Building

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

Psalm 127

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

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

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

Rob, Servant of God       

Rejected by First Impression

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rob, Servant of God

Great is the Unsearchable Lord

Psalm 145 is a beautiful Song of Praise from which parts of it have been used many times to share in God’s Glory and power through praise and worship. The Psalm in itself empowers the heart when it is spoken and sung in praises to the Almighty Father. This week let’s examine the spoken Word in its 5 sections and Glorify God every day.

I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.

 Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.

 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable
. Psalm 145: 1-3 (ESV)

The Psalm is attributed to David who praised Him daily even in his most broken moments. David constantly spoke of the greatness of God and this Psalm seems to culminate every thought of Praise. He opens with Glorifying God and blessing His name because there is no shortness of definition to His Greatness. Though he states that the greatness is unsearchable.

We do not have to seek His greatness because it is seen all around us and woven into all creation. Job spoke of this and was reminded by God Himself that we can do nothing that God can do because of His unlimited self. How beautiful is the Glory of the Lord Almighty when the smallest thing you can see on this earth tells of His Glory.

God is everywhere. Where do we look and not find Him? Even in our troubles and our temptations, He is there. In every beast and grain of sand, He is there. He watches over us as we suffer through our burdens and picks us up when we call on Him. Even when we do not call, He is there waiting for us to remember that He is waiting and watching. God is Great and greatly is He to be praised.

I LOVE THE LORD (Psalm 116)

When a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior he accepts the fact that the life lived is not his own. The writer of Psalm 116 gave all things to God as understood that He alone is the one that can save from this life. God is the deliverer from the darkness and carries us through the world.

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
I believed, even when I spoke: “I am greatly afflicted”;
I said in my alarm, “All mankind are liars.”
What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds. 17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord. 18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,19 in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord! Psalm 116 (ESV)

How beautiful is the public confession of one who loves, trusts, and obeys the Lord our God. Recognizing that we are broken and cannot live righteously without God in our lives is the hardest yet easiest thing we can do. Because of this, the door to our hearts are opened to accept our frailty and give everything over to the only one who can save us.

When we confess our love for God, we enter into a new way of living that is no longer for our own personal satisfaction. Our lives are not our own but now given to be conduits for the Word, the Joy of Heaven, so that others may come to know and love God the way we do. How great is the Lord God Almighty and greatly to be praised.

At the end of our lives, it does not matter how much good we tried to do because we cannot save ourselves from the ultimate price for our sinfulness. Nothing we can do on our own saves us. Only God can do that. He did it through giving His Son, Jesus the Word made flesh, to take on all things that bind us to sin and death and remove them from our sentence which is eternity in darkness.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I pray that all who will seek Him find Him where He has been present all along. That those who desire His Grace and Mercy find it and accept the free gift of life without question or ill intention. That they are covered in the blood and become cleansed never to repeat the sins of the past which trapped them in this world so that their spirits will be free and living in the Kingdom embraced by the Arms of the Father. I pray that we will be the lights that expose the world to His Love and that we can defeat the evils of this world through the Holy Spirit. Be blessed in His Glory.
In God’s Love
Rob, Servant of God

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was a multifaceted show about growth and diversity. It was a show that all ages learned from even though the focus was on building up children with a godly set of behaviors that would hopefully bring God back into a society that was lost to so many worldly and evil ways. While it did work for some it did not work for all.

He taught how to be kind and generous to all people in a time where civil rights were being fought for. The show had lessons on diversity and how not to judge others based on skin color, upbringing, and social status. His was a way of bringing the problems to light without talking directly about the problems but showing the solutions and a right way of unity in diversity. Mr. Rogers was a Good Samaritan.  

God shows Mercy and Grace to us but we have problems showing the same to our brothers and sisters (all humans). We need unity in diversity. We need to show the world that we can live together in a non-judgmental way. Everyone is broken and there is no need to bully someone whose brokenness is different from your own.

When we judge someone based on their ethnicity, religious beliefs, and social status, we are really judging ourselves. This comparison to make one feel better about oneself while degrading another is keeping the world separate from God. Yeah we have people who do missions all over the world but the world has mission fields for people who live as little as five to ten feet away from each other. That mission, Love one another just as God has loved us, and Loving our neighbor as ourselves. If we cannot be kind to the people who live on the same street, how can we validate our kindness to people in other countries?

How do we live with ourselves knowing that someone is hurting but not being kind? This can even be in your own house. Mistakes are made, but without talking about them and forgiving one another within walking distance, we have no right to go over an ocean to share the Word.

Jesus taught us to love one another. That is to be kind, generous, caring, and showing compassion towards each other; not to show jealousy, judgement, bigotry, loathing, and all other evilness. How do you treat your neighbor? Are you really a “good neighbor”.

Do you show earthly or Godly hospitality? Are you all about making good impressions through physical means or Spiritual? Would you give the shirt off your back and your coat as well to someone who is cold and does not have it while you have plenty. God gives the faithful the resources to help those in need. He equips us to be that good neighbor.

Will you be a good neighbor?

Blessings,

 Rob, Servant of God

The Journey

Four years ago on this date I was officially ordained into the ministry of our Lord and Savior. This has been a journey of many ups and downs filled with joy and disappointments but I know it is all for God’s Glory. Each step is down the road towards Emmaus receiving instruction and seeking what was and is right by my side. Four years, a very short time in the greater scheme of things but every day is one more closer to seeing our Savior.

In preparedness for the Ordination I was given challenges that made me understand my place and that certain things I had enjoyed must no longer be a part of me. God changed my path and helped me grow. My mother spoke of Hannah and Samuel as she gave me back to God for His Will.

He sent me to a church to see what happens when people attempt to control the Pastor. The church was filled with greed, archaic traditions, closed doors, and false idealisms on membership which shaped my beliefs into understanding what needs to not happen in a Body of Christ. Don’t get me wrong, there were good people in the church but they were trapped as it was a family run church.

I began to grow, seeking other places to serve with no avail while writing and speaking the truths of Scripture. I had a real bad moment of being human and the temptation took me down a path that nearly destroyed the family but we recovered. I was forgiven  through God’s Grace and Mercy.

This is the Day that the Lord has made. Today we hope to complete the purchase of the land on which we will set up the Worship Center Retreat and Refuge. This has been a journey of finding the right place that God wants us to be and it was just over the hill and down the road.

God watches over us every step of the paths set before us. Jesus takes the steps where we should not tread and picks us up while (and sometimes after) we fall teaching us how to be closer to Him. I pray that this journey continues to Glorify God through showing His enduring Love, Grace, and Mercy in our lives and that we are a light in this world to expand the Kingdom wherever His Word reaches.

May God Bless and be present in your journey and you remain in Christ.

In His Love,

Rob, Servant of God

Gentleness is Not Weakness

When we talk about gentleness it is sometimes, like kindness, mistaken for weakness. The devil likes to use this against us as since we are human we have a breaking point that causes those who are against us to see the ugliness of our hearts.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

You see, Christians have mostly been called weak humans because we do not see the need for competitiveness when we are all striving for the same goal. We do have to be competitive at work but there is a big difference between doing what is right and good for the whole team and trying to out-do everyone, showboating, and stepping toes in order to make yourself look good. Our greatness is not in success from this world but in the success of the Spirit.

There are some who call themselves Christian but are more worried about putting food on the table and maintaining their materialism that they lose their gentleness and become like those mentioned above. This is unhealthy and will eventually be their downfall both in this world and the next.

So what does the Bible tell us?

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5

In some circles, if you are not competitive you are worthless and won’t last long. But shining your light will reach the people that the Spirit directs it towards so they will become receptive to the Word. Showing your understanding of the Fruits of the Spirit brings forth a different wat that people see you. Yes it may be rough but when you have the leadership skills of Jesus people will begin to want to work for you rather than the person that is all for himself.

The rest of that passage in Philippians says this:

Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The LORD is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9

How beautiful life is when you live for God.

The Blessedness of Struggles

“Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Rest is a wonderful thing at the end of the day. Unfortunately, many in this day and age work themselves into the ground so hard they cannot see the light above. Worry, fear, anger, pain, are all part of the struggles we face but God has the answer for us, Jesus.
Jesus understands our struggles and how they put pressure on our souls. The struggles make us weary and cause us to sometimes just give up. We can find our rest from the struggles in the arms of Jesus. I know Jesus is not physically here but the Word was left for us to find that rest. In other words, we find solace and strength in His message that comes from the heart of the Father.
Not only that, God gave us companionship. We have friends and family but most of all He designed us to find that one other in whom completes us. Adam and Eve were made of one soul in two bodies. The term soul mate is the completeness of two persons becoming one in heart soul and mind. This creates a bond that will never end. I am not saying that we are only half a soul nowadays but there are things about each of us that are missing and only found in two places: our God given companion and in Him.
Does God allow struggles that make us weary? The challenges we face bring us closer to Him when He is in our hearts. These struggles are tests. We can find strength through Him in our weakest moments because our faith and trust in Him will lift us up.
The Apostle Paul struggled immensely due to His weariness from the pain he inflicted before Jesus transformed him. These tests only made him stronger in faith which gave others the desire to know Jesus You can almost say that Paul carried his burden but Jesus lifted him each time he fell. In his struggle was his strength. As he grew older and weary because of the jailing, the stories of his turning to Jesus and his unwavering faithfulness helped others find solace in their struggles while under the rule of Rome. Paul was a champion of faith even though he would never accept a title like that.
Brothers and Sisters, find your solace in the arms of Jesus. He does not want to see us struggle even though He knows we will be. Jesus is our strength in our weakest moments and we can find Him in our hearts through the Word and our faith. This weekend take time to rest and reflect so you can get back to the grindstone with renewed strength through Jesus.
Blessings,
Rob, Servant of God

Keep the Doors Open

Churches ClosingChurches that close their doors to others will eventually close permanently. I have seen this happen with small churches in the “Bible Belt” that were started by families where one family’s legacy thinks they can run the church. These types of churches are the ones that are very picky about whom they let in and try to have preachers that only preach what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.

The Body of Christ, the church, when stagnant like that becomes malnourished in the spirit and will suffer greatly. The Body of Christ, the community, that continues to grow without succumbing to worldly needs and desires will flourish from the growth of the nurturing spirit. The church that is strict on tradition and old legacy will die while a community of believers who grow in Godly values and character build up to the point of expansion and will move throughout the world.

The first Christian Communities had a hard time wherever they went and were closed off but they flourished because of their values and character which emulated the Image of God. Yes there were some zealots within who wanted to battle their oppressors with fists and iron but they died by the sword as Jesus had said they would. Today, the fists and iron are replaced by those unchanging traditions and specific adherence to a specific translation. The people that go into the world with the power of the Holy Spirit share and bear the Fruits of the Spirit upon others and grow.

Doors and Walls are a Barrier    

If God meant for a select group of people to shut themselves away then His Word would have never reached the ancient world. The tent of meeting only closed its flaps when there was private counsel otherwise it was always open for the hearing of the Word. The Tabernacle had an area where the priests received the Word but the rest was almost always open. The First Temple shut away the Holy of Holies which separated God from man and gave the Priests control. How similar are those churches who shut their doors well before the service begins and has no one to greet a single soul.

At Path-Way there are no closed doors and we welcome all who wish to hear the Word. We believe in God’s Word reaching the full Community of Believers no matter the denomination. Jesus spoke in the open and only held private counsel with the twelve so why should we exclude anyone who wants or needs to hear the Word.

Brothers and Sisters, we need to share God’s Word in all ways, in all languages, in all the world. Do not succumb to worldly society but the Community of God. His is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Following the examples of the past during and right after the time of Jesus and the Apostles, we can change the world. We need to strive to live for Him who saved and continues to save us and we will complete the earthly process of bringing the Kingdom to all the world.

Be Blessed,

 Rob, Servant of God       

We Are Not To Judge

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. Romans 2:1-5 

Humans have this problem. If we see something we do not like then we pass a certain judgement upon them. The Godless in society today who do things from their own heart are the quickest to judge without realizing that they themselves are doing exactly what they are judging others against. It is this worldly oxymoron that condemns. 

There are many out there who are so confused about who they are because they have become dependent on society and the media to dictate their actions to the point where they have lost themselves. These individuals have been so blinded that they cannot see the judgmental stint that has grown in their own eyes and think that everyone else is wrong. In thinking this, they condemn others for the very thing that they are doing themselves.

I do not think I have to go into detail on the situations because we hear it in the news every day. The Devil sure has his hands and mind all over these individuals hearts and has blinded them to the point of no return. 

Some even think they are doing the right Godly thing because they are following what the Bible says. The problem is that the Bible has been so perverted and misinterpreted by people who want to fit in and believe that if they preach a certain way (even if it denies Scripture) they will not be lambasted or condemned in their community. Inclusion is one thing but telling people that it is okay to continue in your sin is another. Did not Jesus tell the adulteress to go and sin no more once she was physically and spiritually saved? That does apply to all who wish to be saved.

Do not judge lest ye be judged. How hard is that to understand. Some do not realize that the judgments of the heart here on earth have eternal ramifications. They do. Please be watchful of your words and your heartfelt thoughts. Be kind and patient because God will take care of those who persecute and judge you. Be blessed.

Rob, Servant of God