Daily Walk With God

My Daily Journey With God in Athens Ga.

A Model Prayer Life

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Oct• 01•15

“For the effect of prayer is union with God, and, if someone is with God, he is separated from the enemy.” Gregory of Nyssa

Jesus was tempted for forty days in the desert and I’m certain that prayer played an important role during that time of temptation. As Jesus continued on in his ministry, daily prayer and time alone with God was necessary for Jesus to recharge himself and to determine God’s will. “At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place” (Luke 4:42). Why did Jesus seek out a solitary place? To pray – and to spend valuable time alone with God. If Jesus gave prayer this high of a priority, how much more do we need this daily time alone with God as well? Jesus desired this prayer time alone with God in order to draw strength for the mission that awaited him, and so should we. 

When we spend time in prayer with God, we separate ourselves from the enemy and his many evil schemes and desires. We also begin to learn more about God’s plan for our lives as we draw near to God in prayer. Prayer serves to protect us from the devil’s intention of interrupting or destroying our union with God. As I sat down today to read my Bible and pray, the evil one tried every way possible to disrupt my time alone with God. I began to think about some challenges that are ahead of me and my mind began to wander in many different directions. The evil one knows that when we spend time in prayer with God, we draw closer to God and further away from the enemy’s influence. Satan will go to any lengths to keep us from this union with God through prayer. He will do anything to lessen our effectiveness as followers of Christ.

“Through prayer we guard our chastity, control our temper and rid ourselves of vanity. It makes us forget injuries, overcomes envy, defeats injustice and makes amends for sin. Through prayer we obtain physical well-being, a happy home, and a strong, well-ordered society.” Gregory of Nyssa

As Jesus was carrying out his earthly ministry, crowds of people followed him to hear him teach and to be healed. “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:15-16). It’s apparent that Jesus needed this prayer time alone with God to recharge and ready himself for the next day of ministry – and so do we! As you face the many trials, challenges and temptations that life sends your way, you also need this daily quiet time of prayer with your heavenly Father. Through prayer, God can heal our very souls and minds so that we can become more attuned to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

“Prayer is intimacy with God and contemplation of the invisible. Prayer is the enjoyment of things present and the substance of the things to come.” Gregory of Nyssa

“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles” (Luke 6:12-13). Jesus prayed to God when important decisions needed to be made and in this instance he spent the entire night praying! How often do you take to God your most important decisions and ask for His guidance? And how often do you follow that guidance?

The reason that the Gospels give us a glimpse into the prayer life of Jesus is:
1) To help us understand that prayer is something to be taken seriously. It is a “union with God” where we are “separated from the enemy.” As Christians, we need this many times throughout our day. Prayer “will refresh you when you are weary and comfort you when you are sorrowful.”
2) To teach us to pray often. Prayer is to be practiced daily, multiple times a day, and even throughout the night, if necessary. Prayer helps us to develop a more trusting relationship with God and to seek His will. It also “makes us forget injuries, overcomes envy, defeats injustice and makes amends for sin.”
3) To help us determine God’s will in our daily lives. Jesus spent the entire night praying to God before selecting his twelve disciples. As we draw near to God through prayer we learn to become more aware of how God and his Holy Spirit are moving in our lives. We learn to become more obedient to God and to trust him fully. “Prayer is intimacy with God and contemplation of the invisible.”

The Apostle Paul reminds us to “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

The god Of This World

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Sep• 27•15

1 Peter 5:6-9: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 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.

In our scripture text yesterday, Peter encouraged us to humble ourselves before God. Once we realize that we are dependent upon our creator God and we so desperately need him to guide and sustain our life, we can cast all of our anxiety and fears upon him. Why? Scripture tells us it is because God cares for us. He loves each one of us and wants the best for us; he wants to give us His grace. And it is God’s grace that can sustain us through some of life’s darkest times.

In today’s text, Peter urges us to be self-controlled and alert to the many schemes and traps of the devil. Peter wants us to know that the devil is actively at work in our world looking to destroy anyone that he can, especially those who are children of God. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, plainly tells us that Satan is the god of this world: And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

Satan knows that his time is short and he is out to destroy or to make the Christian an ineffective witness for God. Peter tells us that the devil is like a “roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” It’s no coincidence that the many wars and terrorist activities around the world are being unleashed by the devil in order to create as much havoc and suffering as he possible can. When you read and hear of Christians being killed simply because they are Christian, you must know and understand that Satan is behind these types of atrocities. Satan is surely at work in Syria and is behind the many terrible deaths and destruction that we are witnessing there and in many other parts of the world. As followers of Christ, we know that Satan already stands defeated. At the second coming of Christ, Satan will be cast out and God will restore the earth to what He intended it to be, as Christ returns in power and glory.

In the meantime, Peter urges us to resist the many temptations that the devil sends our way. He implores us to stand firm in the faith, knowing that other fellow believers are undergoing many of the same kinds of suffering. Resisting the evil one and standing firm in your faith is not always an easy thing to do, but it is the only thing to do if you are a child of God and a follower of Christ. God will reward your firm and steadfast faith if you call upon His name to help you conquer the attacks of the evil one.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen” (1Peter 5:10-11).

Casting Your Cares Upon God

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Sep• 26•15

1 Peter 5: 6-7 (NIV): Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

The first word in this text from 1 Peter, gives believers an important clue as to how they should live out their life of faith, especially during times of anxiety or worry. The Apostle Peter tells us to “humble” ourselves. As we grow and mature in our faith, we should become more humble as we approach God and as we interact with other people.

It’s no coincidence that most of the Christians I look up to are humble people. I don’t know about you, but I greatly prefer being around humble people in life. For me, it’s difficult to be around people who are arrogant, boastful, and completely wrapped up in themselves. So many people today crave attention and they want to be noticed.

Our text reminds us that we are to “humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Peter makes it clear that there will be times of suffering and uncertainty that we must endure. And as we undergo these sufferings, and moments of worry and doubt, we can look to God for relief. Why? Because “he cares for you.” We can take to God ALL of our worry and doubt and “cast” it all upon him, because God cares for you! For me, this is one of the most reassuring verses in all of scripture. God cares for and is concerned about you and me.

As you read this, I don’t know what your specific worry or worries might be. Many of you are struggling with health issues and you desperately need to have some worry and anxiety lifted from you. Others may be worried about their children, or other family members, who are going through difficult and challenging times. It could be your job, or lack of a job, that has you worried and afraid. I can’t help but think about and pray for the many refugees, especially those fleeing Syria, who are filled with fear and uncertainty about their future, or if they will even have a future. In times and situations like these, all I know to do is to turn to God and pray for his mercy and his care. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  



The Greatest Commandment

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Sep• 17•15

Mark 12:28-31 (NIV): 28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

The Pharisees, Sadducees, and the teachers of the law were trying to trap Jesus by asking him various “loaded” questions. They were intent on trying to “catch him in his words” in order to turn the tide of public opinion against him. Some Pharisees and Herodians had asked Jesus, “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” (Mark 12:14-15). Knowing they were trying to trap him, Jesus replied, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” (Mark 12:17). The Gospel writer Mark tells us that the people were “amazed” at him and his answer.

Jesus tells us to love God with all of our soul, mind, and strength; that is a commandment that most of us can keep. However, when it comes to loving our “neighbor”; well that’s a different story. It is certainly easier to love those neighbors who are like us. We love those who think like we do, look like we do, and vote like we do. But to love those who look, think, or vote differently; this commandment to “love thy neighbor” is a little more difficult to keep. Most of us would rather ignore this commandment from Jesus, but we do so at great peril. This isn’t a “suggestion” from Jesus, this is a commandment. This is how we should go about our daily lives, loving everyone that we come into contact with. But we so often fail miserably at this! We just can’t let go of old hurts and we refuse to forgive others who we feel have wronged us. We also refuse to love those whom we judge “unworthy” of our love.

How can we love someone who is a “sinner” or who doesn’t love us in return? We can and must love if we consider the words of the Apostle Paul from the letter to the Romans: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God loved us in spite of our sin and he sent his one and only Son to die on the cross for our sinfulness. How can we not love other people when we consider the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made, to die for our sins? God didn’t wait for us to clean ourselves up or to start living a more upright life. God didn’t wait for us to change, because he knew that we would never attain a “perfect” life, at least not in this world. Instead, God loved us just as we were – sinners living in a fallen and immoral world.

Jesus spent time with the “sinners” of this world, showing compassion while he healed and taught many people who longed for some mercy. The teacher of the law recognized that loving your neighbor is more important than any sacrifice or offering that you could bring before God. And Jesus replied to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34).

How far are you from the “kingdom of God?” Are you willing to love others at great risk to your own self? We are all sinners and have fallen short of God’s glory, but loving others can have a great reward for believers. The Apostle Peter writes, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). I don’t know about you, but I have a multitude of sins that need to be covered over. By loving others, you demonstrate your love for God and your willingness to follow Him.

The Parable of the Sower

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Sep• 09•15


Mark 4:1-8 (NIV)
1Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus told his disciples, and the large crowd that gathered around him, the Parable of the Sower. Jesus often spoke in parables to the crowds, however when He was alone with His disciples; he frequently explained the meaning behind the parable. Often it was because the disciples were slow to understand the meaning of the parable.

Jesus is telling us about four types of people and their response when they are exposed to the teachings of Jesus and the word of God. The first group hears about God but they fall prey to Satan and the many other desires of this world. They reject God or fail to take God seriously because they are interested in following other idols. The second group joyfully receives the word and believes in God, but they lack a firm foundation for their faith. So when misfortune or suffering comes their way, they “quickly fall away,” because their faith is weak. In the third group, are those who hear the word but allow the many “worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things to come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” The fourth group, are the ones who “hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop – thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”

We all know people that we could place in these four groups. There are many people who are lost and in desperate need of being exposed to the compassion and the word of God. These are the folks who have totally rejected God and His word and they live a life that is in direct contradiction to all that God stands for. These people don’t even consider or think about God; their minds are on something completely different. They have zero interest in knowing God.

The second group are those who joyfully accept the word of God and even come to believe in Him, accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior. And then for various reasons, they fail to become firmly established in their faith. Something else is always more important than growing in their faith. So when trouble or misfortune comes their way, they quickly fall away from the faith. I know people who seemed to be on the right track until trouble suddenly came their way. During this difficult time, they completely fell apart and begin to make bad decisions. Instead of turning to God, they looked to other things to help them deal with their troubles. Drugs, alcohol, adultery, and gambling are but a few of the choices these people made instead of trying to draw closer to God and to rely on Him, instead of these other immoral alternatives.

In the third group, are those who hear the word and come to believe in Christ, but they become somewhat overwhelmed or consumed with their day to day lives. They allow worry to rule their lives or they have a greater desire for wealth, status, or job promotions, than for God. These types of people sit beside you in church, but they fail to bear much, if any, fruit.

And finally, there are those who hear and accept the word of God, profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and go out into the world and make disciples. They bear fruit! Instead of relying on the false sense of security that wealth seemingly provides, these disciples rely on Christ, their Savior. These are followers who have great compassion on other people, especially those people whom society has shunned. These are followers who go out into third world and war-torn countries, facing great danger while spreading the Gospel and compassion of Jesus Christ. These are followers who stand up for those in our society who have no one to speak for them. These are followers who also sit beside you in church and work tirelessly in our communities to care for those less fortunate and to tell them about the Gospel message.

Which category would you fall into? Your answer is between you and God. I have purposely not included Mark 4:13-20, in which Jesus explains this parable. You will have to open up your Bible and read this for yourself. And maybe, you just might continue reading. May God always bless you and reveal himself to you as you read His Holy Word!

God’s Holy Spirit: You Are Not Alone

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Aug• 21•15

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NIV):

However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no human mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

Are you struggling in your daily walk with God? Do you try to seek out and think about God, only to have the worries and struggles of this world to cause you to lose your focus on God? Have you ever felt that God was distant as you encounter life’s many obstacles and frustrations? If you have – you are not alone! All believers go through periods of uncertainty and doubt. Satan wants you to believe that you are not good enough for God to care about you. He wants to bring up your past sin and failures to make you believe that you are not worthy of God’s love and mercy. You must remember that God loves you and cares deeply about you. And most importantly, God is always present with you, as you go through the many highs and lows of life on this earth. 

I read a passage from a book the other day on this text from 1 Corinthians: “You are never alone, for I am at your right hand. Never despair, for I am watching over and caring for you. Be not anxious. What seems to you to be at present a difficult situation is all part of My planning, and I am working out the details of circumstances so that I may bless you and reveal Myself to you in a new way.” From the book: Come Away My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts, p. 14.

Earlier this week, I was having a difficult time with a work related problem, and I felt completely overwhelmed and alone. I had begun my day praying to God for help but as soon as I was out in the world, I felt as if I would be crushed under the weight of my worries and I allowed my mind to wander away from God. Throughout that day, I struggled and I fought with my own strength to solve my problem, but to no avail. I was completely overcome with anxiety and despair and I felt as if I were on a ground of sinking sand.

As I came home that afternoon, I was mentally and physically exhausted. I wondered why God seemed so distant during my day and I almost felt defeated and without any hope. I fell asleep early that night and woke up the next morning already worrying about the day ahead. And then I began to pray for God’s help. I asked, no I begged God, for the ability to feel His presence throughout my day. I admitted my human weakness and I told God that I was going to trust Him and I would cast all my burdens and anxieties upon Him, just as the Apostle Peter advised. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7.

In the midst of our despair we must always remember that God is watching over us and caring for us. Even as we are faced with difficult situations in life, we must have enough faith to realize that God will use these times of struggle in order to strengthen us and bless us in a new and better way. Remember that God continues to be in charge of this world that we live in – God is walking with us and ahead of us at all times. So keep your focus upon God and allow Him to lead you down the path that He has already prepared for you. God loves you and always wants the very best for you and He is with you every step of the way!

There is one verse of scripture that I always turn to that serves to remind me of God’s continued presence in my life and it is from the Old Testament. 2 Chronicles 16:9: For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.



More Faith, Less Doubt

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Aug• 08•15

Matthew 14:22-36 (NIV): Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

Our scripture passage for today picks up immediately after Jesus had performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand. Jesus told the disciples to get into the boat and go on ahead of him, while he finished talking to and teaching, the crowd of people following him. Jesus, in need of time alone with the Father, went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. He had just received word that John the Baptist had been beheaded in prison and I’m sure that his heart was heavy because of the loss of his cousin and friend. In addition, Jesus had to deal with the ever increasing demands of the crowds following him and he surely needed time to recharge, pray and commune with God. Have you ever taken the time to consider that if Jesus needed this quiet time alone with God, don’t we need it even more?

After a long time in prayer and fellowship with God, Jesus looks up to find the boat carrying his disciples, a considerable distance away from land. Matthew’s Gospel tells us that during the fourth watch of the night (between 3am and 6am), Jesus walks out to his disciples on the lake. When the disciples first saw Jesus they were terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. Jesus immediately tells them to take courage and he identifies himself. Peter, probably still unsure if it is really Jesus, replies, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus tells Peter to come to him, and having some faith, Peter begins to walk on the water towards Jesus. However, when Peter felt the wind and saw the effects that the wind was having on the water, he began to lose faith, became afraid, and started to sink. Peter cries out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” And Matthew’s Gospel tells us that, “immediately,” Jesus extended his hand to Peter and caught him. Then Jesus said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Why do you doubt or have fear if you are a follower of Christ? Well for starters, this world that we live in gives us many reasons to allow fear or doubt to creep into our minds. Many people only put their faith and trust in things that they can see, touch, or feel. They read, see, or hear the distressing news stories that are occurring around the world and they begin to doubt  – they begin to lose faith. The troubling news and violence that we are exposed to every day causes us to fear, just as the effect the wind was having on the water caused Peter to fear, and to doubt and lose faith. Many people, including believers, become so overwhelmed with their worries and doubts and they turn to other things, like alcohol or drugs, to help them momentarily escape from or put aside their burdens for a short while. And Jesus asks, “You of little faith, why do you doubt?”

James, the brother of Jesus, gives us some encouraging words on how to overcome doubt and to strengthen our faith in God. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4 NIV).

The life of a follower of Christ will not necessarily be an easy, carefree life. We will face many trials, temptations, and obstacles. Our faith will be tested. However, when faced with these difficulties of life, we must learn to persevere in our faith, clinging to the hope and trust that we have in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our perseverance and faith in God, and in Christ, will grow and mature our life of faith. We will be given the strength to stand firmly against the many crashing waves that life, in this world, sends our way. Perseverance in our walk of faith and in our daily lives will bring us to a more mature and complete faith in God.

Rest for the Weary

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Aug• 06•15

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

In our society today, it seems that everyone is in a hurry. We rush around aimlessly trying to fill our lives with material things that will satisfy us and make us happy. It’s important to us that we appear successful and in control of our lives and our destiny. We fool ourselves, and we try to fool others, with the pretense that we live perfect, stress free lives. For many of us, the lives we lead are anything but trouble and worry free.

Many people misread this passage from Matthew and the words of Jesus. As believers, we are not promised an easy stress free life. Our bodies will be physically tired and we will face troubles, worries, and burdens. However – through Christ and the Holy Spirit – we are enabled to encounter this daily life of stress and worry with a higher power that makes our very soul content. We can find rest and peace, not necessarily for our body, but for our very soul. 

Isaiah 40:28-29 (NIV)
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

This demanding and unforgiving world that we live in is often not a friend to those of us who feel weary and weak. War, terrorism, and violence seem to fill the earth and that can cause us to worry and even waver in our faith. We must remember that the same God who created the earth is still in control of what transpires on this planet. This passage from Isaiah helps us to remember that our creator God remains in control and is tirelessly working to provide strength for the souls of the weak and weary.

Psalm 62:1 (NIV)
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

Make an effort to unplug from this world and rest in quietness with God. Allow God to refresh you with His Spirit and to give you rest and the strength needed to face each day. Instead of worrying about what the day ahead holds, trust that God will be with you and will supply you with what you need to make it through the day. Pray for God’s presence and trust that He goes ahead of you to prepare the way. End your day by thanking God for guiding you and sustaining you, for being present with you.

The Church in Laodicea and America

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Jul• 29•15

Revelation 3:14-22 (NIV):

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

In the book of Revelation, Jesus speaks to the seven churches, which some believe to be symbolic of seven church ages. To the first six, Jesus points out their good qualities and some additional areas they must improve upon. For the most part, these six churches are following the leadership of Christ and will be rewarded in the end. However, the last church mentioned (the Church in Laodicea) does not receive the same treatment. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Jesus does not point out anything they are doing, that is pleasing or glorying to God. Jesus condemns the Laodicean church because they are too “cozy” with the world around them and are not obedient to the leadership of Christ and the Holy Spirit. They are a worldly church.

As we look at how the Laodicean church is described, think about the state of the church in America today. Do you see any similarities? Christ describes the church in Laodicea as being: lukewarm, rich by the world’s standards, wealthy and not needing anything. Then Christ reveals their true spiritual condition: wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked (Rev. 3:17). In our own modern terms we would describe this church as being: blind to their own spiritual condition, spiritually dead, apathetic, complacent, self-deceived, self-sufficient, etc. There are many who would argue that this is the state of many of our churches in America today.

After Jesus has listed his complaints against the church he calls them to repentance. Repentance, now that’s a message that’s missing from many of our churches today! Then he instructs them to listen for his voice, and not the voice of the world around them. Many churches today try to compromise with the world around them because they don’t want to offend anyone. They have a big budget to meet so they can’t afford to offend their largest contributors. They want high attendance numbers so they avoid any message that would be offensive to anyone. Their message is crafted to make everyone feel included and to feel good about themselves. Repentance is a word they try to avoid because it does not have that inclusive feel to it that the church today likes to promote. Christ loved everyone and so should we, but we must never compromise the true Gospel message of salvation by faith and belief in Christ. And we should never try to “water-down” the true Gospel message in order to conform to the society around us.

The church in Laodicea was a self-sufficient church; they relied on themselves instead of the leadership of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Does your church follow the leadership of Christ and the Holy Spirit or does it try to conform to the world around it?

God’s Unfailing Love

Written By: Rev. Darryl Mathis - Jul• 25•15

Psalm 143:8-10 (NIV)

8Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.

9Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.

10Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.

How do you begin your morning? Most of us have a morning routine that we usually don’t vary from. Some of us must have at least an hour to wake up, have our coffee, and mentally prepare ourselves for the day. That mental preparation could include surfing the internet, watching the early morning news or sports shows, or reading a book. There are others who simply wake up, shower, and get ready for school or work hurriedly, as they make a mad dash for the door. I know of others who enjoy their favorite morning beverage outside, sitting on their back deck or porch, and taking in the sights and sounds of God’s amazing creation.

In Psalm 143, a psalm of David, we find that David is greatly distressed as he cries out to God for relief from those who want to harm him. He prays for God’s mercy and he calls upon God’s faithfulness and righteousness to bring him some relief from his enemies. David doesn’t know what his day may hold, but he has the faith to begin each morning, calling upon God for guidance and reassurance.

Do you allow the morning to bring you word of God’s unfailing love? Do you look to God and trust Him to guide you throughout your day? Spending time alone with God each morning is the best way I know to gain strength and reassurance for the day ahead. Although we don’t know what the day ahead has in store for us, God does, and He asks that we only trust Him as He shows us the way.

We learn to trust God by drawing closer to Him each day, as we acknowledge His unfailing love and His presence in our lives. As we read the Bible, or sit in silence praying to God, we are learning to deepen our trust in God and acknowledge His presence in every area of our lives. Through the Holy Spirit, we can ask God to lead us down the path that He has ordained for us. And as we grown into a deeper relationship with God we will begin to proclaim what David so beautifully affirmed: “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”