Sunday, January 29, 2017

We Are Engaved On The Palms Of God's Hands.


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

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; (Isiah 49:16a)

God loves His own children.  We are His joy.  He loves to see us and hear our voice.   He could not take off His eyes on us.   He even has engraved us on the palms of His hands.  Nothing can be between God and us.  

Apostle Paul wrote in Romans as follows:

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?  Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?  Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself.  Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.  (Romans 8:31-34)

Thus, nothing dears to be against us.   Some of us has heavy burdens in lives introduced by past faults, mistakes, wrong decisions, wrong doings, and/or sinning before God and others, because these are restlessly accusing in hearts.  However, God did for us one marvelous thing – did not spare even his own Son, Jesus Christ.   He put all our wrong doings, transgressions and sins on Him, and sacrificed Him on cross as an atonement for all of us.    Thus, all of condemnations that we need to receive were given to Jesus, and He became the ultimate sacrifice for all our sins and transgressions.   He paid all our sins on cross, and made us free.   Yes, now we are from the bondage of all our past wrong doings, sins and transgressions.    From now on, there is no more condemnation for us, accepting Jesus as our savior.

Additionally, He rose again in third day after being crucified on cross.  He conquered the death, which is the enemy that nobody has ever overcome.  All humanity were defeated under the power of the death, but Jesus became the first fruit of resurrection, and all who believe in Him will receive the same resurrection.   Now the Risen Lord is stilling in the place of throne of God’s right hand, and interceding for us.   What a comforting truth to us!   There is no more condemnation forever because Jesus is our savior, and Jesus, the Risen Lord, is sitting on the throne of God’s right hand and continue interceding us.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.  (Romans 8:35-37)

Our sins are completely forgiven by Jesus Christ, and will live forever with Our Lord.   This is the greatest among all the messages ever existed in our human history.    Nobody has been above the heavy burdens coming from sins.   We fall short of the glory of God, and our sinfulness hostages us and put us under the bondage of sins.   Nobody has been capable of overcoming sins and the bondage of the sins by one’s own might.   Only Jesus Christ, the Savior, was able to overcome because He and only He was sinless, and conquered the power of sins, and open the new chapter of salvation to all humanity.   This is the most precious and priceless truth.   It is so precious that there is no way to purchase it.   This is a gift of God.  Yes, our salvation is freely given to anyone who accept Jesus Christ as the Savior and believe in Him.   It is also unconditional.   No matter how sinful we were, as soon as we accept Jesus as our savior, all of our past sins are forgiven.   (As matter of fact, our present and future sins are also forgiven through His unmatchable grace and love.)

Surely, we will meet troubles and hardships, and even are persecuted more because of one simple reason that we believe God and keep His Word.  This world is not so friendly to us, believers.   There has been and will be a constant battle between believers and the rest.    The rest do everything that make us to fail, as simple as taking away our joy in Christ by introducing pains in our lives.   We cannot avoid.   This happen virtually in every part of our lives, such as a work place, a family and friend gathering.    Even so, we don’t lose our heart.   Jesus has gone before us, and he has already won the battle.  How?  He did it on the cross, and declared the victory: ..“It is finished”...  (John 19:30b)   Give thanks to God!   Jesus won the ultimate battle.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:38-39)

Why did God sacrifice His Son for us?  Because of His Love.   Yes, God loved us.     For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)   Through His love, God gives an eternal life to us, and take away the enormous weight of our sins, transgressions and wrong doings especially before God.   God’s love is the key and the very source of the unthinkable grace (the fee gift) of God.  

God’s Love, in facts, is associated with the true and very nature of God.  Thus, it cannot be touched by anything that we know, imagine or even beyond that we cannot imagine.   The guarantor of the grace is God, Himself.   All creations are under Him.    All seemingly impossible for us is nothing before Him.   Yes, we often confront with events that is beyond our control, and we realize how helpless we are.  We feel like a small boat tossed around in a stormy night.  Even in this moment, God is with us.  

What we need is to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.   Then see Jesus Christ’s right hand that is already stretched to us, and waiting for us.    Simply reaching out our hand to Him.  Then He will hold tight with His loving and mighty hand.  The life storm around us will soon become calm, and we will find ourselves in His bosom full of love, comfort and peace.  This is the assurance that we can get in any types of life storms.   Praise the LORD!  God’s Love never fails and endures forever.  Nothing on earth, angels or even death cannot separate us from His Love.  

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  (1 John 3:1a)



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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Give thanks to the LORD; His faithful love endures forever!


Good morning!

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


After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:

“Give thanks to the LORD;
His faithful love endures forever!” (2 Chronicles 20:21)

Jehoshaphat succeeded King Asa, who was his father, and became the 4th king of Judah.  He followed the example of his father’s early year, and did not worship idols.   He sought his father’s God and obeyed his commands instead of following the evil practices of the kingdom of Israel.  So God established Jehoshaphat’s control over the kingdom of Judah.  He was deeply committed to the ways of God.  He removed the pagan shrines and Asherah poles from Judah so that his people be faithful to God.  He also sent his officials and Levites to teach his people in all the towns of Judah with God’s Word.  

Then the fear of the LORD fell over all the surrounding kingdoms so that none of them wanted to declare war on Jehoshaphat.  Some of the Philistines brought him gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabs brought rams and goats.  So Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful and built fortresses and storage cities throughout Judah.  

One day, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunitesa allied and declared war against Jehoshaphat.  Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea.  They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi, which was the west side of the Dead Sea, on which side Jerusalem was.)  

Suddenly, a huge challenge found him and his country.   Three countries on the east side of the Dead Sea made alliance and were about to attack Judah.  They had already crossed the Dead Sea, and arrived at En-gedi, which was on the east side of the Dead Sea.  The allied enemy were only 40 miles/60 km away from Jerusalem.  

On the news, Jehoshaphat was terrified, but he did not call for a meeting to devise a plan how to defend against the huge allied enemy’s army.   Instead, he sought the LORD first, and he ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.  So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the LORD’s help.

Jehoshaphat stood before the people of Judah in front of the courtyard at the Temple of the LORD.  He prayed,

O LORD, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!  O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham?  Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name.  They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’

… O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”  (2 Chronicles 20: 12)

In his prayer, Jehoshaphat declared God’s sovereignty and His absolute power.  Then he uttered the God’s promise in his prayer, which was followed by the King Solomon’s prayer of the temple dedication:  “Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.”  Jehoshaphat had nothing but hope in God.   He cried for help earnestly and humbly with all of his people to God including little ones, wives and all children.   All nation was humbly before God for His help.

God answered through one Levite, who spoke:  “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.  Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.  But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!”  (2 Chronicles 20:15-17)

Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the LORD.  Then the Levites stood to praise the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout. 

Early the next morning the army of Judah went out for the battle. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.” (2 Chronicles 20:20)   Jehoshaphat shared his absolute faith and God’s glory with the people, because he truly trusted in the LORD.

After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:

“Give thanks to the LORD;
his faithful love endures forever!” (2 Chronicles 20:21b)

At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves!   The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other.  So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness near En-gedi, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.

What a power of God!   As God promised, the Jehoshaphat and his army did not have to shoot even one arrow or to draw one sword.   God saw the faith of Jehoshaphat and his people, and he answered.

Oh, God of mercy.   Please stretch your hand, touch our heart and soul to be filled with your spirit, and strengthen our faith in you.  We, as human beings, are frail and easily terrified by what we see, but you are always faithful to us.   On earth, help us to focus on you, and experience your power and your absolute sovereignty.   We will give our praise forever and ever to you, our ever-loving Father.  Praise Him!  Praise His Name with the loudest voice!  His name is worthy of our highest praise.   Amen.

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
     for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
     for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for His steadfast love endures forever;  (Psalm 136:1-3)



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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Give Thanks in All Circumstances


Good morning!

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

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

The above Bible verses were given by my grandfather, who was a truly faithful servant to God.  Right after he returned to God, his friends came to me, and told about his faithful life before God including enormous generosity to fellow Christians and his total dedication of his life to God.    I still remember.   After the first day of my elementary school, on the way home, I visited my grandfather because I was told he wanted to see me.   As I was stepping in his office door, my grandfather called my name, and asked to come near him.   He hugged me, and he said he prepared one special present for me because it was the special day for me and him.   Then he pulled out one small leather bound Bible from his desk drawer.  He opened up the small and attractive Bible, and was flipping through the Bible to get to the 1st book of Thessalonians.  Then he showed me Bible verses that was already red-lined, which were the above Thessalonians 5:16-18.   While making me the cute Bible with my small hand, he told me “I give you these verses to you as our life verses.”  Since then, I cannot count how many times I recited the verses, while thinking about my faithful grandfather.   

I liked the verses, but whenever I read the verse, initially, I felt that it was practically impossible verses.  Rejoicing always(with being sad all the time)?   Praying continually (or without ceasing as written in some Bible translations)?   Then, giving thanks in all circumstances?  Not just under a good circumstance, but during time of difficulty, sadness, and even disaster.   I was too young to eyewitness my grandfather how he was actively served God while encouraging and leading others to God.   His close friends told me that he was generous and thankful to God even under a situation that most of people would not give thanks to God.   Most of all, he was a man of prayer.  He must be much different from many Christians around him.  In my own memory, he was a quite person who seldom talked about himself and what he was doing.  However, one thing that I still remember.  One day, I stopped by his office to see him after school, he hugged me and told me “you are the top on my prayer list along with the church that I serve.”   He continued how earnestly and humbly prayed for me to God.  What he told me had gone deep into my heart.   My grandfahter’s prayer, I recall, was a real encouragement to me later part of my life, especially in those times of need.    I am sure he is in Heaven now, and is still praying for me.  


He said,
“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The LORD gave me what I had,
and the LORD has taken it away.
Praise the name of the LORD!” (Job 1:21)

Bible answers about one of the questions that are very difficult to do as a human being, which were listed before -- is it possible for a person to give thanks to God when the person falls in a real disaster in one’s life?  

In the land of Uz there lived a man named Job; and he was blameless and upright, one who revered God and avoided evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred asses; and he had many servants, so that he was the richest man among all the peoples of the East.

One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered, "From going back and forth on the earth, and walking up and down on it." And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Satan answered, "But is it for nothing that Job reveres God? Have you not yourself made a hedge all about him, about his household, and about all that he has? You have blessed whatever he does, and his possessions have greatly increased. But just put out your hand now and take away all he has; he certainly will curse you to your face." Then Jehovah said to Satan, "See, everything that he has is in your power; only do not lay hands on Job himself." So Satan left the presence of Jehovah.

One day, as Job's sons and daughters were eating and drinking in the oldest brother's house, a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were ploughing and the asses were grazing near them when Sabeans suddenly attacked and seized them; the servants were put to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you."

While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "Lightning has fallen from heaven and has completely burned up the sheep and the servants, and I alone have escaped to tell you."

While this man was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans, attacking in three bands, raided the camels and drove them away; the servants were put to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you."

While this one was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking in their oldest brother's house when a great wind came from across the wilderness, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men and killed them. I alone have escaped to tell you."

Then Job rose, tore his robe, shaved his head, threw himself on the ground and worshipped, saying:

“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The LORD gave me what I had,
and the LORD has taken it away.
Praise the name of the LORD!” (Job 1:21)

In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.  (Job 1:22)

Yes, Job did not curse God neither in heart and thought, nor through his mouth.   This was Job’s true testimony about his walk with God.   His faith toward God was not conditional.   His faith in God was steadfast even when he confronted the real disaster losing everything that he owned including his own children.  Oh, God of mercy.  Please grant a true faith in you.  Like Job, we want to give thanks to you in all circumstance, even though we confront at a disaster or a hopeless situation.  Amen.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.  (Psalm 28:7)


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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Come and Drink From God, Our Ever-Loving Father

Good morning!

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


Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord. (Ezekiel 37:13-14)


God is gracious and full or mercy.   God restores His people and gives His hope that cannot be removed by any means on earth.   He even opens our life as if it were graves and brings His people out of from the graves.   God puts His Spirit on His people, to be filled with the Holy Spirit.   God settle His people on His land, and will be with His people forever.   This is the message spoken by God, who created heaven and earth.  The One, who spoke, is faithful, and He will sure do it.    What a comforting message it is!  Ezekiel received this very message in his vision.  


Through his vision, God took Ezekiel to the land of Israel, where the Israelites used to live till they were taken by Babylon to the current exile in Babylon as captives.   God put down Ezekiel on a very high mountain.   From there Ezekiel could see the south side of the city.   As God brought Ezekiel nearer to the city, Ezekiel was able to see a man whose face shone like bronze standing beside the city gate.  The man was holding in his hand a linen measuring cord and a measuring rod.   He said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, watch and listen. Pay close attention to everything I show you. You have been brought here so I can show you many things. Then you will return to the people of Israel and tell them everything you have seen.”


Then the man took Ezekiel, and showed the temple in the city.  It was not the original temple in which the Israelites used to worship God.  The original temple was utterly destroyed by Babylonians.   What Ezekiel saw was a new temple.   The man was measuring the temple.  Amazingly, the new temple had the exact dimension of the original temple built by Solomon.  


After measuring the temple, the man brought Ezekiel back to the entrance of the Temple. There Ezekiel saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side. 


Then the man was taking Ezekiel down the water stream from the temple door.   He measured off a thousand cubits (about 1,750 feet, or about 530 meters), and then led Ezekiel through water that was ankle-deep.  He measured off another thousand cubits and led Ezekiel through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led Ezekiel through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that Ezekiel could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.   The man asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, do you see this?”    Ezekiel was silent because he could not find a proper word to answer.   However, it was true that being completely submerged in the deep water from the temple was an amazing experience.   It was comforting and renewing his spirit, which was not anything like on earth.   


The man took Ezekiel back to the bank of the river.  Then the man said to Ezekiel, “This river flows east [from the temple] through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure.  There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows. Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea. All the way from En-gedi to En-eglaim, the shores will be covered with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea, just as they fill the Mediterranean. (Ezikiel 47:8-10) 


The water from the holy temple spiritually renewed Ezekiel.   The same water flowed down through the dry desert and into the valley of the Dead Sea.   No living things were there in the Dead Sea.   Miraculously, as the water from the temple touches the dead and salty water, it turned into a fresh and pure water.  Living things were getting back to the Dead Sea, and the Dead Sea was filled with fish.   Wherever the water flowed, it revived the dead to life.   Fishermen came back to the Dead Sea that fishermen used to completely abandon.  The shores were covered with nets drying in the sun.   What a beautiful scene that Ezekiel saw!   Where death used to be were filled with all kinds of live fish, and fishermen.    


The man, then, saw the trees on both sides of the banks of the river.  Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing. (Ezekiel 47:12)


All kinds of fruit bearing trees started growing on the river banks.   The leaves would never wither because the river continuously renewed.   Nor no fruit fail to ground again because the trees got the water from the life-giving river.   The fruit were for food for His people and the leaves for healing for the Israelites, who were suffering and completely lost their hope under their harsh exile in Babylon as captives. 


God, who are full of mercy and love, sent this amazing vision to His people through Ezekiel:  God soon would rescue and revive them with His renewing power that could change the entire Dead Sea into a place for all kinds of fish and fishermen.   The desert was also turned into a life-producing and healing land.   The trees on the both river banks produced various fruits for food and leaves for healing.  This was the message given by God.  


God, who is our Ever-Loving Father, still sends the same message to those who are suffering and lost hope.  Please come to Him and drink from Him.  All who come to Him will be comforted and renewed in Him.  This is our hope and our faith.  Praise God, who is always faithful, because He has no rotating shadow around Him, and He is infinitely patient.   Yes, He will surely revive and renew His people with His unfailing mercy and unfathomable grace in the Love of Jesus Christ on cross.   Amen!


Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2)



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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hope in the Ever-Loving God


Happy New Year!

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

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!  This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ” (Ezekiel 37:4-6)

After a long period of disobedience to God, Israel people was taken to Babylon as captive.  Their lives were not used to be as in Israel, their own country.   People suffered during the exile in Babylon.  They felt them in the exile as if they were dead and dry bones.   No hope and no joy in their hearts because of their daily experience in Babylon.   There was no sign of ending their exile either.   They knew they were simply stuck with the harsh reality.   On the other hand, God, who dearly loved the Israelites, did not forget them.  Our God, who was full of mercy, grace and love, could not bear with their hardship.   God appeared to Prophet Ezekiel in his vision.

God took hold of Ezekiel, and he was carried away by the Spirit of the LORD to a valley filled with bones.   God led Ezekiel all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then God asked him, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”

“O Sovereign LORD,” Ezekiel replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”
Ezekiel was in astonishment, and he could not respond except this simple answer.

Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”

So Ezekiel spoke this message, just as God told him. Suddenly as Ezekiel spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. Then as Ezekiel watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.

Then God said to Ezekiel, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’”

So Ezekiel spoke the message as God commanded him, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.

Then God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ Therefore, prophesy to them and say, This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel.  When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the LORD.  (Ezekiel 37:11-12)  I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the LORD has spoken!’”

God loved the Israelites.  When they lost their hope, God was there with them.   When they thought that they were finished, again God was there.   When they were completely at the bottom of the graves of exile, God could not stand still.   God reached out the Israelites, He gave a vision of hope through Ezekiel.   

The valley was full of completely dry bones.  Nothing was alive in the entire valley.  Only is the death prevailing in the entire valley.   Of course, the old and completely dry bones did not have any hope at all because they had been dead long time.  Their skins had been already decomposed, and swept away by blowing winds in the valley.  And under the harsh sun, all the bones were completely dried up.   Then was there a dead silence except wind noise blowing through the dry bones.  Only the death prevails in the valley.  No hope and no future. 

However, God directed Ezekiel to speak, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!  This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

As directed, Ezekiel spoke to the bones.  Then the bones made a loud noise that filled the entire valley.    The bones were moving together and being attached themselves as complete skeletons!   Then the skeletons were covered with skins.   Again there was a dead silence.   Nothing was moving.    God again directed Ezekiel to speak, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.” (Ezekiel 37:9)   As Ezekiel spoke the very message of God, breath came into their bodies.  They all came to life and stood up on their feet forming a great army!!!

Yes, before God, nothing is impossible.   In Ezekiel’s vision, God turned the great pile of the old dry bones in the valley to a great living army ready to march.    What a comforting message to the Israelites in the exile.   To some of us, the last year 2016 was not an easy year while feeling themselves as if they were the dry bones in the valley of the Ezekiel’s vision.   However, in the Ezekiel’s vision, God did not the dry bones alone.   God put together the dry bones, put skins on them, and made them a great living army.    God loves all of us, and He never forgets His people.  He is always with His people every moment by moment, and He is carefully watching His people like a mother who gives utmost care and love to a new-born baby after its birth.   God is our True and Ever-Loving Father   He is also almighty God, who prepared everything for us even before laying the foundation of the whole universe.   For Him, 2017 is not an exception.  This year is also a part of Our Father’s infinitely good plan for each of us.    Yes, just lift up eyes to face Him, and sing, praise His Name.   His mercy, love and grace endures forever!   Praise God, Our True and Only One Father.   Amen.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16)





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