Sunday, October 25, 2015

May I never boast except in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.  Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.  (Galatians 6:14-16)
What do we boast in our life?    Yes, we, Christians, should boast the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ in our life, but it is not always happening.   If not carefully and constantly reflecting our life against the cross, soon we find  our eyes have been drifting away from the cross of Jesus.   Especially, when we are smoothly sailing on a clam sea, our mind starts concern more about what we see and enjoy on earth.    Life is good, and we easily dwell in this mode.  Soon we feel the power of life in our hand, rather than being a passenger of smoothly sailing ship, and we become a captain of the ship.  As we know, in reality, it is opposite.  This is the time that our spiritual power is at the lowest.  We are really vulnerable to all kinds of Satanic attack.  Of course, the clever Satan attacks our weakest part, with which we have been struggled long long time – the deadly one among our past sins that we have not completely dealt with God before the cross.    Without the shield of Holy Spirit, we are essentially bare and totally exposed to our enemy.   Our defeat is sure, and it is matter of when, not if.   We must be always vigilant not to be in a deep spiritual sleep to keep our old self  from taking dominion over us.
The above Bible verse tells that we boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.   The cross of Jesus is the source of our strength, and through the cross, we can win over the world.   No matter what Satan does (even attacking our weakest part), through the power of the cross of Jesus, we can and will win.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
Not just winning.  We will become and are more than conquerors.  Yes, we are victorious by Him who loves us.    He loves us and He is always with us.  Our victory is sure.   This victory is so powerful that it does not stay in us.   It reaches out to the world around us, and touching the lost by the love of Jesus Christ.   This love is the strongest in all creation.   Once we are touched and loved by Him,  nothing can separate us from His love.  

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,  neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   (Romans 8:38-39)
Death of life, angels or demons, the present or the future, any powers, height or depth, anything else in the world that we can see, think of or even imagine cannot separate use from the love of God in Christ Jesus.   This assurance and power will make us win anything that we confront now and in the future.    The true power of love reaches its peak when it is given to others.    Our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated this on the cross.   He loved sinners and those who pierced Him.   Then He become more than conquer of the world.     When we love others, we will be like him -- more than conquerors in everyday of our life, and be a messenger of the God’s love to the lost.    Yes, the world will continue try to crucify us, but in reality, the world will be crucified by us in the power of Jesus.  
We are already dead on the cross.  Then we become a new creation in Jesus Christ through His love, and we also radiate His love to the world.   This is the only thing that really matters.   Yes, the peace and mercy of God is always with us in any circumstances on earth.    No longer being indulged in the earthy thing, and being tangled by the earthy pleasure and boast.  Instead enjoy the new relationship with God as a new creation in Him, and proclaim His love, mercy and peace to those who are suffering, lost and yearning for a salvation.  Praise the Lord, who loved us and transformed us to a new creation!   His love endures forever because He has no rotating shadow.   To Him and only Him, give the highest glory and praise from now and forever! Amen.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Great faith with a humble and pure heart

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”  The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”  Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. (Luke 4:47-50)

A noble official at Capernaum had a son, who became ill.   It was so serious that his son was about to die.   The official, who had power and wealth, tried every treatment and medication available.   But all were not effective.  His son was still sick and getting weaker in his illness.   He heard about Jesus,  who performed a miracle -- turning water into wine.  Although he was a noble official, for his dying son, he humbly came to Jesus with a needy heart.    Then he begged Jesus to come down and heal his son because his son was at the point of death.    However, Jesus, who answered “ Unless you see sings and wonders you will not believe.”    It must be unexpected answer for the official.   He must be surprised at his answer, but he asked again with a humble heart “Sir, come down before my child dies.”   He was not dissuaded by Jesus’ answer.  He talked to Jesus with his sincere heart what Jesus should do.   Yes, his faith was great, but his did not fully understand the power of God.  He already prescribed how God should heal his son.  How many times do we prescribe or set a condition how God should act?

Jesus is always full of mercy and love.  Upon his urgent request,  Jesus plainly answered that “Go: your son will live.”  Then the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.   Could the official believe Jesus’ word if this was the first answer from Jesus?    Jesus loved him, and he added his faith first before granting his humble request.  On the way,  he met his servant, and found out his son’s fever left him at the hour when Jesus had said to the official “Your son will live.”   Then he himself truly believed, and all his household.  Praise the Lord!   Jesus made the official’s small but humble faith multiply.  It healed his son, and saved all his household.  He himself truly experienced the power of God, and believed.

And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.  Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed.  For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”  And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well  (Luke 7:1-10)

A centurion, a head of hundred soldiers, had a servant, who was highly valued by him.   That servant was sick at the point of death.   The centurion said, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof”, and he just wanted Jesus’ word.   Jesus marveled at him, and told to the crowd following Him “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”    The centurion’s faith was big, and it did not require a physical proof.  He had a pure faith that even made Jesus marveled at his faith.

The size or the maturity of faith does not matter.   Both came to Jesus with a humble and pure heart while believing that Jesus could heal his son/servant.  Our God loves to see our humble and pure heart before him.   Then the rest is up to God.  He will listen to our prayer, and do His work for us –  increasing our faith, giving a miracle like healing a dying son, and making all household believers.    He also used the greater faith of the centurion.  It marvels us after about two thousand years later, and sets an example of what our faith should be.  Praise the Lord, who is always faithful to all of His people, and make them grow deeper in the relationship with God.  He uses all kinds of opportunities – son’s illness to death, servant’s illness to death, or other hardships or joys in live.  He always waits to hear our prayer from a humble and pure heart.  

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrew 4:16)

Let’s continue approaching to God under any situation rather than relying on our own understanding or might.  The size of our faith does not matter.  When we offer our faith before him, He uses for His glory, and reach out and save people around us.   Praise the Lord, whose mercy endures forever!  His grace is abound beyond measure.  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench.

Good morning!

Greeting in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
a bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;  (Matthew 12:20)
Jesus Christ is a humble king.  He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. (Matthew 12:19)  He is also a compassionate king with full of mercy.   He does not break a bruised reed, nor quench a smoldering wick.   His warm and loving arms protect those who are suffering and yeaning for mercy and grace.   His bosom is the place that we want to be, especially when we are bitten and bruised in our life, or when we are smoldering before an unbearable hardship.   His arms are always open to us, His voice is always soft, and His eye is full of tears for us in love because we are bruised and smoldering.    Just lift up eyes and look up the face of Jesus, who is waiting for us like a father constantly searches for his prodigal son.   Still a long way off,  he saw, ran, embraced, and kissed his prodigal son. (Luke 15:20)
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. (Matt 18:12-13)
Jesus set off even for one single lost sheep, which has gone astray.   She followed her own desire and chased down for the cares of the world.    Of course, she initially thought that she would be a better place with full of things that she desired.  However, she ended up a place full of dangers, where nobody cared for her.   She was lost physically, mentally and spiritually.    We are not much different from the lost sheep.   We tend to follow our own desire and to chase down the riches of the world, although what we chase on earth are like morning fog, which exists momentary and disappears as sun rises.   This chase seems harmless initially, but it is slowly and gradually consuming us from inside out.   Then suddenly, we realize that we are lost.   Shame, despair, and fears are torturously engulfing us, but this is a very time to lift up eyes, and look up Jesus, who is always there with full of compassion.  He is right next to us with open arm.   He brings us back to where we ought to be, and restores us in His kingdom, i.e., our Home.
On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. (1 Corinthian 12:22-25)
In His kingdom, there is no more suffering and darkness because Jesus is the light. (Revelation 21:23)   His kingdom is not like a kingdom that we see and know of on earth.   The weaker are indispensible, and they got greater honor.   There is no division.   All the members have mutual concern for one another to build one body of Jesus in the love of Jesus.
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthian 12:26-27)
Therefore, if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it;  if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.  We together build one body of Christ, and individual members of it.    Praise the Lord!    All, both the lost and the faithful, are one, because we are one in Him, and we will radiate the same compassion, mercy and love in Jesus Christ.    Sing praise and give the highest praise to our Lord because His mercy endure forever!  Amen.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

And who is my neighbor?

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  (Luke 10:29)
Who is our neighbor?   This is the question asked by an expert in the law.   The Bible explains that the question was not an honest inquiry to satisfy his thirst for knowledge, but a statement to justify himself.   This question was grounded on himself to show off his righteousness before God.   In his heart, he was fully justified and righteous, because he taught the law and meticulously kept the law.  Yes, he was righteous in his own years.  Therefore, he was well qualified to inherit eternal life.  To his surprise, Jesus answered the question with a parable:
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ (Luke 10:30-35)
Not a priest, nor a Levite, but a Samaritan took pity on a man attacked by robbers and abandoned.   Then the Samaritan approached to him, bondaged him wounds, and took him to an inn.   The Samaritan gave money to the innkeeper, and promised to reimburse for an extra expense when returning.    What a story with full of love and compassion!   At the time of this parable was spoken by Jesus, Samaritans were really badly treated by Jews because Samaritans were not legally pure in their eyes.   Even so, the Samaritan opened his heart on the person in need, and provided the help that the robbed person needed critically.
By the way, the above discourse between Jesus and the expert in the law was initiated by Jesus’ question about “What is written in the Law?”   The expert in the law, who knew the law thoroughly, replied ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27)    The answer was perfect, but his heart was not.  Then Jesus explained the true meaning of the perfect answer – to show love to a person in need even though the person might have continuously mistreated you. 
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:43-44)
What’s the common between the robbed person in the parable, and our enemies in our lives?   Both of them are in need.  The robbed person is physically in need, while our enemies are spiritually in need.   As the Samaritan treated the robbed person as his loving neighbor, we also pray for our enemies as our neighbors spiritually in need.    Yes, our enemies do physically and mentally persecute and harm us.  Every action of hating and harming us adds a scar and wound in our heart as well as enemies’ heart too.    Sadly, they do not know this fact.   By continuing doing so, they are spiritually dying.    Nobody says that having an enemy or being attacked by enemy is a pleasant thing.   It is really painful, but it provides an opportunity to love them, and doing so, we can save their souls.    Of course, with our own might and strength alone, we are not able to love our enemies.  Only through the power of the Jesus Christ, we can overcome our limitation and go beyond the pains afflicted by our enemies.  With His loving eyes, we can see their miserable and dying spirits, and take pity on them with the love of Jesus Christ on cross.   Then our heart will be filled with mercy, compassion and love.
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.  (Luke 6:35-36)

Let’s pray together.   Please help us to increase our love in Christ toward others including our enemies who persecute us with a greater power, and continue breaking our heart and mind.   And do not lose heart, and humbly bring request to God.   Then the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).    Our reward in heaven will be great, and we will be called sons of God, the Most High even on earth.   Amen!