by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on May 13th, 2017

So often the revelation of the Father is revealed in such simplicity that we just miss it. Put another way, we are more often guilty of taking the simple things of life for granted. We focus more on the bigger things of life and tend to forget how important the smaller blessings really are. In fact, God is a God who takes nothing for granted. In His eyes everything is important and everything is a blessing. From the Father’s point of view there is really no difference between what we perceive as little or as big. God created everything with a divine purpose and that purpose is so important that it prevails regardless of the size of the created thing.
 
This concept is also applicable to principles. In other words, every principle, every truth that God reveals is important. It is important regardless of its impact. If a principle is applied in the life of just one person that is precious to the Father because it carries the potential to change that one life. If a word is spoken and transforms multitudes that is monumental to the Father because His desire is that truth impacts everyone. God desires that everyone would be impacted by His Word! His Word is truth and has the ability to transform every living human being. His Word can transform adults as well as children.  It makes no difference what a person’s background was or how old an individual may be. The Word of God reveals truth to any and everyone who receives it.
 
One must meditate on the fact that even the Word of God has a purpose. The greater purpose for the Word of the Father is to produce a witness for His glory and of His presence in the earth. God has always wanted His presence represented in the earth. Jesus, His only begotten Son, demonstrated this truth in His own life as well as in His calling of disciples. In other words, Jesus knew that He was never called to represent His Father’s presence alone. He understood that the whole world was called to know the Father and then to represent His will in the earth. This is “the bigger witness.” What the church must come to understand is that even though we are each called to be a witness, the greater impact will always come from our unity and our collective witness.
 
This is why the writer of Ecclesiastes took great liberty in reminding us:
 
“That two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
 
Let us remind ourselves that these verses serve only as an illustration of a greater principle. The writer is attempting to make the reader aware of a principle that will work if the reader only applies it in his or her life. Simply put, what one can do, two will always do better. What one can accomplish, a multitude can complete quicker. The life that one individual lives for the glory of God will always be superseded by the testimony of many.
 
One of the hardest things to realize in this life is unity! It makes no difference what the context might be, the struggle is always the same. We tend to do things individually.  We think this way because we are more mindful of ourselves rather than of others. Our own individual needs tend to come first as opposed to the needs of others. We think this way and ultimately live this way. However, from the beginning God thought in terms of humanity, all of mankind. Even though God is mindful of each of us as individuals, His purpose was always to save the world—every human being who would believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. The bigger witness will always be the result of the body of Christ operating as one! May the day come quickly when every man and woman, every husband and wife, every family, every church, and every entity where people live and work together—may they realize “that two are better than one.” May we hasten the day when what we do together is more important than what we do alone. May the Father’s vision finally be realized, that “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
​​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on March 20th, 2017

Should anyone be surprised that when God first spoke to Abraham he directed him to “leave his country, his people, and his father’s household and go to the land he would show him?” (Gen. 12:1) If we seriously study the Word of God, we find that God was always telling those who followed him to move. No one could realistically possess the promises God had for them from where they were. God is a God who is moved by faith and faith always requires obedience. But obedience is not the only thing involved. In fact, obedience must always be coupled with discipline. Discipline is required if one is to make the journey required to receive the promise. As a result, it can be concluded that the journey is necessary in order for faith and discipline to truly be tested. Then, were one ends up testifies of whether or not they learned the lessons that came with the journey.
 
The same thing happened with the children of Israel as they moved from Egypt to the Promise Land. After 450 years of slavery they relished in the opportunity to leave Egypt with the intent to inherit the land God had promised to their forefathers. But this trip would also require faith and demand discipline. This move was different because it would require that the entire Israelite family learn the lessons together. It would not be profitable for some of them to learn the lesson while others did not. This point was tested when Moses sent spies into the land to see that it was everything the Lord had promised. The problem was that the majority of those who were sent to spy out the land failed to learn the lessons of faith and discipline. As a result, those originally sent returned divided. The greater challenge manifested as their influence was duplicated by the people, and they in turn, were divided. This created a monumental crisis resulting in an entire generation failing to enter the Promise Land.
 
Paul reveals that this need for unity even involved Jesus. Phil. 2:6-8 declares: “Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (7) but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Jesus also had to leave where he was and come to where we were in order to fulfill the purpose for which he came. He also had to exercise faith and learn discipline in order to finish the work assigned to him. His task was even more complicated because he had to share his purpose with men with the goal being that his purpose would also become theirs. This would demand unity and so we witness the final prayer of Jesus: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. (23) I in them an you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22-23) Even Jesus was subject to the journey if He was to realize the promise.
 
Finally, we come to the church, the followers of Jesus who would be the supreme test of the call to unity. Jesus allowed the Father to use his influence for his glory. The church must also understand that this is their calling as well. The church must realize that its influence is always multiplied by what they do together as opposed to what they do individually. Both forms of witness are important, but unity always results in multiplied influence. Acts, chapter 2, verse 1 reads: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. We cannot miss the significance of this revelation. The Bible confirms that they were “all together” in “one place.” This would be equivalent to every church member showing up at church at the same time—not to mention—consistently. This would be a miracle all by itself. Acts 4:32a affirms that “all the believers were one in heart and mind.” This represents a glorious journey that must involve some serious lessons of faith and discipline. Of course, none of this would ever be realized without unity. May our prayer be that we would become a unified people to the point that being together in one place would become our normal while being of one heart and one mind would be our witness. This is what unity really looks like!
​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on January 7th, 2017

According to William Mounces, the word new has two distinct meanings. First, this word new “denotes the state of being different, new, and superior to a previous state.” An example of this meaning is best understood from the biblical example of ‘a new covenant.’ (Jer. 31:31) In this sense, the new covenant is not only different from the old covenant but is much more superior in its promises to those who believe. Next, this word new carries the meaning of “new in contrast to something old.” Here it can carry the meaning of ‘new’ in the sense of something unused. For example, Matthew (9:17) talks about ‘new wineskins that can only hold new wine.’ In other words, old wineskins do not have the capacity to hold new wine. The application of this definition simply implies that ‘as new creations in Christ Jesus’ we are so different that old habits are no longer able to manifest in us because we are no longer the persons we used to be.
 
In similar fashion, it is our tendency to make ‘New Year’s resolutions’ as we transition from the old year to the New Year. However, all too often we fail to keep the commitment necessary to experience the fruits of the resolutions made. This is not because we don’t believe in the resolution itself, but rather our failure to appreciate the value and benefits that come with being committed. Put another way, one must be more committed to the vision (the end result) than the challenge of getting there. The resolution represents the goal but requires a commitment to sacrifice in order to accomplish it. From a spiritual perspective, faith allows us to see ourselves as having accomplished the goal even though we are still in the process of achieving it. God is faithful in that He is committed to the goal in spite of our struggle to achieve it. From the Father’s position, we have become new and the old has passed away. Let me say it again, “we have been made new.”
 
This is “the newness of new!” This point must be understood because every person sincerely wants to become new. This is the reason why we make resolutions in the first place. It has always been the Father’s will that each one of us truly experiences the newness of life. But one cannot experience this newness if he or she is still bound by the mentality and experiences of the old person. This perception is usually tied to one’s successes or failures. This attempt to gauge whether one is new or not (or able to make progress towards the new goal) is always limited by the reality of either failure along the way or a lack of ability to remain focused on the goal. However, when it comes to this concept of newness from a spiritual perspective, God has already finished what we are attempting to begin. He has made us new! Whether we succeed or fail, we have been made new. When one realizes that they are new and this has been done for them in Christ, they also should realize that they can experience this newness in every aspect of their lives. One’s ability to accomplish the goal no longer depends on whether one fails along the way. This revelation requires a change of mind and focus.
 
In this New Year may your mind be renewed and your focus shifted to the truth that all is new because God has already completed this process in your life. As a result, there are certain things in your life that cannot remain because they no longer represent the new person you are becoming. This is “the newness of new.”  God has already completed this work in you by declaring and justifying you. Now you must allow Him to help you experience all the promises that are yours in Christ Jesus. In this New Year may your motivation no longer be limited to the resolution, but to the one who empowers and enables you to achieve it. May you focus on God’s faithfulness, not just His promises…And may you be new as well in this New Year! 

In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on December 10th, 2016

Hopefully everyone is somewhat familiar with the Christmas story. Caesar Augustus had decreed that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. As a result, Joseph left Nazareth with his wife Mary who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. It was in Bethlehem, the town of David, where Mary gave birth to her first-born son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. The story continues that shepherds were visited by an angel who encouraged them to not fear, but revealed to them the good news that would be for all people. This good news revealed that a Savior had been born in the town of David.  This Savior was Christ the Lord! Luke continued this revelation by testifying that “suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”
 
The Bible also shares the good news that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” providing the opportunity for every human being to find personal salvation. It was John who shared this reality and how each man, woman, boy and girl could share in God’s grace revealed in Jesus. The point being that whoever would believe in the only begotten Son of God would not suffer condemnation, but would find God’s favor that was intended to rest on every man.  However, the failure to believe on the only begotten Son of God would forfeit the opportunity of salvation which represented the heart of God for all mankind. From the beginning it was God’s plan to redeem man unto Himself. Matthew confirms the very purpose or need for Jesus to be born.  Again, it was the angel who appeared to Joseph and proclaimed the revelation of God concerning the birth of Jesus. Speaking of Mary who was pledged to Joseph, the angel said: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”
 
This is the treasure of Christmas – that Jesus was born to save us. This is the treasure of Christmas – that God loved us so much that He would allow His only Son to be born to die in our place. This is the treasure of Christmas – that Jesus would bear all of our sins on the cross that we might have a right to the Tree of Life. Yes, this is the treasure of Christmas – that God, Himself, would provide for all humanity a means by which we could be reconciled again to the Creator. And yet, in spite of this great sacrifice, there are still those who will not accept the goodness of the Father shown to them. But for those who have, and for those who will, may the Word of the Living God be fulfilled in your lives: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”  May your Christmas be a Merry One, and more importantly, may you be one of those on whom God’s favor rests.
 
Have a Merry Christmas and we wish you a Happy New Year!

In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on November 4th, 2016

Everyone has been told at one time or another that they should be thankful. Of course, November is the month when we celebrate Thanksgiving.  This is a time when families come together to count the many blessings the Lord has bestowed on them.  It is also a time when many attend a Thanksgiving Service and join in with others to give God thanks for His faithfulness in their lives through the year. It becomes apparent that God has been good if we simply are alive to celebrate another Thanksgiving holiday. If the truth were told, all of us have a reason to celebrate and say thank you to the Lord of all life who continues to bless us—often in spite of us.
 
In 1Cor. 15 Paul is writing to the Church in celebration of the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He begins by sharing the finished work on the cross.  He testifies that all are saved by the Gospel. He continues by communicating that Christ died for man’s sins according to the Scriptures and that He was raised on the third day. He then becomes venerable in that he confesses that he is the least of the apostles and does not even deserve to be called an apostle. But the fact is that God called him and used him in spite of himself.  This should be each of our testimonies because there is literally nothing that we have done of ourselves that qualifies us to be used by God. No man or woman is exempt from this revelation. There is nothing that anyone can do to merit the approval of the Lord on their own. In spite of how hard one may work, it is still grace that provides all the opportunity to be reconciled with the Father.
 
Pau then applies this concept to each of us.  The reality is that our salvation rests on the foundation of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The point is made that if Christ has not been raised from the dead our faith is futile. In contrast, because Christ has been raised from the dead, we also have the assurance that we will also experience resurrection life. For those who believe, this will result in their experiencing a resurrected body. This body will definitely be different from the physical body that we have now. The physical body is limited in so many ways. Paul points out that the physical body, made up of flesh and blood, is not able to inherit the Kingdom of God.  Only a new body will be able to remain in the presence of God for all eternity.  Paul concludes that all of this is a reality because death has lost its victory and also its sting.
 
Paul does not stop here.  He draws this conclusion: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57)  Be encouraged because this statement is comprehensive.  It implies that regardless of one’s situation or circumstance, the Lord has already given us the victory.  Paul reminds us that Jesus had to go through trial and temptation before He could reach this position. He also reminds us that we can also experience the victory because it has already been achieved for us by Christ. His work is completed and His battle has been won. We can be thankful as well because our victory has been achieved even though we may struggle.  If we can learn to celebrate the victory in advance this will bring God glory and strengthen our faith. Regardless of what we may be going through, we can be thankful that God will give us the victory somehow and someway. So let us always be thankful to our God who continuously gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  I exhort you to be thankful in this moment, in this month, and in every day to come. “You already have the victory.”
​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on October 8th, 2016

​Luke writes in his Gospel: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? (29) For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, (30) Saying, This fellow began to build and was not able to finish it.” This is one of the most profound Scriptures in the Bible. This is true because it speaks to a reality that no man can avoid. It testifies of the snares of the this world’s system that deceives many into believing that they can continue to do what they are doing with little or no serious consideration for their ability to cover the cost.  Notice what the Bible identifies as the real problem—“Will you not first sit down and estimate the cost?” This is the real challenge of the day in which we are living.  No one sits down anymore!
 
For believers, those who put their trust in the Word of God, this should not be their concern because they should obey all of the Word, not just the part they feel good about. So many today have become so comfortable that they have become habitual in taking things for granted. They believe that their perception of reality outlasts the reality they are dealing with.  It is no small wonder that far too many people, even those in the church, are living beyond their means. This mistake must be addressed because the Church has always been called to a higher standard.  In every individual life there must be discipline.  In every human heart there must be humility. We must again not only identify the boundaries, but seriously respect them. Let us again remind ourselves that no one is exempt from the process.
 
Those of us who are parents must remind our children of the discipline of our parents who did more than we are doing with less. As a result of taking this into consideration, what will our children be able to tell their children when they have failed to honor these principles themselves? In this context, Jesus was addressing a large crowd of people who were traveling with Him. Jesus turns to them and states: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father or mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.”  From this confrontation it may be safe to conclude that this rebuke from Jesus was not limited only to the financial arena only. The position that Jesus takes speaks to deeper concerns than just the stewardship of money.  Jesus focuses on whether the individual knows the difference between “earthly mammon – temporary gratification verses true riches or that which is eternal or lasts. 
 
The depth of this revelation will never be realized without the ones being confronted taking the time to meditate on what they are really being confronted about. People today are so used to living their dream that they don’t realize they are awake. No dream will ever be realized without first sitting down and considering the cost. This principle will affect every part of a person’s life. Think for a moment about the difference this principle would make in the context of marriage, parenting, and life in general. Jesus reminds everyone who can hear that failure to make time to consider the consequences of one’s decisions will always have negative results. But more importantly, these kind of results will cause those who represent the Kingdom of God to be ridiculed. Let us consider the costs not just for building a building, but for building a life. Let our prayer be that before we lay the foundation, we have our lives in order so that our living would not be subject to ridicule.

In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on September 8th, 2016

​Paul reminds every believer that we “are not to be unaware of Satan’s schemes in order that he not outwit us.” (2 Cor. 2:11) It is the enemy’s strategy to confuse believers concerning their authority. If in fact he can deceive those who follow Christ in believing they have no authority at all – he has already won. More specifically, if the believer realizes that he or she has authority, but fails to exercise that authority, the enemy has won again. Satan will use whatever tool, method, or strategy necessary to cause believers to live their lives at a disadvantage.  You can be sure of this!  Followers of Christ were never meant to live their lives at a disadvantage, but rather to live their lives abundantly as a testimony of the faithfulness of the Father and the power represented by His Son.
 
Paul again revealed that “the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor. 4:4) This verse confirms that the enemy’s focus is on all humanity. His desire is to blind every living person to the truth that is only revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. This is not limited only to believers, but especially targets unbelievers. This strategy is crafted to keep those who are already lost – lost for all eternity. In the end, this strategy uses darkness, ignorance, and deception to restrict or remove every human being from the possibility of discovering the truth that God loves them and gave His Son for their salvation. One of the most subtle deceptions of this strategy is to blind men and women to biblical principles that were established to assure that they live victorious lives. A person’s knowledge and exercise of biblical principles or truths will ensure that they are moving in the right direction when it comes to the will of the Father for their lives.
 
One such principle is revealed in Genesis, chapter 11.  Here the account is recorded of the Tower of Babel. The record testifies that the whole world had one language and a common speech. As a result, all men had gravitated to the plain of Shinar and settled there. It was at this time that those present determined to build a tower that would reach to the heavens with the intent being that they could all remain in one place. It is also recorded that their motive was to make a name for themselves. However, this attempt got the attention of God, their Creator. It must be understood that this position was contrary to the plan God communicated to man at his creation. God gave Adam the specific responsibility of “filling the earth and subduing it.” (Gen. 1:28) The decision to remain in one place was in direct opposition to the will of the Creator.
 
However, there was a greater concern from God’s perspective. “The Lord said, if as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible to them.” (Gen. 11:6) This reveals a principle that is most important: “The place of agreement is also the place of power.” In other words, if men and women could really come together in agreement, nothing would be impossible to them!  Is it a surprise to anyone reading this that one of the greatest challenges faced in life is the struggle to walk together in agreement regardless of the context. This is true whether one is talking about marriage, family, employment, etc. The enemy continues to work overtime to blind men and women, husbands and wives, and literally every relationship where agreement is required, to this truth. Is this the reason why there is so much division in the context of our lives? This will be explored more next month, but I encourage you to meditate on it now.

​In His Service,

Dr. Clarence V. Boyd, Jr.
Senior Pastor, RRTEC

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on August 15th, 2016

​Matthew, in his Gospel, alerts us to the reality that regardless of how much authority one might have, it will be tested. It does not matter what position you hold or what position you lack, your authority will still be tested. You may not think that you have any authority at all – and yet the authority you don’t think you have will also be tested. This may be confusing to some, but the truth is that everyone has authority.  Put another way, everybody is attacked in relationship to their authority. This is a fact regardless of whether you know you have authority or whether you deny the authority you have. The greatest tragedy is that authority that is never used properly is a greater deception than authority that is used improperly.
 
Matthew found it necessary to include in his Gospel the account of Jesus being tempted in the desert (Matt. 4:1-11). Most people treat this as almost unimportant because they see Jesus as the Son of God and have already concluded that He must be tempted. In other words, the only reason He was tempted was because He is the Son of God! However, this mentality is a misrepresentation of reality. If Jesus was only tempted because He was the Son of God then what is the rationale for every man or woman being tempted? What must be understood here is that there is always a motive behind temptation. Be reminded that the “enemy comes but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). The point being made is simply that temptation is a means by which the enemy can access a man’s or woman’s authority with the motive of stealing it, killing it, or ultimately destroying it. Notice that if this is accomplished the common denominator is the one whose authority has been diminished or lost all together.
 
Be reminded that Jesus was both God and man.  When He was tempted, He was tempted as both. When men are tempted they are tempted as both a human being and as a believer or nonbeliever – the point being that those who believe have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to live according to the truth of the Father. The sole purpose for the enemy showing up at this time was to test whether or not Jesus knew if He really had authority. The devil wanted to see if Jesus was really connected to the source of all power. If he could get Jesus to act independently of His Father he would be able to usurp His authority just like he had done in the beginning. The difference being that Adam and Eve did not realize the authority they had. As a result, they ultimately lost their authority and their ability to stand firm in authority was greatly diminished.
 
God gave mankind dominion. Dominion represents authority and put man in a position to not only represent God’s plan in the earth, but also to share in the realization of that plan. This would require that all men and women need to understand that they had authority before they were ever tempted. In similar fashion, men and women must internalize this revelation – that the very reason for their being tempted is because the enemy is still committed to their loss of any and all authority given to them by the Creator. Like Jesus, the question is not whether He knew He was the Son of God or not, but rather whether He knew the value of His authority and how necessary it was to His fulfilling the will of His Father.
 
No one can live victoriously without authority! No one can fulfill their purpose without authority. Every husband must be a husband with authority. Every wife must be a wife with authority. Authority comes with every role that men or women operate in because authority is innate in all mankind. In other words, whatever role one finds him or herself in comes with authority. This is why the enemy not only attacks the person; he also attacks the position or the role established by God. When Jesus was tempted by the devil to “to tell the stones to become bread,” it was simply a test of whether He had authority over his fleshly appetites. This understanding is imperative and is the hidden reason why so many people fail the test of authority when tempted and suffer the consequences of their decisions. May all realize that behind every temptation is a test and that test always involves authority.

​In His Service,

Dr. Clarence V. Boyd, Jr.
Senior Pastor, RRTEC

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on July 11th, 2016

​In 1 Sam. 17 we find the account of David and Goliath.  This is a familiar text which reveals David’s triumph over the Philistine champion. It is apparent that the armies of Israel had been challenged by this giant to send one man to represent God’s people in battle against him.  If the Israelite soldier won the battle the Philistines would become slaves to the nation of Israel.  However, if the Philistine champion won, then the children of Israel would become their slaves.  One of the risks for anyone who would represent Israel was the fact that Goliath stood over nine feet tall.  He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. (1 Sam. 17:4-7)  The Bible confirms that the men of Israel were afraid of this giant.  As a result, no one took the initiative to fight against the Philistine champion.
 
Hindsight has shown us that David was sent by his father to check on his brothers. David, the Bible confirms, arrived just about the time Goliath came out to challenge the armies of Israel.  In fact, this had been going on for about 40 days without a response from anyone on the Lord’s side. Having read the account, we are aware that David ultimately accepted the challenge and defeated Goliath. We are also told that at this time the army of Israel engaged in battle.  David was used by God to bring about a victory for His people. In addition, David became famous because he not only defeated the giant, but did it at a young age with no formal battle training.  The only training that David had was from his faith in the Lord. He testified that God had delivered a lion and a bear into his hand while he was caring for his father’s sheep. By faith David concluded that the giant, Goliath, was no different than the lion or the bear. If God had given him victory over these beasts, He would surely give him victory over the Philistine champion.  History validates the faith of David as the children of Israel were delivered from the oppressive attack of the Philistines.
 
This epic battle between David and Goliath serves as an example of a greater battle that has been going on throughout the ages. This battle will always involve a struggle for authority although the ones in arms may be different. The battle for authority includes every human being. No one is exempt from this battle.  Rest assured that the enemies of life will come daily to challenge one or all to meet them in battle. Although these enemies of sin, sickness, lack, and deception – just to name a few – may seem huge in our eyes, we can be assured that our God has given us a champion as well. Like David, our champion was also sent by His Father to check up on us. It is quite possible that our Father realized that we were suffering the threats of the accuser and had failed to realize how faithful He had already been in our lives. It is no coincidence that when it seemed like all hope was lost, that there was no one who could step up and represent our cause before such a foe - that Jesus arrived just in time. He defeated Satan and caused his demonic army to flee. Be warned that this is a fight for authority.
 
Let us be clear that each one of us has authority. It was given to each of us at the beginning as dominion and now remains with us as faith. We must remind ourselves of the battles we have won by the help of our Father and also trust that He is able to give us the victories for the struggles that lie ahead. Like David, I encourage you to exercise your faith and believe that your current battle is no different from those of the past. Be reminded that if your God gave you victories in battles represented by lions and bears, He will also cause you to triumph over every Goliath that comes across your path. Let us rejoice that in spite of the fact that there will always be someone or something that will challenge our authority, our God will never fail to fight on our behalf or to stand in the gap for each of us. Jesus has already defeated the enemy! Let us follow Him into battle against our enemies because their giant has already been slain.

​​​In His Service,

Dr. Clarence V. Boyd, Jr.
Senior Pastor, RRTEC

by Rev. Clarence V. Boyd Jr., Senior Pastor on June 5th, 2016

​According to Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, the word authority has gone through numerous meanings. First, it meant “to have leave or permission.” In this sense, authority was something that one had only as a result of someone else giving it to them.  Next, this word carried the meaning of being “endued.” Here one was acknowledged to have authority with the assumption that they were to be respected. Finally, authority was defined as “having the ability or strength to exercise power.” One must note that there has always been some confusion relating to authority verses power.  It is understood that power denotes “ability, force, strength, and might.” In a spiritual sense, this word signified “mighty works, mighty deeds, and miracles.”  However, the significant difference involving power is its meaning when defined “as absolute or unrestricted.” This definition is usually associated to God who alone is understood to have absolute or unrestricted power. Man does not have this kind of power.  It is generally accepted that more than often man’s use of power needs to be limited. Power has the ability to corrupt the one who has it regardless of the context in which it is expressed. Many men and women have been desperately challenged to not allow power to alter their identity and purpose in life.  In short, human beings need accountability when it comes to power.
 
Luke 22:25- 26 addresses this reality in the context of how power can corrupt men and women. “Jesus said to them, the kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” The question that had arisen among the disciples of Jesus focused on “which of them was considered to be the greatest.” The point being identified here is that men seem to equate power with greatness.  The one who has power is also the one who is considered to be the greatest.  Jesus goes so far as to use the terminology that those who consider themselves powerful also lord this mentality over others. He continues by using the word benefactor when referring to the kings of the Gentiles. A benefactor is someone who helps others by giving money for their cause. Jesus emphatically states that His followers are not to be like these leaders. It is implied that even though they had the potential to help others, their use of their authority was motivated more for their own benefit as opposed to those in need. Light is also shed on the fact that these benefactors viewed themselves as rulers.
 
Biblically speaking, man has been given the right to exercise authority. But this right must come from someone else other than the one exercising it. In other words, there is always someone with more authority and ultimately one with more power.  The exercise of authority is always dependent on the power it is associated with. Put another way, the one with the power also dictates how that power is to be used or expressed. Thus, the one with power also dictates the purpose, or how their power is supposed to be used by those given the right or ability to represent it.  Jesus shares with His disciples how the Father intended for His power to be exercised by men. He emphasized that the exercise of power was never meant to make one greater than someone else. It is evident that men, then and now, struggled with authority because their motives often ran contrary to God’s purpose for sharing it with them. Like the kings of the Gentiles, many today abuse this God-given authority by taking advantage of the poor or less fortunate, or by simply forgetting about those in need.
 
Authority, by its very purpose, requires two. It must involve an understanding of its purpose. James 1:17 declares that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  God created mankind and gave to them dominion. Dominion is simply the right to represent God’s power using delegated authority. God intended for man to use His authority according to His purpose or will. Anyone who exercises authority without an awareness of the power behind it will most often abuse it. Even Jesus humbly acknowledged that “all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Him.” As a result, He commanded His followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:18-19). The ability of the followers to fulfill the command of Jesus requires a right relationship with the one who represents power as well as a commitment to the purpose for which He shared it with them. Authority will always require two! God and man must work together for the benefit of all mankind.

​​In His Service,

Dr. Clarence V. Boyd, Jr.
Senior Pastor, RRTEC