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.
What if I told you there is a Higher Being that created the world and therefore created us? This Being goes by many names but is best known as YHWH, I AM, Elohim, Hashem, and Jehovah. He had a Father/Child relationship with us until His first two decided to be disobedient and were removed from His sight. Thing is after He forbade them reentry He didn’t just leave them to the dangers of the world but gave them a way to return. It would not be easy but it could happen, just not in their lifetime.
Many years later, after He spoke through people, God decided that it was time to reopen the communications and save those who had faith and trust in Him. It would be the final necessary sacrifice and it would be a part of Himself. The Word came down with one mission but before that could be done God wanted people to turn back to Him. The Word in the flesh, Jesus, retaught what had been lost and or perverted by man. The ones who listened had returned to God and were given a mission, make disciples of all mankind.
LISTENING AND HEARING
In order to be a faithful servant the first thing you must do is to listen to the Word, hear the Word, and Trust that the Word is truth. What Jesus taught was to open our hearts and minds to the truth of the Word of God and to be obedient to the Word by doing what is right. To live a Christ-like life so that we can know God and conduct ourselves as He desires and share Him with others. To rebuild the relationship that was lost to the world.
Did you know that before there was a great flood that destroyed and restructured the earth, all people knew God? Some did not care to have a relationship with Him and lived life the way they wanted. These people did not listen or heed the warning signs and died. Then years after the cleansing, people of all nations who still spoke one language decided to try and reach God. But there was too much greed and envy that had entered the world so God had confused the language and caused many people groups to lose knowledge of God and the Laws given to Noah. God heard the cry of Abram through his worship and since He was of the chosen line, God took Abram away from the confusion and built a relationship with him and his family.
Many more hundreds of years passed and finally Jesus, the Word made Flesh, entered the world. He brought people back to God but had to do one thing that many did not understand. Jesus was to be the last sacrifice needed for mankind to heal the bond that was broken. He accomplished this and the link between God and man was reestablished. Many people became faithful servants.
This is the Life We Chose
It is not enough just to know that there is a God and that a man had bled for us so we can live. But that is how so many see Christianity. They believe that Jesus went through what He did so that we don’t have to. Well they are only partially right. They hear John 3:16 but do not understand the meaning. Jesus died so that we can live but it is not just the physical life we are talking about but also and more poignantly, our eternal, spiritual self. To believe in is one thing but God wants us to Be in. In other words we have to put our faith in action. We have to walk the talk.
To be a faithful servant one has to be able to share by Word and Deed. But to share it means we must live it. We cannot be one like those who ask people to do as they say and not as they do. Think about it as teaching children. If you show bad habits then that is what a child learns no matter how much you speak of doing things the right way.
Is There a Reward For This?
Yes, yes there is but not while in our current form. Because of the life we choose as active followers and faithful servants, we will suffer much. We will experience persecution, pain, and other worldly troubles.
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 2 Ephesians 1: 5-8
Those who do not know God or obey His Word will not be rewarded with eternal life and see God. They will be thrust into eternal darkness, that is, they will not see God and they will suffer as they made people suffer on earth. We need not worry about vengeance because God’s got this and just like His reward is eternal so is His vengeance.
Brothers and Sisters, do not fear suffering but embrace it. There is joy in the suffering of this world. To grow and to learn we must suffer the growing pains of life. I do not know about you but I would rather suffer while living the best I can like Christ rather than suffering and not knowing the peace and Love of God the Father. Are you a faithful servant? God wants you to be.
In His Loving Arms,
Rob, Servant of God
“No man may be miserable that is master of a garden” John Evelyn (1620-1706).
What do you think of when you hear the word garden? For the Persians a garden area was like Paradise (Garden of Eden). The Moors, an enclosed courtyard with pools of water. In Britain there are arched hedges framing large squared beautified lawns. No matter where you are from, a garden is an area to relax.
A Place to Discover Inner Peace
What is peace? Peace is freedom from disturbance that brings a sense of tranquility. It is a state of well-being, prosperity, and security. It denotes the overcoming of strife, quarrel, and social tension, the prevention of enmity and war. The pursuit of peace is the obligation of the individual and the goal of various social regulations and structures.
A garden is a place where peace can prevail. This peace does not come easy and it is somewhat challenging for the builder. Gardens are a way for people to find that inner peace to help bring them closer to the creator. With that, the different types of gardens grant those who visit them a look into the builder’s soul.
Peace in gardening allows for personal reflection. When entering a garden, go in with an open heart and mind leaving thoughts of the daily world behind. This is the only way to hear God’s creation. Doing this allows for God to speak clearly and true repentance can lead to a desire for a peaceful interaction with others.
A Place for Creation to Thrive in Harmony With One Another
There are many ways to think of harmony. Basically it means to be in agreement; accord; a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity. For a musician harmony is any simultaneous combination of tones especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear wholly distinguishable from melody and rhythm. Living together to create a bond that brings all things together as one.
Gardens create a beautiful chance for creation to combine each individual thing we are designed to do and develop a community which grows in social and economic matters. What I mean is that each participant in a garden setting has a task. Everything is done for the eventual good of the ecosystem even the things that seem bad eventually have a good quality. When the garden grows, that means creation is in harmony. Plants grow flowers and vegetables, water flows, the system works.
We Are All Caretakers
Our divine mission is to watch over the earth, cultivate it, subdue it, live in it. There are many ways we can accomplish this yet some seek to destroy rather than develop and design useful items that help our fellow man without the destruction of the earth. We can use the natural resources without abusing them and creating things that have destructive qualities. In fact, we ourselves are resources. Our part is labor intensive but when working in harmony with nature we can make this world a better place.
God created. When He created, all things were at peace. He created us. We destroyed His Garden Paradise. All God asked of Adam and Eve was to not do one simple thing and they broke the boundary that was set by Him. When they crossed that line, sin entered and the land was wrought with hardship. Because of man, the world suffers. Because of God’s sacrifice of His Son, man was forgiven but it is up to us to restore the land. Our Souls are saved but we still must toil and suffer the physical. It is up to us to make right what has been wronged.
The other part is getting along with each other which is the hardest thing to do. Because of behaviors, values, and characteristics deemed as against God’s image we are always going to have issues with our fellow man. Too many want some kind of power over others and lead them astray. We cannot live in a world where human-kind competes against human-kind in a struggle for dominance. This is not a war we should be fighting. The true war is of the Spirit and it is a war only God can win. Our infighting with our brothers and sisters does not help.
What Can We Do (whether we are willing or not)
Maybe if we tear down walls that separate us brick by brick and behold the beauty which is creation, we can see the Garden of Eden once again. To have God’s Kingdom on earth we need to follow God’s Word, repent and stay away from the things that keep us away from God. It will take a lot of sacrifice and we may suffer for a little while but when we no longer miss the things we gave up, we will feel His presence. For many it will be a most difficult undertaking but the rewards are greater. Is it worth it? Yes.
Brothers and Sisters, all things are possible with God. Without Him we cannot do even the simplest hardest task. What we put up can be taken down but what is built with God in our hearts will not fall. We need to stop building walls and begin to open hearts even more today than yesterday.
What good does it do to harbor anger towards someone? Gardens cannot grow if the temperature is too extreme and there is no water or proper nutrients. Our emotions are like nutrients for our souls. If we continue in negatives, the heart, soul, and mind become corrupt and can wither and die. If we stay in the positives, our bodies and souls flourish and grow.
Say goodbye to bitterness, greed, and hatred, all those things lead to death. Say hello to forgiveness, love, kindness, and compassion, all those lead to life. Sadness is a temporary state that we can escape from when we have the Holy Spirit. If you see a fellow brother or sister down, shine your light upon them and lift them up. Love one another with God’s Love, not man’s ideals. Keep your heart and mind filled with His Word and from that we will be strong and successful. Be the light of the world standing on mountains not hiding in the hills. Praise and Worship God daily in everything you do.
With Hope for a bright future.
In God’s Embrace,
Rob, Servant of God
Because of the hype of this recent pandemic many folks are left without a way to physically eat or drink. What is worse is many have been left without Spiritual food and drink out of fear of dying. Everybody will eventually die, that is the nature of things, but what if I told you that God does not shut down when there is pain and suffering in the world. In fact, this is when He does the best work.
The Word in Isaiah 55
“All you who are thirsty, come to the water!
You without money, come, buy, and eat!
Yes, come! Buy wine and milk
without money — it’s free!
2 Why spend money for what isn’t food,
your wages for what doesn’t satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and you will eat well,
you will enjoy the fat of the land.
3 Open your ears, and come to me;
listen well, and you will live --
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
the grace I assured David.
4 I have given him as a witness to the peoples,
a leader and lawgiver for the peoples.
5 You will summon a nation you do not know,
and a nation that doesn’t know you will run to you,
for the sake of Adonai your God,
the Holy One of Isra’el, who will glorify you.”
God gives the free gift of life to all who will hear and heed His Word sharing it with all who will hear it. Throughout Scripture, God reminds us that His Word is eternal and no man, nor any of His creation, nor those who sit on the heavenly council, nor those He banished from the heavens can make any changes that stick. The Bible has been through so many translations where people have to change things to meet certain societies understandings leaving only the truth that "matters" to all and even then it is distorted.
But Not Free For Us To Change
All these changes will fade with each new generation but the truth will never change. There is a price to pay if we try to change God's Word. We can try to explain things away but the true evidence in and of Scripture will show itself.
That is Why Jesus
God promised David a ruler that would be king forever but a cost would have to be paid. This one would return many to God and away from the man made religious desires. His blood would be spilled but that would make all things God's again. And we must seek Him.
6 Seek Adonai while he is available,
call on him while he is still nearby.
7 Let the wicked person abandon his way
and the evil person his thoughts;
let him return to Adonai,
and he will have mercy on him;
let him return to our God,
for he will freely forgive.
God's Word Is Eternally His
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not my ways,” says Adonai.
9 “As high as the sky is above the earth
are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For just as rain and snow fall from the sky
and do not return there, but water the earth,
causing it to bud and produce,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth --
it will not return to me unfulfilled;
but it will accomplish what I intend,
and cause to succeed what I sent it to do.”
12 Yes, you will go out with joy,
you will be led forth in peace.
As you come, the mountains and hills
will burst out into song,
and all the trees in the countryside
will clap their hands.
13 Cypresses will grow in place of thorns,
myrtles will grow instead of briars.
This will bring fame to Adonai
as an eternal, imperishable sign.
The most awesome thing about God's Word is that our lives are to be reflections of it. We were brought to the earth through His Hands and His Breath. He has our best interest in mind because we are here to do His Will through His Word. All creation bows down before Him and we are to lead the choir of the earth in singing His Praises.
In time, in His time, God will make things right again but that would not be possible if it weren't for the sacrifice He made. He made the ultimate sacrifice and allowed His Son's blood to be spilled. When that happened the sky opened and the earth shook opening the way back to the Father.
No man can tell us not to worship No man can tell us we cannot praise the Father. Governments may try to shut down buildings of worship but they cannot silence our voice. We are many parts of the one Body that Believes. We may suffer persecution but will not be cut away, starved from what matters most.
In time, those who try to stop us will suffer for their lack of belief. They will try to take things that are not theirs to take. They will try to make us pay for things that is not for them to sell. When they think we are suffering they will see our joy for that cannot be stolen. They will suffer and some will turn to God while others will not. All we can do is pray and let the Holy Spirit work.
Do not fear death for the physical death is inevitable. What choice you make here on earth will determine your Spiritual fate. Be blessed in the knowledge that Jesus lives and will return to bring us home to reunite with God.
In His Eternal Embrace,
Rob, Servant of God
Christian persecution is rampant during this pandemic. Government officials are allowing so many things to reopen but are still against religious gatherings especially of Christian or Jewish practices. A few years back I had predicted that gatherings would be transformed and we would either be left to homes or secret gatherings but I did not take into account that a pandemic would be a factor in this transformation. Here we are in 2020 and we are seeing a culmination of many things we were warned about in Scripture.
Dark is the New Light
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who change darkness into light
and light into darkness,
who change bitter into sweet
and sweet into bitter! Isaiah 5:20
Isaiah saw this in his day and the ruin it caused the society. Starting in verse 8 of the 5th chapter through the 25th verse, Isaiah begins the warning of the coming desolation and exile. This section is very relevant to what is happening today. Many have forgotten God throughout the last 100 years. God was removed from the classroom. All sorts of depraved and immoral behaviors began to emerge and take over society. Money and industry became the driving force to take care of all our needs and created distractions which slowly began their rule over us. Now there are more distractions than ever before and exposure to all types of immoral behaviors is easier seen and heard than decent moral behaviors to the point that moral decency is seen as passé.
The World is Become More Important than God
But understand this; that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Think of what is going on. The distractions from God have filled the heart with everything worldly and we now lack the space for compassion, the truth of love, trust, faith, dependency / Fear of God, understanding, wisdom, piety, and self-worth. As much as we would like to say we do not fall into the trap, we can’t. Even pastors are going through these tough times. The Word given to Isaiah above is happening once again.
Worship Must Evolve
What is happening? The fear of staying alive has kept people from doing the right thing. So many are staying away from corporal worship out of fear of catching a virus. Yes this virus is deadly but people have not taken care of themselves and invited infection which infects even those who do try to have good hygiene, watch what they eat, and follow the guidance given. This has kept physical and spiritual families apart. We can still be physically distanced while maintaining a socially active life.
One of the problems I have is that I like to hug which we cannot do right now. So it is painful but I am surviving because I am wrapped in God’s Love and carried by Christ.
Paul said to the church of Ephesus:
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:18-20).
Many appointed above us in the government have refused to open churches but will allow social gatherings in bars, protests, and riots. They say it is for our safety as well as the health and welfare of the elderly. What the heck are they thinking? We will not be silenced. Remember, When two or more are gathered in Jesus’ name we are in the Spirit. To worship is to be alive in the Spirit.
What about the Mega Church?
It is time for mega churches to rethink what they are doing. To stay relevant many mega churches have increased their online footprint which is good to a point but outreach becomes an issue. A strong church with an online presence understands the need for follow-up and reaching others. A large church still cannot reach everyone in their flock no matter how hard they try.
Then there is the religious center based on music. The Word is lost when there is more song than sermon. Some try to balance this but most fail. When the worship team becomes popular and the church bases itself on producing music, it loses truth in Christ. Songs of worship are great but when they replace the Word, God is lost. A praise band leads the local community of believers in songs in worship and praise not producing music on church grounds.
Mega Churches also rely on a lot of money to survive. They become more concerned about an offering of money instead of developing and using Spiritual Gifts. Many people who are touched by Christ eventually become nothing but a number because they get lost and gifts they had fade away. We are all commissioned to share Christ but too many are just worried about being fed and no longer desire to feed others.
The Mega Church must be humbled and split if the Kingdom of God is to be shared. All too often a pastor who has many in his flock lose themselves in the sin of pride through popularity. Naming a ministry or a church after one’s self is deceiving those who follow. The humble pastor puts the spiritual fitness of the flock above the self.
We Will Not Be Silenced
Believers can still gather in groups of 10. We can still gather in larger groups when physically distanced. We do not have to be indoors. Me, I prefer to be outside to worship. Think about it, some of the best sermons and teachings were done when Jesus was not confined to a four walled structure. There is nothing that says we have to be inside a structure because the “church” is not a building. We are the church and the temple is inside our hearts. We should be able to open our hearts no matter where we are.
Brothers and Sisters, please do not take any of what I said (especially in the Mega Church section) as jealousy or whining for I am a speaker of truth. If God wanted the masses to follow one person, the individual would not be a sinner like us and that won’t happen until the Messiah returns. We should follow one book and that is the whole Bible, not just parts that we can manipulate to our needs and human desires.
We are to be set apart as a community of like-minded multiethnic groups of Believers. Our ethnicity makes us unique and if we surround ourselves with no one but the same ethnicity our hearts become hard. When many ethnicities come together as one human race loved by God then we are bringing the Kingdom of God closer to earth. We must all repent and keep our words of repentance without backsliding and returning to our sinful lives. Repenting is a promise to God that builds a personal covenant between Him and ourselves. When we keep it, others see it and we plant that seed. That is what we are designed for.
We can beat this persecution. Jesus died for us, it is time we get off our donkeys and live for Him.
In His Grace and Merciful Arms,
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.