem as the seat of the eternal kingdom.    

The Place

Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace
. Micah 5:1-5

Knowing that the Messiah would be of the line of David it is only fitting that He be born in the same vicinity. The message here is that He comes from more than just David but His lineage goes back as a direct link to Adam following the Holy line through Abraham. This passage also speaks of a full return of all the tribes. The Messiah will be the Great Shepherd to the people.  

The Child, the Light, the Savior

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder.
For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
Isaiah 9:1-7 

The most poetic and well known prophesies is this. Isaiah speaks of the truth of the Messiah being the Holy Son of God who will reign over the world bringing a peace that is beyond human comprehension. His armies will defeat all evil and there will be no more bloodshed. We will finally have full communion with God. 

Signs and Wonders of His Return

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.
Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees;
as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.
So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly,
like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.
Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:25-36

Luke was not a prophet but he wrote down the words that were given to him from Paul and the Apostles that Jesus had spoken. Jesus speaks of His triumphant return and brings us hope of a future peace that will be eternal.  It is this hope that carries us through the days and encourages us in our bleakest times. The hope in waiting for His return gives us the joy that keeps us from being hopeless in the godless world we live in today.

How beautiful this season of Hope. Let us remain hopeful that He will return while letting the Holy Spirit guide us through each day. Let us also not dwell on doom and gloom but the glorious kingdom in heaven that awaits us. Keep hope in your heart and let it bring love, joy, and peace.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God  

Philemon’s Forgiveness

After our Lord and Savior ascended, the Word of the Lord spread throughout the Roman Empire. Paul touched many lives and his reputation followed him wherever he was, especially while imprisoned in Rome. He had visitors who sought many things. One such person was a bondservant of Philemon from Colossae in Phrygia named Onesimus.

Philemon was a rich and well known man throughout Colossae. He was stern yet compassionate man who did much throughout the community. Onesimus was a bondservant of Philemon and not a believer. He must have not liked something about his master so he stole money and fled to Paul. Paul writes to Philemon after a time seeking  forgiveness and release of Onesimus. 

Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10 that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.

17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask. Philemon 1:8-21

What Is So Special About This Onesimus

Onesimus was lost. His sin was thievery and disbelief until he sought Paul through whom he found the path. Paul sent him back to Philemon for forgiveness and he returned to Paul a free man. Paul became his mentor. God used Onesimus from then on, first to minister to Paul, then to spread the Gospel to the world. 

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. Col. 4:7-9

From Bondservant to Martyr

Onesimus had the power of the Holy Spirit and became an ardent preacher of the Gospel. His name and message was well known he preached the Gospel in many lands and cities: in Spain, Carpetania, Colossae, Patras. When Timothy’s season as bishop of Ephesus had ended, Onesimus was called to take his place. Onesimus was not without controversy as his teachings on celibacy infuriated a governor in Ephesus so he was sent to Rome, tortured and stoned.

He is celebrated in Greek Orthodoxy as his delivery of the gospel touched many lives and turned so many souls back to God.

What Does This Mean For Us

Why was this particular letter added to the canon of Scripture? Showing the backstory of a bishop and how he was saved through the forgiveness of his former master shows what it means to be a Christian of compassion. The key person in this letter is Philemon with Onesimus being the one who is saved. Paul’s letters tell of  his usefulness as he became a courier of letters while ministering others along the way. This letter opens the eyes and creates the story of how God works in our lives through seeing how God worked in his. Sins can be forgiven if you seek him who forgives and saves us. God calls the faithful to do His work on earth, shining the light on the path to glory.

Be blessed this season and shine your light upon others.

Rob, Servant of God

Taking Care of Our Own

In the wake of the recent occurrences with the large number of people trying to get into our country seeking asylum from others many people have quoted the Scriptures stating that we should be welcoming them in. Yes that is true, but there are some Scriptures that they conveniently forget that are of utmost importance. These immigrants are to be treated as if they are members of the society and not special and above the native born. If we cannot even care for our own why do we treat non-natives better?    

And if a stranger sojourns among you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its rule, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native.” Numbers 9:14

 For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord.  One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.” Numbers 15:15-16

Lack of adherence to the local laws, statutes and practices is what leads to societal breakdown and disharmony.   

If a person enters our country they are subject to the same laws of the land as the native born. If we cannot care for our own homeless and poverty stricken why do we give the money to the immigrant who has not proven loyalty to the laws of the land. We have spent more money helping outside countries than those who are in need here.

MSN has had many articles about poverty in the states and ways to help but people have ignored them. I have heard from many that they do not give to these charities because not enough goes to those who are in need and instead goes into the pockets of those in charge. Internet fundraising sites are getting a bad rap from misuse due to fake needs. There are ways of getting assistance but some are just too lazy to go about it the right and proper way.

There are some immigrants who have blended in and have become patriots of our society who follow the law but they are marred by those who continually make a bad name through illegally entering or coming in then committing a crime getting deported and reentering illegally again and committing another crime. It is a bad situation and must be stopped.

Those who welcome immigrants must be prepared to educate them into the ways of the land but first should open their doors to the native born in need. How can we help others if we cannot help ourselves?    

The process for those seeking entrance into the country through asylum or desire citizenship need to be made aware of and should take an oath of acceptance of our rules and statutes prior to entering with the understanding that if they fail to abide and adhere then they will be deported. There should be no monetary assistance for them until they have fully integrated legally.

I know I sound rash and rough on this subject but if we cannot take care of our own in need then how do we justify taking care of those outside our sphere of influence. God told the Israelites to treat others as they would themselves (following the laws, statutes, principles, and adhering to God’s rule). Jesus had instructed us to take care of our own first so that all can help others in need. This is what we are to do.

Rob, Servant of God

Waiting for a Miracle

The day we celebrate Christ’s Birth is upon us. Oh how the stores and streets are lit up with decorated greenery and pretty paper covered boxes with bows. Kids are lining up to see Santa Clause and give him their Christmas wish list while the parents try to read their lips to get the right thing.

On the other spectrum, children await their parents return with even a small morsel of food just to survive or they are rummaging through waste cans just to get scraps. These children see the windows and dream of the joy and happiness that comes with the season. They are waiting for the day that they can have a real meal with someone who will love them and care for them. They are waiting on a miracle.

People all over the world are waiting for something that will make their lives better, have meaning, or just to be happy and survive the winter. They hope for the next sunrise and warmth that it brings. Some are scared that they will never see the light of day again because of the torment they are suffering. They are waiting on the miracle of a Savior that brings love, safety, and comfort.

We are all waiting on something. There are some who know that something grand is coming but they do not know what or who it is but they wait patiently. Maybe this thing will bring peace to the world, hope to a lost nation, joy in the hearts of all mankind, and a Love that is well beyond our understanding. We are waiting for the return of our Messiah.

In just a few weeks we will be celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus, Son of Mary who comes to us humbly but will be the one who saves us all from death and sin. We are waiting for the one who will grant us the reconnection with our Heavenly Father through His Words and deeds. We are waiting for the one written about in many Scriptures from the Bible that many people of the time missed. We are waiting on God’s ultimate gift of Love.

The miracles we see today are not well known to many but they are hints of the coming King and His Grace that covers us. They are the smallest acts of kindness, not to benefit the person doing the action but the recipient and all those around who will see the joy the kindness brings. They are the stranger doing something for another that shares God’s Love in ways that we cannot understand.    

Why do we wait for miracles when little miracles are happening all around us every day. Some wait for specific things to happen that never come to pass. Others see the miracles and wish it could have been them. We need only ask through prayer and thank God every day for the little things that He gives us. The more we wait on miracles the easier they will pass us by.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God    

The Uniqueness of We

What happens when you are surrounded by many people with the same thoughts and attitudes? Nine times out of ten we concede on our own ideals and blend in with the crowd to be liked and loved. Human nature explains that we are social creatures and will do what is necessary to fit in to the situation at hand sometimes compromising our thoughts and beliefs, losing ourselves in the process.

A Danger Seen But Not Conquered

All too often the youth are easily influenced to be like others with whom they really have nothing in common. This is especially bad when certain people who have abused their gifts are given a platform to share their idealisms and agendas that are not in concert with God’s plan. Think of what has happened in the last 120 years with the event of audio/visual media. First used as a way of informing people of things happening in the local area, it has flourished into a means of delivering both true and false information throughout the world. The owners and those who make an extravagant living off of fame think they have the power and the right to influence the way people think. They really do not.  

God created each of us as unique persons with one purpose, to take care of His creation through expressing His Image through mirroring His Love. Yes we all have the same purpose but each of us has been given a gift to be used for His glory. We are not supposed to be hateful towards each other. We should not hold grudges or bitterness towards anyone whether we approve of their lifestyle or not. God gave us the opportunity to be unique and use our gifts to live together in love, not away from each other in fear.

You Cannot Be Completely Like Mike

For those who may be jealous of one person’s gift and desire to be like that person, you have to realize that God designed that individual to succeed in that gift and not you because your purpose is elsewhere. If everyone tries to be like someone else, our uniqueness and gifts are wasted and God’s purpose for us is overtaken by the devil’s desire to overthrow God.

Satan has placed His demons in areas that control those who do not know God or refuse to know Him. He has created a world where money and materialism control our lives so our uniqueness is hidden away. When we open our eyes and accept Christ as Lord and Savior, Satan loses control. Once we rely on Jesus our gifts become more apparent but we must fully submit to Christ. It is honestly real easy but it is the hardest thing to do if you remain attached to the things of your past.

Regain Your Uniqueness  

Putting your full Faith and Trust in God helps you discover the real you. For some it takes a long time but it will happen. We are all infused with a servant’s heart it just depends on the specific gift on how we are to serve others. Are you able to teach, sing, play an instrument? Do you have good business sense and can lead others? Look even the ability to stack a bunch of cards in a pyramid without it falling shows the potential for a natural gift of construction or engineering (either that or you can balance things easy). We are meant to share our gifts with specific people groups but all is for the Glory of God and His creation of which we are a part of.

Be unique, share your uniqueness with others but to not convince them that your way is the only way because you will going against God. Do not go against the Commandments nor the teachings of a right moral life or you may be easily influenced and lose your you which God made you to be.

Brothers and Sisters, Love one another as He loves us. Love your neighbor as yourself and do not hold anything against them. Be in Christ and Live.

Rob, Servant of God

‘Tis The Season

The hustle and bustle of the most joyous season of the year has begun. Merchants both small and large have decorated their stores in a mixture of Autumn and Winter celebrations. Lights and decorated trees are everywhere and we haven’t even cut the turkey for Thanksgiving. The Santa at the end of the Macy’s Parade has not even arrived yet. So why are we preparing for the 25th of December.

When reading Luke, there are many things he wrote that show preparation for the coming king. He talks about the parents of John the Baptist and their initial disbelief that turns into a most glorious blessing. He speaks of the mystery that surrounded the births. When Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, John leapt in the womb with excitement in anticipation. How did he know? John had the Holy Spirit dwelling in Him before he was born and felt the presence of the Most High developing the physical body of the Word/Savior to come. He was prepared even before birth.

How should we prepare? It is simple really. Now is the absolute time to fully trust in the Father. Put aside all grudges, bitterness, those things that tempt us, so that our concentration is wholly on the coming King. Praise and Worship in anticipation daily and take everything to God in Prayer. This is the time when the devil will try anything to keep us away. Be stronger and fully rely on God. This is the moment, be blessed.

Love to All,

Rob, Servant of God

Building

Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127

Relationships are very important to God. God wants a personal relationship with us. Having strong, caring, and healthy relationships with family members, friends, coworkers, and others here on earth are just as important. The love, trust, grace, and mercy we share with each other (especially when God is central) is the physical representation of God’s everlasting Love for us. When our earthly relationships get damaged that does not mean that God loves us less, it is a way for us to show God’s grace and forgiveness.

Children are God’s gift so that we can understand how much God loves us by putting the future in our care. The more we love God, the more we are blessed. Do not think that you are not loved or blessed by God if you cannot have, for God has greater plans and will bless in different ways.

We build relationships to emulate God’s relationship He desires with us. Keep building and the Kingdom of God will increase.

Rob, Servant of God       

Word of the Day: Adulting

Is there an adult in the house? I certainly hope so.

Terms used to differentiate between stages of life have been turned upside down to the point where some of them have become stylized to be something dreaded. The line between teen and young adult has been made so thin that 14 year olds think they deserve to be treated as if they are out of high school. When parents give them the opportunity, some teens fall flat while others are able to embrace it for a little while then realize that they are not truly ready. It is good when they realize that there is a lot left to learn.  

The term “Adulting” means taking on the responsibilities of being a person above the age of 18 who are responsible for taking care of themselves and others. In other words, having responsibilities that make them into a functional member of society. But who is responsible for teaching them how to become the responsible adult? The answer is found in Scripture:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6  

Yes, the parents are the responsible party for training (or bringing) up their children. But since society is so hung up on social status and daily living costs have skyrocketed,  parents are not always there to teach the child right. To this matter, the child learns about life from outside influences. Some of these influences are good while others have corrupted even the most basic family values. 

Young children are sponges and are very observant. They imitate what they see and hear. Without God at the center they soak up things that will corrupt positive ways of thinking. This is why we have so many issues today.

On a different perspective, children who have religion excessively pushed on them may want nothing to do with it later in life. This allows the devil to entertain the belief that what is evil is good and what is good is evil. They lose the desire to be responsible adults. 

So “Adulting” has become the term used when someone just does not feel like doing the normal activities that come with being an adult and also not desiring to being responsible for their actions placing the blame on others. 

What if God did not want to “Adult”? We would be under the total influence of Satan and total anarchy, violence, immorality, death, destruction, and disease would rule over us. God gave us His Word to keep evil in check so that we could live understanding the difference between a right way of living and influences that destroy our souls.

Then He gave us His Son as a sacrifice to completely cover our sins once and for all. This does not mean we are good and can continue in living in our sinfulness. We must learn to “Adult” in the way God desires of us so that we can be with Him in eternity. How do we learn this? We go back to Proverbs 22:6 and understand that God teaches us in the way we should go so that we can live a right life under the influence of His Grace, Mercy, and Love.

Brothers and Sisters, be that light, that influence to the youth that helps them desire to do the right thing and become responsible, mature adults.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God  

   

GET ACTIVE

Do you know someone who is on the church roll but is either hardly ever present or just there without participating? Does that same individual profess faith outside of the church or is Christian only when he or she is in the sanctuary? There is a vast difference between professing one’s relationship to Christ and one demonstrating the reality of one’s relationship to and faith in Christ. That person needs to get active.

Paul in writing to Titus (1:16) speaks of a group of professing Christians and says, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” What Paul is saying is that they profess to be saved, but by their lifestyle, the habitual practices of their life, their lips lie. However, their actions tell the truth about their spiritual condition.

Jesus revealed the judgement of being lukewarm through John as he wrote his revelation. Being a lukewarm Christian is the worst kind to be. You can talk the talk but to be in Christ you must walk the walk. Sharing the Word is one thing but you must show the Word in action in your own life to be believable to those with whom you speak.

“let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

It is not just about you and your relationship with Christ. It is about your relationship with others through Christ. Do you remember the story of the sheep and the goats where Jesus is sitting in what appears to be a pretrial like area with His flock and separating them as the two types of Christians? Which type are you? What have you done for Him lately?

I tell you this Brothers and Sisters. If you are a Christian with an inactive faith then you might want to change your ways before Jesus returns.

For those in the states especially in South Carolina, I have an opportunity for you to begin becoming the sheep you need to be. Path-Way Refuge and Retreat Center needs your help. By helping us you can be a part of helping others in need both spiritually and physically. We have counselors and facilitators but we need volunteers to help with some building projects and a Christmas fundraiser for the needy in our area. If you are outside the area and would like to contribute monetarily we are taking donations from starting at $10.00s and up. See here to donate: Refuge and Retreat Center

We have rewards for your contribution that are all handmade items by me, my wife, and two of our volunteers.

Brothers and Sisters, all funds go directly into the building and missions funds. Nothing goes to our pockets. When you donate we will send you updates on what your contribution is doing and we will introduce some of the people you are helping. When we do help someone using funds, we watch what the money is spent on by giving the person cards that are only accepted for specific items so it is not spent on unhealthy things.

I pray that you will deeply consider helping us help others. Help us so we can get the Refuge nd Retreat Center up and running by April 2019.

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