FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….GALILEE (Part 6 of 10)

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….GALILEE (Part 6 of 10).

“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. And saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.’” (Mark 1:14-15).

All things have been fulfilled and readied for Jesus to enter into his ministry of service.  John the Baptist ministry has decreased and Jesus ministry of service is increasing.  Jesus enters Galilee with all power and authority to fulfill the will of his Father.  He has been anointed to preach the gospel; heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recover the sight of the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  Jesus has all of this power and authority; and he chooses to share his glory with fisherman, tax collectors and others who are considered sinners and low class.  He began his ministry in Galilee, by inviting four fisherman to join him, in one of the most historic and life changing events recorded in human history.  The Lord opened his ministry to those who were willing to accompany him in faith and without hesitation. 

“Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17).  Jesus spoke these few words, and four fishermen left everything they knew, and followed Jesus in faith, into an unknown future.  “Straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.” (Mark 1:18).  He does not tell them where they are going, and he does not tell them his future plans for making them fishers of men.  He simply makes them a promise and they believed him.  We certainly can argue that they may had known about Jesus before he arrived, and many other points.  But the fact is, they followed him and left their jobs, families, friends and their comforts, to become spiritual pillars of faith for the kingdom of God.  This is the response that should be rendered when Jesus calls us to join him in his ministry.  All things are to be forsaken.  Many may receive the call to serve Christ, but they pack all of their life’s luggage with them.  We cannot serve God and mammon, we will love one and hate the other.  The two services will never cooperate with the other: and it will clearly be noticeable in our ministries when we try to combine the two.  When Jesus calls us, he calls us to leave our nets, the things that we are tangled up in, and follow him with our whole heart.

The first four disciples Jesus called were, Simon, also known as Peter, and Andrew, Peter’s brother.  He also called James and John, who were also brothers.  What makes this selection interesting is that he selected brothers.  These men had a bond with each other.  They were family and they were raised in the same household.  They followed the same rules and managed to work together.  It is important to note that in Christ, we are family, and we are all given the same commandments.  We should be able to work together side by side in the ministry of service.  Sadly, so many in the ministry of Christ are working so desperately to elevate themselves.  They don’t want to help anyone or see anyone increasing in their ministry.  When John complained to Jesus about someone else doing good works. Jesus had an answer for John.  “And John said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.  And Jesus said unto him, ‘Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.’” (Luke 9-49-50). Why does one Christian try to stop another Christian from doing God’s work?  I have witnessed and been a victim of so much jealousy and criticism in the ministry. We are a family in Christ, and we all SHOULD have the same soul saving purpose.  It’s not about us, it’s about the kingdom of God! So stop criticizing and trying to find fault in others! The truth is, anyone is who guilty of this ungodly behavior is exposing their envy, jealousy and disobedience!  We are called to work together. Jesus displayed a communal environment in his ministry: and that is what the Lord expects from his disciples.

The disciples Jesus called in Galilee were from the same backgrounds.  They were fishermen.  These men were knowledgeable of the diversity of fishes.  They knew where to cast their nets and what bait to use to catch each variety.  In a sense, they were already prepared to cast their hooks and nets.  Only now, they had to learn to use a new fishing doctrine.  The doctrine of the kingdom of God, which is to be used to excite the hearts of men, to bite into the gospel of salvation.  As they travelled with Jesus they would learn a new doctrine.  A doctrine that would turn the world upside down, and deliver sinners from eternal damnation.  In Galilee, Jesus began to build up his ministry of service, so that the “gates of hell could not prevail against it.”  Galilee is where new the Disciples of Christ learned the fundamentals of evangelism. One of the reasons many are called to be evangelist is because they know about diversity.  It is so important to be careful when we are evangelizing.  We cannot catch a heart for Christ without the loving Word of God.  We can’t expect lost souls to come near God with hostile words and a judgmental approach.  The ministry of teaching and development comes after they are saved.  We have to learn in Galilee the method of love that Jesus used to call us to himself.  Galilee is a place where the Master calls the student, and the student follows in faith without knowing his future ministry appointment.

Following in the path of the Divine through Galilee, brings us to the understanding that one must be called by Jesus.  It is only then that the baptism of the Holy Spirit will be certain. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”  (John 3:11). There were many who were baptized by John the Baptist, but that did not mean that they were CALLED! So many in the church were baptized because they were trying to please someone, or simply out of family tradition.  Their reason for being baptized was not because they were called by God.  Christianity is not inherited, it is a conscious decision to leave your nets and follow Jesus!  One cannot inherit the benefits in Christ, which is the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts, without a proposal from Christ! There can be no wedding without a proposal. There are many who are on the pulpits and sitting in the pews, who have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Thus, being the one of the reasons for the discord in the ministry.  We cannot do any spiritual works without the baptism of the Holy Spirit. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5).

The question now is, have you been called by Jesus to leave Galilee or have you appointed yourself in a ministry? We must wait for Jesus to call us, and appoint us to work with him in his ministry of service.  It is not up to us to choose what area of ministry we want to render service.  We are all uniquely designed by God to serve according to his will and purpose.  Have you heard the voice of Jesus calling you in Galilee to come and follow him?  Whether the call came through a song, a tug in your heart, or a message you heard.  If you have, you will be groomed and baptized with Holy Spirit and fire to walk with Jesus and become fishers of men. 

For the record, this message is for all those who are waiting in Galilee for Jesus to appoint them in the ministry of service.  God bless you and amen!

Written by Jessica L. Matthews

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….TEMPTATION (Part 5 of 10)

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….TEMPTATION (Part 5 of 10).

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (Matthew 4:1).

Solitude is place where many people do not like to visit.  Isolation from all things familiar and accessible are not easy to turn away from.  The thought of seclusion, especially if one is popular and love praise, is not considered.  It is almost impossible for some people to be alone.  Most people always have to be surrounded by some type of social activity to make them feel whole or alive.  It is also, possible that a person does not want to be alone because they would have to face their deficiencies.  Jesus Christ, who was just approved by his Heavenly Father after his baptism, is led by the Spirit into a place of solitude and isolation to be deemed ready for the Messiahship.  Moreover, in order to intensify his spiritual grooming process, he is called to deny himself all nourishments for forty days and nights. We are “Following in the Path of the Divine,” into the wilderness of Temptation.  It is in the wilderness, that Jesus is tempted to take on a life of power, security, and status, in contrast to the humble and faithful life of service he will choose.

It is so very essential that we understand this most powerful path that Jesus left for his followers.  Jesus went to the wilderness of Temptation BEFORE he started his MINISTRY! He was led through this process in order to be spiritual equipped for spiritual warfare.  Although Jesus is without sin, the old nature, the carnal nature of every Christian is still present! For example, when we hear a song that we loved in our carnal nature, we may still dance to the music! Why? Because of our old nature!  It is still present! Our spiritual nature must be strengthened and tried to defeat the carnal nature.  If one has not gone through the wilderness of Temptation; and has not been equipped with the spiritual dominance to deny the carnal nature, then you are fair game for the tempter.  Jesus is teaching us that we will not be able to endure our Calvary without contending with the tempter in our greatest weaknesses. If we ignore this trial, when we get to a soul defining place in our ministry we will surely falter!  We have seen many fall from grace over and over again. Sadly, because their spiritual nature did not reign over their carnal nature!  Jesus withstood the tempter throughout his ministry. He displayed his victories through his faith in God our Father, the Word of God and the hope of Salvation on Calvary!

One of the first areas of temptation used by the temper was food!”  He knew that Jesus was fasting and he was hungry, and subject to human temptations.  People will take desperate measures for a morsel of bread. Esau sold his birthright for some food. Hunger have led women to sell their bodies and have led men to rob and kill.  It is a despairing condition to be in, but Jesus used spiritual food to defeat the tempter. “And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  But he answered and said, ‘It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that procceedeth out of the mouth of God.’”  If you have ever been on a forty day and night fast, you will know that after three days, you lose your appetite and your body will start to use the stored fat in your body!  But most importantly, the Word of God will feed your spirit, and it is in the spirit you will find the strength to go on.  “Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34). Jesus stayed focused on the spiritual nature and not the carnal nature.  The carnal nature is where the tempter can seduce us into sin and denying the power of God.  Never sacrifice your Salvation for a morsel of bread!

Another very dangerous area of temptation is pride and narcissism!  I believe that grandstanding in the Christian ministry is disgusting!  Even worst, is when Christians believe that when they summons God to deliver them from their circumstances, all they have to do is snap their fingers.  Jesus was not going to make an exhibitionist of himself to prove that God loved him! He was sure of his Father’s love for him. “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, ‘If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, he shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ Jesus said unto him, ‘It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’” (Matthew 4:5-7).  Jesus did not need to prove anything to the devil.  Jesus wrapped himself in humility and conquered the tempter.

There are some people who will do anything to acquire fame and power.  Some have even betrayed God for fame and power.  Jesus rejects this power that the tempter offered him.  “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, ‘All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.’  Then saith Jesus unto him; ‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.’”  (Matthew 4:9-10).  First of all, the devil is a liar and he will never truly relinquish his power to anyone. If you believe that the devil will keep his promises of everlasting greatness, then you are a fool!  He will kill you once you have denied God, and that is all he wanted to do to you in the first place!  Satan hates God and all of his righteousness, and he will stop at nothing to destroy God’s children. Remember, “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).

Following in the Path of the Divine into the wilderness of Temptation, we discover that Jesus defeated the tempter through humility.  In the wilderness is where we get our spiritual power.  It is here where we are equipped for spiritual warfare!  “Then the devil leaveth him and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” (Matthew 4:11). Jesus came out of the wilderness of Temptation, not a man with worldly power and wealth.  He came out of the wilderness a humble man that was full of spiritual power to destroy the tempter. If anyone is seeking fame and power, then I would say that you have not overcome the tempter.  He will continue to dangle riches and power before your eyes, to keep you from Following in the Path of the Divine into the wilderness of Temptation.  He knows if you overcome your carnal nature, you will be spiritually equipped to crush his head! God bless you and amen!

For the record, this message is for all who want to be victorious over the tempter!

Written by Jessica L. Matthews

 

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….JORDAN (Part 4 of 10)

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….JORDAN (Part 4 of 10).

“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized” (Matthew 3:13).

Jesus had witnessed the suffering in the world and the sorrow that it brings.  He is now summoned by God to join those who believed that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  Jesus publicly aligned himself with John’s ministry, although he is without sin.  He is indicating that there is a new parting from a life of sin.  An exodus from sin to salvation, a new entry into the Promised Land, known to Christians as the Kingdom of God. The water ceremony that is representing repentance, cleansing, death and separation from the things of the world. Jesus was introducing a new reign and entrance into salvation.

John the Baptist was preaching a radical message of salvation, which Jesus encouraged by being a baptismal participant, to confirm that John’s message was true. Jesus was associating himself with the people around him.  He sided with those people who followed the preaching of the Kingdom of God.  At the Jordan River, Jesus openly disrobed his humanity and rose from his watery grave in the Spirit of power. It was at this time, he made a public commitment to labor for the Kingdom of God. He forsook the world and took up his cross of salvation! This act of obedience was pleasing to his Heavenly Father: “And Jesus, when was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:16-17).

Jesus emerged from the Jordan River with a changed heart.  He was no longer Jesus the carpenter, but Jesus the Messiah and the Sacrificial Lamb of God.  He had died to the old life and his new life was the work of the Kingdom of God.  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19).  Out of the Jordan River came a new creature, Jesus the Liberator of souls, and the Champion of Salvation, and the Redeemer of the world.

Following in the Path of the Divine, to our Jordan River, we too are called to John’s baptism.  John’s baptism is the called the “Baptism of Repentance.” Although we know that Jesus is without sin, we are not without sin.  Therefore, we must come to our baptism with a remorseful heart. Otherwise, our baptism is meaningless and ineffective and our sins are not forgiveness.  The Pharisees and Sadducees came for John’s Baptism, but in their hearts they were liars! It is written: “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our fathers: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matthew 3:7-9). The reason why so many are not producing any fruit for the Kingdom of God, is because they have never truly repented in their heart, and they are still wading in the chilly Jordan River. Repent and be baptized in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. A remorseful heart is what activates the salvation process. Otherwise, all you are is wet, unsaved and powerless!

As Jesus, we must cross over to the other side, from the carnal to spiritual.  We must repent and be made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit.  Emerging with a new heart and a new perceptive, thereby rising in Christ with a new life of righteousness.  We must receive the approval of the Heavenly Father that we are his beloved children, and prepared by the gift of the Holy Spirit to face and overcome the world.

For the record, this message is for the whole world.  God bless you and amen.

Written Jessica L. Matthews

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE…..JORDAN (Part 4 of 10).

 

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….JORDAN (Part 4 of 10).

“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized” (Matthew 3:13).

Jesus had witnessed the suffering in the world and the sorrow that it brings.  He is now summoned by God to join those who believed that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  Jesus publicly aligned himself with John’s ministry, although he is without sin.  He is indicating that there is a new parting from a life of sin.  An exodus from sin to salvation, a new entry into the Promised Land, known to Christians as the Kingdom of God. The water ceremony that is representing repentance, cleansing, death and separation from the things of the world. Jesus was introducing a new reign and entrance into salvation.

John the Baptist was preaching a radical message of salvation, which Jesus encouraged by being a baptismal participant, to confirm that John’s message was true. Jesus was associating himself with the people around him.  He sided with those people who followed the preaching of the Kingdom of God.  At the Jordan River, Jesus openly disrobed his humanity and rose from his watery grave in the Spirit of power. It was at this time, he made a public commitment to labor for the Kingdom of God. He forsook the world and took up his cross of salvation! This act of obedience was pleasing to his Heavenly Father: “And Jesus, when was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:16-17).

Jesus emerged from the Jordan River with a changed heart.  He was no longer Jesus the carpenter, but Jesus the Messiah and the Sacrificial Lamb of God.  He had died to the old life and his new life was the work of the Kingdom of God.  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19).  Out of the Jordan River came a new creature, Jesus the Liberator of souls, and the Champion of Salvation, and the Redeemer of the world.

Following in the Path of the Divine, to our Jordan River, we too are called to John’s baptism.  John’s baptism is the called the “Baptism of Repentance.” Although we know that Jesus is without sin, we are not without sin.  Therefore, we must come to our baptism with a remorseful heart. Otherwise, our baptism is meaningless and ineffective and our sins are not forgiveness.  The Pharisees and Sadducees came for John’s Baptism, but in their hearts they were liars! It is written: “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our fathers: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matthew 3:7-9). The reason why so many are not producing any fruit for the Kingdom of God, is because they have never truly repented in their heart, and they are still wading in the chilly Jordan River. Repent and be baptized in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. A remorseful heart is what activates the salvation process. Otherwise, all you are is wet, unsaved and powerless!

As Jesus, we must cross over to the other side, from the carnal to spiritual.  We must repent and be made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit.  Emerging with a new heart and a new perceptive, thereby rising in Christ with a new life of righteousness.  We must receive the approval of the Heavenly Father that we are his beloved children, and prepared by the gift of the Holy Spirit to face and overcome the world.

For the record, this message is for the whole world.  God bless you and amen.

Written Jessica L. Matthews

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE…NAZARETH (Part 3 of 10)

 

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….NAZARETH (Part 3 of 10).

“And Nathanael said unto him, can there any good thing come of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, come and see.” (John 1:46).

“A Diamond in the Rough” is what came to my mind when I was meditating on Jesus of Nazareth. The place where Jesus lived, worked and grew in wisdom for the majority of his life.  The Savior of the world, this priceless diamond of salvation, path was paved through a town called Nazareth.  His life was prearranged by God, to experience a life of peasantry and poverty, in order to understand the very deprivation of the human living conditions.  Nazareth was a place where Jesus was hidden from the world.  He lived in a place where the high-minded people mocked and frowned upon him. Jesus, this lowly and unassuming man, was now ready to step out of the dust of Nazareth, and shake the entire world’s spiritual foundation. God lifted him from the shadows of obscurity to the mountain of righteousness. Following in the Path of the Divine through Nazareth, is where we witness Jesus displaying an abundance of patience and masterful endurance.

While some may choose to overlook that Jesus experienced poverty to a dehumanizing degree.  The fact is, Nazareth’s very reputation of poverty and doggish living, screamed through Nathanael’s reaction to Philips’ proclamation, of the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth. It was unheard of that anyone who came from Nazareth was worth anything! How could a man that was raised in such degrading conditions teach them anything?  What could Jesus have learned from laboring in the fields or cutting wood that would be of any importance? Nathanael was pre-judging Jesus because he had labeled every Nazarene worthless!  It is what we do today and that is called being prejudice! We labeled every person in a race as being the same.  As soon as a person from a particular race or religion enters into our presence, we have already labeled them.  Nathanael was wrong about Jesus, just like we are wrong when we judge others because of their cultural or racial makeup.  Jesus was a wise and literate young man.  We read when he was twelve years old, he went into the synagogue and read the scrolls. The religious leaders were astonished at his wisdom!  Jesus was “A Diamond in the Rough,” he is the Prince of Peace. Unknown to Nathanael, Philip is about to introduce him to the Son of the living God, who just happen to live in Nazareth!

Many Christians have been called by God from some of the poorest stations in life, just like his Son Jesus.  But it is from those humble beginnings that equips us to understand what people are going through.  If we study Jesus’ ministry, he was always concerned about the poor and the sick.  “Blessed are the poor….” He preached about feeding the poor, and healing the poor and clothing the poor and sheltering the poor.  Why? Because he understood the plight of the poor, because Jesus lived among them and experienced poverty in its lowest form! How can the wealthy understand what it is like to be poor?  Yes, the wealthy donate to charities, mostly for tax write-offs, but to actually know what it is like to be poor.  They don’t have a clue and they do not want to reach that level of need.  Honestly, who wants to live lacking the basic necessities of life? When Jesus became famous, he did not forget about the poor.  He did not buy himself a large palace, or a horse and golden chariot to pull him around, or a silk tunic.  He continued to live a humble and meek life.  There are some people who get rich in their ministry and they go crazy! You can always tell when someone grew up poor because they are always overspending.   Jesus never did this, he took only what he needed and nothing more!  Following in the Path of the Divine through Nazareth, Jesus conveys compassion for the poor; and their depths of human poverty and the yoke of indignity. Which unveiled his deep understanding and love for the poor in the world.

The patience and endurance that Jesus displayed in his condition in Nazareth, teaches us that even though our living conditions are not superior in the world’s view.  It is our heart and our mission in God’s salvation plan that should be centered.  Our ministry calling is far beyond the luxuries of this life. Jesus had to be patient for thirty years before God let the spotlight of his ministry illuminate the world.  He had to endure the flickering light of patience and the masterful endurance of hard work before he reached the place where God wanted him to be.  Many Christians have been working in the vineyard for many years and we feel that their work is in vine.  We feel like nothing is happening and no one appreciates or notice the work we are doing. We wonder if God even notices our struggles in our ministry.  For example, I write these posts, which are time consuming, and I feel like I’m just writing in thin air.  But the Lord said to me, “Write and keep writing”.  He calls me his SCRIBE! I don’t understand why God wants me to continue, but I keep writing posts and articles and books.  Jesus kept working and building until his change came.  Your family and friends may not even understand you when you witness to them about Jesus Christ! They may even hate you for preaching to them.  They can only see your Nazareth, your past, and think they know who you are now in Christ. Jesus townsmen were ready to kill him because they thought they knew him! In the name of Jesus, keep on preaching and teaching and don’t you dare stop.  Because you are “A Diamond in the Rough.” And one of these days you are going to step out of your Nazareth, and shake up this entire world in the name of Jesus!  Keep “Following in the Path of the Divine,” in your town of Nazareth and show the world that God has planted something good in you! Amen!

For the record, this is a message of encouragement and a charge to keep for the Body of Christ.  God bless you and amen!

Written by Jessica L. Matthews

This is (Part 3 of 10)

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE…..BETHLEHEM (Part 2 of 10)

 

 

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”  (Luke 2:11-12).

Many years ago I had a student who told me that he was taught that if he was not wealthy and respected that he was not a Christian.  It was one of the saddest misinterpretation of Christianity that I had ever heard.  I asked him if he knew that our Lord Jesus was not wealthy and that he was born in a stable. Yet, kings bowed before him while he was an infant in a manger. Jesus who is the Son of God, and the King of Kings, was born in poverty and he never sort worldly wealth.  I also stated, Jesus did not seek the honor of men, but only wanted to do his Father’s will; and he did so by pouring out the Good News of salvation and the Kingdom of God that men may be saved.  “Following in the Path of The Divine” to Bethlehem should bring us to our knees in humility. Humility toward our fellowman will be our only individual testimony that our humility toward God is genuine. Our devotion and purity in Christ will not be determined by our bank accounts!  “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God who he hath not seen?” (I John 4:20).

The misconception about Christianity and monetary security have destroyed the very foundation of the Gospel’s call to humility! Those Christian leaders who have pitched the notion of prosperity as evidence of being a Christian; has distorted the truth and the importance of what Christ taught about lowliness.  “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation on wherewith ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4: 1-3).  Only in humility will we be able to testify of God’s power of divine holiness and grace.  If wealth is recognized as the power that sustains us, then the save and the unsaved, will never comprehend the mighty works of God.  God’s grace is found in humility. When wealth dismisses humility, God’s grace cannot do its supernatural and magnificent work. If Christians continue to project to world that money is all powerful and that God’s saving grace is not, we are castrating the very root of SALVATION! Many are teaching to seek money for salvation, rather than seeking God who is our SALVATION!

Bethlehem leads us to become like Christ.  When we first accept Christ as our Lord and Savior and enter into a new spiritual birth, we cross into a divine life that is established in holiness.  We are called to forfeit the carnal things in the world and embrace a narrow path that leads to eternal life.  Jesus, the meek and lowly, calls us to learn from him the path that leads to God. He does not call us to be proud “Showboaters” in the church.  He calls us to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to follow after his righteousness.  It is impossible for Christ to dwell in a man’s heart, if it is not humbled and contrite.  Bethlehem leads us to wash each other’s feet and be servants for the Kingdom of God.  If we seek to be served by others, then we will never be great in God’s eyes.  “He that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that serve.  I am among you as he that serveth.”  (Luke 22: 26-27). Therefore, the “Showboaters” in the church are not the greatest among us, but the one who is laboring in the God’s vineyard is to be counted as the greatest.  If one has always sort praise and honor from men, then I strongly suggest that you redirect your path to Bethlehem, and decrease so that God may increase.

When we look at Bethlehem, we witness a yielding to holiness on an unimaginable scale.  It is the purity of Christ that makes us buckle our knees in humble adoration. Thereby, releasing in our hearts a servitude that only God’s love can draw out of us.  Following in the Path of the Divine to Bethlehem, allows one’s spirit to graze on the sustaining force of meekness, which will carry us forward on our Christian journey.  Imposters of humility and holiness will not fare well in the calamities resulting from pride and haughtiness. Pride that rises in a man’s heart, will certainly distort his path to righteousness and hinder his service in Christ.  There is a Star of Holiness that leads us to Bethlehem; if one deters from that Star of Bethlehem and fails to bow in humility and holiness. He will never acquire everlasting life because he has never learned the defining structure of servitude, which is humbleness and godliness.

The very first step toward Bethlehem is to confess that we are sinners and yield our hearts in humility to our Creator.  It is then that the process of holiness begins to take shape in our hearts, and the work of the Holy Spirit proceeds.  There are no good works without Following in the Path of the Divine to Bethlehem.  The place where our Savior cemented his humble servitude to his Father as he, though a king, laid in a lowly estate.  We cannot serve God as self-appointed messiahs and mega this and mega that! Measuring one’s godliness on how many followers are gathered at their feet is self-serving.  Instead, every one of us should be washing each other’s feet as servants of God, and not living Caesar like lives.  Yes, we are we are a Royal People because we are the children of the Most High God.  However, if we are to receive our crowns, we must Follow in the Path of the Divine to Bethlehem and put on the garments of humility and holiness.

For the record, this is a message for anyone who has SALVATION or wants to acquire SALVATION. God bless you and amen.

Written Jessica L. Matthews

This is (Part 2 of 10).

 

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….LIBERATION!

FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….LIBERATION (PART 1 of 10).

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Carnegie Hall is what I thought being in the church would be like.  Let me explain, there was a time in history Carnegie Hall, which is located in New York City, was a place every performer wanted to achieve in their career to be considered successful!  To headline in Carnegie Hall was once measured as the height of stardom! I also thought anyone who attended Carnegie Hall’s performances were special too! Although I worked a few blocks away from the iconic building, I never attended any events because I thought is it was for the very elite. But one day, due to an out of town emergency, someone gave me their ticket to Carnegie Hall to attend a Christian concert. I was elated and also very naïve! When I entered the building it was spectacular! There were chandeliers everywhere! The décor was superb and people looked radiant and they were clothed in beautiful garments; and their faces were glowing as they were praising God! It was a joyful evening worshipping the Lord.  The beauty of the Lord that I enjoyed that night summoned me to join a church.

Unfortunately, the experience at Carnegie Hall did not carry over into the church. I discovered that the Light and Love I enjoyed was the presence of the Holy Spirit, not the people and their glamour! It was not the chandeliers that wooed my soul.  It was the love of God in my heart! Sadly, in the church assembly I was met with heavy yokes and burdens, in the form of church regulations and doctrines, which were not liberating at all. I was seeking the spiritual freedom that Jesus promised us all.  Yet, I felt heavy laden and troubled.  I wanted the Carnegie Hall experience again!  I wanted that wonderful liberating love of God to explode in my soul.  After many years of church bylaws and threats on my salvation, I decided to FOLLOW IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE.  He who called me and saved me.

Thankfully, I had already accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior before joining any church.  I was home schooled by the Holy Spirit. What I mean is, I studied the entire bible, guided by the Holy Spirit, before the Lord choose a church home for me. I was called to teach and preach the Word of God.  I entered the church assembly with knowledge of the scriptures, as well as knowing my “Calling”.  When I was accepted as a member everyone was trying to get me to join this club and that club and join this board and that board! I refused them all and I immediately engaged myself in the Sunday school classes and the Bible study and Prayer meetings. I was called to, Follow in the Path of the Divine.  However, the more I tried to grow in Christ, the more opposition I encountered due to religious laws.  The church had their own brand of “divine”; and I was not following the church mandate when it came to their sacred customs and traditions.  There was always some new club or program to slave in.  I will remind the reader again, I came into the church, trained and commissioned by God to teach and preach his Word. Truthfully, I expected the church to be in alignment with the Holy Spirit.  I did not know that I had to apply to the church and get approval from the church in order to fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION! Oh, please don’t think I don’t understand about the Trial Sermons and Ordination Services! I understand that clearly, but I am referring to the basic responsibility of every Christian to work and witness for the Kingdom of God!

Now, some of you may think that I am bitter and I belittling the church.  This is not true at all. I have been healed and I have forgiven the errors of the church.  However, I am trying to share with the reader, what Christ meant in Matthew 11:28-30, about easy yokes and light burdens.  Now, did I fellowship with my church family?  Yes I did, to a certain extent.  However, they wanted me to labor according to their will and not Christ’s will.  It was determined by the church that I should go here, and go there, and do this and do that!  It was enslavement and servitude to the church and not to Christ.  The point is this, the church had appointed itself the Holy Spirit, as my divine guide, which was the reason for the conflict. There is no confusion in Christ because God is a God of order and decency! The burden and the yoke of this religious membership could not be what Jesus called us to abide in, I thought.  Where is my peace and where is my freedom to serve the Lord according to the calling in my life?  The burden of religion and laws had encompassed my duties to Christ.  I wanted to be delivered and I wanted to be liberated to serve Christ and not a church!

Restlessness and despair compounded my soul, and I knew deep down inside my heart this is not what Jesus wants for his Church!  He taught us by his own living and ministry, that we are not to burden down with the laws of the Scribes and Pharisees. Please do not misunderstand me Church.  Being a Christian does not exempt us from the restrictions and laws of God. In fact, Jesus requires so much more of us to live in the righteousness of God. However, he gives us the spiritual ability to draw our strength from him in order to sustain a righteous and holy life.  Christ does not make demands on his people without giving us the ability to meet those demands. Sadly, the physical church will wear you out with countless meetings and programs to keep the members busy and distracted and serving their purpose and not God calling on their lives! This whole matter of Christianity is about serving God, period!  In spite of this truth, many churches have been turned into a multimillion dollar religious prison and millions of souls are being deceived into believing that they are free.  When in fact, they are enslaved by a form of religion and never knowing the true power of God and his liberating Spirit!

There is only one person who knows God and that is his Son, Jesus the Christ!  The Son of God has offered his easy yoke and his light burden.  He did not mean that this life would be trouble free!  He did not mean that we would not have to face challenges, like so many Christian are taught to believe.  We will all face horrors in the world because sin abides in it! So stop letting these hirelings and false prophets convince you that if you sow a seed into this or that you will be troubled free!!! This is not true! What is true and what Jesus meant is this.  It’s about the yoke of religion as it presented in many churches; and the burden of religious enslavement. By trying to follow a strict course of religious requirements to be judged free and liberated in Christ by the church bylaws!  This is what Christ called bondage!  Please let me make this point, it not legalism nor unholy to FOLLOW IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE, who is Jesus.  He is our example on how to live a liberated life above the world.  He came to teach us that the imposition of the law, is the greatest religious burden that is imposed on a Christian.  In Christ we are transformed from within, through the Holy Spirit. We are given spiritual peace to live above the world from all its tragedies, anxieties and destruction.  Jesus freely offered this spiritual liberating gift to all who believe and trust in him.  We don’t have to labor for it as we do in religion.  We are called to witness for Christ, not to prove to anyone through labor that we are victorious in Christ.

I am at peace in Christ, and I pray for those who are seeking the same peace and spiritual liberation that I discovered in Christ.  It was not an easy journey to find this truth, but it was a necessary one!  I do not apologize because I don’t behave like your everyday church going Christian. Happily, it is because I am not restricted by religion.  I don’t seek permission from any board to serve God. I am ordered by the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, which is very liberating.  Am I perfect? No, but I am striving IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE to be like my Savior and to live a life according to his calling for me.  God has given us the power from within to live above the demands of this life.  Why not accept the true gift of love and stop trying to be religious and be truly free! Amen!

For the record, this message is for the Body of Christ. God bless you and amen!

Written by Jessica L. Matthews

This is (part 1 of 10)