Are You Sure You Are In Christ

Brothers and Sisters I need to share something that is rather disheartening to me but needs to be spoken. I have written before that there is a difference between Believing and Being In Christ. How can you tell the difference? It is simple really. A Believer gives lip service but does not act upon it. One who is in Christ and says certain things that involves others will drop everything that gets in the way to keep his or her word.

We, as humans have a tendency to play lip service even to our own family members sometimes. This is not what God taught nor is it what Jesus reiterated. This is a perfect way of showing what you would have done to you in certain situations. If you make a promise, keep it. If you make plans and must change for some reason, tell the other parties involved so the time is not wasted trying to figure your location.

Those that Believe talk much but do little. Those that are truly in talk little and do much. Who are You???

Think about it. What Would You tell Jesus if you had to cancel on Him? Especially if the distractor was not as important.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God

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How Do You Track Your Spiritual Health?

When we go to the doctor we hope to walk out either feeling better, on the road to feeling better, or being given an outright clean bill of health. Our physical bodies house the part of us that no doctor can diagnose or cure, Our Soul.

The Bible is filled with many ways to keep our spiritual health in check. One of the most important factors in keeping us spiritually healthy is through prayer. Prayer is literally our Spiritual Checkup. It is when we commune with God in our thoughts and words that thank Him, talk about our day, request help for others, repent, and ask that we are able to maintain ourselves through the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us the ultimate checklist in His teaching on how we should pray.

Jesus provided a pattern to follow when praying that recognizes God’s Omnipotence and our dependence upon Him. Each part can be broken down into other prayers but when the pattern is placed together as a single conversational prayer, the spirit is given a chance for diagnosis, prescription, and healing. Living a healthy, useful life each day is built around these key elements, or vital signs of our spiritual health:

CHRIST’S CHECKLIST FOR MAINTAINING SPIRITUAL FITNESS

  • Our Father, Who art in Heaven    

Recognizes The Father God who alone is to be worshiped as holy and in control of all things.

  • Thy Kingdom Come

Our bodies are the temples which house the Holy Spirit and as such should be used only for the works of God as an example for others.

  • Thy Will Be Done

 A request for our lives to be the workers of His Will and plan. That we be the light in this dark world.

  • Give Us This Day

 Relying on God for the daily Provision of food, water, clothing, but first and foremost His Word which gives our lives a reason and purpose for being.

  • Forgive Us As We Forgive

 Relationships are important and as repent for His forgiveness, so we should forgive others who have wronged us. The way to receive forgiveness is to forgive. Scripture tells us that we must forgive others before we enter into His presence. Have you done that today? This portion also serves as a reminder that we should forgive others.

  • Deliver Us From Evil

Keep our minds on the One who saves so that we do not stray and become encompassed by the worldly things which distract us and separate us from God.

  • Thine Is The Glory

Praise God and in everything we do give God the Glory. Understanding that everything we do is not for us but for Him who gives us life, we praise Him not ourselves for the actions we either will do for the day or have done. It keeps us from accepting the accolades that boost our ego above Him. Recognizing our place keeps us from being braggarts of our accomplishments and seeking reward for things we have done.

Knowing and understanding this prayer is a guide for how we should pray. It is the vitals report at the end of the hospital bed which speaks of how our spiritual health is guided towards becoming who God desires us to be. So, How is your Spiritual Health?

Your Brother in Christ,

Rob, Servant of God

40: A Time of Testing and Trials

So many people ask why it took forty years for the Israelites to get from Egypt to the Promised Land. Some do it to try and trip up believers.  The first thing is to understand that many things occurred that extended the travel time which are seen in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. During this time lessons were learned, laws and precepts were given, feast days were established, and the tent of meeting and the Tabernacle were built. There were also battles which meant preparation and recovery times as well as the length of the battles or skirmishes. This leads one to understand that 1 to 3 years of travel time is hardly enough. Also consider they used the lunar calendar which shortens the year.

The Book of Numbers gives a clue on the movement of the Hebrews as they travel:

On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped. At the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the Lord they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they remained in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they set out. And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out. Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time that the cloud continued over the tabernacle abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out. At the command of the Lord they camped, and at the command of the Lord they set out. They kept the charge of the Lord, at the command of the Lord by Moses.  Numbers 9:15-23

It wasn’t till later that God actually put them on their forty year desert travel in circles, so close to the land yet so far. But God had to make sure the people were right and ready to be His Chosen and accomplish their part in His plan.

There is Something about 40

The number forty is very significant. Many testing, trials or probation periods, and changes, happened in each mention of forty be it days, nights, months, or years. The number forty is in the Bible well over 140 times and each time there is significant spiritual growth. The rains fell for forty days and forty nights, Moses was on the mountain with God for forty days, Jonah spent forty days ministering to Nineveh, Elijah fasted for forty days, Jesus was tempted for forty and also stayed teaching after the resurrection for forty days. David ruled for forty years. The number forty has much to do with learning.

When the Hebrews began their forty in the desert, God kept only Joshua, Caleb, and Aaron’s son Eleazar alive to enter the Promised Land from the time before the wandering. God had sentenced all men who were twenty years of older before the wandering to death so that a new generation would learn to trust in God for all their needs. Yes they grumbled and complained but in the end they knew God and trusted His care. It took this period of time to establish the moral and ethical codes that went right along with the Commandments and to get them to understand God’s Love.

We know from reading that humans do not always adhere to rules, regulations, covenants and promises because the Israelites really messed things up for themselves and blended with other cultures which corrupted our part of the covenant. But God’s Love and Compassion for His People is stronger than any human emotion or action.

40 Days of Lent

The Lenten season itself is not found in Scripture but the idea of forty days of testing and trials is. This is the season for us to repent, refresh, and renew while we give up things of this world to attain a better, Spiritual understanding and relationship with God. We should not return to that which we gave up or the Adversary has won.

Brothers and Sisters, keep watch and be vigilant. Share the Gospel as often as possible and be that light as we are commissioned to be. Are we in our forty years of testing? Maybe we are at an end and we lost or maybe this is just the beginning. Either way, the Adversary is coming soon to take control. Keep His Word on your heart and do not be influenced by the New Church as so many unfortunately are. God’s Word does not change, Jesus teachings have not changed. So why are we changing them to gain the world? Pay attention to your heart and God’s Love will carry you through.

Blessings, Rob Servant of God

God, Our Strength, Our Portion

For those that believe we need to have complete success through riches and earthly gains to enter heaven, you might want to reconsider your position. Throughout Scripture and history, time and time again we see what eventually happens to those who depend on the things of this world to be happy. Truth of the matter is, fame, fortune, and material wealth only cause pain and suffering in the long run.

The devil gets in the mix right away when an opportunity presents itself. Most of these desires start at a young age when the person sees others that are seemingly happy because of the stuff others have. When envy creeps in, the devil sleeps right with it. Others that are born into it believe that it is the only way of life.

There is nothing wrong with struggles except that it means a hard mortal life. The rewards of struggles in this life are great when God is with you, carries you, and gives you only exactly what you need.

 Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.
If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children.

But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.

Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart,I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength(rock) of my heart and my portion forever.

For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge that I may tell of all your works. 
PSALM 73

Yes this was said to the Israelites but since we are adopted into the chosen through our belief in God and the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus, we are bound by this. Be aware that life today is too easy and there will be pain and suffering before peace. The distractions have made us numb to the events of those that Satan has full control over so we must be on our guard daily. There is hope, joy, peace, and best of all love in the arms of God. You just have to be willing to accept and obey Him, keep His Word on your heart and let Him have control.

Blessings, 

Rob, Servant of God  

What Will You Remove From Your Life?

The Lenten season is upon us. This is a time where many people give up something they can temporarily do without. Some give up soda or alcohol, others a type of junk food, still more give up a form of entertainment. These are just things of the world that many should not return to.  Oh Lord have mercy on those who return to the things that bring temporary happiness and can be permanently removed. When Christ gave His life for us, He did not return to His flesh but was glorified. We are to remove things that take us away from God and keep them from our lives until there is nothing left but the Father. It is life long process but the rewards are plenty. The more we concentrate on God the better we hear Him and obey.Listen to what Joel told the People Israel…..

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain!

Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near–

a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness!

Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes;

their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come.

Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart,

with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing.

Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.

Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him,

a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people.

Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast.

Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy.

Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep.

Let them say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations.

Why should it be said among the peoples, `Where is their God?'”Joel 2:1-2,12-17

The last thing we as Christ followers need is to be asking where God is. Joel mentions that God wants to have a relationship with us and we cannot have a relationship while our focus is on the worldly temporary things that do not matter. So this season give something up that you will not return to.

Brothers and Sisters what I am asking is not something that is easy and I understand that. There are things that are difficult for me to give up but we must obey Him especially since He mentioned numerous times to give up things of the world so our thoughts and actions will reflect our lives in Christ. Be strong and stand firm in what you remove from your lives. Do not let Satan convince you it is okay to return to them.

Rob, Servant of God 

Mind Your Own Business

What is going on in the neighborhood today? That is the first question I ask myself before open the internet. But what do I find? Other people’s lives and business blasting all over the news. Personally, I do not care who is dating who especially since I have no involvement with celebrity families but the news media makes break ups, divorces, and marriages front page or headline news. It isn’t. That is personal, let it stay that way.       

Brothers and Sisters, a little knowledge of someone is ok but we do not need to know everything about others. If God truly wanted us to know every detail of people’s lives, He would have made us omniscient and we are not. There are things that we know about family and secrets we share among friends, but there are some things about people that are none of our business.

Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more. Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others. 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 

We have our own lives to worry about and do not need to know the personal lives of people we have no personal contact with. People who put their lives out for everyone have issues. The internet tools and social mediums of today’s world make it easy for people to be open about things they really need to keep personal and known only to a select few.  

There are many problems that come from people knowing about other’s lives. The first thing is idolizing. When someone sees another’s way of living and becomes jealous to the point of envy they desire to be like the person which causes mental issues and loss of self. Too many people want to live a life that is not their own and choose to become something other than God intended. It is not always good to “be like Mike”. This is the work of Satan. This is especially true for the youth to young adults today where the line between fantasy and reality is very blurred.

Some celebrity role models are dangerous because of their greed for attention or they are victims of some other agenda. When their lives are made public, all the dirty laundry is brought to the surface and if they do not make amends then kids think that behavior is ok. Stuff that goes on in the bedroom needs to stay in the bedroom. Unhealthy and immoral lifestyles do not need to be shown to the world. Those that brag about their material riches do not have true richness.

God has plans and missions for each of us. When we start concerning ourselves with the lives of others, we become distracted and God’s plans and mission become delayed and idle.

We hear that some of you are living in idleness. You are not busy working —you are busy interfering in other people’s lives! We order and encourage such people by the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. Brothers, do not get tired of doing what is right. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 

In all toil there is profit, but idle talk tends only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

Idleness leads to gossip because someone has nothing better to do. Those that interfere in other’s lives and make their findings public really need to find another, healthier line of work. We are not made to dig and pronounce everyone’s business.  

You must not pass along false rumors. You must not cooperate with evil people by lying on the witness stand. You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice. Exodus 23:1-2

We have seen this one a lot lately. Too many people are being used to further someone else’s agenda with the promise of money or other reward that keeps them out of trouble. The problem is when they are exposed, they are left hanging high and dry.

Where there is no wood, a fire goes out, and where there is no gossip, contention ceases. Like charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious person to kindle strife. Proverbs 26:20-21 

If we want to live for Christ we must stop letting the distractions of the world get in the way. The information overload of people’s personal lives needs to stop so we can live lives for ourselves and not become victims of the worldly agendas that keep us away from God.

Blessings,

 Rob, Servant of God  

What is Happening Here

There are so many prophesies saying that what is happening right now was written in Scripture. We have fallen away from the orders given by God to about the festivals, the jubilee years, and other things that have caused many issues throughout the world ever since money and materialism took over and distracted our lives away from God.

We were doing great until the Bible was removed from the classroom many years ago. Kids understood respect for elders, they understood the difference between good manners and those unacceptable by all. Ethics and morals were not questionable in nature and people did not think they were entitled to anything. We have become indebted to the dollar which has control of our lives and is of absolute necessity to even the most basic of needs for survival.

Selfish ambitions have never been worse than the last 50 years. This has destroyed not just the person with those ambitions but the second and third order of effects go even deeper breaking down families and other relationships vital to our survival. The super rich try to buy their way into things where they do not belong because of their agendas which are not of God and break down society to the point where families are fighting each others, parents are disowning their children and the moral compass of many has gone completely opposite of where it should be.

Thankfully God is stepping in and there have been individuals who have begun reversing the false teachings and ideas of the devil which have destroyed many at the core of their being.

When will people return to the truth and be heard without being ridiculed? Soon I hope but right now we need to remember that the devil must rule for a time before the return of our Lord and Savior. Until then remain vigilant and be the light in this dark and ugly world.

Blessings

Rob, Servant of God

Material Wealth is not Blessedness, it is Poverty

When someone talks about their riches and is seen with many material things that person does not truly understand wealth. Yes we need money to survive in the world today but so many have decided that the only thing that makes them happy is more stuff. Part of comedian George Carlin’s routines dealt with materialism. He talked about how much stuff we have and when we accumulate more we need a bigger place. When we go somewhere we have to have a certain amount of stuff that goes with us which nowadays equivalent is electronic distractors and things we believe we might need but then most of it ends up just sitting there taking up space just to look at.

People with more money than they know what to do with have the most expensive houses, cars, large bank accounts that only a portion has gone into trust funds for their kids to either squander or go to college with. But what happens to all of that. Material wealth means nothing after you die but how you lived your life does. You can have all the money you want but that really gets you nowhere if it is not put to use for the good of all mankind.    

Jesus had a lot to say about the dangers of wealth and the difference between material and spiritual wealth.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. . . . No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matt. 6:19–24

According to the Gospel of Luke, a person asked Jesus,  “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus of course refuses this request which should surprise not only preachers of the prosperity gospel but also advocates of the social gospel. To the person He leaves this warning: “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” Luke 12:13–15

And Jesus tells a parable to help the person learn:

The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, “What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?” And he said, “I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’” But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. Luke 12:16–21

Material wealth leads to the poverty of the soul

How many lottery winners out there have you heard of that have been found destitute not too long after winning. Unfortunately it is a bigger problem than most people think. Yes there are good souls out there that give away more than they need but for those who keep and squander, they lose what life they had and lose sight of what really matters.

There is something to be said about being blessed with material goods. God provides so that the person may provide others in need or for the greater glory of God. When God gave Moses the plans for the Tabernacle, He instructed the people to give of the materials needed. The problem that came forth was that there was so much given that the storehouses had overflowed and Moses had to tell the people that there was enough. God had provided with these materials when He put it on the Egyptians hearts to bless the Israelites with many goods. So much so that their carts were overflowing and burdened.

We see the burden as Aaron had been forced to create a golden calf for them to worship because they were impatient and lost sight of God. They got their visual but God trampled it and gave them the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments. This first group kept denying His power so often that they all died out except a chosen few before seeing the land of Promise.

Pay Caesar What is Caesar’s, Pay God What is God’s

After the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with the payment of taxes He said the above quote to teach a lesson. Money really does not mean anything but the gifts and blessings that God grants are to be returned with our providing for our fellow man through doing God’s work which means using the spiritual and material gifts for His glory.

The pastors who preach the prosperity gospel are not teaching spiritual prosperity but worldly. This is not what God intends for us. When they speak of the “best life now” what they mean and what the truth of that statement means are two different things. We are to live a good life but it means we are to experience the good and the bad. We are to suffer and from that suffering find the joy that God brings when we find the peace in our hearts that says, “God’s got this because you believe and trust that He will take care of you”. We live a good life when we have friends and family that we share a common bond of caring for one another. These are the people we would give up things no matter the personal cost. That is the “best life”.  

Those who are more concerned with material wealth, living in the best houses, having the best cars and many other things do not understand what they are doing to themselves. They are literally killing themselves daily. Material wealth causes nothing but grief. Do not get caught in the devil’s snares.

What is to be said about all this? Use your material wealth for the glory of God and you will not suffer poverty in your heart.

Blessings,

 Rob, Servant of God

ARE YOU BEING DECIEVED

I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 2 Corinthians 11:1-4

Paul knew about the deceivers of his time and those that would come. They were a thorn in his side. In this day and age we are fighting the devilish insertion of demonic and worldly behaviors taking the place of the truth in places of Christian worship. These places would preach another Jesus, an unholy spirit is poured out and a gospel that is perverted to fit the worldly society.

 How does the Jesus in the bible measure to the one presented in your local church?

Scriptural Jesus

Jesus is the Word who was made flesh so that He could return the world back to the teachings of God without the perversions of man. Therefore, Jesus kept the Commandments but made them easier to understand. He kept the feasts, performed miracles, and threw the money changers out of the Temple. Jesus required repentance of sins and not living in them anymore. He also taught the difference between living for the world and living for God. Most of all, Jesus was the final atoning sacrifice for the remission of sins available to those who believe, have faith, and follow Him. We are required to try to live a Christ like life not our own.

The New Alternate Jesus

The Jesus taught in some churches today is one of “pure love”, does not ask followers to take up their cross, die to their sins daily, nor are they to follow the commandments. This Jesus is a feel good savior who is okay with your lifestyle and sinful behaviors. This Jesus wants you to live in your flesh and do not concern yourself with spiritual matters. This one says that He died on the Cross so that all can live and get to heaven without the law and regulations meaning the Old Testament no longer applies. These are the ones who say they believe but cannot “Be” in the True Christ because they are following a false messiah.

The Holy Spirit versus the False Spirit

 New Age spirituality gives people exciting feelings but does not give them power to be holy. The Holy Spirit is not an energy force as described by New Age philosophy but a part of God which guides us to do the right thing and conveys messages to God when we just cannot say the words in prayer. The Holy Spirit is the helper that Jesus promised. The false spirit is an energy force that is controlled by the person to perform such things as astral projection and uses crystals or other items as conduits. The Holy Spirit does not need material things to speak to us and for us as it dwells in the hearts of all true believers. The Holy Spirit only dwells in those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and follow His teachings. The energy force is all encompassing without division (even to include God) and all are part of it.  Christians are dependent on the Holy Spirit while the false spirit allows for channeling other spirits and talking with the deceased (demons in disguise).  

A Different Gospel

The final deception in this discussion is the false gospels that have found their way into the mainstream and have corrupted many pastors. In the middle of the 20th century Christians dealt with liberal, feminist, and other theologies that slowly evolved into false gospel teachings. The main culprit of these false ideas come from misinterpretation and changes in society. This is not the first time Christians had to deal with the injection of society. The Holy Roman Empire blended pagan and other non-biblical ceremonies and holidays to convert people into Christianity. The latest fad of the last 50 or so years is to pick and choose what you choose to believe and if it does not fit your lifestyle, change it.  

Examples are:

  1. The prosperity gospel which makes the pastors rich in materialism but poor in spirit
  2. The idea that the Ten Commandments no longer apply
  3. The genderless Bible.
  4. The Jesus paid it all so I can still live my sinful life because I need not repent gospel
  5. The idea of living best life now independent from God
  6. The idea that we are all gods

The above teachings are not found in Scripture but perversions of Scripture to fit their needs and desires. The one common denominator is these false teachings is greed. The greed of materialism and riches is the driving force for many while the other is the greed of numbers and popularity. There is also a fear of ridicule. Did Jesus not say that we will suffer for the faith? We sacrifice many things for God to include family. Society has driven many pastors to turn away from the lessons they learned in their youth.

Brothers and Sisters, do not let yourselves be deceived nor forced into thinking and believing things that are not of God. Practice discernment when looking into churches and if the teachings in your current church turn away from what you know as truth, time to seek out the truth. Love one another with a God fearing love. Treat others as you would have them treat you. Do not judge or condemn but correct with the kindness and sternness that Jesus showed the Pharisees. Do not follow another into their sin. Be strong in the Word and in your Faith. I say these things out of love for all.

Blessings,Rob, Servant of God

What Does God Require?

To be honest, the requirements that God has of us are so simple they are almost too good to be true. There are those who believe that you must meet as a large gathering in a mega church (5000 or more seated at once) because the more people raising their voices to Him in one place in one accord will get their personal prayers wants and needs answered. Some believe that God requires total seclusion as to avoid the temptations of the world. Some firmly believe that placing ten percent of earnings covers all things and they do not have to lift a finger to help another because the money will take care of them. But, God does not need our worldly possessions. These are extreme measures for a God who desires only a completely personal relationship requiring our devotion and obedience.

God desires our worship as a community of two or more, however, too many in one place means someone may be forgotten or ignored. Yes Jesus preached to large crowds but that does not mean we should try and do that today. He wants quiet individual moments but there is no need to totally ignore the suffering world. Relying on money to take care of everything, that replaces God with an idol and does not even qualify the person as a lukewarm Christian.

God’s Grace

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.

Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Titus 2:11-15

Knowing that God freely gives His grace for those who accept Him and that through His Grace, gave His Son for our sinfulness is still not what God requires. Rather, He requires our admission of guilt and seeks our desire for redemption through repenting of our shame and submission of our lives to His Son. All while understanding that the Free gift of Grace was presented to us in the form of a humble baby who would live a right life and die for us.

The Physical Requirements

All physical requirements are by products of the Spiritual requirements that are desired of us.

“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:6-8

Do justice, love kindness (showing mercy), and walk humbly. Those cannot be done without the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit builds us up in order to love others as He loves us. It is the Love of God that gives us the strength to stand firm against temptation. It is the Love of God that keeps us humble. It is the Love of God that through Him, the examples of people from Scripture, and His Son that enable us to show mercy and kindness to others.

What is required of us?

To Love the Lord our God with all our Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength. This is done in our obedience to His laws and statutes requiring us to do our best to live a right life. He knows we cannot follow without stumbling so He gave us Jesus. It is through God’s Gift of Jesus that we are saved so our requirement is obedience and friendship with Jesus. Loving Him with all the love we give God because He is of God.

God also desires our worship through song, prayer, and the humble use of Spiritual Gifts. Giving of our earthly pay is good to a point but should not be considered the only form of offering. We are the offering God desires.

Brothers and Sisters, what we need to do is get back to the heart of worship and leave man’s made traditions behind. Jesus did say to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God’s. Caesar can have the worldly things, God has everything else.

Blessings  Rob, Servant of God