God's Roadmap

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:10 NASB).


Saturday, June 15, 2019

How Can We Conquer the Root of Rejection?


by Barbara Latta

“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me!” This often-taunted phrase is a
How can we conquer the root of rejection
lie. Words can hurt worse than a physical injury and last much longer. The emotional scars left behind can take years to heal if the hurt is not dealt with properly. Rejection comes in many forms such as bullying from peers or abuse by those in positions of authority.

But we can have a great life in one area and still experience rejection in other areas of our lives and the effects can be just as devastating if left unchecked.

Rejection Isn’t Always Through Abuse
My home was very loving and kind. I didn’t grow up with abuse, foul language, yelling, drugs, alcohol or lack.
But there were times when I felt the ultimate rejection.

I was shy. I didn’t initiate friendships or participation in games and sports; therefore, when teams were formed, I was the last one chosen.

I wasn’t the cute kid who won the little beauty contests. No one ever told me I was ugly, but my ears always perked up when someone else was told how pretty they were. So, my mind said, “You’re ugly.”

I was skinny and was told quite often about my lack of flesh. My mind said, “There’s something wrong with you.”

I worked hard to make good grades and when another student surpassed me, the voices in my head would start again, “You don’t measure up.”

So, do you get my point? I was allowing rejection to form in my mind based on what others were doing or saying.

Rejection can grow a root in our lives if we do not deal with those feelings in a scriptural way. The fruit of that root produces:
  • Seclusion – we avoid the risk of relationships to prevent being hurt again.
  • Anger and aggressiveness – we shun and hurt others by our actions.
  • Depression – we wallow in self-pity and the endless cycle of hopelessness and despair grows and can cause physical sickness.
  • Hyper-sensitivity – we display hurts seeking for justification in our feelings and become easily offended.


The Rejection of Jesus
No one has ever experienced the amount of rejection Jesus faced. In every area of His life, He faced ridicule and abuse in some form.
  • Jesus was rejected by the religious leaders (John 11:53).
  • He was rejected by his hometown (Luke 4:28-29).
  • He was rejected by his followers (John 6:66).
  • He was rejected by the Twelve (Matthew 26:26, Mark 24:50.
  • He was rejected by his family (Mark 3:21).

In of all this rejection, Jesus stayed focused on fulfilling God’s will. As the Son of Man, he had the ability to feel the same emotions we feel; but as the Son of God He remained true to His purpose. He didn’t let the rejection of others sway what He knew He had to do. His spirit overcame His emotions (Mark 14:36). We have the same ability to overcome our feelings by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 16:33).

The Remedy
We can overcome feelings of rejection by:
  • Putting more value on what God says about us than what other people or circumstances tell us.
  • Surrounding ourselves with others who are committed to God. Jesus didn’t avoid sinners, but when he was around them he changed the atmosphere; he didn’t let the atmosphere change him.
  • Knowing that rejection is a part of life on this fallen earth. But our part is to reject those feelings instead of absorbing them.
  • Forgiving because Christ forgave us. All those who rejected Jesus were forgiven by Him. Even Judas—the one who never received the forgiveness extended to him.

Jesus gives us value.
The ultimate rejection Jesus experienced was rejection by His Father. “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46).  He did this so we could be accepted. This was the worst thing that had ever happened to Him. For all eternity Jesus had been in union with His Father. Even after He laid aside the benefits of His deity to come to earth, He still had the fellowship with God until His Father had to turn away because of the sin that had been laid upon His Son. Jesus was willing to endure the worst rejection of His life so we could be accepted. That shows us how valuable we are to Him.

Best-selling author and businessman, Harvey Mackay stated, “Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.”

Someone else’s treatment of us doesn’t reflect our value. Jesus said we were all worth dying for. That should make all the difference in the world.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.





Saturday, June 8, 2019

Lessons of Leadership and Influence from the Apostle Peter

 by Barbara Latta

Lessons of leadership and influence from the Apostle Peter.

The Apostle Peter gets a bad rap sometimes. We hear Sunday School lessons and sermons depicting his denial of Christ, his impulsive comments and rash behavior. But when those personality traits were placed under the control of the Holy Spirit, a fire for God was started that the firehose of persecution could not put out.

Peter became a leader in the early church. His influence persuaded thousands to follow Christ and the flame that burned within him radiated out to the point that even his shadow falling over people healed them.

What can we learn from this brash fisherman turned preacher about leadership and influence?

  • Lesson: When the boat is sinking get out of it. God is there to hold our hand. When all the apostles were in a sinking boat, Peter is the only one who stepped out in faith to walk on water. Yes, he eventually sank, but at least he got out of the boat. He is the only person other than Jesus who has ever walked on water. The boat was sinking yet the rest of the guys stayed in the boat. That’s amazing. (Matthew 14:24-32)
  • Lesson: Stand up for what we believe. Peter took a stand when all the others could do was repeat what the crowds had said about Jesus. He stood out from the other disciples to declare that he believed Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus said the truth of that statement is what the church would be built upon. (Matthew 16:13-19)
  • Lesson: Allow the Holy Spirit to redirect passions. Peter’s impetuous actions implored Jesus to stay away from Jerusalem to avoid crucifixion and Jesus had to rebuke him (Matthew 16:22-23). He also drew a sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant in the garden of Gethsemane (John 18:10. Peter was probably trying to take off the man’s head and when the man ducked Peter’s sword caught his ear. Peter was impulsive with his words and actions, but his forcefulness was used in a positive way to expand the kingdom of God when under the control of the Holy Spirit.
  • Lesson: Don’t stay in regret; repent and move forward. When Peter failed, he repented. After denying Christ, he was tormented by what he had done and he wept bitter tears. He still loved His Master; that’s why what he did hurt so much. He still wanted to follow Christ. (Luke 22:54-62)
  • Lesson: Don’t fear consequences. Peter denied Christ when the Master was arrested, but this denier was the same one who preached on the day of Pentecost and 3,000 people were saved (Acts 2: 14-41). When he was later arrested he told his accusers he had to obey God and not men (Acts 5:29).
  • Lesson: Submit to God and allow humility to take over. Be willing to admit when we are wrong (Galatians 2:11-12). Peter was willing to take the criticism of Paul and allow correction. Peter didn’t take offense at this.  Peter later quoted Paul and said his words were scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16).
  • Lesson: Put Jesus first. Peter was willing to die for His Lord (John 21:18-19), (Matthew
    16:24).


I can identify with Peter in his failures. I haven’t always been obedient to my Lord. I have denied
Christ when I should have stood up for Him. I have allowed fear to control me instead of stepping out in faith. But I also want to learn from this wise follower of Christ and turn those failures into faith steps to influence the world around me.


What about you? What would you like to remember about Peter or one of the other early church leaders? Share your thoughts.





Monday, June 3, 2019

5 Ways to Handle the Offensive Opinion of Others


by Barbara Latta

The Bible tells us that words have power. Spoken thoughts can be used for good or harm. Our society has transformed into one in which those who don’t like what you say want voices silenced if words don’t agree with their philosophy. What is offensive to some is labeled hate speech and those who disagree say their critics are the ones who should be prosecuted.

Clicking the remote for the TV or booting up your computer is all that’s necessary to be blasted with someone’s rant or latest offense. Our ears and eyes can become bombarded with negativity and the constant stream going into our minds can have a lasting effect if we are not careful to stop the flow. Even when we think we are not affected, a mood change can be a key we are letting poison control our emotions.

 We have the power to flip the switches on electronic devices, but we can’t turn off opinions spouted in our presence whether in the workplace, marketplace or school. Refusing to become offended is a choice we can make, but the power to make that choice requires discipline in the Word of God.

Here are 5 ways we can handle the offensive opinions of others:
  1. Realize our worth does not come from someone else’s opinion or actions. Our values come from God not the news media, entertainment industry or politics. To the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he made us accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV).
  2. Anchor our personality in Jesus and take possession of the inheritance He gave us. We have an inheritance in Christ that is far superior to anything this world can give. In him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11 NKJV).
  3. Understand the words are a reflection of the condition of the heart of a person who probably does not know God. (In this case, I am referring to those whose words are vile, evil and blasphemous, not merely someone who differs from us.) They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart (Ephesians 4:18 ESV).  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions (2 Timothy 4:3 ESV).
  4. Allowing offense into our life doesn’t change the situation, but it can change us into an angry and bitter person. Do not take to heart everything people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you for many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 ESV).
  5. Don’t take the bait and get into an argument. The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult (Proverbs 12:16 ESV). Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words (Proverbs 23:9).
The best defense for offense is found in Philippians 1:1, "being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."

When we allow the Word of God to dominate us the atmosphere of anger will not thrive in our sphere of influence. We can't control other people, but we can control our response to them. When we stand strong and avoid being drawn into negativity, we are growing in maturity and spiritual strength. 

What's your best scripture for handling offense?