Daily Walk With God

My Daily Journey With God in Athens Ga.

Living In The Present

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Dec• 13•14

Matthew 6:31-34 (NIV): So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 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.

How much time do you spend worrying about the past or the future? Most of us would likely admit that we spend too much time agonizing over the past or worrying about the future. I struggle greatly at times, worrying about what has happened in the past or what is going to occur in the future. The point is – we will worry at times – but we cannot let that prevent us from living in the present moment. Why then is living in the present so important? I’m not suggesting that we should not learn from our past mistakes, but instead we must learn from them and grown into a better human being. I’m also not implying that we should not look to or plan for the future. That type of planning is something that we all must do. The problem occurs when we become too focused on the future that we stop living in the present moment. It is in the present that we encounter God, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, and the Holy Spirit. It is in the present that we encounter and minister to each other. I believe that it is in the present, ordinary moments of life that God speaks to us and reaches out to us, calling us to join The Almighty in ordinary and holy work.

I wonder how many ministry opportunities in my own life that I have overlooked because I failed to live in the present moment. I think about the lives that I could have touched and I also think about how many times I could have allowed other people to touch my own life and to minister to me. Often times, we allow the world that we live in to dictate to us our thoughts and our worries. The Gospels reveal to us that Jesus was out in the world, meeting people in their daily lives where their needs were the greatest. He showed compassion, mercy, and love to all that he encountered. He was not afraid to point out sin but he was quick to offer forgiveness and mercy to those who saw the need for repentance. It is when you “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33) that you begin to experience present moment living. You are better equipped to do more for others because of your awareness of what God, through the Son, Jesus Christ, has done for you.

I encourage you, in the days ahead, to try living in the present moment. If you are like me, it will take some effort on your part to do so but you will be blessed and encouraged when you do. I will end this devotional with these words from the Apostle Paul from Philippians 2:1-4: Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

 

Church Of The Way: Forgivenss and Mercy

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Dec• 10•14

Colossians 1:15-18a (NIV)
The Supremacy of the Son of God

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church;

In my continuing effort to write about the type of church that I would like to establish, I have been met with some obstacles. Numerous hindrances and barriers have been placed in my path in order to prevent me from trying to understand and follow God’s will for my life. I have been overwhelmed with many challenging life situations and they have taken my focus away from writing about my desires to establish a church. So as I continue to battle spiritual warfare, I want to attempt to describe the type of church that I hope to one day begin.

The following are beliefs that I have written about thus far:
• These words from Jesus will form the core belief for our church: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)
• My calling is to establish a church where people of diverse backgrounds and ethnicity come together to worship God the Father, Christ our Savior and Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, who powerfully guides the church
• We will be a church that prays constantly for the Holy Spirit to lead and inspire the church
• We will be open and accepting of anyone but we will not compromise and give in to the “world” when it comes to preaching the Gospel message
• Jesus is the only way to God and eternal life – that truth from Holy Scripture will be a foundational belief for our church
• Our church will be non-denominational so that we can attract people from different faith backgrounds who recognize Christ as head of the church

Today, I want to write about forgiveness and mercy. There is a quote that you may have heard that goes like this: “The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” Too often in the church today, we pretend that everything is ok in our lives. We don’t like to admit that we are struggling spiritually, emotionally, or financially. We put on a mask or a brave face when we enter church because we want others to think that we have it all together. What a terrible mistake we make when we do this. The church should be a safe place where we can confide in others our fears, struggles, and weaknesses. As we are able to extend mercy and forgiveness to others, and to ourselves, we are in the beginning stages of learning how to achieve spiritual growth and maturity in Christ.

Morton Kelsey writes, “Christianity is the only major religion that promises free forgiveness and mercy to anyone who genuinely asks for it.” Kelsey goes on to write: “I get so discouraged with Christian ministers who preach judgment, and more judgment, when the essential message of Christianity is loving mercy and forgiveness. Preaching judgment or acting it out only walls people off from us and shuts them up with their problems. Judging is very close to the essential idea of karma, which says that individuals must pay for every sin and error they have committed. Reflecting on my own life, I hope and pray that this is not so. I am very sure that judgment and punishment seldom, very seldom, redeem anyone.” ( Morton Kelsey, What is Heaven Like? The Kingdom As Seen in the Beatitudes, p. 34).

I believe this in my own life as a believer and in my ministry as well. Seldom do people remain or grow in their faith when they have been pressured or made to feel guilty in accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior. Over the years, I have been witness to the fact that a growing and lasting faith in Christ comes about only when the individual realizes their complete inadequacy as a fallen human being and joyfully accepts the forgiveness and mercy of our risen Lord and Savior. If you are like me, you probably beat yourself up way too much already as you try to lead a good Christian life. Jesus tells us that, while we will never attain perfection on this earth, He will forgive us and heal us if we will only place our faith and trust in Christ alone.

I want to establish a church where we help individual believers to repent of sin in their life and then to accept forgiveness and mercy from God, so that they can lead the kind of life that leads others to Christ. If you share in this belief, I ask that you pray for God’s will to be done, so that a church can be started where people feel safe in confiding to others their sin, knowing they won’t be judged or criticized for their honest admission. Then, and only then, can we begin to grow in Christ and start the process of spiritual maturity as we seek God’s will for our own individual lives and God’s will for the Church Of The Way.

The Church Of The Way:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6(NIV)

Angels as Ministering Spirits

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Dec• 07•14

Hebrews 1:14: Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Hebrews 13:2: Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

We tackled a very interesting topic in our Sunday school class this morning on the subject of angels and the role they play in our daily, ordinary lives. Angels are messengers sent from God and they basically help us to understand and follow God’s plan for the world and for our individual lives. We are certainly fascinated with angels and how they possibly intersect with our lives but we should not worship angels. Our lesson this morning from Hebrews reminded us that Christ alone is worthy of our worship because he is greater than all the prophets, Moses, the Aaronic priesthood and even angels.

Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, reminded the early church that only God the Son is worthy of worship; the angels are not. Colossians 2:18: Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. There were some in the early church that apparently did worship angels. It’s possible they could have believed that God was too holy to worship or approach and so they made angels the focus of their worship.

Another passage from Revelation 22:8-9 reveals to us that we should not worship angels: “I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!'”

Morton Kelsey in his excellent book, What is Heaven Like? The Kingdom As Seen in the Beatitudes, writes about angels as ministering spirits of departed loved one. “The deceased, particularly the gentle-spirited deceased, are the very ones who are given permission to exert a gentle and hardly perceptible influence upon those on earth who are open to such influence. Raymond Moody and Karlis Osis in their research and Billy Graham in his book on angels have described the experience of being met at the point of death by a deceased friend or loved one. The other person is there to help us make the transition, and apparently has been keeping watch over us all the time. I have personally felt this guidance after the death of my mother and then after the death of my son” (P.28).

Kelsey goes on to write, “The deceased who are kindly spirits and have inherited the earth, influence us in many ways, even though we hardly know it. Those in the heaven beyond the earth are not so separated from us as we sometimes think. By becoming more conscious of the spiritual realm, we can often become more aware of the presence and the influence the deceased in heaven have upon us” (p. 29).

I have always thought that my loved ones that have departed and are in heaven are watching over me and my family in ways that we can’t quite discern. The Bible doesn’t necessarily teach a doctrine of individual guardian angels but there are many scriptures that point to angels offering protection to God’s people in various ways. While we should worship Christ alone, as the Bible teaches us, we can and should draw some comfort from the angels who are sent to us as ministering spirits.

The Light Of The World

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Dec• 06•14

John 1:9-13(NIV): The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Jesus came into a world that was filled with darkness. Christ came to give hope to those who had lost all hope. The Roman Empire had crushed the hopes of the people living in Palestine; they did not have a future it would seem, until the light of Christ appeared. The prophet Isaiah foretold this coming of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:2: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Today, we know Christ to be the light and the hope of the world. As believers, we acknowledge that Christ has already defeated the dark and powerful forces of evil. We have the light of Christ to guide us through this dark, perilous world.

As I walked today in the gloom and fog of a December afternoon, I thought about these words from Isaiah, which Matthews repeats in his gospel account of Jesus. Often, we become so accustomed to the darkness and despair around us, that we live out our lives in hopelessness and fear. It’s so easy to focus on the bad things that we see and encounter on a daily basis. We turn on the news and we are bombarded with current events that are filled with evil and darkness. Christians are especially under attack around the globe for their refusal to deny the name of Christ, whom the world does not recognize.

Those of us who believe in Christ and are not afraid to profess his name are also coming under attack from those who would prohibit us from public prayer and the mention of Christ during the season of Christmas. We are told to be considerate of others, to not offend anyone who does not believe in Christ, as the only way to God. And yes, there are times when the Bible teaches us to answer others in a kind way that will lead them to belief in Christ, instead of alienating them further from the truth that is Christ. The time has come for those of us who call ourselves followers of Christ to stand firm and acknowledge Christ as the true light of the world. This December, remember the real reason behind the Christian celebration of Christmas. Remember the true light of the world – Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

John 1:14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Do Not Be Afraid

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Dec• 03•14

What are you most afraid of? Does fear rule your life or at least weaken you in some way? There are many who fear the loss of a job or a decline in health. There are also those who fear what will happen in the future as evil seems to be increasing throughout the earth. We all have a certain amount of apprehension of what the world will be like for our children and our grandchildren. Fear of the unknown or uncertain can also incapacitate many good, well-intentioned Christians, because they are afraid of what could happen if they venture out into unfamiliar territory. The Bible reminds us many times to not be afraid, or to fear not.

An angel of the Lord told Zechariah, “Do not be afraid”, when announcing the future birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:13). The Bible tells us that poor old Zechariah was “startled and gripped with fear” (Luke 1:12), which was an understandable reaction. The angel Gabriel, told a young woman by the name of Mary, “Do not be afraid…” as he told her that she would give birth to a son who would be called Jesus (Luke 1:31). An angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks at night, telling them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people” (Luke 2:8-9).

The Lord Jesus spoke to the Apostle Paul in a vision telling him, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you” (Acts 18:9-10). The writer of Hebrews encourages us to trust in God when he writes, “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6). And in John’s vision of Christ in Revelation, Christ says, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! (Revelation 1:17-18).

I constantly need to be reminded of the words of the angel of the Lord, “Fear not, do not be afraid.” If our trust and faith is firmly placed in God then we should not be fearful of anything that comes our way. When we allow fear to enter into or control our lives, we forget God’s promise that He is always with us, even as we journey through dark places and difficult times. Fear then becomes a lack of trust and faith in God. I need to be frequently reminded of the words of Jesus from John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Prayer: God, help me to not be afraid or worried about things that are out of my control. Grant me the peace of Christ in my heart and in my life and help me to share that peace with others. Help me to be an example to others of the saving grace and abundant peace that Christ longs to offer to those who believe and call upon His holy name. Amen.

Being Thankful

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Nov• 24•14

Psalm 100 (NIV)
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100 is my favorite psalm for giving thanks and praise to God. It serves to remind me that God is my creator and I belong to him. And that alone should cause each of us to give daily praise and thanksgiving to God for his goodness and his love that endures forever. In a world where violence, hatred, disease, and war dominate the daily headlines, it’s important for those of us who believe in God to remember that God is in control of this world. And if you believe in Jesus Christ the Son, you will one day live in a place where there will be no more tears, no more suffering and no more pain. That alone gives me hope and encourages me to thank and praise God daily.

As I was reading Psalm 100 tonight, I was reminded of a saint that left this world for her home in heaven earlier this year. Ms. Gene, who was a member of our church, wanted Psalm 100 to be read at her funeral service. As I read the psalm again tonight, I remembered back to April of this year when I read it at her funeral. She had certainly spent a lifetime giving praise and thanksgiving to her Lord. She knew that the Lord is God – that we are his creation – his people – the sheep of his pasture. Ms. Gene knew that she was not self-made but rather God-made. And she always, and I mean always, gave thanks to God in all circumstances.

I looked back at two cards tonight that Ms. Gene had sent me over the years. The first was to my wife and I after my father-in-law passed away and the second was after the passing of my mother. She wrote about how good parents were a “special blessing and a gift from God” and she wrote that she was “thankful” and “grateful” for her parents. She gave wise counsel as I grieved the death of my mother. Ms. Gene wrote, “Our mothers are very special and kind. We miss them when they are gone, but we have so many good memories to keep in our hearts and to comfort us. Remember that God is always with us.” She knew – as did the psalmist – that God’s love and faithfulness endures throughout all generations. God is present with us in the good times, in the midst of pain and suffering, and in all of the many ordinary moments of life.

I am thankful to have known the many faithful believers that God has placed in my path over the course of my life. Many of them were just ordinary people who served and understood God in extraordinary and even in simple ways. What set them apart was their unwavering faith in God and their recognition of his presence in our daily lives. Thank you God, for these faithful witnesses to your everlasting love and mercy. And please God, send more of them my way. 

Spiritual Warfare And The Church Of The Way

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Nov• 11•14

Ephesians 6:10-13(ESV)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Ever since I began to write about the type of church that I feel called to establish, I have come under what I can only describe as a relentless attack by the evil one. Satan’s objective is to cause me to doubt God and my calling and to believe that God can’t really do what God promises to do. As a believer, I am at my best when I am in constant communication with God. When I read my Bible, pray, or just talk to God, I am at peace and open to listening for God to speak to my mind and my heart. I sense God more fully in my life when the communication line with God is open and unbroken.

The devil desires to break that communication link and he does it through lies and deception. He wants us to doubt God and His promise to be with us and guide us as believers. The mind is the arena where spiritual warfare is waged and Satan will do anything to turn out thoughts away from God. Satan wants us to doubt God and His good promises for our lives.

This week for me, I have endured many obstacles that have been placed in my path that were designed to take my focus away from God. As I have been overwhelmed with problems that have suddenly surfaced, doubts have begun to set in that I can’t do what God is calling me to do. I don’t believe that however, because I know that God can do whatever He sets his mind and will to accomplish. It’s God’s power that is at work, not my own, and God is more powerful that the evil one. So I cling to my faith and trust in God and when God’s ministry for me is realized, God will receive ALL of the glory!

Today, I read a familiar passage that reminded me in a powerful way that God is with those of us who are faithful and willing to take a bold step of faith. In Joshua, chapter 3, the Israelites are very close to entering the Promised Land, but they must first cross the Jordan River which just so happens to be at flood stage! The people had camped out at the Jordan River for three days and then the officers gave the people their instructions: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it” (Joshua 3:3). Then the LORD told Joshua, “Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river’” (Joshua 3:8). After the priests go into and stand in the raging river, God then stops the water upstream from flowing and the priests found themselves standing on dry ground. They remained there until the whole nation of Israel passed by and completed the crossing on dry ground.

God calls us to take a step of faith; to put our feet in the raging waters, so that when the calm comes, we will know without a doubt that God’s power was made evident. Often in life, we are called to take risks or steps of faith in order to follow God’s call upon our lives. When the evil one attacks with spiritual warfare (and he will if you are truly doing God’s work), put on the “whole armor of God” so that you can stand against the many schemes of the devil. Stand firm, knowing that you serve a God who promises to be with those who follow and have faith in Him.

Usually, it takes me about 30 minutes to write a typical devotional post. Today, it took over two hours because of a constant stream of interruptions, problems, crises, and intense spiritual warfare from the evil one. I take comfort in knowing that I am on the right path to serving God because it is obvious to me that Satan is determined on doing whatever he can to make me question my calling from God and to prevent me from establishing a church that gives God all of the glory.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” 1 Peter 5:8-9.

Encouragement for the Week

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Nov• 09•14

As you begin a new week, I hope that these words from scripture will prepare and encourage you for whatever circumstances you will encounter. None of us knows what the future holds and often we are afraid of things we can’t control. It is during these times that we must remind ourselves that we serve and worship a God who walks with us and goes before us. God is ready and more than capable of bearing our burdens and worries. Trust in God, let go of your anxiety and believe that God is ready to shower you with His peace that transcends all understanding.

Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 55:22: Cast you cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Psalm 56:3-4: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

1 Peter 5:7: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

The Lord prepares a way for us, a path that ascends and descends. Remain on that path and God will be with you through the blessings of the week and also during the difficulties that you will surely face. As believers, we are not promised an easy, problem free life but we do have the assurance that Christ is present with us. He walks alongside us and carries us when the road that we are traveling on is too grueling for our weary souls.

Proverbs 3:5-6:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 14:1: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Are you tired? It could be your job that is wearing you down. Maybe you have the responsibility to care for family members that are aging or ill. Just being a parent these days is a difficult job and it seems that problems just continue to multiply. You do so many things for others. Often it feels like no one seems to appreciate it and as a result you feel weary and burdened. Turn to the one who has already conquered this world and can take away the weight of the world.

John 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Philippians 4:6-7:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 6:25-27:  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Remember that God the Father and Christ the Savior loves you and wants all things to work out for your own good. Nothing in this world can come between us and the saving grace of Christ our Lord. Remember that Christ has already conquered the world and nothing can separate us from His love.

Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:37-39: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Be blessed this week and know that you are a beloved child of God. May the peace of Christ be with you and your family in the days ahead.

 

The Way, The Truth, And The Life

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Nov• 06•14

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

As I begin to write about the type of church that I would like to start, these words from Jesus will serve as the core belief for our church. I believe that Jesus is the way – the only way – to God the Father and heaven. I have believed and trusted these words from Jesus for many years. I find that now, I have even more faith in this scripture passage, as I mature in my faith.

My calling is to establish a church where people of diverse backgrounds and ethnicity come together to worship God the Father, Christ our Savior and Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit who powerfully guides the church. We will be a church that prays constantly for the Holy Spirit to lead and inspire the church. We will be open and accepting of anyone but we will not compromise and give in to the “world” when it comes to preaching the Gospel message. Jesus is the only way to God and eternal life – that truth from Holy Scripture will be a foundational belief for our church.

My children have grown up with friends from many different faith backgrounds. I have always told them to be respectful of the beliefs of others but to never compromise on what we as followers of Christ believe. I don’t believe in attacking another person’s beliefs – that only serves to push them farther away from the truth that is found only through Christ. I have tried to teach my children to live a Christ led life that shows mercy and compassion towards others. When you truly care about people, regardless of their beliefs or circumstance in life, you become a powerful and more effective witness for the risen Christ. This is what the church today is called to do and to be.

These are my beliefs about Jesus Christ:
• Jesus was born of a virgin
• He was fully man and yet fully God
• He lived a sinless life and resisted temptation
• He was crucified and died for our sins
• He was buried in the tomb
• He arose after three days and defeated death once and for all
• Forty days after the Resurrection, He ascended back to God the Father in heaven
• He now sits at the right hand of God in heaven
• He will return to earth again at the Second Coming

The early Christians were often referred to as “the Way” (Acts 9:2 and other times throughout the book of Acts). In looking through a file on my computer yesterday, I found something that I had written down over two years ago. This was something that was impressed upon me during a time of prayer one morning. The title of the file was “The Way Church of Athens.” Now I don’t know where God is calling me to start a church (or even if God is calling me to start a church) but what a fitting name for a group of present day followers of Christ – The Way.

I continue to pray that God will open a door for my ministry and that He will also open up the hearts of people who want to be part of a faith community that shares the belief: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I ask you to pray with me that God will make His vision clear to me and will put me into contact with more people who have the desire to start a community of faith based on Christ as “the Way.” May God bless you and always be with you.

Seeking and Trusting God

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Oct• 29•14

My blogs for the remainder of the year are going to be somewhat different to my normal style of writing. God has been actively working in my spiritual life over the last few months, as I have been going through a process of discernment regarding my ministry. Up until now, these thoughts have only been discussed with a few people whom I greatly trust. I had never thought about sharing these on the web through my blog, until today, as I took my daily two mile walk at one of my favorite walking places.

I usually walk with my wife (whom I greatly missed today). This afternoon, however, it was just me and God. As I began my walk, on a glorious, sun splashed afternoon, my thoughts immediately turned to what God is calling me to do in ministry. So many possible ways to minister have been running through my mind lately, but today, I believe that God gave me some clarity on how to proceed. It’s possible that I have completely misunderstood God and I risk looking foolish for discussing what I believe God is calling me to do. Even so, I have decided to take a leap of faith and find out what God has in store for my ministry. Sort of reminds me of Paul’s “fools for Christ” reference from 1 Corinthians 4:10.

Over the last five years, I have applied for pastor positions at different churches and have been the runner-up in several of those instances. I’ll be honest; all of those “rejections” were painful in different ways. It’s never easy being told that you didn’t get the job and I think that I would rather have been told that I finished eighth or ninth instead of second. To seemingly be so close and not get the job…it’s something that doesn’t get any easier. However, I have come to believe that God did not intend for me to land any of those positions. God must have a reason, a plan for me, other than those traditional churches. So over the last five years I have continued to learn how to trust God and persevere in my faith. Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

I believe the reason that I was not selected to serve at those established churches is because God is calling me to start a new church that draws on the strengths of my own unique ministry. Various ideas about where to meet have been presented to me by others interested in this idea, but as of yet – God – has not provided me with any real answers. So I have decided to take the remainder of this year to write about what God is calling me to do and to listen to God. I will write about the type of church that I envision and I invite anyone interested in this new endeavor to contact me with any suggestions or discernment that you may have. I do not have a timetable or any predetermined plans – I am leaving all of that up to God. As God leads, I will follow.

Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.