Sunday, November 29, 2015

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.  (Psalm 107: 1-3)
This is time for giving thanks to God.   God is good, and His love endures forever.    In our daily life, His love always stands firm and tall regardless what we think and feel about Him because His love has never changed and will not in future too.   For this year, we might have lots of stories to tell, Or some of us are still under a storm of life, being surrounded by troubles and even enemies.   It is time to stop, stand still, and look back what He has done to our life in this year.  Surly, His strong hand has been always with us, and redeemed us from the foe.   Sometimes our hearts and minds were blown away by a storm, but His hand was still there to hold us tight against the strong wind.    This is to time for thanksgiving before God.   Our God gives us a rest in our heart, which is not like that the world can give.    From east, west, north and south, He gathers all His people to make them join His rest.   Hear His voice: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)”   His love endures forever.  
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord,
    for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
    he has hurled into the sea. 
“The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
    my father’s God, and I will exalt him.  (Exodus 15:1-2)
The 360 years of slavery was ended by crossing the red sea.   Moses and the Israelites witnessed the power of God and His salvation, which was foretold.   Not because they kept the faith, but Our God was faithful, the freedom came.    Nobody could resist praising God with thanksgiving.   They sang to the Lord about the God’s mighty hand that hurled both horse and driver into the sea.   The security and assurance on the side of God turned into  a song:  “The lord is my strength and defender.  He has become my salvation.”   The sound of praise of 600,000 voices shook the land and the sea.   What a awesome scene it was!   “He is my God, and I will praise Him,  my father's God, and I will exalt Him”   They danced with musical instruments in a true joy of being released from the age-old bondage.   They must have felt that the bondage would never end because it was there with them when there were born and died.   Day after day, and year after year, all same suffering and hopelessness saw they.   However, the day of salvation came.   Now they found that they were firmly standing on the land of freedom as promised by God.   How about us?   Just look back.   What do we see?   One thing is true that we are standing firm on the land of promise of God.   The bondage of the sin has completely shattered by the power of the cross.    Yes, like the Israelites, who met challenges and hardships after the crossing the red sea, we surely walked on a land of difficulty and hardship.  Then please ask a question:  “Was the journey really impossible like crossing the red sea?”   We are His, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ on cross.
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
    his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Israel his servant,
    children of Jacob, his chosen ones!   (1 Chronicles 16:8-13)
King David waited and waited.  Finally, the Ark had arrived in Jerusalem.  He could not stop dancing and singing before God.   His heart was like a child who only looks to the eyes of his/her parents who loved to have happiness of their children.   He gave thanks to the Lord while calling upon His name and making a joyful noise.   His joy was too great to be confined in his heart.   “David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy” (1 Chronicles 15:16)     David proclaimed His wondrous works to all his people.  “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (1 Chronicles 16:34)
Say also:
“Save us, O God of our salvation,
    and gather and deliver us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
    and glory in your praise.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting!”
Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord. (1 Chronicles 16:35-36)
All the Israelites joined David’s joy and thanksgiving, and said “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting!”   What a beautiful scene it was!    The joy of bringing the Ark was so great that the Israelites stopped their daily lives, and gathered in Jerusalem to give thanks to God.   Yes, Jesus came to find us, and entered into our life.   He removed the bondage of sin and death, and gave new life so that we can live Jesus from now and to eternity, which we have been yarning for long time.  Isn’t it time to shout for rejoice and give highest praises from the deepest part of our heart for His unfailing love and grace?   His name will be glorified from now to eternity because His love endures forever.   Let’s make a joyful noise, and give the highest praise to God because He has made us to cross the red sea.   We are His people forever.  His mercy and love endure forever!  Amen.

Let’s pray together to give thanks to God, who is always faithful, and who has been guiding us with His loving hand through a stormy and glassy sea.   We are His sheep in His pasture.    Praise Him!   His might hand will be with us forever.   We are His people, and His beloved children. 

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)
Today is the Lord’s day.  Although we might sail through a hardship, toils, worries, concerns, disappointment, and even sleepless stormy nights, we come to Jesus.  In Him, we find rest for our souls.   This rest is not like those rests that this world can offer, because it comes from the above.   The rest from the below is subtly deceiving.  It often makes us indulge in the earthly comfort, and being deceived as we were the captain of the ship sailing on a glassy sea.   This is the moment that we are most vulnerable to Satan’s attack.   Satan, who is really clever and exactly knows about our spiritual state, pumps up our ego and self sufficiency, which is the crafty attack targeting at the very center of our fallen nature.   Soon the smoothly sailing sea turns into a stormy one.   We are tossed around, and even the deepest part of our heart becomes unsettling.  All confidences and our self-sufficiency are quickly evaporated, and worries and sleepless nights find us again.    Unfortunately, we tend to continuously search for a way out by connecting dots with our own wisdom and strength, but it fuels ever increasing our worries in us.  We become simply trapped in the vicious cycle getting deeper into the storm.   Only is Jesus who can rescue us, and calm the storm.   Jesus says “Come and Come to me.   I will give you rest.”  Yes, it is the time to lift up our eyes and see Jesus, who has been waiting for us with open arms even before the storm began.  What a true friend and faithful companion!   Come to Jesus and receive the rest that only Jesus can give.  Learn and experience His gentle and humble heart.   No more being deceived by our own self-sufficiency, humbly accept Jesus as our king.   Then gladly take the yoke of Jesus, and give all control of the yoke to Him.  Our master will gladly hold tight on our yoke to protect us, and take us to a green pasture and besides still waters (Psalm 23).   We will have a peace coming from a gentle and humble King.  
 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  (John 15:5)
The Bible says we are the branches and Jesus is the vine.   If we, the branches, are detached from Jesus, the vine, then we cannot survive and soon wither and die because we cannot get nutrients from the vine.   However, if we firmly attached to Him, we will get all good spiritual nutrients and nourishments from Him.   In His love and cares, our inner person grows stronger, and gets into a deeper relationship with Him.    Of course, we are always tempted by Satan -- take off His yoke, and make us as own captain of our life.    We must resist the sweet voice of Satan.  As soon as we are detached from Jesus, we again be a prey to Satan, who is eagerly waiting for us to entice us.   Yes, all of us are different.   We are firmly attached, and are standing on the solid ground of the faith in Jesus Christ while resisting all temptations from Satan with the power of Jesus Christ.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Jesus renews and strengthens our spirit day by day (2 Cor 4:16), and our life is full fruit of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.   The power of the Holy Spirit is so great that there is no law to keep from bearing such fruit.   Yes, Satan continues enticing us with a sweet voice while attacking on what we treasure most.   As soon as Satan’s voice is heard, resist with prayer and rapidly change our focus to Jesus.  Hold on tight to Jesus as the branches are firmly attached to the vine.  Then the power of Jesus guards our hearts and minds, and we will continue bearing our beautiful fruit of the Spirit.   Praise the Lord, who are always faithful to us!   His love is stronger than anything else on earth and even in Heaven!
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
Yes, we belong to Jesus, as the branches belong to the vine by being attached.  Those who belong to Jesus have already nailed the passions and desires to the cross and crucified on the cross together with Jesus.   Therefore, the old self is crucified and died.   Then we are transcending the limitation of our old self, and becoming new in Christ, being filled with compassion, love and hope.   Then our life glows in His love, shining His light around us.   People see the light that separates from the darkness from the light, and can see the glory of God because we are different in Him, by Him and through Him.  This light will attract people come to Him.   Praise the Lord!   Our mortal and sinful body becomes a holy instrument to glorify Him and bring people to Him.   This is the power of the Love demonstrated on the Cross.   Praise God!   He sacrificed His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, for us.   Praise the Lord, whose mercy and love endures forever!   His name will be glorified forever and ever!  
Come, come to Jesus, and cast all our burdens and worries.   We get rest in Him.   We learn from Him who is gentle and humble in heart.  Then gladly take His yoke, and remain in Him as branches attached to their vine.   Then receive all spiritual nutrients, grow a deeper relationship with God, and bear fruit abundantly for Him.  This is the blessing that God wants for us to have all the time.   Let’s pray together to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ in every moment and every situation in our lives.  

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Behold! I tell you a mystery.

Good morning!

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

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  (1 Corinthian 15:51-53)

Yes, it is a mystery because it is far beyond that our mind can comprehend.   We will not sleep forever, but all be changed.  In the blink of an eye, all of us will be raised.   Our perishable body will put on the imperishable.   Our mortal body will put on immortality.    No longer, the power of death will not rule over us.    

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 
“O death, where is your victory?   
 O death, where is your sting?”   (1 Corinthian 15:54-55)

The death itself is swallowed up permanently in victory, and this victory will be shared by God with those who are loved by God.    Death will be totally destroyed, by which everyone ever lived on earth has been defeated.  Only through the power of God, this is possible, and we will come out more than conquerors of the death.   

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”   (Revelation 21:4)

Our Loving Father will wipe away every tear from our eyes.   There will be no more mourning, sorrows, and pains.   All these things have been passed away.   What will be left before us is his loving face.  The face has been watching over us all the time since we were born and till we see Him face to face.  What a blessing that we have!   Praise the Lord.   His mercy and love endures forever. What we have to get is taken by Our Lord on the cross (His mercy), and instead we are getting what we should not get (His grace).  This is the mystery and plainly hidden greatest secret.  We will be His people forever.   

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  (Revelation 21:23)

No more light of sun or moon is needed because the glory of God is the light.   Our Lamb, the Savior, is the lamp.  All nations come and bow down to God, and will bring their glory to God.    Like the twenty four elders (Rev 4:10), who give glory, honor and thanks to God by casting their crowns to the everlasting King, we will also present the highest glory, honor and thanks to Our Eternal Father, saying the same praise of the twenty elders:

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
  for you created all things,
    and by your will they existed and were created.”   (Revelation 4:11)

This is the scene that we, all who are faithful in Him, will see together with all of our forefathers in faith.   What a beautiful scene it is!   We will sing the new song in eternity with all believers in Heaven, Our Eternal Home.

Yes, we are still on earth.  This is the reality that we will have in future.   Don’t be discouraged by what we see and experience on earth.   Sure.  We might be surrounded by troubles on every side, but we cannot be crushed.   We might be perplexed, but we will not be driven to a despair.   We are even persecuted, but we will not be abandoned.   Even Satan lands a punch on our noise and knock down us on ground, but we will be destroyed because Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is with us.  Then He continues pointing us to our home in Heaven because all things including death will be swallowed up.   Our victory is sure because Jesus paid all.  

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  (Hebrews 10:23-25)

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.  Encourage each other with love of Jesus Christ, and good works in Him.  Do not lose heart, but stir up one another in love and faith as the day of his return is drawing near.  

Let’s rejoice in Him, and pray without ceasing.  Give thanks to Him for all circumstances because His mercy, and love endures forever.  Praise God, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords of all!   He is worthy of our highest praise and honors.   Glorify His Name, the Only Name of Our truly loving Father.   Amen!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Three Questions in Bible: Truth, Eternal Life, and "Lord, what about this man?"

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. (John 18:38)
“What is truth?” Whoever we are, we all have asked this very question at least once in our life.   This is certainly the top and fundamental question for centuries to many philosophers and scholars.   Many universities’ emblems also bear Veritas (truth) including Harvard.   Perhaps we are programmed to search for truth, and want to know about truth.   Pilate was not much different.  He asked the very question – “What is truth?”   Unfortunately, he was not ready for “the truth.”   Right after he asked the question, he went back outside to talk to the Jews.  He might have thought that he had enough knowledge about the circumstantial truth (i.e., the relationship between Jews and Jesus), not the truth that Jesus mentioned in the previous verse: “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37)    Jesus came to this world to bear witness “the truth.”   Everyone on the side of truth listens to Jesus.   Unfortunately, he was not of the truth.  Thus, he was blind although the Savior was right before him.   Are you searching for the truth?   Be silent by calming down all earthly matters entangling in your life, look up Jesus on the cross, truly listen to what Jesus tells you, and receive the truth.   Then the truth will make you free (John 8:32).   Jesus came to this world to make us set us free from all of our sins and transgressions through the blood of the cross, which is the truth and the proof of the God’s love to us.  
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25)
“What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” looks legitimate, but it was not.   The motivation was a self-justification.   In Bible, the same question was asked by a rich young man (Matthew 19:16, Mark 10:17, Luke 18:18).   The young man said he perfectly kept all commandments.   Therefore, the Lawyer, who taught the law, should have been perfect of keeping the law.  The lawyer thought that he was able to inherit eternal life by perfectly keeping the law.   Is it possible to keep all the law perfectly without breaking even a smallest part of the law?    Nobody in our human history was perfect in the law.   The law is holy (Roman 7:12), but we are not.   Thus, the law exposes how sinful we are and how remote from inheriting eternal life.   As a result, the holy and blameless law acquires us as sinners who cannot inherit eternal life.   The correct answer for the above question is absolutely “No. You cannot inherit eternal life by doing (i.e., our own efforts) or keeping the law because you are not capable.”    Jesus did not answer both cases.   He taught them about the truth in the language that they could understand with patience, love and compassion.   “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him...”(Mark 10:21)   Both of the lawyer and young man could see limitation of what they could do.  The young man left in sadness (Mark 10:22) because he directly saw his inability to inherit eternal life by his own doing.   However, Bible tells the real truth -- the good news: 
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8 )
Yes, we cannot get the eternal life (i.e., be saved) by our own efforts or works, but we are saved through faith.    Thus, it is the gift of God, which is freely given to us.   It is not our own doing.   Thus, we cannot credit to ourselves nor we can boast.   Praise the Lord!    The salvation comes from Him through the cross with His love.     Whoever believes in Him should not perish and have eternal life (John 3:16).   Yes, once we believe in Him, we get the truth – eternal life, which is the good news to all of us.   Praise the Lord!   His mercy, grace and love endure forever.   We will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever!
When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” (John 21:21)
Right after being fully restored by Jesus, Peter asked this question.   Jesus healed Peter’s wound and shame – denial of Jesus three times before people including a small girl.   He was fully immersed in the love of Jesus, who asked three times, “Do you love me?”   Then Jesus told Pete “Follow me.”   However, Peter turned and saw John, a fellow disciple.    Peter’s focus was again drifted away from Jesus.   Jesus repeated “You follow me!” (John 21:22).   Where is our focus?  
Intellectual arrogance, boasting of our own might and achievement, or focusing on others to measure up can be our main motive of coming to God.   These temptations are often obvious, but sometimes very subtle.   Be sensitive and listen to the voice of Jesus Christ.   Continue fixing our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the pioneer and perfector of our faith.   Stand firm on the solid rock of faith, and pray continually for each other with the mind of Jesus Christ, who emptied Himself for ourselves.    

Let’s continue pray to God not to be tempted by what we have and see, but to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ.  Then pray continually for each other to together grow into a deeper relationship with God.   Praise the Lord! 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fix our eyes on Jesus Christ and put on the full armor of God

Good morning!

Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
We are on the journey to our eternal home.  What we see is temporary, which will soon pass away.  Although we know this, but we cannot deny a fact that they are so much real to us in every sense.   We can see, touch, and even taste them.  How much real they can be?   They are intoxicatingly real.   If not careful, we pay all we have in order to buy things that cannot satisfy us (Isaiah 55:2).   Even so, our fresh is always craving for the world.   
For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.  (Romans 7:22-23)
As long as we are on earth.   The battle between our flesh and our inner being continues.  Satan is always searching for an opportunity, and whenever Satan sees a faintest hint of our spiritual weakness, Satan immediately attacks us, and makes us captive under the world and sins within us.   “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)”   This is the lamentation of Apostle Paul, which is also common to all of us.  With our own might, our defeat is sure.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  (Ephesians 6:12)
Our actual battle is not against flesh-and-blood enemies that we see, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.    We cannot win this battle alone.   First, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.    Second, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  (Eph 6:11)   
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (Ephesians 6:14-17)
Nobody goes to a battle without being prepare him/herself.   The Bible figuratively describes our armor before the battle against the Stan -- the Armor of God, which is composed of Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness,  Shoes of Readiness, Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation, Sword of the Sprit. 
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,  (Ephesians 6:18)
Then pray to God at all times without exception.   Keep alert without being comfortable or even getting into a spiritual sleep.   Continue persevering because we don’t know when and where the Satan will attack.   Prayer is the only way directly connecting to God.   With prayer, be spiritually sensitive to perceive a slightest hint of imminent attack from Satan.   Also pray for fellow Christian soldiers who are fighting together against Satanic power.
Through prayers for fellow Christian, we are knitted to be one army of Jesus Christ, and together stand firm on the solid rock of the faith of Jesus Christ.   Although the fight is fierce, our victory is sure.  We will come out as more than conquerors through Jesus Christ(Rom 8:37).  Praise the Lord!  He who endured the cross, disregarding its shame because of the joy awaiting Jesus – all of us will be with Him in our eternal home while singing praises forever to God with the eternal joy.   Hallelujah!   We will sing the eternal song – let everyone that has breath praise the Lord.   Praise the Lord!  (Psalm 150:6)
Let’s continue praying before God to be a strong and faithful solider for him.  Fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, put on the full armor of God, together stand firm on the rock of faith to endure all Satanic attacks, and together enjoy the eternal victory while singing the eternal song with our Savior. Amen!