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

The Uniqueness of We

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

A Danger Seen But Not Conquered

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

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

You Cannot Be Completely Like Mike

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

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

Regain Your Uniqueness  

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

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

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

Rob, Servant of God

Jewish Influence in the Lord’s Prayer

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

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

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

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

Pray then like this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Father, Who art in heaven

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

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

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

אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ סְלַח וּמְחַל לְכָל עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ

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

נְקַדֵּשׁ אֶת שִׁמְךָ בָּעוֹלָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמַקְדִּישִׁים אוֹתוֹ בִּשְׁמֵי מָרוֹם

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

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

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

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

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

STOP THE HATE

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

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

Love to All,

 Rob Servant of God     

Growing Closer to God

When you were introduced to Jesus through either a family member, friend, or someone God put into your life you learned about the Saving Grace of God and how His Word changes a person. You learned the answer to some questions you may have had that brought you into a relationship with other of like mind and are seeking to know Him more. You learned that your life is not your own and do your best to live a Christ like life. Congratulations you are almost home.

God wants us to return to Him. That is evident from the first few chapters in Genesis and throughout Scripture. He wants us to grow closer to Him but our human nature and the world seem to always get in the way and we cannot find the balance. Thing is, finding that balance means giving up certain things in the world and finding time to talk to God through prayer, reading His Word, and living In His Word while trying to function in the world.

I will not sugar coat things and say it is easy because it is very hard to be a Believer of God in a very dark and demon infested world, but I can help find that balance through the Word and the Spirit. The first thing we have to do is to build a relationship with God. The first step in building that relationship is to be born again. Jesus tells us this:

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  John 3:3-6

Jesus is speaking of a renewed life through the Holy Spirit which comes from God and is actually within us once we accept Jesus. Some think that once they are baptized they are good and are home but they stay in the world. That is like living in a broken home still being that rebellious child and throwing tantrums when things just do not go your way. But the Spirit separates us from the world and the desire of the person should be to live in the Family of God.

Family

Children, what you should do in union with the Lord is obey your parents, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” — this is the first commandment that embodies a promise —  “so that it may go well with you, and you may live long in the Land.” Fathers, don’t irritate your children and make them resentful; instead, raise them with the Lord’s kind of discipline and guidance. Ephesians 6:1-4

Our family life should be a reflection of the relationship that God desires. God had a great relationship with Adam and Eve until that fateful day when the children rebelled through total disobedience. They broke the Godly family mold and it has not been the same since. The home God desires is one where He is ever present and the family lives in a way that is not hurtful towards one another or those who are in their lives. Yes there will be problems but they should be worked out in ways that keep the family together instead of tearing it apart.

Today’s family has been torn apart through the desires of society and worldly things. There are so many distractions and temptations in the world that make it hard to maintain a healthy home. We as Children of God have to fight the outside world and make God the priority.

A Christian family is not faultless, but one that counts on God for all thing through His Grace. We have all probably heard the saying, “ A family that prays together, stays together”, which is a true statement but there is more than prayer that keeps the family one with God. It is the companion/partnership of the husband and wife, the obedience of the children, trust, the ability to seek solutions to problems without anger or bitterness, but most of all the reflection of God’s Love in each of the hearts. When God’s Love is there, the relationship with Him can be built in the family and the light can be shown to others.

Seems like a fantasy but guess what, I know families that are close to perfecting this way of living. But no family in this world is perfect. My family is still working on this but I know that God is ever-present and is in our hearts to help us develop a deeper relationship with each other as we grow in our relationship with Him.         

We Are Adopted

Paul discusses the fact that we are adopted into the Family of God. Even though we are all created by Him there was only one group of people who were first in obedience. Though many worshiped to an unknown God. The Hebrews and Israelites were the ones that God chose to have a personal relationship with in order to spread the truth so anyone outside of their tribal bloodlines are adopted in to knowing and loving God as Father. But there is a difference.

We are adopted into the family through the spirit. One thing that people do not understand is why God chose to reveal Himself to a small group instead of the world even though He can be everywhere at once. I cannot answer that either. All I know is that when we choose to obey God’s Word and do our best to live it, we become part of the Body of Christ and through this begin to build that relationship with our creator that He so desires. By this we begin to become closer to God.

Worship

The path to a closer relationship with God is through worship. Worship is not just singing. It is prayer, giving of oneself, sharing, being baptized, sharing in the meal of communion, and may other aspects of Christian life. We do these things out of love, obedience, respect, and fear. Worship is our communication with God that allows us to praise Him, listen to Him, become one with Him in the Spirit.

Since we cannot see Him through our human eyes, we must work on seeing Him with our Spiritual eyes. We do this through worship and private reflection (also a form of worship but needs to be separate here). In our times of private reflection we examine our earthly lives repenting of our faults through confession in prayer since Jesus opened the direct link. Doing this we can see God more clearly through His creation and see the beauty of His handiwork in us. This opens the door to become closer to God.

I know this was a long one but here we are in conclusion    

Brothers and Sisters, let us work together to become closer to God in the Spirit and advance His Kingdom through us. We are the temple, not made of brick and stone but of flesh and Spirit. He built our corruptible bodies to carry the incorruptible Spirit. We are the solid that holds the fluent which desires to flow through all of us. What we do with this gift determines our eternal existence. Let us continue to grow closer to God and build healthy Godly relationships starting with our family. I pray that each of us can build upon one another and grow closer so that we can say that God IS our FATHER, Redeemer, friend.

Blessings and sharing God’s Love with All,

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 Paths We Take

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I Believe The Word of God is Alive

The Word is living and breathing inside each one of us. Though some may not know it or realize it, God put us together and left His mark in and on our hearts even in our very DNA.

See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword — it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Every time we take a breath, God’s Word speaks from us. When we do what God desires of us and commands us to do in faith and trust, His Word is seen and heard. We are living examples of His Word at work, so why do so many of us fail?

We are only human

How many times have I heard that one? We are human, yes, but we are made with a purpose and should be doing our best to live within that purpose not for our own satisfaction, but His. Our humanity only gets us so far and when we choose to follow a path that is not part of God’s purpose, we stumble. Even then, we may have to stumble for another person to fulfill a part of the purpose He has for us. God is not easy to comprehend.

Because of Sin, we suffer

Adam and Eve made a choice to disobey God. It was that choice which brought sin into the world. Because of the sin, we are given free will to choose in order so God can work in our lives. God uses us for His Glory no matter how bad our suffering seems. I know it does not sound like God cares what happens sometimes but we have to remember, He designed us, He created us, and He knows our every thought word and deed.

Even in our failure we will succeed

God told Joshua when he was preparing to take over for Moses that he will succeed. This powerful message is true today for all who believe.

“Yes, keep this book of the Law on your lips, and meditate on it day and night, so that you will take care to act according to everything written in it. Then your undertakings will prosper, and you will succeed. Haven’t I ordered you, ‘Be strong, be bold’? So don’t be afraid or downhearted, because Adonai  your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9

What we do in God’s name through the understanding of the Word will help us become better believers and closer to God. This is not an automatic guarantee of earthly riches but of things that boost our spiritual life and will help us through the tough times. Our success is when we are living in accordance with the Scriptures and doing our best to live in a Christ like way. It is not easy but even the little things can show that the Word of God is alive in us.

Be Strong And Courageous   

This is a message to us for when we are being persecuted. Keeping the Word on our hearts and not wavering will give us strength even in the darkest moments of our lives. We keep the Word of God alive when we do not show fear even in the face of death. How often do we just let our human emotions get in the way of God? Too often really. God knows our hearts and when fear overtakes us we should try and think only of God’s Word. I know it is difficult sometimes but calling out to Jesus and knowing He is there will relax our fears of earthly matters.

Jesus, The Word of God, is Alive

You see, the Word of God is Alive. Jesus came to us as a gift from God. Jesus is the Word made flesh who lived out a perfect life to be the example for us. In payment for this gift, we sacrificed Him on the altar of the Cross so that His Blood would redeem us from sin and death. But Jesus defeated death sealing us with the Father’s Mark on our hearts and rose from the grave, returning to the Father with the promise of His return. He will come again but He left us with the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us in His Word until that time.

The Word of God is Alive

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God  

Control Yourself and Let The Spirit In

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God’s Love bring you peace,

Rob, Servant of God

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.