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  

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

Jewish Influence in the Lord’s Prayer

What I am about to talk about today may shock and challenge some people who are blind to certain facts of historical significance. There are many things about Christianity that so many have been blinded from by radicals who desire supremacy over others when the origins do not even belong to their ethnicity. There is no “Master Race”. There is no White Jesus or Black Jesus. Here is the fact. Jesus was born of Middle Eastern ethnicity in Bethlehem in Judea. His mother and earthly father came from Nazareth. Both of them are descendants of Abraham who descended from Noah who descended from Adam. When Rome took The Way and made it into the national religion called Christianity they tried to strip away all things Jewish except that one fact.  

Did you know that the Lord’s Prayer and other things we say and do as Christians have Jewish roots? In fact, we would not have Christianity except that the first people who knew Jesus and spread the faith were Jewish.     

So we ask this question, “How did Jewish Liturgy influence the Lord’s Prayer?”

Jesus taught us the model on how to talk to God in prayer. Here is the Lord’s Prayer as we know it.

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
  Luke 1:1-4

For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever, AMEN was added later.

The Lord’s Prayer is by far the most central and well-known Christian prayer in the world but it has almost word by word similarities with different Jewish prayers.

First, the content of the Lord’s Prayer is the same as the key Jewish liturgical concept of אבינו מלכנו (pronounced: Avinu Malkenu). When translated it means “Our Father, Our King”. In fact, everything in the Lord’s Prayer is centered around either the fatherhood or kingship of God.

Our Father, Who art in heaven

​The prayer begins by professing our core religious belief that God is our heavenly Father who is all knowing and all powerful. Notice that Jesus didn’t instruct us to say, “My Father” but stressed “Our Father.” God is not just the Father of one or five children but the Father of the human race.

 “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matt.6:9b-13a)

Second, there are word-by-word parallels between the Lord’s Prayer and variety of Jewish prayers such as “Our Father, Our King”, the “Amidah”, and the “Morning Blessings”. Here is one example from each:

אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ סְלַח וּמְחַל לְכָל עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ

Our Father, Our King, forgive and pardon all our sins.

נְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת שִׁמְךָ בָּעוֹלָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמַקְדִּישִׁים אוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁמֵי מָרוֹם

We will sanctify your Name in this world, as it is sanctified in high heaven.

ואל תביאנו לא לידי חטא ולא לידי עברה ועון, ולא לידי נסיון ולא לידי בזיון, ואל ישלט בנו יצר הרע

Lead us not into sin and transgression, iniquity, temptation and disgrace, so that evil will not rule over us.

Jesus had taken what was already known from established prayers and petitions to God and gave them deeper meaning outside of the realm of Israel as the plan was originally intended.

The liturgy of Jewish prayers, their festivals, and traditions, are the basis of all things Christian. Some modern scholars even want the Old Testament put aside but then call the New Testament, Scripture. The Word of God, Jesus, is found at the very beginning of the Christian Bible cannot be ignored. Jesus gave the two Great Commandments but they lose their meaning without understanding the Ten Commandments. The Great Commandments are the culmination of the Ten so everything in the Ten still apply.

STOP THE HATE

This Anti-Semitism and ethnicity hatred that has grown stronger must stop. We are supposed to be helping the Jews see Jesus in a peaceful manner not by killing them like the zealous Catholics did during the Inquisition. We should be spreading Love not hatred because we are all of the same flesh. Our outward appearance comes from a manipulation of dirt, clay, and water. That is what our bodies will return to. Our spirits live on after the body dies. There is no color, gender, or ethnicity, just the spirit. We are all one. Let’s start acting like it. Look at the inner person not the sinful shell. Be the Child of God He desires us to be. Love one another, give up the hatred and all things that keep us in the world. That is one of the ways we will have communion with God.

Brothers and Sisters, the time is past and we are already hurting. Now is the time for healing.

Love to All,

 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.

The Paths We Take

The choices we make in life determine our paths even the path we will take after we leave this world. Scripture discusses paths and choices in just about every Book in the Bible and extra canonical texts found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, at Nag Hammadi, and others.

Jesus was especially concerned about the path we will choose because of the eternal ramifications of the two main paths in life. For He said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14). 

There are two ways, the way of life and the way of death. “You make me know the path of life; in your presence is unbounded joy, in your right hand eternal delight” (Psalm 16:11). Why is the way of death wider than the way of life? For starters, God set up conditions that will determine our final destination that are either with Him or without Him.

To help us get on the path that leads to God, He gave us Commandments to try and follow. Knowing that these are almost impossible due to our human nature God’s Word came down in the form of Jesus to show what right looks like and then make the ultimate final sacrifice for those who would believe, trust, follow, and call on Him. 

Some of us just cannot escape our sinfulness which is why Jesus came. The writer of Hebrews gives a swift warning that has caused much debate in the once saved always saved department. “For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).

Jesus knows the truth of our hearts and does not want us to fail in life. He told people to follow Him and sin no more but we will sin and make bad choices because of who we are. The sins that control our lives are the one we need to quit completely. Most of those are listed as the opposite of the Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit. Those negative emotions and actions cause us to choose the wrong path if we let them control our lives. Basically anything that keeps us from worship, praise, and communication with God are things that we must choose to avoid.

The choice of the path we take is ours to make. One leads to life and the other to death. Which one will you choose?   

 

The Shame Of Shaming

Why do people shame others for their looks or their way of life? Is it out of jealousy or is there some other factors or belief systems that cause people to act this way? Thing is, either way it is not the Godly thing to do even though the problem of shaming is largely within the whole of Christianity. Shame results in a loss of dignity and causes emotional pain. Why would a Christian do that to another?Shame of Shaming

Purity

Remaining sexually pure before marriage is biblically sound but not a reason to overemphasize it so much that it causes physical and psychological damage to youth who become so scared that they cannot have a healthy relationship that would grow into love and marriage. The Evangelical Purity Movement has done just that. We understand that desires of the body happen but the youth do not need to be shamed into believing those feelings are wrong and of the devil.

Instead youth leaders should discuss the emotional impact of those desires and how to live with and  control them from a Jesus perspective. Dealing with desires from a Jesus loving style perspective helps a developing person embrace the emotions on a spiritual level and the ability to face and take on the giant of persecution and ridicule from peers who tease them for their decision. Dealing with this in a loving and caring way instead of public shaming will be more beneficial for the youth in their later years and help enhance the marriage experience as it is a gift from God.

Appearance and Preference    

Shaming happens on all sides of humanity not just by religious zealots. This stems from many things within cultures and the worldview of specific societies. There is absolutely no reason to body shame someone or shame someone for their sexual preference. They are dealing with their own demons and have either accepted the way they are or are trying to change themselves for their health or otherwise. When a person is shamed for their appearance, especially when it comes to weight (too skinny or overweight), this can cause a person who has low self-esteem to get worse. If a person is really trying to get healthy it puts them in a place that either makes them work twice as hard to get to a healthy weight or for the person to increase their issue which can be more damaging either way.

There are people who have certain diseases that must be overcome personally if they want to get to the scientifically recommended healthy weight. The mistake is that people will shame another and sometimes make things much worse. We cannot be doing that and say that we are Children of God. Instead, Love on them and ask if there is a way to help them through. Be the accountability partner or just a caring friend. Someone the person can count on for encouragement as he or she struggles.

As for preference, Brothers and Sisters we are not judges of man’s ways considered as sinful by God. We are here to love one another and bring all people closer to God so they can choose to confess and repent of their sins. The choices people make are their own decisions we cannot choose their lifestyle for them. This goes for all sins because all sins are treated equally in God’s eyes. Some are abominations according to God’s Word, yes, but the only unforgivable sin is the complete denial and turning away from God.

People born on this earth of all ethnicities, creeds, social constructs, and preferences are created by God. The choices made by the individual will determine their life in eternity until the fire. We have no right to shame anyone in order to control their thoughts and deeds or to satisfy our jealousies. That is not to be our way. Jesus taught us to love in all adversity because we are all God’s Children no matter what. Through God’s Love we can all work together and bring the Kingdom closer.

Continue in prayer for those who are in harm’s way be it war or natural disaster. Pray for the sick and dying that they may be comforted and call of Jesus. Pray for those who mourn this sinful life that they may find comfort and forgiveness in God’s arms. Brothers and Sisters, be blessed this week and all weeks ahead to the day of the Lord’s return.

Rob, Servant of God

Control Yourself and Let The Spirit In

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32 ESV

What does it mean to have Self-Control? Self-control is the culmination of what it means to grow spiritually. If we have understanding and can truly say we are nourished by the Fruit of the Spirit then we can have control of our humanity and concentrate on completing our walk in the Spirit. Of course we are still imperfect beings and cannot fully attain this on earth. But we are given the strength to endure.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

Peter gives guidance in the steps leading up to love in which self-control is central.

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV

If self-control was not important, Paul would not have told Timothy:

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

The Romans had their great sporting and track and field events so Paul could speak to them in a way they would understand. The Corinthians new what it meant to win and lose. Paul gives the analogy of the prized wreath after winning a race:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we, an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV

Self-control takes discipline. The Corinthians also had a very bad sexual immorality issue so not only did Paul talk about the body being a temple and not ours to destroy but the discipline it takes to keep the body from earthly entices.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 1 Corinthians 6:18 ESV

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV

Jesus is the only person to walk on this earth that had perfected self-control. Yes there may be others who claim it but they are not the perfect being who has perfect control and the only one who can bear our sins.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14 ESV

The words of Romans 12:1-2 speak for themselves.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 ESV

So do not conform to the world by letting the things that take you away from God win your heart. Let the prize of a life with God be your motivation for living. Do not worry about the things of this world and the people who cause you strife for they will be your undoing. Keep your whole body and spirit focused on the great prize and you will have great success.

May God’s Love bring you peace,

Rob, Servant of God

Don’t Cause Another to Stumble

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. Romans 14:13

Why are we so quick to judge actions and reactions of others that make them stumble or make it so that they have to take the time from what they were doing to correct the allegations whether they be true or false? This passage is talking about false judgements. All too often, people judge without knowing the truth of the matter and cause a person to have to correct misnomers where a correction was not required before.

Why do we do this?

There are many reasons people lay judgements and blame for things that cause another to stumble. Most of the false accusations are due to being petty, bitterness, jealous, or flat out lying to make themselves look better than the other.

Pettiness is not the Christian way. It is defined as, ”undue concern with trivial matters, especially of a small-minded or spiteful nature”. I know that word is usually found when talking about nonsense arguments but it also goes well with judgements especially when one is jealous of another. When a person concerns themselves with things that are not of major concern about another individual, they are being petty. A petty person will judge another out of spite and jealousy. This will only grow the bitterness of a person and lead to false accusations when in truth the person spreading the accusations is actually at fault.

Lives of very good people have been ruined with little chance of recovery when the accusations reach those who know and depend on the person and they do not see the truth. I have seen people who call themselves Christians being petty and spreading false rumors which cause other people to falsely judge. It is very disheartening the trouble it caused the victim. The person will eventually answer for his or her words and actions when the truth comes out.    

What is Our Responsibility?

First and foremost we should not be jealous of another because of who they are. Jealousy, pettiness, bitterness, and lying are not fruits or gifts of the Spirit. If a brother or sister is found in sin that they cannot escape from we should be encouraging them to put away the things that caused the sin so the temptation is no longer there. In this way we are not judging but helping the person turn away from sin and back to Christ defeating the devil one part of the Kingdom at a time.

Are we not supposed to do unto others as we would have done to ourselves? By making another stumble you are opening yourself up to the same. It may take years for it to occur but it will happen. We are not the judge, God is. 

If we ignore those who judge and do not give in to their will we can be successful. Be careful not to judge the judge but turn the other cheek standing strong in Faith with God’s Strength and Love. Let them feel good about themselves for that will only be temporary. God will take care of them be it here in this life or in the next. Be blessed today and every day wrapped in the arms of Jesus.

Rob, Servant of God

God Never Fails Us

When times seem real bleak and we wonder if God is even listening to our pleas, He hears us loud and clear.

When we feel like no one cares and are on our last thread of hope, He lifts us up.

When we do not want to face the day, He encourages us through His Word.

When we are depressed, He brings Joy to our suffering.

He shares in our good times and comforts us in sad times.

In our sickness, He is our healer.

He is our freedom, our shelter, our strength against all foes.

He is our rock, our protector, our comforter, our guide, our redeemer, our judge, our Father.

His Word tells us:

 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”   
Hebrews 13:5