FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE…..BETHLEHEM (Part 2 of 10). (Revisited).
“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 by Rev. Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor
This is (Part 2 of 10).