Worship: Where and How

Jesus travelled many places with His Disciples to teach them how man has been led away from God and how the Word of God will bring all people back to Him. In Samaria, Jesus was thirsty and met a woman at the well in the center of town. During that period of time, Jews and Samaritans did not talk with one another openly nor did they worship together as the Samaritans were outcasts. They did not go to Jerusalem but worshiped God on a high mountain.   

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.”Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:23-26

Truth Revealed to a Samaritan Woman

The place was Sychar in Samaria in the land of Joseph son of Jacob. They knew God and worshiped Him and were awaiting the promised Messiah who would reveal the Word and save them from this life. He gave her the truth of Worship being from the heart and mind without the need for blood sacrifice. Jesus showed her the way of salvation is through the heart and love of God and that an alter in a building means nothing but the truth is revealed in the heart, soul, and mind of the believer. Let’s look at what happened during the Babylonian captivity prior to this situation.

Worship During Captivity

More and more worship was done in the homes and animal sacrifices had ceased because of the edicts of the Babylonian Kings. They spent 70 years submitting to their captors with the oral remembrances and some scrolls. The Word of God was in the hearts and it kept many strong. Many Jews had to worship in secret to spare their lives. A lot of them became closer to God through prayer, the feasts, and the traditions they could practice. Upon return to Jerusalem, the people went back to their old ways. Those who learned and kept the heart open were outcast.

Worship From the Heart      

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” This portion of the Gospel Truth lets us know that worship, though important to do as a community does not come from watching others worship but begins in the heart. Hearing the Word of God in song and reading the Scriptures opens the heart to guides personal worship which is made louder than any heavy metal or punk band can turn up the speakers. The worship of God is heard throughout all of creation to the deepest regions of unknown (to us) space. But once again, it begins in the heart.   

You Can’t Pick Just One

The Triune God consists of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You cannot worship just one part of God without the other two. We thank Jesus for being the sacrifice but we cannot do that without praising God who made the sacrifice happen. We ask for the Holy Spirit to come down on us but without knowledge and faith in the Word (Jesus) and the Father, we cannot truly invite it in. The early Christians understood this and Jesus even said not to worship Him. Worship the Lord our God with every part of our being and we worship all of Him.

Worship Is Required

God demands our worship not in a strict demanding as we know discipline but out of Love. He is our creator so worship of God comes naturally whether you know it or not. Calling something God created pretty, beautiful, wonderful, even majestic, is worshiping Him because it is a way of thanking God for creating so that we can live. Do not worship the thing or the person, that is idol worship. Worship the Maker. Healer, Redeemer. 

Brothers and Sisters, Worship is required of us but be careful what and how we conduct ourselves during worship, especially when singing. Ensure the worship is from the heart and not just lip service and try not to get caught up in the song. If you do not know the song being sung, it is okay not to try and follow along trying to sing it. Listen and open your heart to the words.

Blessings to All,

 Rob, Servant of God

Searching For Answers?

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

The Answers Are Not Here

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

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

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

The Answers are in God’s Word

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God

‘Tis The Season

The hustle and bustle of the most joyous season of the year has begun. Merchants both small and large have decorated their stores in a mixture of Autumn and Winter celebrations. Lights and decorated trees are everywhere and we haven’t even cut the turkey for Thanksgiving. The Santa at the end of the Macy’s Parade has not even arrived yet. So why are we preparing for the 25th of December.

When reading Luke, there are many things he wrote that show preparation for the coming king. He talks about the parents of John the Baptist and their initial disbelief that turns into a most glorious blessing. He speaks of the mystery that surrounded the births. When Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, John leapt in the womb with excitement in anticipation. How did he know? John had the Holy Spirit dwelling in Him before he was born and felt the presence of the Most High developing the physical body of the Word/Savior to come. He was prepared even before birth.

How should we prepare? It is simple really. Now is the absolute time to fully trust in the Father. Put aside all grudges, bitterness, those things that tempt us, so that our concentration is wholly on the coming King. Praise and Worship in anticipation daily and take everything to God in Prayer. This is the time when the devil will try anything to keep us away. Be stronger and fully rely on God. This is the moment, be blessed.

Love to All,

Rob, Servant of God

GET ACTIVE

Do you know someone who is on the church roll but is either hardly ever present or just there without participating? Does that same individual profess faith outside of the church or is Christian only when he or she is in the sanctuary? There is a vast difference between professing one’s relationship to Christ and one demonstrating the reality of one’s relationship to and faith in Christ. That person needs to get active.

Paul in writing to Titus (1:16) speaks of a group of professing Christians and says, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” What Paul is saying is that they profess to be saved, but by their lifestyle, the habitual practices of their life, their lips lie. However, their actions tell the truth about their spiritual condition.

Jesus revealed the judgement of being lukewarm through John as he wrote his revelation. Being a lukewarm Christian is the worst kind to be. You can talk the talk but to be in Christ you must walk the walk. Sharing the Word is one thing but you must show the Word in action in your own life to be believable to those with whom you speak.

“let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

It is not just about you and your relationship with Christ. It is about your relationship with others through Christ. Do you remember the story of the sheep and the goats where Jesus is sitting in what appears to be a pretrial like area with His flock and separating them as the two types of Christians? Which type are you? What have you done for Him lately?

I tell you this Brothers and Sisters. If you are a Christian with an inactive faith then you might want to change your ways before Jesus returns.

For those in the states especially in South Carolina, I have an opportunity for you to begin becoming the sheep you need to be. Path-Way Refuge and Retreat Center needs your help. By helping us you can be a part of helping others in need both spiritually and physically. We have counselors and facilitators but we need volunteers to help with some building projects and a Christmas fundraiser for the needy in our area. If you are outside the area and would like to contribute monetarily we are taking donations from starting at $10.00s and up. See here to donate: Refuge and Retreat Center

We have rewards for your contribution that are all handmade items by me, my wife, and two of our volunteers.

Brothers and Sisters, all funds go directly into the building and missions funds. Nothing goes to our pockets. When you donate we will send you updates on what your contribution is doing and we will introduce some of the people you are helping. When we do help someone using funds, we watch what the money is spent on by giving the person cards that are only accepted for specific items so it is not spent on unhealthy things.

I pray that you will deeply consider helping us help others. Help us so we can get the Refuge nd Retreat Center up and running by April 2019.

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 are the Works of His Hands

God’s Greatness is found in the works of His hands. All creation shouts out thank you to the Most High God. This section of Psalm 145 tells of His greatness in every action He takes which glorifies Him.

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Psalm 145:10-13a

Blessed is the Lord our God who created all things. He gave everything on this earth a purpose Even the things that cause destruction should be reveled in His greatness because from the destruction comes a new creation. His deeds are endless as He puts all things into motion and directs the outcomes. All who believe tell others through thought word and deed of His Glory and Power. He is capable of anything.

God is ruler over everything, He is in control. He makes the waters rise and fall, the earth trembles with His every Word. The Psalmist understands that God’s Kingdom is in everything and is everything. We are living buildings in which the Kingdom of God thrives. His is the Glory and Power that is never ending His Kingdom will not cease to exist but transform at His very Word.

Great is the Lord in Glory and Power, Great is the Lord and Worthy of Praise. All generations of mankind will Glorify His name. God is Great and we need not search for it because it is all around us and in us.

My your day be Blessed as you Glorify Him

In Christ,

Rob Servant of God

Greatness In Mercy

God is merciful even though He does not have to be. We have been disobedient children yet our Father loves us and shows kindness even in His anger. God is patient with us, yet He will serve lessons as needed to get us on track. His mercy is boundless.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

 The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made
. Psalm 145:8-9

Why is it that we remain disobedient children? Is the world so deeply desired by us that we forgot God and what He can do in our lives that is much better than life in the world. I often wonder how long He will allow these distractions to persist before He sets the world on fire. When He does that, the only thing left will be His Grace and Mercy.

Looking at the second part of this section, His mercy is for All creation. So when we are destroyed does that mean that the entire earth will suffer and be reborn? That is what it says in Revelation and a few of the OT prophets. God is literally in everything so He spreads His Grace and Mercy to all things, all creatures on earth know the creator. After all, He gave them the instinct and knowledge to function the way they do. Even the rocks and trees have a function.

We are still His favored creation and have a special place in the Kingdom but we are also the ones who truly feel disheartened when bad things happen. Animals can sense it but are unaware of the situations. God is everywhere. His Love is everlasting and never ending. His Mercy is good to all.

Have a Great and Blessed Day

In Christ

Rob, Servant of God   

Share God’s Greatness

I Love the Psalms because they speak volumes of the Father and how He cares for us. David shared in Psalm 145 how God has been an integral part in his life even through the good and bad times. In the section of verses 4-7, we hear David speaking of sharing God’s Greatness.

One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.

On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
Psalm 145:4-7

One of the main things we are told that we must do is share the Word of God and by doing so we are sharing the works that God has done. We declare God our Creator, Father, Judge, Redeemer, Savior. We share the works of His hands when we talk about the natural wonders that our spiritual eyes see every day but are unseen by our human eyes due to the blindness of sin.

There are so many things which God has created that we are blinded from. Society today would rather see the majesty of creation through the eyes of liquid crystal, quartz, plasma, or on paper. Smells are reproduced to simulate the outside world so we do not even leave the comfort of our home. God’s awesome deeds cannot be seen through man made lenses and be completely appreciated.

Can we go outside for even just a few minutes a day and thank God for the flowers, the grass, the sand, the wind, and the rain? We need to do this because without a tree we cannot breath, without running brooks we cannot be cleansed, without God’s creation we care nothing but flesh and bone walking aimlessly through the world with dead spirits inside.

Glorify God for He is good

He is the Good Shepherd that guides us through life so we can enjoy the world created for us. He gave us voices to sing His praises all over the earth, why do we only hear silence? The rocks, birds, insects, and trees are singing louder than we are. That needs to change.

Share God’s Blessings With Others

God does not bless individuals for their own benefit but for the benefit of a few or many. We should be glad that we have been chosen to share God’s Word with the world. We are to be like the people in this Psalm sharing from one generation to the next. I know we can do it. I know some that already do it. Let us be of one accord and Sing His Praises.

Blessings to all,

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.