Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Love of The Lord


The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
- Jeremiah 31:3 -


Sometimes the Lord Jesus tells His Church His love thoughts. In her very presence He says them.

The Lord is a wise lover. He knows when to keep back the intimation of love and when to let it out.

The Holy Spirit is often pleased, to witness with our spirits, the love of Jesus. He takes of the things of Christ and reveals them to us.

We have had times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. Our faith has mounted to the topmost heights of assurance.

We have had confidence to lean our heads upon the bosom of our Lord. He has kissed us with the kisses of His mouth.

The Lord has killed our doubts by the closeness of His embrace.

His love has been sweeter than wine to our souls.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Abundant Salt


"up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred kors of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribed limit." - Ezra 7:22 -

Salt was used in every offering made by fire unto the Lord.

The preserving and purifying properties of salt is the grateful emblem of divine grace in the soul.

When king Artaxerxes gave salt to Ezra the priest, he set no limit to the quantity.

When the King of kings distributes grace among His royal priesthood, the supply will not be cut short by Him.

The Lord God is always gracious to His people.

He who chooses to gather much manna will find that he may have as much as he desires.

Some things in the economy of grace are measured.

But the salt of grace is given abundantly.

A man may have too much money, or too much honour.

But he cannot have too much grace.

There is no fear of a man becoming too full of grace.

More wealth will bring more care.

But more grace will bring more joy.

Increase in wisdom may bring in more sorrow.

But abundance of the Spirit is fullness of joy.

Let us go to the throne for a large supply of heavenly salt.

It will season our afflictions.

It will preserve our hearts from corruption.

It will kill our sins.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Our God Is Faithful


He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

(1) Heaven is the land of perfect holiness.

It is the place where we shall never sin.

Here, we shall cease from constant watch and struggle against our enemy.

Here the weary are finally at rest.

(2) Heaven is the land of complete security.

All who are in union with the Lamb are safe.

Our God is faithful.

He will do all He promised.

All committed Christians shall find Christ a faithful and immutable preserver.

They can enjoy security even on earth.

They can rest in the sure promise of Jesus that none who believe in Him shall ever perish, but shall be with Him where He is.

Let us reflect with joy on the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints.

Let us have confidence in Jesus, the great Surety of the covenant, who is faithful and true.

Our God is faithful.

He will do it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Servant To All Men


"to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
1 Corinthians 9:22


Paul's desired not only to instruct sinners but also to save them.
 
He would have them renewed in heart, forgiven, sanctified, and saved.
 
Paul knew the ruin of man's natural state.
 
He saw men sinking to hell.
 
He wanted to save them from the wrath to come.
 
He traveled everywhere to preach the gospel.
 
He never stopped his labor for the gospel.
 
He warned and pleaded with men to be reconciled to God.
 
To save souls was his consuming passion, his ambition, his calling. 
 
He wanted to become a servant to all men.
 
He laid aside his will and preferences.
 
His all-absorbing desire was only to preach the gospel.
 
If he might save some, he would be content.
 
Let us desire to live like Paul.
 
Let us be filled with an undying zeal for the souls of men.
 
Let us seek to honor our Lord Jesus Christ in the salvation of men.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Lord Triumphs!


Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
- Psalm 24:8 -

The Lord is glorious in the eyes of His people, for He has wrought wonders for them, in them, and by them.

(1) The Lord has wrought wonders for us.

He had routed every foe upon Calvary, breaking all the weapons of the enemy in pieces by His finished work of satisfactory obedience.

By His triumphant resurrection and ascension, He had completely overturned the hopes of hell, making a show of His enemies openly, triumphing over them by His cross.

(2) The Lord has wrought wonders in us.

Grace had won in our evil hearts!

As for our remaining corruptions, they shall sustain an equally sure defeat.

Every temptation, doubt, and fear, shall be utterly destroyed.

The name of Jesus shall be great beyond compare.

He has won our love.

(3) The Lord has wrought wonders by us.

We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

We shall cast down the powers of darkness which are in the world, by our faith, and zeal, and holiness.

We shall win sinners to Jesus.

We shall overturn false systems, and  convert nations.

God is with us, and none shall stand before us.

Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Be Ready To Fight


And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, (Revelation 12:7)

War always rages between the two great sovereignties until one is crushed. Peace between good and evil is an impossibility.

Michael will always fight. His will not endure sin.

Jesus will always be the dragon's foe, actively, vigorously, and with full determination to exterminate evil.

We also must fight, firm in our defense and fierce in our attack. And we must fight daily, with all our heart, our soul, and our strength.

The dragon and his angels are incessant in their onslaughts. We are foolish to expect to serve God without opposition.

Glory be to God, we know the end of the war. The great dragon shall be cast out and forever destroyed. The Lord Jesus and those who are with Him shall receive the crown.

Let us get ready to fight. We are warriors of the cross.

May the Lord give us the victory.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Redemption Through His Blood


In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7).

"Forgiveness" is a sweet word in a guilty sinner's ear.
 
Our hearts rejoice in receiving God's good news.
 
Our gracious and merciful God has given the perishing souls a gleam of hope amid their despair.
 
Our sins are forgiven altogether and forever.
 
Hell is our portion as sinners.
 
But Jesus tells us that our sins can be forgiven.
 
We can rest secured in Jesus.
 
Our sins are forgiven by virtue of the substitutionary pains and death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Oh! What joy is this! What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul!
 
In Christ we have redemption through His blood.
 
Thank God we are now a pardoned soul.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Little Slumber


A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest;
So shall your poverty come like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.
(Proverbs 24:33-34)

The sluggards ask for a little slumber; a little folding of the hands to sleep.

The day dies out, the time for labor is over, and the field is overgrown with thorns.

It is by a little procrastination that men ruin their souls.

May the Lord teach us this sacred wisdom.

Poverty overtakes the slothful. Ruin overthrows the undecided. He who is doing his master's business must not tarry.

Let us seek diligently the Lord Jesus Christ. The day will come when it will be too late to plough and to sow, too late to repent and believe.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Man Failed To Save Himself


For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. (Philippians 3:3-7)

Man is unable to make himself right with God.

(a) Race is a failure

Our background, upbringing, and ancestry can never make us right with God.

(b) Ritual is a failure

No man gets right with God by taking part in a ritual, ceremony or sacrament.

(c) Religion is a failure

All the religious activity we have ever performed: every church service we attended, every prayer we said, every word of Scripture we read, every service to the church, every penny we donated etc. cannot make us right with God. Salvation is a God-given experience, not a man-made performance.

(d) Respectability is a failure

Striving to live a good, clean, and upright life cannot get us right with God.

Why not?

(a) Because God's law does not only concern our outward words and actions, but upon the inward and spiritual condition; it relates also to our thoughts, desires, motives, and aims.

(b) Because even our best is not good enough to satisfy God. God's law reflects His perfect nature. Perfection is the standard He lays down.

(c) Because even one small sin is big enough to condemn us. One sin is enough to make us guilty in God's sight and deserving of His judgment.

(d) Because even God's law is not strong enough to save us. The law was given to reveal the reality and nature of our sins. The law points to us as guilty sinners in God's sight.

Man is spiritually dead. We are morally corrupt. We are guilty before God. We are powerless to save ourselves.

Only God can save us, and He save us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

See Our Father's Face


Oh, that I knew where I might find Him,
That I might come to His seat!
(Job 23:3)

In Job's extreme sufferings, he cried after the Lord. His longing desire was to see his Father's face again.

God's children run home when the storm comes on. They seek shelter beneath the wings of Jehovah.

But a hypocrite, when afflicted by God, resents the infliction and runs away from God.

Job's desire to commune with God was intensified by his failure of all other sources of consolation. He turned away from his sorry friends. He bids farewell to all his earth-born hopes.

In every trouble we should first seek to realize God's presence with us.

Let us enjoy his smile.

We can then bear our daily cross with a willing heart.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Behold The King In His Beauty


Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will see the land that is very far off. (Isaiah 33:17)

The more we know about Christ, the less will we be satisfied with superficial views of Him.

The more deeply we study His transactions in the eternal covenant, His engagements on our behalf as the eternal Surety, and the fullness of His grace which shines in all His offices, the more truly will we see the King in His beauty.

Let us long more and more to see Jesus. Let us behold our Redeemer through meditation and contemplation.

Let our conversation be more in heaven.

Let our mind be more taken up with the person, the work, the beauty of our incarnate Lord.

Let us behold the King in His beauty.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Take The First Step


And Laban said, "It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn." (Genesis 29:26)

We do not excuse Laban for his dishonesty.

But there are lessons we can learn from his custom.

There are some things in life which must be taken in order.

If we want to win the second, we must secure the first.

The second may be the more lovely, but the elder must be married first.

As Christians, we may desire the joy and peace in believing, but we must first repent of our sins and live a holy life.

The cross must be carried before the crown can be worn.

We must follow our Lord in His humiliation, or we shall never rest with Him in glory.

Like Jacob, our years of service will be short and sweet because of the love we have to Jesus.

And when the hour to be with Jesus has come, we will forget all our toils, our pain and labor.

Monday, October 29, 2012

God Does What God Does


Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? 
- Matthew 20:15 -

The vineyard workers in Jesus’ parable had forgotten God’s grace to them (Matthew 20:1-16).

They had forgotten God's grace had completely wiped out their past sins.

They had forgotten God's all-sustaining, perfect grace.

Their focus shifted to what was happening to and for other people.

They were jealous of God's grace and mercy to others.

They wanted to restrict God's grace and mercy to themselves.

They began to grumble and complain against God.

But God owes us nothing.

He freely gives us the salvation He promises when we accept Christ.

He then adds to His generosity by sending His Spirit to help us in this life as we prepare for the joy of eternity with Him.

The seeming unfairness of life demands that we keep our eyes on Him and His Word, and not on other people.

God is good.

Let us be found content with what God has given us.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

We Are The Soil For The Seed


But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: 
some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 
- Matthew 13:8 -

The Lord Jesus Christ talked about the parable of the sower.

The seed is the Word of God.
The spirit of life is in the seed.
The seed is sown.
Its growth depends on the right kind of soil. 

We are the soil where the Word of God is sown.
Our environment and what we do after receiving the seed will determine our spiritual growth.

Our spiritual growth represents sanctification, the formation of God's image in us by living His way of life empowered by His Spirit. 

A seed of faith is not intended to lie dormant.
We have only this life to live.
Then will come the final Judgment and the end of the world.

We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
And we are not to let our environments overpower us and control us.

We are to become the good ground and yield an abundant crop.
We are to live and serve God all our lives.
And we are to live for the glory of God.
 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Perfect Time


All things work together for good to those . . . 
who are the called according to His purpose. 
- Romans 8:28 - 

God has specific purposes and plans for us.

And His timing is always perfect.

Let us trust in Him.

Let us not feel disappointed in the pace of God’s plans.

God has His reasons.

Let us continue to rely on Him.

He will open doors when the timing is perfect.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Far End Of The Earth


You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the end of the earth.
- Acts 1:8 -

This was Jesus’ final message to His disciples.

Every corner of our world, no matter how remote, must be touched by the message of the cross.

The Savior died for the world, and that includes people both near and far.

Each of us has the duty and opportunity to take the gospel to people in our end of the earth.

No matter where we are, we can tell someone about the love of Christ.

People can’t believe in Jesus if they don’t hear the gospel.

So we must proclaim its message to the world, both far and near.

Any place can be the right place to witness for Christ.

Monday, September 24, 2012

God Hears Prayer


In [Christ] we have boldness and 
access with confidence through faith in Him. 
- Ephesians 3:12 - 

Our words are heard in heavenly places whenever we pray.

The Almighty God listens to our prayers.

In Christ, we can approach God with freedom and confidence.

God is always available to hear the prayer of His child.

God listens to us when we pray to Him in Jesus' Name.
 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Delight In God’s Word


I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love. 
- Psalm 119:47 - 

Here, David told of his delight in God’s Word. It was not a burden for him to delight in God’s Word because he loved it. David’s close relationship with God had created in him a desire to know what God had to say.

We too, need to strengthen our relationship with God. When we know how much He loves and cherishes us, we will respond with love and delight to spend time with Him.

Let us make God’s Word our delight everyday.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Overcome Evil With Good



Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.
He who does good is of God,
but he who does evil has not seen God.
- 3 John 1:11 -

Life is a painful mixture of good and bad. It is true in marriage, friendship, family, work, and church.

It can be very stressful, frustrating and disappointing when self-centeredness takes the center stage.

When apostle John wrote to his friend Gaius, he commended the truthful living and generous hospitality of those in his church (3 John 3-8). But Diotrephes, who loves to be first, had created an atmosphere of hostility in the Church. (3 John 9).

John promised to deal personally with Diotrephes on his next visit to the church. In the meantime, he urged the congregation not to imitate what is evil, but what is good.

We are to turn away from what is bad and follow what is good.
This is the pathway that honors our Savior.


Don’t fight fire with fire, but overcome evil with good.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Prayer From A Sincere Heart


I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days;
I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
- Nehemiah 1:4 -

Nehemiah’s heart was filled with concern for the welfare of Jerusalem, his homeland, when he heard that the people were in great distress and that the wall around the city was broken down (Neh. 1:3).

Wanting to do something, he talked to God about it.

He praised God for who He is (v.5), requested forgiveness for sin (v.6), reminded Him of His promise (v.9), and asked for mercy from the King (v.11).

*******

God watched over Nehemiah and His people through the whole rebuilding process.

The highest form of prayer comes from
the depths of a humble heart.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Understand The Bible


Every pastor and Bible teacher works hard to understand the meaning of the Bible.

They learn biblical languages, look up concordances, and consult commentaries, in the hope of shedding more light on the key questions of interpretation:
  • Who wrote this text and what did they mean by it?
  • Who initially read this text and what did they make of it?

But there is another tool that gives a key to the meaning of the scriptures: the persecuted church of today.

By interacting with them, we gain insights into the original meaning of the scriptures; we understand what life was like for the original New Testament community.

After all, most of the Bible was written by persecuted people for persecuted people.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jesus’ Baptism


Mark 1: 9-13

Jesus’ baptism was a act of love for us.

It symbolized the sins He would wash away and bury with Himself at Golgotha.

It declared His willingness to live in the sin filled, fallen world in order to save us.

When Jesus placed Himself in the hands of a sinful man to be baptized, it symbolized His humility when He would undergo yet another baptism on the cross.

And when the heavens opened, the Spirit descended and the Father’s voice boomed His approval, it was on account of Jesus’ commitment to His Father’s plan that was birthed in His love for us.

Jesus loves us as the Father loves us, and because of His love, He underwent the Great Sacrifice displayed by His baptism.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

John Preached Christ


Mark 1:7-8

John the Baptist declared that Jesus is the Christ.

He preached Jesus, not himself.

He pointed people to Jesus, not to himself.

He declared that Jesus is so far superior in power and glory.

Jesus is the author of spiritual baptism; he was only the minister of outward baptism.

Monday, August 27, 2012

John The Baptist’s Clothing


John wore clothing made of camel’s hair,
with a leather belt around his waist,
and he ate locusts and wild honey.
- Mark 1:6 -

In his dress and diet, John the Baptist was distinctive from what was normal for the time.

His dress was durable and serviceable, the clothing of the poorest of the land.

His diet was also common for the poor folk of his time.

He and his disciples lived an ascetic lifestyle.

Despite John's greatness, God kept him a poor man.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

John Prepared The Way For The Lord


Mark 1:4-5

John was the messenger before the Lord Jesus Christ.

He came preaching and baptizing in the wilderness.

He preached a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

People from all the land of Judea went out to him.

Confessing their sins, they were all baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Beginning Of The Gospel



Mark 1: 1-4

The gospel is about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

According to Isaiah 40:3, the gospel began when God sent His messenger before His Son, to prepare the way .

John the Baptist was the messenger, the voice calling in the desert.

He was to make straight paths for Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Lord.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fleeing Persecution


Matthew 10:23a
When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another.


One of the biblical responses to persecution is to flee.
It is not the only response.
It is therefore imperative that the persecuted believer is sure that his running away is in the will of God.

History is full of examples of Christians who relocated because of religious persecution.

The early Christians in Jerusalem didn’t obey Jesus’ orders to evangelize to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
So God allowed persecution to send them on their way (Acts 8:1).
Persecution accomplished the will of God.
As they scattered abroad, they went preaching the gospel (Acts 8:4).

The Apostle Paul left Damascus over the wall in a basket when a life threat was discovered early in his ministry.
He knew it was not yet God’s timing for his life and ministry to end.
That occurred years later in Rome.

Let us resolve to only run from persecution
when we know it is the will of God.


Let us pray for leaders who have to live in hiding
because of their effective ministry for the Lord and His church.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blessed Are The Persecuted


Matthew 5:10-12

Blessed are those
who are persecuted
because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you
when people insult you, persecute you
and falsely say all kinds of evil
against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
because great is your reward in heaven,
for in the same way
they persecuted the prophets
who were before you.

The promise of persecution comes for those who take a stand for God.

Persecution is the result of righteous living.

The early church went through much persecution for their faith in Christ.

  • To suffer persecution is to walk along the same road as the prophets, the saints, and the martyrs.
  • To suffer persecution is to make things easier for those who are to follow.
  • To suffer persecution is to experience the fellowship of Christ.

Most of us enjoy the blessing of liberty today because men and women in the past were willing to buy it for us at the cost of their own blood, sweat and tears.

Let us accept persecution,
whether mild or hot,
which comes as a result of righteous living.

Oh Lord,
encourage those who are now
experiencing severe persecution
for Your name.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blessed Are The Peacemakers


Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

The word “peace” describes a condition of perfect and complete positive well-being.

It describes the right relationships — intimate fellowship and goodwill between human beings.

Peace comes not from avoiding issues but from facing them.

We make peace even through troubles.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are doing a God-like work.

Waging peace may involve laying down one’s life, like Jesus did, in order to reconcile men with God and break down barriers among men (Galatians 3:26-29).

Jesus’ teaching is that we should not resist evil with evil (Matthew 5:39). We are not to respond in kind to the acts of injustice and dehumanization directed against us, but rather to respond with transforming initiatives.

We are to wage peace.
This involves promoting love,
fostering unity among brethren,
being a witness of a higher kingdom,
and following the non-violence example of Jesus.

Let us be proactive and wage peace in our sphere of influence.

Oh Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
May I counter hatred with love and injury with forgiveness.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart


Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

Our lifestyle of purity begins our reconciliation to God.

This Beatitude necessitates the strictest and most honest self-examination.

We are to do everything with pure, unmixed motives. This demands the death of self and the springing to life of Christ within our heart.

Blessed are those
whose motives are unmixed
and who operate in purity.
They shall be given
a vision of God Himself.

As we draw closer to God through purity,
we shall see Him more clearly,
love Him more dearly
and follow Him more nearly.

Blessed are those whose motives are absolutely pure and whose life is characterized by purity, for they will be able to see God.

God delights in pure hearted children,
and He wants to use submissive and humble people.

Let us seek to live our lives in true purity before God with good motives.

Oh Lord,
I can only live this way
if I listen and respond positively
to the reproving of Your Holy Spirit.
Help me to be sensitive to purity issues.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blessed Are The Merciful


Matthew 5:7

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

As we in humility recognize our poverty of spirit,
God in His mercy forgives us and equips us.

Having received mercy,
we are expected to show mercy to others.

Merciful is related to empathy.

It is the ability to get right inside another person’s skin until we see things with his eyes, think things with his mind and feel things with his feelings.

Blessed are those who empathize with others
until they are able to see
with the eyes of others,
think with their thoughts
and feel with their feelings.

The one who does this will find others do the same for him or her and will know that God did this for them in Christ Jesus.

Mercy also drives us to go after the lost and
show them the way to more complete light.

Let us see others as Jesus sees them.
Let us empathize with them.

Oh Lord,
help me to grow closer to You
so that I will act like You,
forgiving others and being sympathetic.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness


Matthew 5:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

This attitude portrays a maturity of belief that shows a servant is ready for service.

When completeness or wholeness is achieved, the servant receives the satisfaction of being used of God for that which they have been called, trained and equipped.

The emphasis in this Beatitude is the passionate desire for the whole, for complete righteousness as a matter of life and death.

Blessed is the one
whose most passionate desire is to love God
and to love others as they ought.

Blessed are those
who long for total righteousness
as a starving person longs for food and
as a person perishing of thirst longs for water,
for they will be truly satisfied.

We are often impressed with those who take their faith seriously. We do not respect people whose religion is merely outward form. Much of what they see is materialistic, carnal or worldly. We turn them off — the low regard for moral purity, the hedonism, the wishy-washiness, the unwillingness to suffer or make sacrifices, the fear of making a stand.

Christians need to acknowledge their beliefs and be willing to suffer for their faith and convictions. A more complete righteousness will definitely have great impact. It will earn respect for our preaching the Gospel.

Let us be thankful for God’s presence in our lives.
Let us yearn for more of Him.

Oh Lord,
I long for total righteousness
so that the world will see
more of Your faithfulness in me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blessed Are The Meek


Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Meekness is not weakness.

Meekness means “power under control.”

The contrite, praying person is blessed with the indwelling control of the Holy Spirit and the inheritance promised to the believer even in conflict.

Blessed are those whose
every instinct, every impulse, and every passion
is under the control of God’s Spirit!
They will be right with God, self and others,
and enter the life which God alone can give.

Let us pray for meekness when entering into dialogue with those of opposing positions. There will be times when patience and self-control will be sorely tested. There may also be times when the Spirit will suggest a change of direction in the dialogue or a strategic retreat that looks suspiciously like defeat. To be meek is to be able to willingly accept temporary defeat in order that there may later be victory in the Spirit.

Let us quit calling the shots and surrender complete control to God.

Oh Lord,
I completely surrender to the control of Your Spirit in my life.
Help me to be meek.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mourning For Sins


Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Mourning is the kind of grief that cannot be hidden.

It can be a deep sorrow for our own unworthiness that leads us to trust the Lord as our total Provider, seeking His presence and counsel (authority). Such action is rewarded by the Father’s gracious comfort.

It can also be for grief over the sorrow and suffering of this world. Blessed is the man who cares intensely for the sufferings, sorrows and needs of others.

Blessed are those whose hearts are broken
for the world’s suffering and
are deeply sorry for their sin and unworthiness,
for they will find the joy and comfort of God.

We need to mourn for the state of the church and Christians generally. In many countries, churches are weak and nominal, or are split by internal conflicts. There is need to mourn. There is need to mourn also for believers who have quit the struggle and crossed to the other side.

Mourn also for the poor quality of preaching, the lack of prayer and the deficiency of spiritual power. Mourn for those who come to the church only to find they are unwelcome. Mourn for Christians unwilling to introduce the light of Christ to them. Mourn for a church hiding its light, too scared to let it shine.

There is much to mourn for.
Yet, the promise is, if we mourn, comfort will come.

Let us repent of our self-sufficiency.

Oh Lord,
I mourn over my own sin and unworthiness.
And I mourn also for the deep and painful suffering
that I see around the world.
May I receive Your joy and comfort.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Poor In Spirit


Matthew 5:3

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Acknowledging our poverty in spirit is humility.

It occurs when we realize our own utter lack of resources to meet life and finds our strength in God.

Such an attitude leads us away from attachment to things to attachment to God and heaven.

The word “poor” here means absolute, abject poverty.

Blessed are those who have realized their own utter helplessness and inadequacy and who have put their whole trust in God.

Such a person will humbly accept the will of God and thus become a citizen of the kingdom.

Let us acknowledge our helplessness and inadequacy and place our complete trust in God.

Oh Lord,
help me express true humility in practical ways today
and show that my trust is in You alone.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Jesus' Sermon On The Mount


Matthew 5:1-2

Now when Jesus saw the crowds,
he went up on a mountainside and sat down.
His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

Let us look at Jesus’ greatest training program: the Beatitudes.

Each of the eight Beatitudes has a two-fold nature: a “knowing” and a “doing” response. We must not only know them, we must also respond to what we learn from them.

Eight times in the Beatitudes it says, “Blessed are….” These refer to Jesus’ evaluation of the kind of person He names in each Beatitude. Jesus was referring to His esteem for that kind of person. His meaning is, “I esteem highly any person who….” He was urging us to have that kind of attitude. His deeper meaning is, “All you who hear Me, choose to become like these kinds of people.”

The Beatitudes is “God’s radical reconstruction of the heart!”

The first four Beatitudes focus internally: they speak to the heart of the one who wants to obey God. They are the four stepping stones to becoming an obedient servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are: humility, mourning, meekness and hunger for righteousness.

The second four Beatitudes focus on the external behavior of the servant who follows Jesus. They are: mercy, purity, peacemaking and persecution.

We will look at each of the eight Beatitudes individually.

Let us study Jesus’ Beatitudes so that we live the way Jesus lived.

May we receive great encouragement
as we seek to know and live the Beatitudes in our lives.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Be Strong In The Lord


Psalm 31:24
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

It would be nice if we are God’s vessels to bring His Word to those in need.

It is not an easy job; persecution abounds.

But 95% of the believers who faced the test of external persecution passed it.

It is not persecution itself but the lessons learned under persecution that make and keep the church and an individual believer strong in the Lord.

What makes the difference is how we respond to persecution and how we respond to freedom.

Let us prepare ourselves for the hard assignments
in responding biblically to challenges.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Fasting and Praying


Matthew 6:17-18

But when you fast,
put oil on your head and wash your face,
so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting,
but only to your Father, who is unseen;
and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Jesus assumes that His followers practice fasting. He says “when” you fast and not “if” you fast.

Fasting is a significant spiritual activity that goes along with intensive prayer times.

To fast means to put God first. Fasting is an attitude of the heart in which we interrupt our normal life to pray for a specific matter or cause. It means to abstain from food and for some, even drink so that we can focus on God and be more sensitive to spiritual matters.

Fasting is also perseverance in prayer until we have received an answer — be it yes, no, wait or something different. In essence, fasting means that we rend our hearts before God, confess our sins and turn to the Lord anew (Joel 2:12-13).

Fasting is biblical. Moses fasted twice for 40 days (Exodus 34:28); Daniel fasted (partially) for 21 days (Daniel 10:3); Joel called for a day of fasting (Joel 1:14; 2:12); Ezra withdrew for a period of fasting and mourning (Ezra 10:6); Elijah fasted for 40 days (1 Kings 19:8); Leaders of the church in Antioch fasted (Acts 13:2-3); Jesus fasted for 40 days ( Luke 4:2); Paul and Barnabas fasted (Acts 14:23; 27:33).

Let us resolve to practice all the spiritual disciplines, including fasting.

Help me, Lord,
to practice fasting as a spiritual discipline without making it obvious.


Monday, July 16, 2012

A Lamp In The Dark


Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.


Let us treasure our freedom to read and meditate on God’s Word.

Oh Lord,
May Your Spirit of Peace
be upon our brethren in suffering.
May they be encouraged by Your Word!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Oh Christian Fathers


1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

For you know that we dealt with each of you
as a father deals with his own children,
encouraging, comforting and urging you
to live lives worthy of God,
who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

The Apostle Paul is very specific here in defining a fatherly role.

He gives 3 special characteristics of a Christian father (We fathers tend to apply them in reverse order).

He states them as:
  • Encouraging - Like children, we are often tempted to give up. When that happens, the real need is for someone to come along side who can identify with and encourage them to keep going. A Christian father is one who is always there to give an encouraging word when needed. And the need is often!
  • Comforting - This reference is to the kind of comfort that helps a child or another person carry a burden of grief or pain. Just by coming alongside in this concerned way, the burden is made lighter and the pain is lessened. We were not created to be alone, especially in grief. The Christian father and disciple maker is also always there for times of comfort giving.
  • Exhorting - This is the direction and assertiveness characteristic that should be evident in the father/disciple maker relationship. There are times when the father moves from the side to stand squarely in front and confront them with something that they need to face. The dangers in not exercising this responsibility are very great and should compel us to be diligent toward both our children and our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Let us commit ourselves to be a good encourager, comforter and exhorter.

Oh Father,
Thank You for Christian fathers
who have modelled Your heart with their children.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Opportunity & Opposition


1 Corinthians 16:8-9

But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost,
because a great door for effective work has opened to me,
and there are many who oppose me.

The Apostle Paul was always focused on opportunity. Yet he was a realist who knew the opposition he faced from the enemy of our souls.

He expresses here an interest in visiting the Corinthian Church for a significant period of time. But it would not be until after Pentecost because of great open doors for effective work in spite of much opposition.

In doing kingdom work we should always expect opposition but that should not blind us to the great opportunities.

Let us not allow opposition to blind us to the opportunities of service God provides.

Oh God! Give me strength to walk through
open doors of effective work

in the face of opposes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Memorizing God's Word


I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
(Psalm 119:11)


Over and over the Scriptures direct us to meditate on God’s Word. This activity takes time and discipline but brings much spiritual benefit and reward. Meditation is focused thinking about a Bible verse or passage in order to discover how we can apply its truth to our own lives.

In applying Scripture, we need to ask three primary questions.
  1. What did it mean to the original hearers?
  2. What is the underlying timeless principle?
  3. Where or how should I practice that principle?

There are six specific ways to meditate on a verse or passage:
  • Picture it. Visualize the scene in your mind.
  • Pronounce it. Say it aloud each time, emphasizing a different word.
  • Paraphrase it. Rewrite the verse in your own words.
  • Personalize it. Replace the pronouns or people with your own name.
  • Pray it. Turn the verse into a prayer and say it back to God.
  • Probe it. Ask the following questions: Is there any sin to confess? Is there any promise to claim? Is there any attitude to change? Is there any command to keep? Is there any example to follow? Is there any prayer to pray? Is there any error to avoid? Is there any truth to believe? Is there something for which to thank God?
Today, let’s learn to meditate on God’s Word.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

God Will Fight For You


Deuteronomy 3:21–22

Throughout the wilderness journey, God reminded the Israelites of what He had done in the past in order to give them courage and hope for the future.

As the reins of leadership were passed from Moses to Joshua, Moses encouraged Joshua with a review of recent victories.

Joshua saw with his own eyes what God did to those who opposed them.

If God has shown Himself faithful to this point, He will surely continue to do so.

God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

When we face intimidating circumstances in our lives, we can take heart from Moses’ words to Joshua: “Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you” (Deuteronomy 3:22).

God can strengthen and encourage us when we trust in Him.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Defeating The Enemy’s Attacks


You, dear children,
are from God and have overcome them,
because the one who is in you is greater than
the one who is in the world.
(1 John 4:4)

Let us stand strong in Jesus’ strength, no matter what Satan throws at us or against us.

Let us be encouraged by the many testimonies of God’s faithful people in persecuted lands.

Let us help our brethren in difficult lands.

Let us pray for them.

May the Church of God continue to grow
in difficult lands and in difficult times.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kneeling In Worship


Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.
(Exodus 34:5–8)


To worship is to kneel or prostrate oneself on the ground in recognition of the power, majesty and authority of the object of one’s worship.

Worship is more than just assigning worth; it’s acknowledging that worth is already there.

When we worship God, we are responding to God’s intrinsic majesty and goodness.

That was Moses’ response when God passed by, revealed His glory and proclaimed His name and attributes.

God declared His compassion, grace, mercy, love, patience and faithfulness.

And since God is a God of justice, He also pledged not to leave the guilty unpunished.

The emphasis, though, wasn’t on the Lord’s wrath, power and judgment, but on His love.

When we hear of the goodness, the greatness and the glory of God, worship is our appropriate response.

We bow before Him in awe and appreciation of who He is.

Oh! Let us come now to worship
our Great and Awesome God!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Never Be Shaken


Truly He is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

(Psalm 62:2)


God is our stronghold.

He is our fortress.

We will never be shaken.

We may be persecuted for our faith.

But if we die, we know that we will go to heaven.

We need not be afraid of persecution.

The Lord will be with us in times of need.

He will keep us and help us.

And we will go to heaven when our time has come.

So what do you want to do with your lives?

Let us serve the Lord Jesus Christ together.

Let us reaffirm our faith in God as our only protector who does not allow us to be shaken.

Thank You Lord,
Only in You can I find safety and protection.
You have promised that You will always be with me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Carrying The Cross


Jesus turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan!

You are a stumbling block to me;
you do not have in mind the concerns of God,
but merely human concerns.”
(Matthew 16:23)


The third temptation of Jesus was when the devil offered Him the kingdom without the cross.

The devil was saying, ‘Don’t go off and make all those sacrifices, spend nights in agony praying, and end up being tortured by soldiers and dying a horrible death. Just take it all now, from my hand!’

The church often faces the same temptation. The devil offers us power without suffering.

Jesus called Peter ‘Satan’ when he made the same suggestion.

When we mention everything about Christianity but fail to talk about suffering, we are taking away the cross from the Christian life. We are bringing a satanic suggestion.

Anyone who says we can follow Christ but not carry our cross is no better than Satan himself.

Jesus said so. He said it to Satan. He said it to Peter. And this goes to anyone else who dares to think they can be a Christian witness without talking about carrying the cross.

Let us realize that every Christian is required to carry the cross.

Oh Lord, I will no longer try to eliminate the way of the cross from my Christian living. Help me never again attempt to substitute power for suffering.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bow Down To Me


Genesis 37:1–11

We don’t know why Joseph told his brothers about his dreams.

His motives might be entirely innocent.

But sharing his dreams had disastrous results.

His brothers already hated him because they saw that their father Jacob loved him more than any of them.

Joseph’s dream that implied he would rule over them one day made them even more angry.

*******

Many of Jesus’ brethren — the Jewish leaders of his time — reacted violently to his claims of lordship too.

*******

But as with Joseph, God blessed the Gentiles and the Jews through Jesus.

*******

The children of God will recognize who Jesus is and bow down to him.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Faithful Steward


Genesis 24:1–67

A steward is one who is commissioned to oversee and execute the affairs of another. The closer a steward is able to represent the mind of their superior, the better they fulfill their role. Therefore, when a steward is on assignment, ideally they have no personal will or agenda; they strive to have the mind and will of their supervisor.

Abraham’s unnamed senior servant was an excellent example of a faithful steward. His mindset was to represent Abraham’s will and interests as faithfully as possible.

We are stewards of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our goal is to have His mind and will.

By looking at Abraham’s servant, we can gain insight into how to be a more faithful steward of God’s purposes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In His Time


God will surely make all things beautiful in His time!