Oct 23, 2012
(Neh 12:27) And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, [with] cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.
In the Song of Solomon, there's a great warning which goes
(Song 2:15) Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines [have] tender grapes.
When the walls of our garden are down, we tend to have the little foxes come and spoil the fruit (these refer to the subtle sins, the sins which are easy to justify, etc). The little foxes need to be driven out before we can bear sweet fruit for the lord. We need strong spiritual walls that protect us from the attacks of the evil one.
The entire book of Nehemiah is about rebuilding the broken walls of Jerusalem. We are the temple of the living God. (1 Cor 6:19) The holy city of God. The garden of our lord. We are supposed to maintain our walls with care, lest the cares of the world and the snares of the evil one find its way into our heart. The walls have such a spiritual significance in the life of a believer.
Indeed, we (even the believers) find ourselves in a state where our walls are broken. This is the state that the Israelites found themselves in the books of Ezra, Nehemiah. But praise God for a generation of people who get up to repair the broken walls, who are not satisfied with the walk of mixing with evil. Nehemiah had such a burden, and through the book, he takes us on a journey of spiritual restoration. The book tells us a story of a project - an impossible project by human standards. We also see the opposition that he faced when he embarked on such a project. But when God has a person who is determined to do His will, no opposition can stand strong against the power of God manifest in a believer. He built the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days flat.
The first verse is a joyful moment on the dedication of the rebuilt wall. The moment of savouring the sweet success of being restored into the lord's calling and presence.
Are your spiritual walls burnt down by the evil fires of this world ? Does the world enter you freely due to the broken walls ? Do you often enter the world due to the broken walls ? Do you still want a restoration to your spiritual life and your spiritual walls to be built up ?
Read the book of Nehemiah to experience this restoration. It's hard work. But it's worth it.
Praise the lord Jesus Christ
Oct 22, 2012
One of the first steps to being a Christian is to understand the need for Christ and salvation. And one of the first tenets we discover in our initial few days of bible study is the difference between law and grace. In the old testament, we see that law was given by God as asked by men. While the law in itself is good and essential, the old covenant or law didn’t provide a means for us to understand how to obey the law. The best person in the old covenant couldn't keep all the commandments - he could at least attempt to keep the 9 commandments (externally) but never could he keep the 10th commandment - which was to not desire what belongs to another. Since this was in the mind, people kept on hiding the sin which perpetually occurred in their minds. Here comes the need for Christ and the holy spirit
a. God needed someone to present a perfect sacrificial life of obedience and this was Christ the son of man.
b. The holy spirit was to be the counselor who will make us walk in the ways of the lord, enabling us and changing us from within.
When Christ came to give us the new covenant, he made the law simpler but more acute (lusting was equal to adultery, anger was equal to murder, the thought was considered as bad as the action!) But he also helped us through the abiding presence of the holy spirit to know how to obey the law of the spirit !!
§ We are the testimony of Jesus christ.
§ We are the good news which many people will see.
§ We are the only bible that some people would read.
§ We are the temple of the living God and in us resides God himself (holy spirit) as we reside in christ.
(2Cor 3:2) Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
(2Cor 3:3) [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
God has written the law in our hearts of flesh causing us to walk in his ways. But our hearts were not always fleshly and soft. We had a hard hearted past as it is written in ezekiel. It's only in a born-again person can the law be written in the heart. The stony heart is a picture of the law, and the fleshly heart is a picture of grace.
(Ezek 36:26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Praise God for doing all it takes to live in his ways
· He found us even when we were sinners with stony heart
· He gave us a new heart and a new spirit
· He wrote the law in our hearts
· He gave us the holy spirit
· Even when we fail, he doesn't give up on us, but gives us his hand to help us up again
· He watches over us in love
What a wonderful God we serve!
Praise the lord Jesus Christ
Oct 3, 2012
Luk 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 4:20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Luk 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.
We the believers are called to be ministers by Jesus - he has proclaimed that we are a group of ministers to the lord, a holy priesthood, made royal by the sonship to the father. (1pet 2:9) In this day, God has given us a ministry as he had given to Jesus Christ. In the words above, we read the fully fulfilled prophesy of Jesus's ministry while he was on this earth. We (the believers) are the body of Christ on this earth today. And by inheritance, we get his ministerial calling. We are called to
a. Preach the gospel to the poor : We are to be conveyors of the good news to the people who are spiritually poor (i.e. those who know that they don't have what it takes to make it to eternity in heaven). Always, the people who take time to come to the lord are the ones who are full of themselves. Self-emptying is a crucial process before we can come into a fullness of salvation. Indeed, preaching the gospel is our first calling to the ministry of Jesus Christ.
b. Heal the broken hearted : know anyone who is broken hearted ? I know many ! Our calling is to offer the ointment of Gilead ( Jesus Christ) as the medicine for binding up the hurts of many who, in their deep hurt or rejection, are even moving away from God. Our ministry is to offer the healing by giving them Christ.
c. Preach deliverance to the captives : Many in this world think they are free, but are bound by sin and habits. It may be drinking, gambling, lust, pornography, unnatural tastes, love of money, love of self, idolatry, roving eyes, self-exaltation , pride, unbelief, and so many other evil characters (even things we find so easy to condone, like lying, stealing, etc). The Christian (the believer) has to be first delivered from all these life-breaking habits by faith and by the 'change of nature' that the new birth brings in us. And then he/she has the freedom to go to the world which is lying captive and offer this message of freedom. Yes. Believe it or not, we can truly be delivered from these habits and sins by Jesus!
d. Sight to the blind : There are so many people (in the faith and outside the faith) who are blinded by the evil one, into hating/rejecting the message of freedom that Christ offers. There are people who are blinded to the spiritual consequences of their actions and thoughts. Like how Jonathan's eyes were made clear when he ate honey, when we consume the delicious honey (i.e. the word of God), we receive spiritual eye sight. And once we receive the spiritual eyesight, we can see only Jesus first. And then we will start seeing every one as how our lord sees them. And our eyes are opened to seeing the spiritual activity (like how Elisha's servant was able to see the heavenly activity once his eyes were opened) Friends, this is the real eye sight we need to pray for. Life changes once we have this eye sight.
e. Preach the acceptable year of the lord : Often, the reason why we live the way we live is because there is no imminence of anything good or bad happening. We tend to think our bad ways will not receive the punishment it deserves purely because it seems slow in coming. Yet, there is a judgment to look forward to. There is the second coming of Jesus to look forward to. And there is the right time for people to change their direction of life, repent and truly come to the lord (which is now, really!) Our ministry (an unpleasant task often!), is to remind people of the inevitable judgment and so make people understand the need for salvation. No one enjoys being with a doomsday prophet or preacher. Yet it is an inseparable part of our ministry of Jesus Christ.
Do you realize the grandeur of the calling to take up the ministry of Jesus christ ?
Before we minister to others, the most important thing is to minister to the lord (through our constant dependence on him and spending time with him in our daily prayers). Unless we minister to the lord, we can only offer our empty powerless hands to others. When we minister to the lord, we get the spiritual supplies for our ministry from the Lord himself - and hence can take the spiritual riches to the needy.
Thank God for the men (and women) of God who are moved to be His ministers! :)
God bless you!
Praise the lord Jesus christ
Sep 28, 2012
A message for the children of the Lord needing protection (from people, from evil, from thoughts, from depression)
(Josh 20:2) Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
(Josh 20:3) That the slayer that killeth [any] person unawares [and] unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.
The city of refuge in the old testament were instituted by God to be a place of safe harbor for the person who kills another individual without intent of harm; He could rest there with protection (from the relatives of the person who was killed) till the judgment for the case was made. This is a type of rest or protection that we (the spiritual israel) will have in Christ Jesus. This is indeed the relief the gospel provides for repentant souls - who can find their true rest and protection in the lord. Indeed it's Christ whom we flee to for protection from the curse of the law and the wrath of God.
Romans 8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Once you are in Christ (i.e. through the genuine repentance, a turning back from the path that leads to destruction, by accepting him as lord and savior and walking after the spirit) , you don't face condemnation. It's like you are safe in the city of refuge as the people were in the old testament. No one can condemn us since we are God's elect, whom he has justified and Christ is there at the right hand of the father and even now is in intercession for us.
This assurance (of salvation) is a strong anchor for us. It's says so in the book of hebrews. Even when we are beaten about by the storms of life, the anchor will not fail.
(Heb 6:18) That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
(Heb 6:19) Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
In Ephesians 6, we have the thought that Salvation (the assurance) is the helmet. It's the part that needs most protection. Even when we fall, this protection is there with us.
David was a man who used to run to the lord for refuge. He who has trusted in Him as a refuge has not failed. The lord is our righteousness, he is our salvation, he is our forgiveness. The name (or nature of God) is a strong tower, the righteous (in the lord) run to it and are safe.
Psa 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Let's meet at that city of Refuge - Our lord and savior Jesus christ.
God bless you
Praise the lord Jesus christ !
Sep 27, 2012
(John 13:23) Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
Praise Jesus ! In the Old Testament (and generally in the word of God), we see that God (who is no respecter of persons) has always had his disciples in various levels.
Look at the time that the Lord met with Moses. The entire Israel was assembled at the foot of the mountain. God chose to meet with the 70 elders, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and Moses on the mountain. Moses and Aaron were allowed to climb up to the next level. And Moses alone went to the top level.
Similarly, amongst the disciples, we see a hierarchy. Jesus chose 70 disciples to go and do his works (Luke10). He had 12 apostles with whom he was closest. Amongst them, Peter, James and John were the nearest (as we can see in Him choosing them to accompany him in the mount of transfiguration). Among these, John is the disciple mentioned as the one who was closest to Jesus.
We can choose and restrict the level of intimacy we share with God. I believe man was created with the primary purpose of being with God and fellowshipping with him. Often we see people in the bible that decided to go all the way with the lord and were highly rewarded with his presence and a revelation of his will. For me, John is one such who had a heart-knowledge of Jesus Christ. One can know Jesus in many ways. Even an atheist scholar would know much more about Jesus than we believers. That remains as an academic knowledge and is not useful for eternity. Once we know Jesus as our lord and savior and redeemer, we get to know him more through the Holy Spirit whom the lord gives into our heart.
I thought of the following hallmarks of someone who loves the lord , primarily from John's example – but also from Jesus and David’s life!
1. He leans on Jesus bosom - i.e. he brings himself near to God. The scripture says, if you draw near to God, he will draw near to you. John caused Jesus to draw nearer to him.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
2. When you are leaning on Jesus bosom, you can hear his heartbeat. You can know the will of God. The lord will reveal his heart to you. The lord will reveal his burden to you. You will pray and act according to the burden, will and direction that God places in your heart.
3. You will know God's will :- The most excellent knowledge that we can get is to have a knowledge of God's will for us. Do you really understand what God desires in your life ?
(Col 1:9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
This comes from a two-way working of God's word (which we should consume) and the holy spirit acting on us to reveal the excellency of his will
4. You will not just know God's will, but delight to do his will :- Hear the sound of The lord Jehovah saying "This is my beloved son , in whom I am well pleased". This is the sound that resonates in the heart of everyone who delights to do God's will. Jesus lived for the sole purpose of doing his father's will. He delighted to do the will of the father. (and so did David!)
(John 4:34) Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
5. Actually does his will and completes the purpose : God is glorified when we complete the work that he gives us. (This was shared in our bible study today !)
(John 17:4) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
What a blessed state be during your life, and at the end of your life.
When a person is in tune with the will of God and has a heart for god, he is rewarded. (not the way the world rewards though!). John received a pile of tribulation and strife all through his life and even when he was 90, he was banished to the Isle of patmos for preaching the word and sharing his testimony (Rev 1:9) - a place filled with death and evil - a place where people were known to become cannibals, a place so extreme in weather, no or limited supply of food. Yet , here was a place where John was "In the spirit"
(Rev 1:10) I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Here's where he got the pinnacle as a child of God - he saw Jesus in Glory. He saw the most beautiful prophecy even until the end of the world. In other words, he saw the end of the book and saw that he had indeed chosen to side with the person with whom was victory!
Child of God, choose wisely to lean onto Jesus - and know his will all your life, to delight in doing his will, and completing his will in your life on this earth.
God bless you
Praise the lord Jesus Christ.
(Phil 3:3) For we are the circumcision, who give worship to God and have glory in Jesus Christ, and have no faith in the flesh:
One of the last things that a believer holds onto before giving up all to the lord, is the faith in the flesh. When the believer sees a lot of things happening in his favor, he tends to hold onto a faith in himself. For a person who is born again, it is easy to believe that all things are possible for us - but the bible also says - through Christ who strengthens me.
(Php 4:13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
God wants us to worship him, and have glory only in Jesus christ. And have absolutely no trust or faith in our flesh.
Like Zerubabbel who was asked to believe in impossible miracles, we can wonder how this will be achieved. The word of God says
(Zec 4:6) Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
Like Joshua, we may stand at the walls of Jericho and contemplate. (Pls read Joshua chapter 5 - it's full of spiritual truths) We may have reached the promised land, but how will we live a victorious life there. How will we overcome the walls of Jericho standing before us. But according to the promise of God, Joshua first circumcised his men. i.e. he and the men of israel acknowledged how powerless they were. In their state of inability, did their enemies come and ravage them ? No. God gives a divine protection for his men who acknowledge and admit their weakness. The enemy will not be allowed to plunder them in that state. God will offer all his protection. After this, God acts by supernaturally (by the work of his spirit and the army of angels) breaking through the walls of Jericho on behalf of his men. I don't know what is the Jericho in our lives. But many of us do have a spiritual jericho - something which is standing in the way of spiritual progress. A block which we cannot overcome on our own. Submit it to God, and he'll do the demolition for us!
Remember another classic from the proverbs
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
For the spiritual Israel (i.e. us, the believers), we are called into a circumcision of our heart.
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
All he wants in our lives is a circumcision of the heart- a spiritual step- where we acknowledge our state of powerlessness. And where we look for praise from God, not from men.
God bless you
Praise the lord jesus christ
Song for the day:
You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
Seeking you as a precious jewel
Lord to give up I'd be a fool
You are my all in all
Sep 25, 2012
(Obad 1:17) But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
I chanced on this verse when I read the word yesterday - two thoughts that came to my mind.
God wants to give a permanent deliverance at the hands of our lord Jesus. While Edom did indeed get delivered from their oppression, for the new covenant child of God who reads this, their look is into the heavens from where their help (or deliverance) comes. The lord’s deliverance is a permanent eternal deliverance. From our messiah comes spiritual deliverance from the law, sin, Satan, the world, death, hell, and wrath to come, by Christ. (Remember Psalm 91 where he says ‘he shall deliver you from the fowlers snare’)
The deliverance is not universal - but it is exclusive to mount Zion (the house of Jacob, A picture of the church of jesus christ - the body of christ and the bride of christ) you can indeed be delivered from vengeance of the holy justice, the curse of law and damnation by fleeing to christ. (These aspects are but the basic benefits that you get from being in christ ; As we grow in the relation with the lord, there is so much more in terms of spiritual blessings. As we feed on the honey (that is the word of God), our eyes are brightened and we understand God's will in our lives and the lives of others much more)
(2Tim 4:18) And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.
It's clear who will deliver you (the lord) from what (from every evil work) and unto what end (for eternal preservation)
Another beautiful picture of deliverance from the bible : 2Chronicles 20:18-26 > How God delivers Jehoshaphat's people. Read this chapter and be blessed!
Mount Zion is a holy church of God where only holy people will dwell. The third person of the trinity is called the "Holy" spirit to show us how much the lord values holiness. How can one claim to be holy and act in profane ways? (I admit to the same flaw in my own life) All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But for those who are redeemed, and delivered, there is a command unto holiness.
If you are truly delivered, you shall have a two fold holiness in your life. A holiness of heart (and of thought) and a holiness of life (and of action). Without this, complete deliverance and salvation cannot be enjoyed. To quote from the commentator Gill
(The church of Christ) are purified to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and are, in consequence of such deliverance and redemption, called with a holy calling, and have principles of holiness implanted in them, and live holy lives and conversations; and such kind of holiness, as it appeared in Zion, in the churches of Christ in the first times of the Gospel, so it will be more conspicuous among them in the latter day;
God commands us - be holy as I am holy.
Will you ask the lord for deliverance today and take up his mantle unto holiness and purity ? We are the only Christ that many will see in this world. God bless!
Praise the lord Jesus Christ
Sep 24, 2012
(Eph 1:6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
(Eph 1:7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Every believer will testify of one thing always in his life - the constant presence of his Grace. It’s really unique to our God. It's a word that I can't define - though it's related in my mind to God's love, God's mercy, God's kindness, God's unmerited favor for a sinner. The key thing is, it's unmerited. It's a gift.
- It's grace that found us when we were lying in the miry pit. (Psalm 40:2)
- It's grace that causes us to be still alive inspite of all the sins we've committed (people have tasted death for much more trivial things in the old testament) (1Tim 1:12 - where Paul testifies the grace he received despite his initial life)
- It's grace that didn’t condemn us, when there was every reason for God to.
- It's grace that replaced the hard law when Jesus came to offer a better covenant (Hebrews always talks about this) John 1:17 : For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
- It's grace that made it possible for God to send his beloved Son to earth to live a blameless life and to offer himself as a substitute for all our sins.
- It's the grace of God which we so often turn into lasciviousness. (Jude 1:4)
- It's the grace of God that people pervert into a permissive, all inclusive gospel.
- The grace of God is free but not cheap. It comes at a high cost. The costliest thing in earth was the blood of Christ. So also, that's what has been offered free to the entire mankind, that he who should choose to believe.
- We have enjoyed grace most in that moment after we have fallen and failed God.
- David has seen the grace of God. Peter has seen the grace of God.
- It’s the grace of God that turned us from a sinner to even becoming a son of God –
o (Gal 4:5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
o (Gal 4:6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
- Grace of God rewards us with a strong presence of the lord when we are going through living hell. John in Patmos was a classic example - where he was at his life's lowest - but lord gave him a view of eternity which fuelled him.
God's grace is constrained not by the love of God. It's as big as God's love. It's only constrained by our faith. I heard a picture of this as follows. Grace is like the hand of God which god reaches down to us. Faith is our raising our hand and allowing his hand to catch us. Till you act in faith, you are not really holding the grace of God.
Will you choose to accept the lord by faith, and enjoy the grace he is offering you today ?
God bless you!
Praise the lord Jesus Christ.
PS: a song to remember today
There is none like You,
No one else can touch my heart like You do,
I can search for all eternity Lord
And find, there is none like You.
Sep 21, 2012
Psalm 23 is very special for most Christians. It’s such a true picture of God’s love and a prophetic picture of Christ being the good shepherd. It’s the first psalm that I read as a child, long before I became a believer. I’d like to share my thoughts on each of these verses below
(Psa 23:1) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Until recently when I read this psalm, I used to get an idyllic picture in my mind – a very peaceful setting with carefree sheep. But in reality, we have a motley bunch of sheep here. (See Isa 40:11) Some of them are wounded through the attacks of animals, some of them are wounded because they strayed and got tangled in a fence. Some of them are pregnant and weary. Some of them are with kids who are going in all directions. Some of them have illnesses. Some of them have been so tired in their life, they need to be carried by the shepherd. Some of them have been so rebellious that the shepherd has broken their legs and carry them on his shoulders. It’s not a perfect picture –but the real perfection here comes from our good shepherd Jesus. Because he is there, we can truly find our rest. And he is all we need.
(Psa 23:2) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Christian experience sometimes is like feeding young kids. My own son needs to be made to lie down or sat at the table. Many Christians want to get so busy, that the lord sometimes has to coax them to rest in Him. But the lord does that patiently with every generation of his believers. He makes us rest in all the spiritual blessings that are there in Christ like it says in
(Eph 1:3) Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:
This is the experience of green pastures – to be blessed by spiritual blessings. The still waters of God – again the theme of rest. Not a period of spiritual inactivity or laziness, but a period of knowing that God is in the heavens, we are redeemed and our salvation is assured. And that we shall continuously draw from the rivers of living water.
(Psa 23:3) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Whether you are a person who has just come by faith to Christ or if you are a returning backslider, he is the one to restore your soul (Jesus – the lover of our soul). He is the one who can put on us the robes of righteousness – that we may appear blameless before the father.
(Psa 23:4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
There comes dark days in the life of every believer. God uses them for his glory – when you go through that time of testing and darkness, remember that the lord has not forsaken you. He is with you. His rod is there to protect you from other beast’s attack. And the staff is there to pull you close to him if you should depart from his way.
(Psa 23:5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Yes. There’s a table of spiritual blessings before you and the enemy (the evil one) will see you being blessed in the father’s house. You have indeed been anointed with the presence of the holy spirit.
(Psa 23:6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
We are being prepared for eternity – even while we are on this earth, we have to set our eyes on the things eternal. Amen, we will dwell with the lord forever.
Choose to enter into a true intimate knowledge of Christ. Get to know him as the good shepherd. And enter into that pleasant rest where you know your future in eternity.
Praise the lord Jesus Christ
Sep 20, 2012
One of my personal favorite songs is “He gave me beauty for ashes” based on Isa 61:3.
(Isa 61:3) To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
I greatly enjoy the expression ‘oil of joy’ as well. The bible says, “your name (Jehovah’s) is as sweet perfume (oil) poured forth”. Indeed it is. And it is only God who can take a situation of mourning and turn it forth into a shout of joy. All this springs from our experience of salvation which the holy spirit lead us into. Where would we be if we weren’t saved, and if we were not donning the robes of righteousness which Jesus gave us. He is our Jehovah Tsidkenu – the lord our righteousness. God’s purpose in all this is that we be trees of righteousness (Psalm 1) and that he be glorified through us.
Paul, when he was imprisoned (with his feet placed in stocks) found the most contrasting thing to say to his fellow believers (i.e. to all of us). A message to rejoice always – even while in chains And in case we didn’t believe it, he says “again I say Rejoice”
(Phil 4:4) Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.
The real Christian looks not to the circumstance or the problem – he looks to Jesus – who is the solution to all his problems. Remember Peter when he looked at jesus and was walking on the sea, sank when he took his eyes off the lord. Paul was a man who was beset with so many persecutions and tortures (2 Cor 11:23-27) But he found the real reason for comfort – that his problems were temporary and awaiting him in eternity is Jesus.
(2Cor 4:17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;
(2Cor 4:18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.
Let’s looks to the lord and choose to rejoice in Christ – yes, always, as he commands us. Let’s not look to the magnitude of our problem – for greater is he who is in us than he that is in the world.
Praise the lord Jesus christ
Sep 19, 2012
In every generation, God has a remnant who desires God so much that they separate themselves from the world and commits their availability to God at any cost. I believe this remnant gives God a lot of joy and makes him proud of his creation. Needless to say, all these people chose wisely since they consciously chose eternity over this current life and God over the evil or world or flesh.
Ø Noah was one such – amidst the evil and perverse generation; he found favor in God’s eyes. His eyes were focused on eternity and not on the current short term joys. He tirelessly preached the grace of God while preparing the ‘ship of salvation’
Ø Abraham was one of these, having chosen to obey God’s voice and come out of his heathen family – and he even chose the path wisely as opposed to Lot who chose to go after the fertile-looking world.
Ø Moses was one such. He counted the riches of pharaoh’s palace worthless compared to the humble path that leads to eternity.
Ø Joshua and Caleb were such, who amidst a generation ridden by unbelief (where Israel tested/doubted the faithfulness of God in the wilderness), Joshua and Caleb remained with solid trust on the lord, and they were rewarded with a mighty blessing of being the only 2 people in that generation to see and enjoy Canaan.
Ø David was one such – being a New Testament man in Old Testament times.
Ø Daniel was another fine example – even while being in the most prosperous enemy state of Babylon, he stuck to God closely and remained pure. Even the lions couldn’t touch him, because the Lion of Judah was there with him.
Oh so many fine examples of God pleasers! Real men of God.
Another person in the bible is Enoch:-
(Gen 5:22) And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
(Gen 5:23) And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
(Gen 5:24) And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.
Here was a man who lived just 365 years on this earth – which, in those times was equivalent of 36 years :) (Remember; this was before God capped the age of man to 120) But what he accomplished in those years is something amazing. He walked in constant, habitual fellowship with God. He delighted in God’s presence and God delighted in his presence. It’s not about how long you have known God – but how close you have been to God in those years. Many people feel comfortable about having been saved for many years or decades. But God sees the heart and he sees the amount of quality time we have spent with him. Man was created for fellowshipping with God. And here’s a man, who without any examples, chose to be with God, to serve God and to walk with him. Enoch had a family to take care of, but by all accounts, he was able to make time to give priority to God. He was a man who so looked forward to his quiet time with God!
He walked with God. Walking with God means
a. Walking on the path that God chooses : Often we go through the experience of going on a path that we chose (which may appear to be straight and easy) – But the best path for us is ALWAYS the path that God chooses. It may pose difficulties and may be longer, but if you are in that path, you have the protection that comes from being with the lord.
b. Walking at the speed that God chooses : God’s timing may not be our timing. God is never slow or fast – his timing is just perfect. Often we tend to rush towards many things or go slow towards many things. Maybe we rush towards choosing a partner or choosing a job. Maybe we delay taking many decisions of obedience for the lord. Maybe we delay in responding to God’s call or his call to ministry. But walking with God means, walking at the pace that God desires. If you are going too fast, slow down. If you are being too slow, speed up. Walk with God.
c. Starting when God starts, stopping when He stops : Journey with God is not about the constant speed – Jesus has been through this path (when he was here as son of man). In our walk with him, he will often stop us and tell us the things we need to know to be overcomers, to break the habits that bind us. Sometimes these conversations happen when we stop along with him and listen to him. Here’s where we will come to know from him how we can overcome the world. Like the disciples who went to Emmaus, God can walk with us and open up scriptures to us.
d. Talking with God – have you ever walked with someone and not conversed with them?
Enoch’s walk with God was so relished by God that God performed the miracle of translating him into the heavens.
God is calling us today to please God and to walk with him. Will you lay aside your burdens and choose to walk with Jesus ? Will you commit to being like the Enoch remnant on this earth ?
God bless you!
Praise the lord Jesus Christ.
Sep 18, 2012
(Ps 118:8) It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
(Ps 118:9) It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
Praise the lord! The psalmist was inspired by the Holy Spirit to say a divine principle through these verses. When you are in a situation where you can trust God or Man – choose wisely and trust the lord always. We (as believers and redeemed) are not meant to look to human hands for comfort or solutions to our problems. The lord underscores this by repeating – don’t even trust in princes though they appear to have much more power than normal men.
In Micah, the Holy Spirit says; even not to trust your own (relatives or friends)
(Mic 7:5) Trust not in a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Keep the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom
(Mic 7:6) For the son dishonors the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--a man's enemies are the men (members) of his own house.
(Mic 7:7) But as for me, I will look to the Lord and confident in Him I will keep watch; I will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
How true it is, how often have we faced a disappointment because of our misplaced trust in man?! But a man who trusts the lord will NEVER be disappointed. As it says in Romans,
(Rom 10:11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Often we tend to adopt worldly ways of getting something done – sometimes we think money can do a lot of things, and solve many problems. In Isaiah the lord equates Egypt to the world system or money or your worldly masters or anything which is not spiritual and talks about the fate of a man who will rely on Egypt.
(Isa 36:6) Behold, you trust in the staff of this bruised and broken reed, Egypt, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust and rely on him.
The principle of God is to accomplish things by the spirit of God, and not by might or power.
(Zech 4:6) Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
The message of the lord is clear – Trust him with all your heart – he rewards those who diligently seek him. Will you pray to God to strengthen you, to cause you to trust in him completely ? God bless!
Praise the lord Jesus Christ!
Sep 17, 2012
(Ps 1:1) Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
There are things that a believer has to pursue and there are things which he has to avoid. It’s just like a diet ... you have to eat some things. There are some things which, when eaten, produce evil effects. The word of God talks about what to avoid, before he talks of what to consume and be filled with.
- He must not WALK in the counsel of the ungodly – doesn’t listen to the advice of the evil men, their thoughts, promptings and logic. This is the first level of falling – walking on the counsel of the wicked leads to STANDING in the way of sinners.
- You can walk with evil men and not be noticed by others as a sinner. If you stand in the way of sinners, you are inviting sin into your life – you are progressing from just walking to standing (i.e. being submissive and inactive and agreeing by your lack of action to their sinful life). If you are standing with sinners, you can be identified as one of them. Surrounding yourself with sinners is a sure way to fall into sin.
- Sin is always progressive – standing with sinners leads to sitting with the scornful. Here is where you decide to throw all caution to the winds and publicly join the sinners and feel relaxed in their presence and in the presence of Sin.
(Ps 1:2) But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
The word of God puts his focus on what to consume to your filling! The law of the lord, the word of God, manifest presence of Jesus, the scriptures, call it what you will – but spending time meditating on the precepts of God (i.e. the word of God) is a sure way to replace your mind with the very mind of God. This is the path that leads to salvation – to sanctification – to the Godly knowledge – to eternal life – to running the race – to finishing the race – to be assured of the future – to know who wins ! he has to DELIGHT in it – and to meditate (i.e. chew and digest word of God) the bible day and night! It’s easier than ever before to read the word of God – whether it’s on your computer or mobile. Why wait ?!
(Ps 1:3) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
And God shows the result of being someone who avoids the pitfalls in Psalm 1:1 and embraces the good counsel of Psalm 1:2 > He shall be like a tree (remember – we’re the planting of the lord – growing with the eternal living waters that is the spirit of God) that brings forth the good fruit in season (i.e. not bringing forth a sour fruit or a bitter fruit, but a fruit worthy of Christ) when the waves of heat beats about him, his leaf shall not wither – but all things (whether it be in this world or the things of an eternal spiritual nature) that he does shall prosper.
Praise the lord Jesus Christ!