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  • 4 hours ago
    Posted by Dion Todd
    But you, when you pray, enter into your inner chamber, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. In praying, don't use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speakin...
  • Wed at 3:01 AM
    Posted by Dion Todd
    Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree," that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:13'14 WEB....
  • Tue at 3:01 AM
    Posted by Dion Todd
    Immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, saying, "Ha! What do we have to do with you, Jesus, you Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" The unclea...
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The Social Club

  • Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him. The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, 'This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.' He told them this parable: 'Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them, wouldn't leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing. When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance. Luke 15:1'7 WEB.

    I could hardly contain my excitement as we headed to the church. I was zealous for Jesus, and for several weeks, I had been sharing my faith with a friend at work. He finally agreed to come to church with me. As far as I know, he had never been to church before. This was his first visit. I guess I was young and naive about how arrogant people can be when it comes to religion.

    My friend and I were both musicians, but he actually looked like one where I was clean-cut. He had really long hair in a spiral perm like most rock and roll drummers did in the 80s, as well as a few tattoos. On the inside, He was a gentle-spirited, good-hearted guy who would give you the shirt off his back if it would help you.

    The church that I attended had been having revival meetings all week. The preacher had brought a solid message about Jesus every night. He spoke on love and mercy, forgiveness, heaven and hell, the works. Then he followed it with a powerful altar call. The turnouts had been outstanding. I wanted my friend to hear the message about Jesus as distraction-free as possible, so we arrived at church early. I found us some seats on the front row, and we settled in to listen.

    When the preacher walked onto the stage and saw my long-haired friend sitting on the front row, his countenance transformed from Jekyll to Hyde. His message suddenly changed from how Jesus came to seek and save the lost, to how shameful it is for a man to have long hair. He yelled his way through the sermon and beat his bible with a red face while staring directly at us with what appeared to be contempt. It was as if I had placed a pile of moist dung on that seat in the front row, instead of a dear friend.

    As the church filled with shouts of "Amen Brother! Preach it!" I began to feel sick. I sank lower and lower in my seat as the service went on. My excitement was gradually replaced with disgust. I slowly realized that they only wanted to share the good news of Jesus amongst themselves, and they glared at me for bringing a sinner into their sacred gathering.

    We crawled out of that church in shame. But the shame I felt was because I had brought my friend to such a sinful place. I attend a different church today, and I am not sure if my friend ever went to church again. He stopped talking to me, and we finally lost touch.

    That church was nothing more than a members-only social club. Their bouncers were called ushers. Their membership fee was collected with offering plates, and they had a strict dress code. All new memberships were by invitation only, and they had to be approved.

    Jesus came to seek and save the lost. We should welcome them just as they are. Until they come to know Jesus, you can keep the commandments for your Bible study, for they don't apply to the lost. It is not the outside of us that matters anyway, but the inside (Matthew 23:27).

    It is a religious spirit that rejects the lost, never the Holy Spirit. Jesus ate and drank with the sinners, while the religious Pharisees stood outside and watched. If we exile the lost and hurting who try and come to us, we have become nothing more than a social club.

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please let me see the world through Your eyes. Help me recognize the good that You have placed in people and value them as You do. Please don't let me ever drive someone away from You. Instead, use me to bring them to You. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

    Note: 'Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.' (Philippians 4:6-7) ~ If you have a prayer need, we are here for you! We and the prayer team are ready to lift you up at our private prayer page: RHM Prayer Network


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22 comments
  • 1
Debi Burton
Debi Burton Yes......Help me to draw people to you too, Jesus! Amen
December 9, 2020
  • 1
Brenda F
Brenda F

Amen

December 9, 2020
  • 2
Evan Force
Evan Force

What a terrible experience for you and your friend.  Unfortunately, I’m not surprised.  I’ve experienced similar situations in a couple churches that I will likely never step foot in again.  I feel bad that you lost your friend.

December 9, 2020
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen!

December 9, 2020
  • 1
Celeste Strenn
Celeste Strenn

I

December 9, 2020
  • 2
Celeste Strenn
Celeste Strenn

Amen 

December 9, 2020
  • 3
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen. I too had a bad experience when I attended church not having the proper fancy dress. But I have remained very spiritual and have loved being welcomed to Refreshing Hope. My clothing doesn't matter here, but my heart is in the right place. AMEN

December 9, 2020
  • 2
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Amen 

December 9, 2020
  • 2
Jessica Anne
Jessica Anne

Amen. I think it reminds us too that it's hard to become sanctified if you have to pretend you already arrived and are perfect. How can you confess your sins amongst each other and receive healing and support? It's a lonely place looking shiney on the outside. May I always remember God did not call me to be the Holy Spirit and convict people..that's his job. May I be a safe person that my brothers and sisters can come to with their failures and I will bring them to the foot of the cross and find restoration and healing and remind them that they are just like me a broken sinner who needs Jesus. He did not come for righteous people. Jesus came for the broken sinner.

December 9, 2020
  • 2
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen Good Morning Everyone 

December 9, 2020
  • 2
Linda Clark
Linda Clark

In jesus name amen 

December 9, 2020
  • 2
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Amen 

December 9, 2020
  • 2
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Help me to draw people to You, Jesus. Amen.

December 9, 2020
  • 2
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

December 9, 2020
  • 1
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Amen help me to use my gifts to help show others of the good news of salvation it's a gift from God for EVERYONE! Thank you Father for bringing Tom Nelson into my life he was a great mentor and I will cherish the time we spent with you thank you Father God.

December 9, 2020
  • 1
Kathy Banfield
Kathy Banfield

What a shame! It sounds as if both Pastor Dion and our Lord both suffered an unfortunate loss that day. Something similar happened to my husband and he still remains bitter and won't go to church with me. Prayer is the only way to make things right in this fallen world.

December 9, 2020
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Heavenly Father I thank You for Your love and forgiveness You have provided us, help us to deliver those who need You closer to Your love and care. We as sinners need You, help us to follow Your designs. In Jesus Christ name we pray, Amen. Thank You Lord.

Pastor this is why I decided to come to this Church where sinners are welcome to receive the Lord's word, I always be thankful of Refreshing Hope for this and to you and Sylvia for receiving us to this place of worship, God bless you both, Amen. 

December 9, 2020
  • 1
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Oh yes, amen Lord 

December 9, 2020
  • 1
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

How sad. God love us please. Amen

December 9, 2020
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

December 10, 2020
  • 1
Jessica Anne
Jessica Anne

Yes. Amen. Satan was an angel of light and disguises his self as our deepest desire or need, but he cannot deliver. Sin over promises and under delivers. I pray the Lord protects me from the traps set by my enemy.

December 11, 2020
  • 1
Richard Mondello
Richard Mondello

In Jesus name I ask this, Amen. 

December 12, 2020