Daily Walk With God

My Daily Journey With God in Athens Ga.

The Earth is Filled with His Glory!

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Jul• 26•16

Psalm 113:1-6

1 Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord, you his servants;

    praise the name of the Lord.

2 Let the name of the Lord be praised,

    both now and forevermore.

3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,

    the name of the Lord is to be praised.

4 The Lord is exalted over all the nations,

    his glory above the heavens.

5 Who is like the Lord our God,

    the One who sits enthroned on high,

6 who stoops down to look

    on the heavens and the earth?

The news headlines are so depressing these days, as we are frequently exposed to news of senseless violence around the globe. Just yesterday, I read of a knife attack in Japan that left 19 dead and this morning we awake to news of a priest slain in his church in France. We are living in chaotic times unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime. Many people I talk with are afraid, they are worried about the future and what will take place. In times like these, believers must cling to the promise and certainty of the one and only God, who “sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth.”

In my last post, I wrote that Satan must sense that the end is near and he is so desperately trying to inflict suffering and terror upon the earth. Satan can’t touch those who believe and place their trust and faith in Christ because we have been “rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13).  Satan is busy working through those who do not believe in God, and in Christ as savior, and he is using unbelievers in his attempt to spread fear and terror through the world.

Make no mistake that God is still in control of what transpire upon this planet. God has given Satan certain boundaries in which to operate but God is sovereign and He is always in control. We simply can’t understand why evil continues to spread and prosper, but in the end, we know that good will prevail over evil. One day, God’s name will be proclaimed and praised throughout the entire earth, and we will live an eternity in peace and in worship of our creator God. There will be no more death, no more pain, and all evil, violence, destruction, and death will be wiped off the face of the earth. Until then, hold fast to the hope and the promise of our eternal God, who remains in control.

The following song, “I Adore You” as performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, is a beautiful song that so wonderfully expresses why we should adore God, who is our creator, redeemer and sustainer. I hope this song blesses you today as much as it has me.

 

 

Spiritual Battles in the Heavenly Realms

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Jul• 19•16

Ephesians 6:12: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

I don’t remember in my lifetime, a moment in history, where so much violence and terrorism have unfolded before our eyes in such a short span of time. You may call it a coincidence or you may have some other theory about the level of violence and lawlessness that is going on in our world. Most of us do not have any problem “seeing” what is unfolding in our country and around the globe. However, there is an even greater battle taking place in the heavenly realms at this very moment.

Paul, in writing to the church at Ephesus, refers to this spiritual battle that is ongoing between the forces of good and evil. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12 that the real battle is “against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Satan is alive and well and he is busy unleashing his evil and destructive powers upon planet earth. He must sense that the time of Jesus’ return is soon because it seems that he is going all out to wreak havoc upon this world that we live in.

The good news for believers is through faith in Christ; we no longer belong to the dark world in which the forces of evil reside. Paul so eloquently describes this in Colossians 1:13-14: For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Paul wants believers to know that we have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, through faith in Christ. 

Christ has already won the battle over Satan and the forces of evil. And we who confess Christ as Lord and Savior are already “seated” with him in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 2:6: And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. There is an intense spiritual battle raging but our ultimate destiny is secure.

There is a fascinating story in 2 Kings that depicts the intense spiritual battle that we cannot see but we know exists. If God were to pull back the veil that separates our world from the spiritual world, we would witness just what Elisha prayed for his servant to see.

2 Kings 6:11-17: This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

12 “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.”

14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Satan (“the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” Ephesians 2:2) is attempting furiously to destroy everything that is good and godly in this world. He is seeking to turn people against each other and he desires to instill fear and hopelessness in everyone. It helps me to stop for a moment and think of this passage from 2 Kings in which an intense spiritual battle was being waged. That same spiritual battle is being fought at this very moment as we speak. If we could only witness what God is doing in the spiritual realm to combat the forces of evil, we might say as Elisha did, “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Open our eyes Lord, that we may also see.

The Wide Road or the Narrow Road?

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Jul• 06•16

Matthew 7:13-14(NIV)

13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

If you were to stop and look around you today, which gate appears to be more crowded, the narrow gate or the wide gate? And which road or path would you say is more traveled, the wide road or the narrow road? It seems to me that many people living in this world today are on the wide road, which is filled with signs encouraging its travelers to live by the new standards that are established by a society that is increasingly turning it’s back on God. And so many people believe this and they fall for the lie that the “spirit of the air” is spreading. Satan is working tirelessly to bring about the demise of people and to destroy their lives by leading them down that wide road.

  • As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Ephesians 2:1-2 NIV).

Those on the wide road see signs that tell its travelers to indulge in the many pleasures of the world. These travelers are constantly being bombarded with messages that encourage  them to put themselves and their pleasure first, above all other concerns. Many are deceived into thinking the way the world thinks – that times have changed and God’s message is no longer relevant. They are simply being deceived and the road on which they are traveling, leads only to destruction.

Sadly, we see many people in church leadership positions today that follow the ways of the world and indulge themselves in the pleasures of society. They walk away from the cross and they follow the inclinations and the desires of the world they live in. And in doing so, they lead others away from Christ and fail to carry out their obligation to care for the sheep. Yes, the “spirit of the air” is at work today, even in many of our churches.

I am thankful however, for the many churches that direct their followers to the narrow road. These are places of worship where you immediately encounter the Holy Spirit when you walk into their building. These are churches that preach a message that runs counter to the way society thinks and acts. They encourage their followers to take up their cross daily and to follow Christ, even if that path is a narrow and difficult one. It is in these churches that you see people being led to Christ and begin developing a trusting relationship with their Risen Savior. You will not find perfect people in these type of churches – because we are all sinners. What you will find is sorrowful repentance for their sins and a willingness to confess those sins to God and to accept the grace and forgiveness needed to continue to spread the message of salvation to those living in a lost and dying world.

I encourage you to say no to the things of this world and to continue your journey on the narrow road that Christ commanded us to follow. This road does not lead to popularity by this world’s standards. You will not be seen as cool and hip if you travel this road. And the narrow road will not lead to worldly possessions and riches. Those things are found on the wide road that so many people today are blindly following.

Jesus tells us that the wide road leads to destruction; it leads to an eternal separation from God in hell. The narrow road leads to eternal life with God in heaven, where we will live forever basking in the presence and radiance of God’s eternal glory.

Loving God’s Creatures

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Jul• 03•16

Psalm 104:24-25: How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Job 12:10: In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

There are moments in my daily walk with God, when I am truly amazed at God’s revelation about the simplest moments in life, and how they connect to God in a powerful way. Two weeks ago, I found a four week old kitten on the side of the road in our neighborhood. Knowing that I just couldn’t leave her there to die, I picked her up and brought her to our back deck. When I sat her down, her entire body was trembling and shaking. My youngest daughter and I began to pet her to let her know that she was safe and was being loved and cared for. It took a while but the little kitten finally stopped shaking and even began to purr. Another of my daughters finally decided on a name and we began to call her Charlotte.

For the next two weeks, we bottle fed, litter trained, and completely cared for this little kitten. She was so tiny and helpless and all of us did everything we could to take care of her. We had her for a little over two weeks when one day she began to throw up after we fed her. Concerned for her, my wife and daughters, took her to the vet where they were told she was in critical condition and likely would not live through the night.

I think that we all said our goodbyes to Charlotte that night because we knew that she was sick and weak and would probably not make it through the night. We put her in her little bed in the bathroom and then we went to sleep praying for her comfort. During the night, I woke up four times and each time I prayed for God to heal her, or if not, to just not let her be in any pain. When I woke up the next morning, I was hesitant to look in on her. Usually, when Charlotte could hear someone up she would begin to meow but I didn’t hear anything that morning. After a short time, I went into the bathroom to check on her and found that she had passed away during the night. I went into our bedroom to tell my wife and we both cried and cried over the loss of this precious little kitten that had brought us so much joy over the past two weeks.

All of God’s creation is important and each of us should take care of what God has given us dominion over. It is our responsibility to take care of and enjoy God’s creation because all living creatures are created and cared for by God.

How did God care for this little kitten who we found lost and alone in the world? I believe that God led me to find her so that she could live the last two weeks of her life knowing that she was loved and cared for and safe. She was one of God’s tiny creatures and God knew that she needed a special family that would love her and care for her, for the short time she had here on earth.

We buried Charlotte that afternoon in our back yard next to another beloved family pet that we lost last fall. I cried as I dug the grave and my wife and daughter cried as we put the box into the ground and covered her up. My wife told me to say a prayer over her and as I did I began to thank God for the joy that Charlotte brought us in such a short time and how it was our God given responsibility to care for one of the smallest of God’s creatures. I thanked God that we were able to give Charlotte so much love in the last two weeks of her life. I didn’t know that I could feel so close to God over the burial of a little baby kitten. I am so amazed at how God can still surprise me with his revelations and his closeness. I felt the presence of God with our family in our backyard that afternoon as we laid little sweet Charlotte to rest.

 

Rest For The Weary

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Jun• 29•16

Matthew 11:28: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

This verse from Matthew is one of my all-time favorites from scripture. For me, it is one of the most reassuring promises from our Lord and Savior. Jesus is promising to all who believe in him, and who are weighed down with the demands of life, to simply come to Jesus. And what does he promise? Rest – not necessarily rest for your body – but rest for your soul. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” Matthew 11:29.

Many people misread this verse and they take it to mean a physical kind of rest. Certainly, if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, your body and your mind will attain more rest. As you turn your focus upon Christ and on the word of God, you pull back from the world and the many worries, demands and busyness that it places upon you. Your focus becomes more Christ-centered and you learn to take your mind and worries away from worldly concerns. This doesn’t mean that you will still not be burdened with the many worries and concerns of life; rather you learn to look at those problems in the light of having your mind centered or focused upon Christ.

In Jesus’ time, the Pharisees weighed down people’s minds and burdened them with many unnecessary demands. And in our day and time, I see many people living in fear of what is happening in the world. Just recently we have seen mass shootings and airport bombings dominate the news headlines. And being human beings, it’s natural that those types of incidents will cause us to worry or be fearful to some extent. But as believers in Christ, we know that our souls are protected in Christ because of our belief, faith and trust in him as our Lord and Savior. Our body can certainly be killed and destroyed but our soul cannot be touched if we belong to Christ. Jesus is our master and he will always care for us. That is an eternal promise for all who believe.

I urge you to begin each day in prayer to God and in the word of God. Don’t allow your day to begin with the violent and depressing news of the day. Begin your day talking to God and in the word of God. As you do this, you will find an incredible strength and guidance in which to begin your day. Open up your heart to God and tell him that you are afraid and worried and burdened and that you seek rest for your soul. God loves you and he will give you a type of rest and security that this fallen world cannot offer. God’s rest and love is eternal and is always available to those who seek it.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matthew 7:33-34.

Suffering for the Gospel

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Jun• 18•16

2 Timothy 1:8-10(NIV)

8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

I was planning on writing about another topic this morning, but as I was reading my Bible, I found myself on the first chapter of Second Timothy. And as I began to read this scripture, several points stood out to me:

  • Do not ever be ashamed to testify about Jesus or the gospel
  • Be willing to suffer for the gospel by the power of God
  • It is only through God’s power that we are saved – and then we are called to lead a holy life
  • This is all made possible ONLY by God’s own purpose and grace – not by anything we have done
  • Jesus Christ is the grace, the truth, and the light. HE is the ONLY WAY to eternal life
  • The gospel shows us the way to Christ and to eternal life
  • We must always be ready and willing to share the gospel by living a holy life for others to see

As believers, we should never be ashamed to tell others of the hope we have through our belief and faith in Christ. I have always believed that the best way to do this is to live a life that reflects our love for Christ. The way we live out our lives speaks volumes about who we are and what we believe. Like so many other believers, when we sit down for a meal we always pause to pray and to thank God for our meal and for our many other blessings. We also do this when we are in public, as do many other believers. We pray – not to be pretentious – but to show our love and dedication to our Lord. And I also believe that, as other believers who are not comfortable with praying in public see this, it will prompt them to begin to do the same. Are you ashamed to testify about Jesus or show your love for Him in public?

We must also be willing to suffer for the gospel and we have the promise of the power of God to help us through times of suffering. Many of us only suffer insults or crude comments because of our belief and faith in Christ. We must remember that throughout the world, many of our brothers and sisters in Christ experience physical suffering and even death for their beliefs. How much are you willing to suffer for the gospel? I believe that a time is coming when many of us living in this world will be faced with this question. Don’t ever be ashamed to share the good news of the gospel with anyone who asks you. And do it in a way that makes that person want to know more about your beliefs. So many believers today would rather try to fit in with the world instead of rising above the evil of this world. You must choose! You can’t belong to Christ and continue to live as the world does. Romans 8:17: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  I would suggest that you read 1 Peter 4:12-19 for further instructions on how to suffer for being a Christian.

But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life…”

If you are a follower of Christ, you are called to lead a holy life. We must realize that we are all sinners, as Paul so eloquently reminds us in Romans 3:23: “ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We can’t lead perfect lives, because we all struggle with sin at various times in our lives. By saying no to the pleasures and the sin of this world, we are showing others that we are different – we are set apart from this world. While many are travelling down that wide road, the believer is following that narrow road that so many people in this world do not find or try to seek out. When believers live worldly lives, and try to fit in with what society deems important, they fail to lead non-believers to Christ and to the promise of eternal life. You simply can’t have one foot in this world and the other in the light of God’s world. You must make a choice! This world leads to destruction and to death. The light of the gospel leads to eternal life. You must decide which world you will live in. Do not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Continue to proclaim it with the way you live out your life of faith in this fallen and sinful world.

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:13-16.

 

Is Anybody Listening?

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Jun• 04•16

Jeremiah 6:10 (NIV):  To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.

Jeremiah 6:19 (NIV): Hear, you earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law.

We have been studying the book of Jeremiah during our Wednesday night bible study and I have been pondering over the sixth chapter of Jeremiah for the last several weeks. God has been trying to get the attention of his chosen people, but they are not listening. In fact, they have turned their backs on God, and as a result, the prophet Jeremiah is being used by God to warn the people of the consequences of their actions. To say that Jeremiah had a difficult task does not even begin to scratch the surface.

The words that God and Jeremiah spoke to the Israelites could undoubtedly be spoken to us today. In fact, when I read the words of indictment against God’s chosen people, I find that we as a nation are doing the very same things today. God gave us a pattern of how to live a life that is pleasing to God and honors His word. Unfortunately, many of our leaders and society at large, tells us there is a better way – a more improved path to follow. The world that we live in is trying to redefine our values and our beliefs and it seems there is room for all of these different types of beliefs – unless you are a Christian.

When Christians follow God’s established commandments, we are made to feel that we are narrow-minded and our beliefs are outdated or not in line with the way society functions now. We are told that we must conform to the ways of the world and follow the new path that is more enlightened.

Jesus tells us: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14.

Many in our nation today are on that broad road that leads only to destruction and they don’t realize it, because the word of the Lord is offensive to them. They think they know better than God what is best for them. 

Jeremiah 6:16: This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’  

The same is true of our country today. We have turned our backs on God and we completely resist walking in the tried and true path God has given us to follow.

Just as in Jeremiah’s time, “the word of the Lord is offensive” to many in our nation today. Our country is turning away from God and I wonder how much longer God will allow this before he turns away from us.

Jeremiah 6:8: “Take warning Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you and make your land desolate so no one can live in it.”

If we continue to turn our backs on God we will face the same judgment that Israel brought upon themselves because they chose to obey and follow the values of the world instead of God’s laws.

God is trying to get our attention before it’s too late – Is anybody listening?

 

 

My Daughter’s Wedding

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - May• 13•16

I was the first one to hold you as you made your way into the world. Seeing you take your first breath and hearing you cry for the first time gave me even more faith in God. I was only beginning to know you but God already knew all about you and what kind of person you would turn out to be. And I am so blessed and thankful that he trusted me to raise you. You were always a happy baby and toddler and your smile is what I remember most. I recall walking into your room one morning to wake you up when you were still in your baby bed, and there you were, standing up smiling at me, as I opened the door.

I remember dropping you off at your first day of day care and you cried as I left you. What you don’t know, is that I also cried as I left you, and I cried all the way to work. When I picked you up that afternoon, you ran to me with your arms stretched out wide and you jumped into my arms. It never crossed my mind that one day you would be all grown up. I just thought of you as my little girl and I couldn’t bear to think of that ever changing.

As you grew into school age, you were confident and ready to start school. I noticed early on that you always cared for and made friends with kids that didn’t have many friends. You were always very thoughtful and kind and showed great compassion for others. That has always been something that you have done throughout your life. Your compassion for the people of Haiti is something that I am so proud of. I always had faith that each time you traveled there, that God would use you in a special way and would bring you back home safely.

I remember you deciding where you wanted to go to college and I remember thinking that Berry College was just too far away. I guess that I wasn’t ready to have you leave your home and go out into the world for the first time on your own. I took you to the two day orientation and I wondered how I could let go of you as you began to find your way in the world. We moved you in your dorm and I remember me and mom and your two younger sisters just hanging around not wanting to leave. We had all made a pact that we would not cry and somehow we were able to fight back the tears while we were in your dorm room. After we said our goodbyes and left, I remember all of us feeling very sad that we were leaving you. We got into the car and began to drive away and I looked at mom and she looked at me and we both began to cry. Your sisters joined in as well and we cried for about ten minutes as we drove away from the college. But you would be all right and you would grow in ways that we could never imagine.

You graduated college and went on to get your master’s degree and I remember crying tears of joy at both of those graduations. You brought so much joy to my life and I was so proud of you and all that you had accomplished. You were all grown up now but I still thought of you as my little girl. After grad school you didn’t find a job right away and we were ok with that because you lived at home with us and helped us with your sisters. I knew and hoped that one day you would get a job but it sure was nice to have you at home with us as long as we could. After a few months you were so excited when you were called about a job in Savannah. You interviewed for the job in Savannah and got the position and told us that you had to find a place to live and start your new job in two weeks!

You found an apartment in Savannah and we moved you into your new place. It was really hitting me now that you were all grown up and your days of living at home had come to an end. Mom and I went to the grocery store to buy you some more groceries while your grandma and sisters helped you unpack. We finished shopping and got back to your apartment and immediately began dreading to say our goodbyes. Mom and I were trying to be strong and not cry, at least not in front of you. We were almost ready to leave and suddenly one of your sisters burst into tears as she hugged you goodbye and all of us were crying.  I didn’t want to leave you but I knew that God had great things in store for you and I trusted him to take care of you and watch over you when I couldn’t.

A year and a half later, you were engaged to a great guy and you began to make plans to start a life with him. I remember feeling joy, not sadness, when he asked me for my permission to ask you to marry him. I knew that the two of you would create a wonderful life together and I was happy for you. The wedding day still seemed far away.

Now, on the day before the wedding, it seems like this day got here really fast. It’s appropriate that you are getting married at the chapel on the same college campus where you received your undergrad degree. I remember telling you several times that I would love to do a service in that chapel. I just didn’t think that it would be your wedding.

As we go through the rehearsal tonight, I will try to maintain my composure. I don’t know what kind of emotions I will be feeling as we get closer to the day of your wedding, because I haven’t done this kind of thing before. As we stand there before we go down the aisle, I have visualized myself getting emotional.  As I give your hand to your future husband, I will be happy for you but I will also be giving you away, so I don’t know exactly what I will be feeling. And as I perform your ceremony, I will have to be the minister, but I will also be your dad – so there may come a time when I get a little emotional. I don’t know what emotions will be going through me when I pronounce you married and watch you walk down that aisle, away from me with your new husband. I will be smiling but I also may be crying, happy tears of course. And when we have our father/daughter dance, if I have not cried already, it may come then. More than likely I will break down and cry when I watch you and your husband drive away from the ceremony at the same college that we left you and drove back home over six years ago. But like then, I know that you will be ok and that you will be happy. May God forever bless you and your marriage and bring joy and peace to your life. I am a blessed man that God has allowed me to be your father and I hope that God will allow me to be around long enough to be a grandfather to what I know will be some wonderful kids!

 

Standing in the Gap; National Day of Prayer

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - May• 06•16

Ezekiel 22:30(NASB): “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.

Yesterday was our country’s designated national day of prayer and many committed believers joined together to pray for our nation and to “stand in the gap” before God. The prayers of the faithful are definitely heard by God so we must realize that prayer is the only way that we will begin to turn our nation back towards God. As a country, we, just like the Israelites, have turned our backs on God. And it frightens me to wonder how long God will tolerate our indifferent and faithless attitude towards Him.

Israel did the same to God and they thought God would never rain down judgment upon them. In Jeremiah, we read the words of the prophet and we get a glimpse of the attitude that was prevalent in Israel at that time.

          “The house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me,” declares the LORD. They have lied about the LORD; they said, “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine. The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them” (Jeremiah 5:11-13).

How had Israel turned away from the LORD? Here are but a few of God’s long list of complaints against his chosen people:

  • They had forsaken God
  • Worshipped false and worthless idols instead of God
  • They lied about God and were unfaithful
  • Skilled in doing evil, they act like senseless children
  • They became wicked and turned away from God
  • They looked to this world for meaning and validation instead of God
  • They had “many” gods
  • Rebelled and would not respond to correction

God pleads with them saying, “Return, faithless people” (Jeremiah 3:14). “If you will return, O Israel, return to me,” declares the LORD. “If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, ‘As surely as the LORD lives,’ then the nations will be blessed by him and in him they will glory” (Jeremiah 4:1-2).  On this side of history, we know that the Israelites failed to turn back to God. And so God was left with no choice but to bring destruction upon their land because of their unfaithfulness.

Every Christian in this blessed nation should be down on their knees praying to God for mercy and for forgiveness. We can no longer live with one foot in this world and one foot in God’s realm. It’s time to plead with God and pray to God for his mercy upon our nation. Our nation has turned its back on God just like Israel did and eventually God is going to bring judgment upon us just as he did upon Israel.

Over the last few days I have become convinced that Satan is waging an all-out assault upon our great nation. He is doing all he can to turn people away from God and to make a mockery of God. Read your Bible and see how it works out for people and nations that mock God!

Our country is embracing so many ideas and beliefs that are directly contrary to God’s Holy Word. There is hardly a day that goes by where someone doesn’t launch an attack or a mockery against our long-held Christian beliefs. Whether it is gay marriage, LGBT laws, the mayor of New York calling for a boycott on a Christian owned business, or the recent call for Disney to give one of its characters a same sex love interest in a sequel film, it is apparent to me that Satan is waging an all-out war against Christianity in our nation today. As a country, we have turned our backs on God. And how did that turn out for Israel, God’s chosen people? How will it turn out for our children and grandchildren? What kind of a world are we leaving them?

What are we as believers to do as we attempt to live out our life of faith in our nation today?  First, we must realize that there is nothing that an elected official, a religious leader or a bible scholar can do to “save” our great country. The only thing that will save our nation is for believers to “stand in the gap,” in intercessory prayer for our country, and to ask God for forgiveness for our unfaithfulness and our idolatrous ways and for turning our backs on God. God, and only God, can save us and restore our country to what we once were – a nation that is faithful to God and to His Holy Word. All Christians must have the courage to stand up for the truths of our long-held Christian faith and to pray without ceasing for our nation and for our world. Prayer truly changes things and until we devote ourselves to unceasing prayer, we will continue to see our country slip further towards God’s wrath and judgment.

So as Christians, we have an obligation to pray and plead with God DAILY for mercy and forgiveness, for our nation, and for those in our country who have turned their backs on God. We must pray for forgiveness and for the Holy Spirit to lead a revival in our country that will change hearts and minds and lead great numbers to Christ. God has done this before and He will do it again if we as believers fall on our knees and approach the throne of grace with our petitions and intercessory prayer for our great nation. May God forgive the sins of our nations and may God forgive us for turning away from Him and His Holy Word. May God have mercy on the United States of America and bring healing to our land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - May• 04•16

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Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

As I continue to ready and pray Psalm 139, God gave me these thoughts to share with you today. Psalm 139 begins by telling us that God knows our hearts and our minds; “you perceive my thoughts from afar” (Psalm 139:2). God knows and is involved in every detail of our lives. While we often think of God as being so far removed from us and our daily lives, the truth is that God is very involved with us, so much so, that he knows what you are thinking at this very moment in time. God’s presence is everywhere and there is no place we can go that will escape God’s attention.

In today’s reading from Psalm 139: 13-16, we are told that God knew us and saw our “unformed body” when we were in the “depths of the earth,” our mother’s womb. God knows each of us so intimately because he made us, he created us. And because we are God’s creation, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” So don’t ever let anyone tell you that God does not love you, or somehow thinks less of you, because of the way you look or because of your type of personality or because you act and think differently. God made you, he knows you, and he loves you, just as you are! You are “fearfully and wonderfully” made.

So many people continue to search for that “something” that will fulfill them and make their lives feel whole and complete. Sadly, the search begins with the things of this world instead of their creator God. And you have seen and know the pattern that occurs when people turn to material objects instead of forging a connection with their creator. Temporarily they find meaning and fulfillment in something, but over time, whatever they chose to fulfill themselves and their lives with, fails to satisfy their inner desires. But instead of turning to God, they go after more earthly desires and over time these things again fail to satisfy them and bring meaning to their lives and the entire process is repeated over and over again.

God calls us to look to Him – the one who created us and knows us intimately. God loves you and can bring meaning and fulfillment to your life in a way that will bring wholeness and a sense of purpose to your life. God saw your “unformed body” and he ordained every day that you will live on earth. He knew the day you would be born and he knows the day you will leave this earth. While you are on this earth, God wants to use you to lead others to him and to a life that brings fulfillment and wholeness. Don’t let others or this world that we live in define who you are. You are God’s creation and he loves you and continually wants to draw you closer and closer to him. God’s kingdom is everlasting and he calls upon you, his child, to seek him and to find peace and contentment in God. Say “no” to the things of this world and seek and find God. There you will find true joy and fulfillment for your life here on earth and for eternity.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).