Matters of the Heart 56 – October, 2017

“There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

This verse characterizes God’s welcoming attitude. This reminder was written to the early church. It went against their culture to welcome people different from themselves (Greeks, slaves, etc.) – just like in today’s world, there are some people we might find it hard to welcome based on our cultural expectations. But if someone is a believer in Christ, they are the same as we are, and they are welcomed.

Many Preachers and Pastors have emphasized there is only one heaven, there is not a black heaven, white heaven, Latin heaven, Asian heaven, and the list continues; how we segregate ourselves on a Sunday morning.  As a body of believers, we need to set the example to help eradicate racism, and we can demonstrate this in Christendom, we must fellowship one with another.  

When I was working on my Doctorate in ministry, one of my classmates was a co-pastor at a Non-denominational, diverse church in Ohio. They were diverse alright, but they segregated themselves by culture and ethnicity in the sanctuary, and this is how they also fellowshipped.  Yes, we do like to fellowship with what is familiar, but I am letting all know that you are more than welcome to fellowship with the body of believers at St. Philips AMEZ.  Our denomination is our covering; it does not run through our bloodstream.  The word of God reminds us in 1st Corinthians 1:10 (ESV) I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.  We can learn from one another, if we are to be more like Christ, we must realize we are all one in Christ Jesus.  The church name has a wealth of history, but heaven will be our home one with another.  God Bless you and remain encouraged.

Matters of the Heart 55 – October, 2017

“For I, the Lord your God will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you'” (Isaiah 41:13).

Throughout life, we will have different experiences, some good and some bad.  Our minds begin to have so many thoughts especially when the experiences in life are not so pleasant.  We can attest to being rejected, verbally attacked, terminated from a job, written up, relationship break-up, children disappointing us. The list can go on and on regarding chaotic life experiences.  No matter what people say about faith in God, this is my place of refuge, my safe place, my faith in God.  The Bible tells us his name is a strong tower and the righteous run in and hide.  There is no other way I can live without the Lord.

Many of us are not far from snapping like the gunmen in Las Vegas, but if it had not been for knowing the Lord has promised us through his word, to fear not, I will hold your hand through every trial and valley in your life, I am not sure where some of us would be.  There is nothing too hard for God even when we make a complete mess of things.  The Lords grace is sufficient and his strength is made perfect in our weakness, and we are weak.  Life will gut punch you, and I am so grateful that my reaction is to call on the name of the Lord and he is my help in the very time of trouble and will deliver me from it all.  I have been the recipient of Gods amazing grace and victory in my life, and no matter what happens as painful as it might be, I am blessed to know that the Lord promises to hold my right hand and whispering to me through the comforting holy spirit fear not, I will help you.  Beloved remain encouraged no matter how hard it gets continue to look up and trust God.