Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
We have come to a point in society where unrest and disobedience to those appointed above has become common place. This is a huge problem that will only cause those who are in authority to do things they really do not want to do. The college age folks of the United States are the equivalent age in maturity and understanding as the younger son in the parable of the Prodigal Son.
Looking at the story we find the son getting his share and leaving home way before he was ready. Thinking that he could do his own thing and live, the Prodigal took his share and rebelled by getting in with the wrong crowd. This did not serve him well because in his disobedience, he became a servant feeding pigs and eating what they ate.
Respect is Key
Obedience includes respect for our elders and those in authority over us. This has gone to the wayside in just about all aspects of life especially in the Americas. Even in the governing bodies our elected officials cannot come to proper agreements due to lust for power and an extreme disloyalty to those who voted them in. Small disagreements are fine but when one side derails everything the other decides to do, there is a problem.
The military is comprised of many ages and ethnicities. Yes the military has always had disloyalties and problems but there is still a respect. Mostly the respect is for the rank and not the person holding it but when the person and the rank are respected that provides the atmosphere for a cohesive team. Unfortunately the respect for those who fought before has been put to the wayside as many young solders do not have any respect for the retirees.
The Threat We Are Living
We are in the season of viruses that can kill yet many of the youth who think they are immune and invulnerable to any kind of danger are disregarding the words of the people who can help them save their lives. It is not just the youth but people of all ages who do not want to listen to reason and common sense are causing others to get sick. I saw some folks who were running around with masks a gloves in grocery stores when they could have had someone who is currently healthy do it for them. This is not smart because they could infect others even with the masks and gloves on.
The young college folks who decided to gather in large crowds on beaches even though they were told not to are reaping the punishments for their actions as some have come down with the virus and one youth aged 17 has actually died. Those that are carrying the virus have probably infected their elders without knowing. Why can’t people listen???
God warned us in Scripture and the Word had reiterated by telling of the pestilence that would come when the world disobeyed God. Did you know that currently 1/3rd of the world’s population has contracted COVID-19. Add that to those infected with the common flu and you have 2/3rds of the world sick. That is not even calculating the deaths in just this season alone. With the population being over 7 billion people that number is staggering.
Disrespect For God
When I say “we” I am talking about our human race. The human race has not even been able to follow God’s Law before the Torah which mentions what we should and should not consume, our sexual practices, adjudication for immoral actions and much more. We are all disobedient in one way or another.
It is past the time to straighten up our ways. The battle for our souls has been going on for many years yet it seems like it is coming to head in our time. It is time to choose total obedience to the Father or continue in our sinfulness. I do not think the world can stand much longer.
We know what to do so why are so many afraid to do it. In my quiet time with God I was reading
Isaiah 58. There is a part on fasting that hit me. It says:
“Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers.
4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.
13 “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
14 then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
If we, when we fast, consider this then we would be right in doing what God desires of us. Fasting is not just about food, it is about not doing things that seem important to us but are displeasing to the Father. We give up our daily, worldly routine and spend time doing God’s Will, that is a true fast. This is what we should do.
If we obey God in this simple manner, we will be raising the Kingdom on earth.
In God’s Arms,
Rob, Servant of God
Brothers and Sisters this current situation has the world on its knees. Many have a concrete jungle survivalist attitude through fear of the unknown. There are people who are completely dependent on worldly goods and services with little recognition that God is the great provider. This has me thinking, What can we learn from the current state of the world.
Fear Is In Control
The media and those in power have total control of the masses through fear of a pandemic which has killed and can kill more. There are natural ways to fight this but people want the government to protect them through means that could actually cause more problems down the road. Fear leads to anxiety which leads to greater fears, an unending cycle without God. Yes there is reason to fear this but there is a greater power who is completely in control.
Jesus is recorded as speaking about anxiety in the Gospel of Matthew, saying:
25 “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? 26 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? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 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? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “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
When we let fear control us we are in danger in losing faith in who matters most. This passage talks about basic needs for living but these basic needs also encompass healthy living because our provider, The Father God, gives us what we need to survive when we need it as long as we place our complete trust in Him.
Dependency in Materialism is Not The Way
Because we are a capitalist and materialist society we have become dependent on things made for us so we can concentrate on the “good” things in life that honestly do not matter. People have hoarded products and food items in fear of not being able to survive without them. Many have forgotten how to make things for themselves and ingenuity for basic items like hygiene is lost.
Some people have remembered how to survive like our ancestors and have written numerous books on the subject. The problem is that we have become dependent on buying things already made instead of doing without or making them ourselves. God gave us dominion over the earth which means He created so that we can design and develop items that we can survive on without creating “greenhouse gasses” and other emissions which can destroy the very materials we need to survive.
We Have Families?
An amazing discovery for some people is that there are other people living in the same house and have been there for years. We are relational beings yet we have been so caught up in our daily lives that there are people we have forgotten about. Kids are staying home which means the people that were gifted the children have to actually pay attention and care for them. This is a great time to rediscover those who sleep in the same house and to make contact with others who share your last name.
Believe me, some people who thought that teachers and day care workers were supposed to teach their kids about basic life needs, manners, respect, and right from wrong are about to get woken up. Mom, Dad, it is time to potty-train (yes there are people who depend on others to train their toddlers), comfort, feed, teach basic letters, words, and numbers, associate, and love your children the way God loves us.
Time to get rid of the things that separate us and come together as a family.
God is Watching Us
How we react is one thing that we need to carefully consider in this time. Are we obedient to the requests of those appointed over us? Do we respect authority? Do we care for our neighbors? Do we help those in need when we are able? Do we continue to worship and praise God in this time of pain and suffering? Do we continue in fellowship? Do we trust that God has this under control and will wipe it away when the lesson is learned? Do we Love others just as God Loves us?
All of those come from what God has written in the way we should live our lives. I know these are hard times but without God we will not survive. It is time to check yourself and your relationship with God. How is your heart? Do you have a heart like the faithful kings, prophets, and God-fearing believers of old, or are you one that believes but does not act upon it? Are you a sheep or a goat?
When we consider our relationship with God I ask that you spend as much time in prayer and in the Word that you do with other activities. I challenge you to spend twice as much time with God as you would watching your favorite movie or your favorite sport. In doing this you will have that chance to be reconnect with what has been lost. I challenge you this week to make a difference in someone’s life. For some, you might make a difference in your own that carries through to others and the reaction to this has been known to be contagious. We can replace the virus of fear with the cleansing flood of God’s Love.
Be who God needs you to be.
In God’s Loving Embrace,
Rob, Servant of God
Brothers and Sisters I really do not have to tell you about the disobedience that is running rampart in our time, we can see it just by walking or driving down the street. Sometimes we do not even have to go that far. This latest pandemic has caused such pandemonium and many places are unnecessarily closed. If people would pay attention and obey what they are told to do then this will go away just like the other viruses have been all but forgotten.
I want you to think of how many diseases were started from disobedience to God’s Word in Scripture. How many Commandments, Noahic, and Mosaic laws do we have to forget and disobey before we are completely eradicated from this earth? Look at what is happening. This mass hysteria has accomplished some good but there are troubles within as well. People are being forced to stay home. Businesses, schools, and other establishments are closing. This is causing families to have to come up with things to do. On the flip and bad side, churches have shuttered their doors. It is too close to Passover and Easter for this. Many may not return once doors are reopened. On the other hand many may actually find God during this time. Only the days will tell.
Do not be discouraged and don’t let the Adversary control what you do. Stay in touch with God. If you have been slacking off, stop and renew your relationship with the Father, He has been waiting to hear from you. Today, rain or shine I will be at the ministry site, worshiping God and thanking Him for each day. No demon is getting in my way from sending praises to God. We are working on ways to assist where we can within the parameters set by the governing bodies.
Wash your hands, avoid close contact of others unless you know they are free from the virus. Keep relationships alive and do not let Satan take that away from you. Keep God’s Word on and in your heart and stay in contact with Him. We will beat this just like the others through faith and good hygiene practices.
Be safe, be aware, and share God’s Love, Grace, and Mercy with all people.
In His Loving Arms,
Rob, Servant of God.
When we are told to go in obedience to the Father no matter the cost, many nowadays think to look into their pocket book. This was not the case in the first few centuries after Jesus walked the earth. For many the cost was their lives as such was the case for Stephen.
Stephen the Faithful Servant
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. Acts 6:1-5
The Greek speaking Jews did not see their widowed women being taken care of so seven were appointed. Among them was young Stephen who had a servant’s heart and was willing to serve others so the Apostles could continue in their mission. You could say these were the first Deacons as their charge was to care for the flocks material needs. Specifically, they were to help those who could not help themselves. Stephen was chosen because of his devotion and faith. The Holy Spirit opened up his heart to the gift of servanthood. His obedience to the specified task was well known and he became the leader of the group of seven.
Stephen the Bold
What the community of believers was doing in acts of faith and kindness made many of the hierarchy in the Sanhedrin very upset. Stephen was following his heart and continued despite the warnings. It came to pass that Stephen found himself defending his actions. The Bold Evangelist spared no words and spoke from the heart with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Stephen was so full of grace that many were speaking of Stephen. This made some Jews dispute with Stephen probably due to jealousy. They were unsuccessful in their attempts so they conspired against him.
During his defense, Stephen left no stone unturned and spoke the Torah and the history as if he lived through it. This upset the leaders even more. Especially when he said:
“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
Stephen the Obedient Martyr
The priests were so enraged they called for his stoning. He was dragged outside the city, surrounded, and put to death by stoning. Right before they began the throwing, Stephen saw Jesus. Right before he died, Stephen asked for forgiveness of their sins.
Stephen could have done many things differently to save his own skin but he had his eyes on the prize of eternal life. In obedience, Stephen spoke truth to a group of leaders who were teaching God with a man’s perspective instead of God’s. He talked to them about how all things from the past led to Jesus. He reminded them that God does not like the sacrifices and would rather they worship from the heart. He spoke of the body being the temple not needing the building which requires upkeep by material means which can cause greed and dependence on the world. The final straw was the accusation of murdering the prophets. Stephen died in obedience to the truth.
What Are You Willing To Pay
Are you willing to pay the ultimate price because of the truth of Scripture? The cost of eternal life with God does not mean gaining riches here on earth which are perishable and corruptible. The cost is giving up all things which bring temporary joy and suffering for the joy of the Lord which gives us strength to make it through the day. This does not mean we need to give up our full livelihood unless God requires as such, but it does mean we must no longer rely on the world. We rely on God to provide. If that means that God gives us certain talents to use to provide for the family then that is what we do but the underlying cause is and will always be for His Glory.
In the Father’s Loving Embrace,
Rob, Servant of God
Last month we discussed disobedience and the consequences that follow. After great consideration (three minutes of really loud singing while listening to the radio) we decided to concentrate this month on obedience. The question then turned to the starting point and Noah came up as a long faithful servant.
World, we have a problem!!! Ungodliness was all over the known world and life seemed good for those who did not care for following God’s ways because they lived lawless and without conscience knowledge of life with God. Now that did not mean that no one knew God but many had forgotten Him.
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” Genesis 6:5-7
Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. Genesis 6:11-12
God was not pleased with His most honored creation and saw the damage that they had done to the earth. Saddened by this, God decided to do something drastic which would wipe out everything so He could start all over again.
The people living on earth at the time were living long lives which allowed for many to discover the good and bad situations of life. These men and women were vile and lived in much wickedness with little regard for life. They cared more for their own selves and ignored their fellow man and God’s commission to be caretakers of the land, water, and animals. They wanted for nothing because they figured they had everything needed to live. They were missing one element, God.
One Man’s Righteousness
Noah, son of Lamech, was a righteous man. Scripture tells us that he was blameless in his generation and walked with God all his days. His lineage was the in the line of Seth, son of Adam and he was brought up knowing God. He was a good man who did what was right in the eyes of God and yet his obedience was about to be tested.
Those of us who are up in age can probably recall now disgraced comedian Bill Cosby’s skit on Noah and the conversation with God about the Ark. He took many liberties but I can see some of the skit being accurate. We are not told that Noah questioned God the way Mr. Cosby spoke of and I confess that I would have had a touch of doubt but God prevails no matter what. Noah trusted that God knew what He was doing.
Noah, without question did as God commanded because he feared and revered God as Holy. He did everything that God had told him to do even though it took many years to build it. He also took time to gather the animals but when the time came, he was ready.
The whole time Noah and the family were building the Ark they suffered ridicule from external family members, friends, and other scoffers who did not know they were going to die. As the rains started and Noah closed himself and the inhabitants of the new world within, many started to cry out in fear and regret but God closed the ears of all aboard. Noah remained obedient and let God guide the Ark to the place He pleased.
Noah had to be patient and wait on God. The water subsided after many days and foliage began to grow. It took some time but the earth dried enough to walk upon it and the first thing Noah did was set up an altar to God and gave thanks with a blood offering, sending the aroma of the sacrifice to God. Noah was obedient in all things.
Obedience Is The Key
Without obedience we are lost. That goes with life as a whole to include the life after we leave this world. Having the faith, trust, and obedience to God’s Word and Will in our lives does not always make things easy but it does grant us peace and joy when we need it the most. Listening, learning, and following are the first steps in obedience.
Brothers and Sisters we are in the time that Jesus warned us about when He said, “as in the days of Noah”. People are not concerning themselves with God and have lost focus on the truths of living for Him. It is only a matter of time so we must be ready for He will come just as a thief in the night. If we live expecting Him then we should be living for Him, not against Him.
Be Blessed in these times and be safe. Take every precaution against the viruses and pestilence that are prevalent in the world today. Boost your immune systems to fight against the physical and boost your faith and trust in God to fight against the spiritual that would keep us from Him.
God’s Love to All,
In His Embrace,
Rob, Servant of God
The messages on the blogs written on this page are within biblical adherence. Though the Scriptures listed in the blogs are directly from the Bible and other related religious writings the explanations and interpretations are in line with Biblical thinking as it relates to today’s world. The use of historical facts are to assist in the validity of the writings. The main writer of this blog site is an Ordained minister in one denomination though the views are related to all denominations so if something is said that does not fall in line with your denominational background, pray for personal discernment and understanding.