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.
Brothers and Sisters, I was studying Psalm 40 recently and I felt the desire to write on it today. The beginning of this Psalm talks of a person waiting on God to hear the suffering the writer is feeling.
I waited patiently for Adonai, till he turned toward me and heard my cry.
He brought me up from the roaring pit, up from the muddy ooze,
and set my feet on a rock, making my footing firm.
Do you hear the cry of a person in the darkness, apart from God, until the cry is heard for release from the suffering of sin? Then when He lifts us up, He gives us the strength and courage to be held by Him in all situations.
God brought us out of the depths of sin and set us on the rock which is the Word that fills us and encourages us to face anything the world puts in our way.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.
Many will look on in awe and put their trust in Adonai.
How blessed the man who trusts in Adonai and does not look to the arrogant
or to those who rely on things that are false.
When we turn towards God leaving the world behind we are given new eyes that see Him, a new mouth that speaks the Word from our hearts, a new purpose found only in God’s truths.
How much you have done, Adonai my God! Your wonders and your thoughts toward us --
none can compare with you! I would proclaim them, I would speak about them;
but there’s too much to tell!
Because we see with new eyes and speak with a new heart we can know the awesome wonders that God has done in all creation the way He desires us to see it. He gives us the words to speak but no matter how much we try to tell, there are ever more words to describe His Grace, His Glory, His Mercy, His Praise. So much that not one person can speak of the entirety of God.
Sacrifices and grain offerings you don’t want; burnt offerings and sin offerings you don’t demand. Instead, you have given me open ears; so then I said, “Here I am! I’m coming!
In the scroll of a book it is written about me.
God does not desire physical offerings that are burnt with the sweet aroma raising to heaven, He desires a personal relationship with us as we should with Him. We should be running the race, following His Word and Commands while keeping our part of the covenant made with our very souls in mind. We are His inheritance and have been bought with the blood of His Son, the incarnate Word, Jesus. It is He who gave us the pure example of how God desires us to live on this earth. We are to live for God in good relationship with each other, helping each other not destroying ourselves through lies and sinfulness.
This Psalm gives me the encouragement to bring others to God through the knowledge of His character and values that we have within us. To know that His truth is the only truth we need to place our trust in. Oh to be in the protection of His loving arms, sharing His love with all people.
Keep His Word on your heart and remember the sacrifice God had made so that we can return to Him. God’s Love, Grace and Mercy be with you all of your days.
Rob Servant of God
Psalm 139 is a beautiful discourse on the intimate knowledge that God has of each one of us. David is known as a man made after God’s own heart and this describes the wonder, knowledge, and understanding that the heart in each of us should be aware of. God’s Love for us goes so deep that He is fully concerned with every move we make. Every motion, every thought, every ounce and atom of our very being is important to God’s plan.
Omniscience Of God
In the opening 6 verses we see God’s Knowledge in our thoughts, words and actions.
1Adonai, you have probed me, and you know me.2 You know when I sit and when I stand up,
you discern my inclinations from afar,3 you scrutinize my daily activities.
You are so familiar with all my ways4 that before I speak even a word, Adonai,
you know all about it already.5 You have hemmed me in both behind and in front and laid your hand on me.6 Such wonderful knowledge is beyond me, far too high for me to reach.
This part tells us right away that God knows our every move. Since we have the gift of free will we are given choices to make which determine how we will function throughout the day. What we are inclined to do because of human nature is not always the best choice but God has a way to put us on the right track. Verse four tells us that He already knows the choices we will make in what we say and how that will affect our lives and the lives of those around us. How one eternal and everlasting Omnipotent being can know the heart of every God breathed creation is well beyond what anyone can fathom to understand, but He does.
How often do we think something to say and then stop ourselves from saying it? Better yet, how often do we think of doing something disregarding the possible consequences but when we begin to take action something tells us to stop. That is the Holy Spirit working in our lives. Sometimes we go through with speaking or acting out our thoughts and have to deal with the consequences of our words and actions. Only God know why He allows us to make mistakes but we do learn from them. Maybe our mistakes are there to help us recognize our need for a closer relationship with God who will forgive us when we acknowledge our mistakes, our bad choices, our sins, through repentance by asking forgiveness first from the person or persons we wronged then asking God. Thus bringing us closer to Him through His Grace and Mercy.
He knows all things even before we speak or take action on what we think. If we understand this then it makes certain choices we make even harder. When we are tempted to do something we should remember this section and know that we cannot hide what we are considering doing.
Omnipresence Of God
This next section tells us that He is ever present and can be everywhere.
7 Where can I go to escape your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I climb up to heaven, you are there; if I lie down in Sh’ol, you are there.
9 If I fly away with the wings of the dawn and land beyond the sea,
10 even there your hand would lead me, your right hand would hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Let darkness surround me, let the light around me be night,”
12 even darkness like this is not too dark for you; rather, night is as clear as day,
darkness and light are the same.
This does not mean He inhabits everything as humans are the only creatures in creation given the breath of God. But it does mean that His presence can be felt in us, beside us, all around us. He is not creation but is all around the creation. His presence can be felt in the rustling of the leaves, the movement of the wind on the grass, the water that pours out from the heavens, the explosions from deep inside the earth that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. He is everywhere.
Adam and Eve found this out the hard way because the choice made due to the words that Eve spoke to the serpent. Eve’s words to the serpent adding to what the command God gave made it easy for the serpent to convince Eve to take the fruit of the tree. The consequences of this conversation were placed on all involved to include the serpent so it was not just humanity that suffered.
God hears our groanings and places Himself where He needs to be when He needs to be there. Of course He needs to be with us at all times so when we are desperately searching for Him we do not have to look very hard because He is already there. It is us that blocks Him out of the eyes of our heart, not He who disappears from us.
Omnipotence Of God
This part continues the discussion of His presence but also describes His knowledge and power.
13 For you fashioned my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders --
I know this very well.15 My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.16 Your eyes could see me as an embryo,
but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped
before any of them existed.17 God, how I prize your thoughts! How many of them there are!
18 If I count them, there are more than grains of sand; if I finish the count, I am still with you.
God created. Simply enough this tells us how deep His knowledge is of each and every one of us. He created Adam from the dust and clay of the ground then blew His Spirit into him so that He is part of us and lives in us. This section brings to mind Jeremiah 29:11 where He says,” For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says Adonai, ‘plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future.”. God’s creation did not stop after the six days but continues with each one of us. He provided us with the means of human creation and takes what is given knitting it together to make two become one. This is one reason why He created man and woman. This is why we complete each other. This is why we are given into marriage. He designed us to continue His creative process. Sin has perverted that.
Although He uses each child born to accomplish certain things, not all are meant to be. Satan, the prince of this world, has placed his hand in creation and many that should be born are not. Some that should not be born (in our minds) are. It is a difficult thing to digest but all human life is precious because it is of God.
God’s power is seen in His creation and doubly so in us as we are to conduct ourselves in the way that God has instructed us through His Word. Keeping His Word in our hearts and minds give us the power to accomplish His work on earth.
Requesting God to Remove Evil
19 God, if only you would kill off the wicked! Men of blood, get away from me!
20 They invoke your name for their crafty schemes; yes, your enemies misuse it.
21 Adonai, how I hate those who hate you! I feel such disgust with those who defy you!
22 I hate them with unlimited hatred! They have become my enemies too.
This part is rather difficult. God can speak things in and out of existence just by thinking about them. Throughout Scripture, God decides when to rid the world of certain people and places. When studying the words closely we see that it does not please God to order destruction but it is seen as a necessary means to an end for the plan to continue. It is a show of God’s power over Satan’s attempts to rule this world and overthrow God.
Here, David seems to speaking of those who pretend to do things in His Name but they do it for their own gain. Then he talks of those who do not follow His ways and turn away from God. David’s hatred seems to go beyond what it should. Even in God’s benevolence, He does not destroy like He used to. He uses man as His agents who remove the evil ones from the earth.
God’s Grace and Mercy Guides Us Home
23 Examine me, God, and know my heart; test me, and know my thoughts.
24 See if there is in me any hurtful way, and lead me along the eternal way.
This request is the penitent heart making a plea for forgiveness. We examine our hearts before entering His presence in prayer so that we can repent while praising Him. If we repent even for the smallest wrong that is in our hearts and minds, we can be forgiven. When we repent, we are recognizing our faults and confessing to God that we cannot save ourselves from the damnation that is the effect of sin. We give ourselves over to God and do our best to live the way He needs us to. Living the best Christ-like life we can will help us when the judgement comes. Since we are human we are subject to sin but if we try hard enough, pray long enough, have faith while placing our whole life in God’s hands, we have a great chance of being in God’s presence for eternity.
Brothers and Sisters, this Psalm is one that we should definitely keep on our hearts because it is the reminder that God is in charge of all things. It helps with defending our beliefs of God being the creator and benefactor of all things. It speaks of His presence; even when we do not want Him there, He is. It tells us that we are His because He created us and knows our path before we even take our first breath of air in this world. It speaks of His goodness and Grace.
This is a wonderful reminder of God and His participation in our lives. God is, was, and will always be there if you look hard enough you will feel Him. I ask that each of you do your best to stay in His presence so when the time comes you can see God.
In God’s Loving Embrace,
Rob, Servant of God
This week I spent more time with God. I had not spent as much time with Him as I should have so this week I made it a point to get closer to Him through the Word and prayer. I can say that I have felt better this past week than I have in a while. When we let God in, so many things happen. Some good some testing, some bad, but God is there. His guidance through the still small voice become louder when your main focus is on God. It can be life changing if you let it. Last week I was frustrated because of the rain damage but God was teaching me how to fix things. This bled into my secular job as I was able to take care of problems and other issues that had challenged me weeks before. Spending time with God is a great thing to do. It is the right thing to do. Keep His Word on and in your heart and you will succeed in His plans for your life.
Rob, Servant of God
According to Scripture and the teachings of Jesus, God wants a personal relationship with us just like He had with Adam and Eve before the Fall. We are told that He gave us a guide that became Law as to how to get right with God and defeat the evil of sin. At the base of everything is Faith. Our faith in God is our trust and willingness to give everything over to Him no matter the suffering and pain that we may endure because of our Love for Him who Loves us unconditionally through His Grace and Mercy . It is by His Grace and Mercy that He sent us His Word made flesh in the body of Jesus Christ. The Word was spoken to those who would hear Him and it corrected the fallacy that man had created to make their own gain.
Some of the Sanhedrin turned back to God while others did not. Some of the people turned back to God while others continued to be blind to the truth by their own choosing. This is what we have today. Many are still blind and continue to live in their sins thinking that they will be fine in the next world (some even go as far as thinking, "if there is one I will take my chances"). The poor unfortunate soul that has no faith in anything but himself and the money amassed in this world. Being popular on earth may lead to being the most unpopular is the next world. Being the richest (monetarily) on earth will lead to being the poorest in heaven.
Recently some more popular and outspoken musicians have "turned back to God" in an attempt of redemption. The problem is that they are so popular and seen by the world it is almost impossible for personal redemption because of the boasting that has occurred. Be aware that it could be a front for the devil. Remember, the Bible says that there will be what seems to be changes in hearts only to be used by Satan for his will and not God's.
Be ready, for the prophesy of Isaiah 17 and parts of Revelation seem to be coming true. Watch as Syria is overtaken by Turkey and if Damascus falls we are in trouble. As this is happening, the Jews are beginning to set up the building of the Third Temple. Animal Sacrifices have returned so be ready. We are getting closer to the end of the age. It could be years off still but things are falling into place. President Trump has pulled out of Syria allowing for the Turks to invade. It is written in the Bible that these things would happen. According to scholars and seers of dreams the United States is Ephraim. We have a roll but it is not good for the country unless we repent.
Keep in the Word Brothers and Sisters. Do not fear or worry unless you have yet to truly repent. Do it now while the time is right.
Rob, Servant of God
Jesus warned us that in these times there will be many who come in His Name yet speak lies about Him and the Father. There have been many false prophets in the last 2000 years who have made the Jesus we follow today into the person He really isn’t. We have the Joyful Jesus who loves, we have a modern Jesus that is hidden within the New Age where He is known to have lived many lives from Adam to Noah, then with a few intermixed then Jesus. There are people who only worship Jesus and forget God without realizing that Jesus was the personification of God’s Word. Then there is Jesus the prophet who will return to restore God’s Kingdom. There are many others but most of them have a misunderstood view of Christ.
God warned the Hebrews about following a false prophet back in Deuteronomy:
“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. Deuteronomy 13:1-4
Israel Followed Other gods
The people Israel had a problem. While they understood all the things that God required of them they fell victim to their sinful nature and worshiped Molech, Ba’al, Marduk, and other foreign gods. They also did what they thought was right in their own eyes when their hearts turned from God. The traditions and ceremonies with these gods were directly against the Law of God because of the rituals, sacrifices, and immoralities that they did to “appease” them. It took many years for the Israelites to return to God. Now we have the Jewish nation from the tribe of Judah with some Benjamin and Levi mixed in. The good thing is many from the other tribes are returning to Israel and turning to God.
Roman Leadership Changed The Way
There are many things that the Romans did that changed the way we see Jesus today. Constantine tried to remove the Jewishness of Jesus which was easy for some aspects and difficult for others. When Christianity became the Imperial Religion, pagan rites and celebrations, were incorporated and the date of Jesus’ birth was changed to match the time of the winter solstice. Somewhere along the line Ishtar became Easter. The Catholics call Peter the first Pope, he never desired to be venerated like that. Then there is the Paul problem. Yes Jesus turned his heart but all too often people trust the word of Paul over the Word of God.
Roman greed and the misinterpretation of tithing changed what is given to the church. In fact, the bishops used the church to collect taxes for the town and the Vatican. They created the heresy called indulgences that were payments for getting relatives out of Purgatory. Remember, common folk did not really read so they were not even allowed to get a Bible. They depended on the reading and interpretation of the local priest.
Idolatry ran ramped as relics of the faith became means of worship. Everything from supposed pieces of the cross and nails to actual bones, even full corpses are worshiped and seen as providing miracles. God warned us about these things so we must be very deliberate in discernment. Remember, the Adversary and demons know all about God and will find ways to deceive. Jesus and the Apostles also warned us but many believe anyway.
Martin Luther Tried to Set Things Straight
The Ninety-Five Theses were written as a corrective measure of the corruption that was occurring in the church regarding repentance, indulgences and purgatory. Forgiveness is only through the Grace and Mercy of God and mediated only through Jesus. It is the internal desire for repentance and removing of the sin from one’s own life that matters, not going to confession, revealing your sins to a priest and saying so many Hail Mary’s or other repentant phrase. Indulgences were a way for the church to gain money in order to release a soul from Purgatory. This took place of the Jewish tradition of praying for the dead during the period of mourning continuing through the year following the death.
Martin Luther understood that Catholicism was a controlling religion that kept people in the dark and threatened the very livelihood of those who believed. The whole sacrament of Communion is meant for all not just part of it as it was for a long time. Repentance is personal, no man can forgive sins completely in the place of God. These were things that Martin Luther wanted to debate and correct. He never was fully able to get the audience to correct these things. What happened was division and ideologies causing multiple denominations and changes in each area where Christianity was spread.
From Luther to the Modern Age
Division did not stop with the main denominations but continues even through today with false doctrines developed from misinterpretations and “revelations” that people have had. It has gotten worse in the last 300 years. The divisions caused excommunications of whole people groups that started their own communes and branches. This is very dangerous because it will get to the point where no one can agree what is right, real, or fantasy.
We have one thing that helps and that is the Dead Sea Scrolls. This grouping of parchments and the Nag Hammadi codex’s writings help us understand the difference between what we know and what was known as truth. We must discern truth from fallacy of man, good from evil, moral from immoral, or we will not survive the coming war. Not only must we discern these things but also have true Repentance of the Heart, act upon the Great Commission, and live the best Christ like life we possibly can. It will not be our best life now because we will suffer but we will be more ready than the lukewarm Christians who think they got it.
Trust in the Father to give you guidance through the Holy Spirit of Truth. As Paul had said, “Put on the whole Armor of God daily”. Be watchful and do not stray. Love each other with the love of God not of man. Brothers and Sisters I care for your future in this world and the next. Remain strong in the arms of God.
Rob, Servant of the Father
The funny thing about being a human, just when you think you have most things working for yourself and others, life happens. Too many times we see people that believe they have it all together and the next day......crash. Murphy, Gremlins, and the ghost in the machine all arrive at once. That is a scary thing to have happen but this is mortality. Our plans are not always very successful nor does every plan fall into God's overall desire for our lives. It is something we have to deal with, sometimes daily, especially if your trust is not fully in God.
There are people that think they control their own destinies can see failure and try to change to fit their needs and desires for success. These will never be happy because with each success comes many failures. They do not listen to anyone but their own mind.
Then you have those that think they need to meddle in business that is not theirs and recommend what they believe is the only way. Or they try to assist when it is not needed or welcome because they believe their way is best. These folks might have certain best interests at heart but cannot see when they are not needed and get upset when someone else succeeds.
As Christians, as believers in God, we place our faith, our trust, our very lives in His hands. At least that is what we are supposed to do. I know many Christians that fall into the people of the previous paragraphs and it is not pretty. When you work with someone described above, where is their heart. Are they looking for accolades and bonuses? Maybe some extra compensation? They are for themselves and not the team. And some call themselves Christian??????
Life happens to everyone because we are alive on this planet. What the differences is between people and Children of God is that we are not living for ourselves. When a change happens we have to accept it, adjust, and move forward all the while standing firm in faith. Give all praises, good things, grievances, troubles, cares, and concerns to God and listen. That is literally all we really can do because that is what He wants us to do.
Brothers and Sisters, Do not get frustrated over the things that are out of our control because God has given that responsibility to someone else. If it is not meant for us to handle it at that time, there is always someone chosen to do it. God will have you step in if needed. Remember to ask for guidance and direction and God will provide. Of course He will do that whether we ask or not, especially if we are chosen for a task that He just drops on our plates.
Be in prayer for us as we take on a task that will be challenging in many ways. We are possibly bringing a relative and her spouse to live with us as they try to get on their feet.
In God's Loving Arms,
Rob, Servant of God
Sometimes when you sit and think about if your life is pleasing to God, all of the missteps come to light before the good. This is normal because our nature looks for the bad above looking at the good things in life. When that happens to me I either look or go outside and see the beauty of creation. I watch the trees move on windy days and think of His majestic power and how it helps us stand in the midst of trouble. I see the birds swooping and soaring and think of our needs being met. I see squirrels quickly moving through the trees and think of His protection. When I open the door and hear nature speaking I stand in awe of Him who gave me breath.
I watch my dog Lili and wonder what she is thinking as she runs free in the yard, rolling in the grass, and then sitting patiently observing her surroundings without bothering the birds, bunnies, squirrels, and frogs. Okay, she tries to smell the frogs then they quickly jump away. She does not chase them away but stands watch over her grounds.
What a great Father we have that provides many things that we cannot even see but appreciate when they appear. All to often we take the little things for granted but why do we do that? If strong faith can be as small as a mustard seed then how strong our faith could and should be while we go about our day.
Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. AMEN.
Do you struggle with a particular Sin? Are you stuck in a sin you just cannot break free from even though you believe that Jesus is the Messiah and gave His life to save us from our sinfulness. Can you be sure you actually have Christ in your life if you are still living in the sin you had repented from? The answer is simple, you cannot live in your sins and be in Christ. Jesus said, “No one can be slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and money (Mat. 6:24 CJB)” . You cannot serve God and remain in your sinful life.
For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, of raging fire that will consume the enemies. Hebrews 10:26-27
Sin is Sin
There are many things that Scripture calls sin. To get this straight, sins are anything that is against God, His Word, and His Laws. There are some that He abhors and one that is unforgivable but sin is sin. Thy all lead to the same result. No matter the sin, the prescription for the cure is the same. Full repentance of all sins and turning to God. Giving up all things that keep you away from God and believing in Jesus. It is only through the sacrifice that God gave us that we are saved.
Nobody is perfect. We all sin. In this day and age the sins of man have fully taken hold of the world to the point that innocence is lost much earlier in life than ever before. People are turning away from the truth of God yet still claim to be Christian.
I Can Be A Faithful Servant and Ignore God’s Law
The person who believes that statement is fully derailed by the Adversary and will surly die. How can you faithfully serve God while living in sin? You are only fooling yourself. If you live a life that ignores the Ten Commandments and the moral and ethical statutes that are contained in them, then you are not living for God you are living against Him.
Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:28-29
If you give yourself over to God then you cannot continue in your sins of the flesh. You cannot continue to love the world and try to live for yourself. Even if you do help others, if you still have an ongoing sin in your heart you are fooling yourself. Once you repent of your sin and are baptized you must give up your previous life and live for God.
Jesus told the adulteress, “Go and sin no more”. Did He not do this after He saved her from death and she fell on His feet in full repentance? She gave up her life and followed Jesus from that point never to live that way again. So no, you cannot be a faithful servant and ignore God’s Law.
Jesus Is Holding You, Why Do You Let Go?
God has a plan and it includes you so why are you avoiding Him. We are given life everlasting through His free gift of Grace and Mercy but so many people just do not want to accept it. Too many people want to enjoy their current situation and do not care what happens when their bodies stop living.
The funny thing is that pretty much everybody has heard of God and Jesus and they know that there is a book called the Bible. Some have even used it to fuel their personal ambitions and have tried to ruin Jews and Christian by spitting the Word into their faces while they distort it to fit their selfish ways.
I said this recently but it fits here…The Bible has just about every answer we are looking for because everything in it points us to our creator and teaches us about life. It contains geology, biology, meteorology, astrology, math, history, physics, philosophy, health, sex ed., and more. It gives us a code of morals and ethics that are conducive to a world of peace. It even talks about certain vocations such as farming (both animal and gardens), construction, sailing, fishing, and many other facets making this world a better place to live in.
If someone knows of God, why does that person not believe it could actually be true? Too often do people want to say that we live here because we do and there is nothing more. They do not see the miracle that is life itself.
With all this knowledge given, we can run the race and come out victorious but only if we are obedient to God’s will and plan. The Adversary will try to trick us every chance he gets but we must remain vigilant in our faith turning completely away from sin and start down the path that leads to the Kingdom. Until the day of Christ’s return there will be sin in the world. Repent and place your faith in Him who saves us. God is with us Are you with Him?
May God’s Grace and Mercy shine upon you,
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.