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.
The debate on works getting us into Heaven has been around since before the first Scriber of Scripture. The issue is not really what one does but how it is done and was it an act of faith or of human hands attempting to appease God. Abraham did many things by his own hands but most of those were not pleasing to nor were they for God’s Grace. He wanted to please God with the works but there was a difference between what Abraham thought God wanted and what God said. To be honest, it was not until Abraham took Isaac up on the mountain side to sacrifice him that he finally learned the difference between acting in obedience in faith and doing things of his own accord to please God.
When we look at the differences in those who were full of faith and those who had selfish desires to please God, we see the difference in how they act towards others. Selfish ambition to get into heaven is not pleasing to God while random acts of loving kindness without seeking accolades and privately in prayer thanking God for the gifts of the Spirit is.
How often do we pray that God will use us as a light but do not recognize when we are actually used as that light. That is God working in our heart through our prayer. Prayer is a very powerful thing, more powerful than people think. A heartfelt prayer can heal, can ease pain, can bless a soul, and can make one understand the humility of our place in the world.
Prayer works wonders on our soul and the souls of others. Prayer helps empower us through the Spirit to do the works of faith that are required of us. We go to God in prayer to ease our minds, to ask God for help, and to thank Him for His Grace and Mercy throughout the day. Doing these things are showing our faith, love, and trust in God that He will support us, guide us, and grant us what He desires of us, not what e desire for ourselves. Prayer works help to heal others in their time of need because we have a heartfelt desire to trust fully in God that intercedes for those whom we pray for.
Humbleness is the most important part of prayer. Recognizing that we are not in charge but have the power to ask God’s favor through our faithful supplication in prayer keeps us humble. It is this humility that keeps us from the wicked desires of the heart and helps transform those around us through God’s work in us. The humble heart works in prayer and shares with others through faith in action without selfish desires yet like Jesus gives selflessly of their lives.
Prayer is the work of the heart that grants us the ability to do God’s will and helps move God’s plan for us forward. Do you pray for yourself or others? Prayers of thanksgiving and for those who are not ourselves is the greatest work prayer can do in our lives. Can you perform great works through prayer? Yes. Will you?
Churches 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 which remains stagnant as said above 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.
Rob, Servant of God
When Jesus walked on the earth one characteristic which bothered the Sanhedrin the most was His kindness to all people. Jesus showed this kindness just like He showed His love, sometimes it seemed a little rough but it was a kindness none the less.
Being Kind to those who are Unkind
Why bring this up? Why should I be kind to those who are not kind to me? Being Kind is one of the chief things we are to be. In order to understand the effect of showering someone with kindness as life changing one only needs to look in the Scriptures and see that is what we are to do.
"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:35
Kindness is a great defensive weapon against those who rebuke you. Having a peaceful and joyfulness in suffering style nature is not a sadistic thing when being persecuted. Quite the contrary, when shown in the power of the Holy Spirit it can be life changing.
Many lives have been changed just by an act of kindness. Just look at the different people mentioned in the Gospels and Acts alone and you will see lives transformed when kindness was applied. These truths occurred because the Disciples and others believers followed Proverbs as it says:
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3
Also the prophet Micah who wrote:
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Why are we to be like this?
Because that is how God wants us to be.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; Colossians 3:12
You never know who you are truly showing kindness to:
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2
Do you remember the song that has the lyrics, “Jesus in disguise”, or even “What if God was one of us?” How many times did the Angel of the Lord come down and talk to someone without them knowing until it was almost too late for them to figure out they were talking with a divine being? So we must Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; (Romans 12:10) because kindness really does go a long way.
People die in the flesh every day. What happens after? Where does our spirit go? These are questions that we cannot truly understand until the day comes that we actually die. Many people claim to have near death experiences or wake up calls in which their lives are turned around. Many people have visions of Hell our visions of Heaven. Thing is, we really do not know. According to John 8:51-59, Jesus gives us a truth in the matter that is still up for discussion.
Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. John 8:51-59
Death to the common man means our flesh fails and our bodies stop working causing an end to life. The Jewish understanding is that when we die we enter a dream state and our souls rest until the time of the resurrection which is why those who heard this reacted the way they did. What Jesus is speaking of here is the Spiritual Death or complete removal from existence. Mortal death is not the end, it is the beginning of life.
I am no expert in the field but all I know is that Jesus teaches us that there is life after death. That is why we should not fear it. If you have submitted yourself to Jesus then you will have life with the Father and not worry about being in darkness or thrown into the fire. This promise of Jesus does not mean that Christians should seek mortal death but approach it, when it is time, with joy.
Jesus gives clues in this passage on His eternal existence that angers those within hearing. When Jesus speaks of Abraham, He is saying that Abraham knew someday God would do exactly what He told Abraham to do with Isaac. This sacrifice would be God’s own Son who would deliver us from eternal death because of sin. Abraham’s spirit was waiting in Sheol (Purgatory) and knew that the time had come that his life would be saved and the door between Sheol and Heaven would be opened.
Jesus tells us plain and simple what we are to do to gain eternal life, He says to keep God’s Word on our hearts. Ok, sounds easy right? That is until you actually start reading God’s Word and realize we cannot fully accomplish all things because of the stain of sin. What we can do is believe on Jesus, that He gave His life for us so we would never know an eternity without God. Believing requires being in Him as He is in us by following His example in life the best we can and living it for Him. It means spending time in prayer and fully submitting your life to God trusting that all things that happen are part of His plan and He will guide you to the right way. Without trusting God you are left to the devices of the devil and will taste death.
Our Father, God wants to have a relationship with you because He loves you. You have to love Him back. As for me and my house we choose to love, trust, and follow the Father. The choice is yours. Will you Trust in Him?
In God’s Love,
Rob, Servant of God
GOD IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
You can take that to the Highest Mountain, Lowest Valley, Fields, Villages, Towns, Cities, Counties, States, Countries, The World and it will forever ring True.
God’s Love tells us that He wants a relationship with us that knows no bounds. We find Joy in understanding that no matter what happens to us, we rejoice in the fact that we have that relationship that saves us. So what happens next? The Third Fruit of the Spirit is Peace.
Once we have the first two as prevalent parts of our lives there is a sense of peace that overcomes us in everything we do. Yes the stress of the world can get in the way but with God those times of stress are meaningless in the greater scheme of living.
Peace begins in the heart. It is the inner sense that is produced by the Love and Joy that comes from God. It is the calmness needed in times of turmoil so that the devil cannot take control of the emotions and cause anger and pain. Peaceful hearts produce peaceful minds.
What does Scripture say about peace?
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. Proverbs 12:20
When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7
Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you. Job 22:21
Jesus reiterates His Father’s Words and speaks of peace.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We find peace in the Word that flows through our hearts and minds. This peace is a virtue that all Christians should have. It conquers the evil one even when he thinks he has won. When we are persecuted, it is the inner peace that gives us strength even to the point of death. It is better to die knowing Christ than to live and not know Him.
How can we find this peace that helps us get over worries, anxiousness, and other thoughts and emotions that are dangerous to our spiritual and physical health? Look to the Lord in all your sorrows for He will release them from you. In Him you find Joy without seeking it, and Love without earning it. All you have to do is believe, have faith, trust in Him, follow His ways, and you will find peace.
Brothers and Sisters I urge you to rid yourselves of the ways of the world that cause undue stress, anxiety and persecution. Peace is a characteristic of the Image of God that has always been within us. Once the peace of God is solidified in our hearts it becomes a natural behavior. Peace is the Fruit of the Spirit that helps many express their faith to others and expand the Kingdom.
Pray for the peace of God to enter all who know Christ as Lord and Savior so the world will know peace through us. With Love and Joy in our hearts share the Word and bring the Kingdom.
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.