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.
How often do we say thank you and not really mean it? I know some folks who just say it to get others to not bother them. In fact we are all guilty of that in one form or another. For some, thanks is just a five letter word and is used from the mouth not the truth in the heart. The mind is on something else and we just say it to say it. Kind of like saying sorry when you really don’t mean it. This is something that we really must consider and in consideration to others find a different, kinder way of expressing our thoughts rather than use words without proper intentions.
Scripture tells us to be thankful to God for His Grace, Mercy, Love, Testing, and Correction. Meaning in all things be thankful to our Creator who gives us life, guides us, disciplines us, forgives us, and saves us. To be full creatures under God’s Unending, Unconditional Love should we not also be the same way with our fellow man?
Being thankful is not an easy task sometimes. The hard in heart have a difficult time with this because they really do not know what or how to say any form of gratitude. For some, within their own close family saying thank you is not easy either.
Thankfulness Starts in the Heart
We are creatures of habit but our habit must begin somewhere. Because of our good and bad natures we immediately learn the difference and meaning of “no” or not good, and “yes” or good. The innocence of not understanding is guided to doing right or wrong things to learn. How we are disciplined when we are young stays in the heart.
Thankfulness is a feeling that begins with rescue. The infant is rescued from hunger and dirty diapers and then given comfort when falling asleep. The child is exposed to gratitude when they feel nourished, clean, and protected. As the child grows, sparing the rod (simple Godly discipline) shows the child that they can get away with anything. If this continues then the child will probably grow up not understanding right from wrong and not knowing how to be grateful. Yes we have to let kids be kids but they must learn boundaries of behavior.
As the child develops so do morals and values. Children learn from observing and doing. They learn from example. The best way for the child to learn gratitude is exposure to Godly love and care through those that are part of the child’s life. This is what our Father gives to us.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us what we are supposed to do for our children so that they can be acceptable members of society in both body and spirit. Overdoing it can be just as bad as not doing it at all. The best thing to do is to be an example to them.
If we are not taught respect and good manners in the home, how do we expect them to respect and honor those outside the family circle. There are many different cultures in this world. Some are very thankful and filled with gratitude, while others are so busy that good manners are totally out the window. Some people expect others to give and do not give back even a smile. There are some that I have unfortunately had a non-Christian moment with where I wished they would be struck with hard times so they would learn gratitude. I know that is not right for me or anyone for that matter but some do really need it.
Thankfulness in Suffering
Even though Adam and Eve disobeyed, God did not kill them and start over. He taught them to be thankful even though they suffered loss. Being thankful in times of distress is not easy but God put something into our hearts that makes it possible, His Love. Though we feel sadness and may even question God, we should be able to thank Him. Not because we survived but because it was through God that the outcome was what it was. The lesson learned is that God’s Plan is His and we are part of it. Just because we suffer does not mean someone else is not brought to God.
A Grateful Heart
The grateful heart is one that is thankful in all situations. God teaches us through His Word to be thankful for all things through, to, and in Him. This gratefulness for God that builds in the heart gives us the strength, knowledge, and courage to face the world and everything that Satan tries to pull us from God.
Having a grateful heart is not always easy but when we are grateful for even the smallest blade of grass and grain of sand, we learn to grateful for the things that are out of our control and everything that is put in our path. It is a great way to live. In fact, Scripture tells us that God desires us to live that way.
Brothers and Sisters have a great Thanksgiving and carry this gratefulness into the next and every year God gives you. May God Bless You with fullness of a Grateful heart and a better understanding of His Grace, Mercy and Love.
In His Loving Embrace,
Rob, Servant of God
There is something wonderful that happens when we are in the condition of Praising and Worshiping our Father God. This feeling that is deep inside our hearts can express the joy that overcomes our very being as we give our whole selves over to Him. When we worship we are connecting with God in ways that are well beyond our human comprehension.
When we praise God in song and give praises of thankfulness for the situations in our lives, we are overwhelmed with a feeling of peaceful contentment which excites and calms us in order to deal with any situation in which we find ourselves. Being in this state of Worship and Praise is never ending but in this day and age where anyone can write a song we must be able to discern the heart of the writer and examine the truth of the song.
The Truth of Song
A song is an expression of the heart and mind of the person who writes it. When it comes to Christian music there must absolutely no faltering from the Ten Commandments. There are three Commandments that specifically come to mind.
ב 3 “You are to have no other gods before me. 4 You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. 5 You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, Adonai your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot.
ג 7 “You are not to use lightly the name of Adonai your God, because Adonai will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly. Exodus 20: 3-7 (CJB)
Simply put, song of worship and praise are from us to Him and for Him. We are not to write songs from His perspective because even though we are given a glimpse into what He can do for us, we must not express that in a way that can be misinterpreted. When one writes a song that places God in the first person, that person is putting words into God’s mouth which is in direct violation of the Third Commandment and definitely should not be sung openly. Also, do not allude to God but He is to be mentioned outright. The songs are to and for Him after all.
Worship and Praise in song are expressions of what God does in our lives and how it has affected our faith, our trust in Him. They are to speak of God’s work in our lives and pronounce the Good News of the Gospel in ways that compel others to learn more and work towards a closer, more personal relationship with Him. Many of the hymns prior to the 1930s had evident Scripture in the words. This is something that is missing in most Contemporary Christian music.
If you were to listen to modern music from Middle Eastern Christian and Messianic Jews, every song is taken directly from Scripture. From full Psalms to portions of Psalms and other Scriptures, the praise and worship there is filled with Scripture. God tells us to keep His Word hidden in our hearts which means to treasure the Word. In this way we remember the Word and are able to express it in every facet of our lives. If the Word is not treasured then we run the risk of sin taking over us.
Instrumentation in the Church
Some folks are still at odds with having full instrumentation in the church and prefer a single organ, piano, acoustic guitar, or no instruments at all. That didn’t seem to bother our ancestors. Praise and worship with instruments was part of the everyday celebration. The old cathedrals were acoustically designed for the organ to be heard blasting throughout. Psalm 150 tells us to celebrate in praise with instruments and dance.
Praise God in his holy place!
Praise him in the heavenly dome of his power!
Praise him for his mighty deeds!
Praise him for his surpassing greatness!
Praise him with a blast on the shofar!
Praise him with lute and lyre!
Praise him with tambourines and dancing!
Praise him with flutes and strings!
Praise him with clanging cymbals!
Praise him with loud crashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise Adonai!
The loud ruckus of wind, stringed, and percussion instruments is part of praising God. Granted. The instruments should not be louder than the voices but it is still part of it. We are to celebrate His Almighty Power, His Grace, His Mercy, and all He has done and does for us in the best way we know how. This is praise and worship in song and dance. When did we get so stuffy?
Leaders Of Worship
The main job of leaders in music worship is not to put themselves on a pedestal but to help others through directing the corporate praise and worship. Too many worship leaders try and put themselves in a high place when all they are doing is changing the direction of worship. The stage on which the band plays and the vocalists sing on should be considered as part of the altar where sacrifices are made to God. When we play and sing we are using the gifts God gave us to glorify Him and Him alone.
Since we are no longer required to give blood sacrifices thanks to God sacrificing His Son, Jesus, we are giving the sacrifice of praise and worship which resounds throughout the church. It should also be heard outside the church and not contained in a building. The plants, trees, rocks, and animals are also part of God’s creation so should they not also hear it so that they may join in?
Leaders of music worship are leaders who have been entrusted to bring others to God through song, reading of the Word, and prayer. It is not a concert, do not treat it as such. Do not take accolades and let them rule the heart but send the accolades to God. Christian artists should not be awarded for their efforts by man and material means. They are awarded in the heart and receive the best when they reach heaven because of the hearts they touch.
Capitalization and fame are two things that are not on God’s good graces list. I will admit to wearing song verses on shirts but I see them as conversation starters. When we place names and faces on things we are basically idolizing them a violation of Commandment #s 1and 2. We can enjoy without idolizing we just have to be cautious and recognize what we are doing.
We can enjoy the music and don’t get me wrong I do enjoy listening to and singing along with certain Contemporary Christian Music but I do not idolize the person(s) who sing it. I have attended some just to get the exposure of what Christians do and in some cases meet with the people who sang and played. You can definitely tell the difference between those who are in it for the Glorification of God and those who desire the recognition and money.
What Can We Do?
Brothers and Sisters, the current situation in which we find ourselves has the youth coming to Christ through contemporary song. When we see or hear of any person deciding on Christ through music worship alone we are responsible to make sure it is genuine. It is the responsibility of those closest to the person to watch and guide the growth into right Christianity and not “Jesus worship”. Teach discernment, disciple them, and follow-up, but mostly shower them with God’s Love.
If you see a worship leader start changing for the worst, bring it up to the person in a Christian manner. Do not chide but express the Love of God and His Glory needs to be above all else. If you hear a Christian song that does not sound right, turn it off. Do not let the confusion of others become your own. If a song is sung in church that does not sound right, stop singing and start praying. If you are in a praise and worship band express your concern for songs that do not Glorify God. I care for your spirit and the spirit of those who are close to you. Keep His Word on your heart and let it give you strength.
Wrapped in His Love,
Rob, Servant of God
Brothers and Sisters, we have a problem. We are not following the commands of God. During my daily time with the Father in His Word today I was reading Leviticus. In the 25th chapter there is a section on the poor within the community that are citizens of said community. This is an Ordinance from God that does not go away during the time of Jesus but is in fact emphasized on how we are supposed to be in our daily lives.
I know that we have Christians that are told not to worry about the Old Testament and concentrate only on the New, but that is the wrong answer. We have to know the Laws, Statutes, Histories, Stories, Proverbs, and Psalms, to really understand our Father God and what Jesus was completing, reemphasizing, teaching, and sharing with all who would hear Him. It gives the back story on why Jesus was against the Sanhedrin in their ways. The Old Testament is absolutely necessary for our faith.
Anyway, I want to discuss this problem with the homeless as mentioned above and why we have failed. First let us take a look at what God told Moses to tell the people:
“‘If a member of your people has become poor, so that he can’t support himself among you, you are to assist him as you would a foreigner or a temporary resident, so that he can continue living with you. Do not charge him interest or otherwise profit from him, but fear your God, so that your brother can continue living with you. Do not take interest when you loan him money or take a profit when you sell him food. I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt in order to give you the land of Kena‘an and be your God. Leviticus 25:35-38 (CJB)
Each tribe was to take care of their own and the brothers people as well. I know it sounds like we are to take them in to our homes and take care of them until they are back on their feet. When we help the homeless we are to treat the homeless as if they are family. But, in today’s society there are so many it would be difficult. The problem is so bad that shelters are full meaning more and more people are living on the streets, in the parks, basically anywhere they can find.
In Isaiah, the Prophet is chiding Israel for their false fasting and explains: “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? 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. Isaiah 58:6-12
Isaiah is telling them that they have failed in conducting themselves in accordance with the Statutes set by God. “Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered”(Proverbs 21:130). Here he talks about the joy that comes from helping others and the presence that God will have in their lives as He strengthens and blesses those who give of themselves and their blessings to help others; Many today have failed in this as well. Some that have helped seek human gratitude instead of waiting for the Father’s blessings which is where they fail. “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 13:13-14). We are to bring nourishment to those who cannot help themselves so that they see Jesus in us. Our reward is received on God’s time, not seeking earthly accolades.
One of the biggest problems in American society is how we treat those who are less fortunate. Proverbs 14:31 states, ”Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” I am ashamed of those who not only look down upon them but also those who give them a bad name and reputation by falsely seeking assistance which takes away from those who are truly in need.
One very important fact that needs to be remembered is that we all come from the same mold. Just because we look different, speak differently, and have different ways of looking at life we all have one Father, One Creator, God Almighty. We are responsible for each other for we are made to care for creation of which ALL people are part of.
Brothers and Sisters, I could go on and on about the many Scriptures that tell us to help those in need, less fortunate, and without but that would take about 10 to 20 pages. If we stand up and do as God asks of us then this problem can be contained and controlled. Unfortunately there will always be poor and destitute people in the world but with God all things are possible. We can put an end to people finding unhealthy ways of joy and happiness which are only temporary by showing them God’s love through our actions and sharing the Word with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Cain asked God if he was his brother’s keeper, I am here to say yes, yes we are.
Be the Person God needs you to be.
In God’s Loving Arms,
Rob, Servant of God
Worship is the matter of the heart – the attitude with which we live our lives to God.
Oh how we desire to be in the presence of God. The best way to be in His presence while on earth is through Praise and Worship. Worship (as we continue to speak of) is more than just singing and playing instruments. It is the quiet moments spent in the Word and prayer, the gathering of two or more studying together and building relationships, it is everything we do that gives Glory to God.
So why do I ask you to consider worship? Because there is a new worship culture that focuses less on God and more on things of the earth. Worship should be God focused, relationship building, and biblically based. More and more of the music is less and less centered on God's Glory. This earth bound Christian music culture needs to return to the basics of Scripture so that we do not lose the youth any more than the damage already done.
When faith is based on the music heard, and the music has little Scriptural backing, it is not for God. Some popular Christian songs as of late are written as if it is God talking to us. That is okay to a point but the message is actually misconstrued to a point where there is no rhyme or reason why He is fighting for you. In fact, God is barely even spoken of in that song.
And then we have a song that says that "You have never failed me yet". We are the ones that fail Him and the way this song is makes it sound as if the writer is thanking God but at the same time it is confusing to a new Christian who feels the increased struggle and pull of Satan. What this person may think is that God will not let him fall. This is wrong. Even though God does not want us to fall we are given free will to choose what we do. It is up to us to stand firm or trip and fall. We cry out to Jesus. and are picked up but we have to fall to understand God's grace and mercy.
Another one says that the only name we need is Jesus. Yes we cry out to Him but we must remember that God is the one who saves us. We put our trust in God and worship Him as Jesus said not to worship Him but worship the Father. Yes Jesus said that He and the Father are one which means He is a part of God but He is not the only part we should recognize and give glory to.
Jesus is the Word that became flesh so that we could understand what God meant when He said and did what He did for us. God's name is what matters it is His name we need.
Be careful with the new music that is being churned out and produced to be played to the masses. Music can be the beginning of learning but do not base faith on human words through Music. Put your whole life in God's hands through reading and understanding the Word in Scripture and constant conversations with God. Do not let the conversations be one sided but quiet your tongue and mind, and listen.
I speak these things out of love and compassion for your souls.
In God's 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.