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

Where Will The Savior Be Born?

Micha was a prophet who warned the Israelites about both the Northern and Southern Kingdom’s destructions. He was a contemporary of Isaiah and Amos giving similar messages of destruction and renewal. Like Isaiah he wrote about a future savior.

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.
Micha 5:1-5

Micha gives a location but does not say anything about the future king being from the line of David. Instead, he speaks of a more ancient lineage. This passage is probably the one that helped in the confusion of a savior from the oppressors which ruled over them. How great a passage this is with a clearly obvious yet hidden message of the future time where the savior king shall have dominion over all the earth.

The people were looking for the temporary comfort of a king who would make them great again under their own rule and not under the dominion of another. When they had lost everything to the Assyrians and Babylonians they sought a defender king hoping for relief only to become subject to the Roman Empire. After the remnant was returned to Jerusalem they were still lost even though they had found comfort in their situation. Leaders rose up and were thought to be the messiah but their term was only temporary. The people still needed a saving of the spirit.

The peace of the people is the salvation of the soul. So many look for physical peace which is temporary. True peace is found in the Spirit. When inner peace is found then there can be peace among the nations. Jesus is the deliverer of that peace. He will come again to deliver a combination of physical and spiritual peace that will renew all people to the glory of God.

As we enter this time of Advent, think of the hope this gave the people of the day who heard Micha as they anticipated the birth of their savior in Bethlehem. As they hoped for His arrival we await for His return.

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    

Searching For Answers?

What are you looking for? Do you want financial security, a roof over your head, food on the table, and clothes on your back?  Maybe you seek someone that will be a constant companion or even a future spouse? Are you seeking out your purpose or why certain things have happened to you? Do you just want peace and comfort without all the problems of this world? Are you trying to figure this all out on your own with little to no success, searching but never finding? Have you asked God for help?

The Answers Are Not Here

I cannot give you the answers to everything you seek but I can tell you that if you are trying to take care of things on your own you are doing it in vain. People seek answers all the time by asking others how did they succeed or trying the latest trend in self-help to no avail because they are looking in the wrong place. Yeah some have success and have amassed great material wealth but are they happy? Are their questions answered?

When people seek the advice of others on how to do certain things they only get one side of the story. What works for one may not work for another. But there is one common denominator in all things that pass right by many because they cannot see what is right in front of them. They cannot see who is there to help with who they were designed to be.

We are all unique and have specific tasks and purposes that we are meant to be. All walks of life are given a purpose from the poor beggar on the street to the richest multi-billionaire, yes even the sick to the most healthy. But how do we know what our purpose in this life is. The honest answer is, we don’t honestly have a clue. Only God knows.

The Answers are in God’s Word

Our Father in Heaven is our Creator. He created the bodies in which our spirits dwell and gave each of us a purpose. These purposes are not for domination of others but for the benefit of all.  

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

Jesus expanded on Our Father’s Word by telling us not to worry about things.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34

We should not be trying to find ourselves but let God guide us. I know that in this time we live in people want answers faster that our brains can process things and when some get impatient they make poor rash decisions that may have serious or dire consequences. Doing things without asking God first can be disastrous, maybe not for the self but the effects are like a set of falling dominoes. So why seek elsewhere when God has the answers. For if we:

 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

If we talk to God in prayer then this statement will become true. God our Father has all the answers if we believe and have faith in Him then He will reveal them as He sees fit. We must have patience with Him as He has patience with us. This season of joy deliver this good news to all you see and all who seek the answers will find Him through the Holy Spirit working in you.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God

Be Thankful Every Day

Today America celebrates Thanksgiving. This is the start of the season where people put aside many of their grievances and are courteous to their fellow man. However, God wants us to be thankful every day. 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

There is something about rejoicing, praying, and being thankful even for the smallest thing that makes a person both spiritually and physically healthy.

God is concerned for our well-being on both the physical and spiritual plains. To be certain that we remain healthy, He placed His Word in our hearts and His name is written in our DNA so that we have a peace about us that is well beyond our comprehension. When you hear someone talk about being in good spirits, that is an indication that the Holy Spirit is alive and working in that person’s life.

Unfortunately this peace is disrupted by the intervention of the devil as he tries to leave his mark on us through torment and temptation. Satan wants to see us suffer and would rather have us turn off the connection to God. He gives us false reasons to be bitter, to be jealous, to be hateful of others because their lives are seemingly better. It is not the status in this life that makes us better people but how we treat others. That is our measure.

As God’s Children we should be thankful for the little things in life that put smiles on our faces. From waking up in the morning to settling down for rest we should be thankful that God has blessed us with the actions of the day, even if the day did not go as planned. Yes we may have troubles but God is stronger. He is bigger. He is the one in control and the only one that can make our spirits bright.

Let us be thankful every day for the Lord is Good and His Love Endures Forever.

Be blessed Brothers and Sisters and bless others with the light that shines upon us and from us as we speak His name through our actions and words.

In God’s Love, Grace, and Mercy,

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     

‘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

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.