November 26, 2012
Jobs 33:14-15 (NKJV)
14 For God may speak in one way, or in another,
Yet man does not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
When deep sleep falls upon men,
While slumbering on their beds,
God still speaks! Yet human beings do not perceive it. In this passage, Elihu confirms that God speak to us not necessarily through an audible voices; but rather, through images/vision/dreams. In the new testament, God spoke audibly three times: Mark 1:11 (Jesus baptism), Matthew 17:5 (Mount of Transfiguration) and John 12:28 (Jesus prayer).
The first few verses of the book of Hebrews also teach us that in the last days, God spoke through His Son:
Hebrews 1:1-2 (NKJV):
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
Notice that the author of the book of Hebrews acknowledged that God spoke in varieties of ways. There are times that we think God is irrelevant or do not speak to human any more. It’s actually the other way around. God still speaks. And He is very relevant, more than ever.
In the continuation of the passage in the book of Job above, it is stated that there is a purpose of why God speaks to us:
16 Then He opens the ears of men,
And seals their instruction.
17 In order to turn man from his deed,
And conceal pride from man,
18 He keeps back his soul from the Pit,
And his life from perishing by the sword.
And that is to provide instruction so we can live accordingly. On this last days, that living is through Christ alone.
March 31, 2010
Ephesians 5 (NKJV):
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31″For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
I usually say to the folks who attend the bible study (to the guys, who are mostly single): Make sure that when you get married, you’d be willing to die for your wife, just like when you are willing to sacrifice everything (or anything) to get her. Perhaps, my advice won’t work if you have an arranged marriage. But you got the point.
While teaching this, I don’t really think that it’s an extreme. Many would think so. After all, the jokes are quite rampant regarding a husband and wife relationships. A friend of mine found that working is a great way to get off his nagging/constantly yapping wife. He’d rather be at the office rather than at home. Everybody was kind of laughing when he mentioned that. I chuckled too, but deep down, I don’t want to have that kind of life. I mean, why bother to marry if the marriage life is awful?
The key verse (v.25) above mentioned it clearly: Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Gave himself up for the church. Guys, do you give yourself up for your wife? The verse teach us (the guy) give up to the wife, not give up to the marriage! No, I didn’t reach that stage or, else, I won’t be writing this piece. But how can someone have that same kind of passion and keep the passion flaming?
I am by no means an expert if it’s measured by how long I have been married, but then again, neither are many of those married couples who have been married for more. I am usually sad (and it does sunk in for a while) if I heard that married couples are going for divorce. That episode of life wouldn’t cross their minds when they were at the nuptial. (I do suspect some do, however. But these are exceptions)
There are things that a pair of marriage couple must understand. The Word say that marriage is a profound mystery. There is leaving and cleaving (v. 31). Then, at the end of the quoted passage, it give a good advice: “A husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband”. It will take a leadership of a man to gave up for his wife, but then it will also take a wife to respect her husband to make a marriage to work.
Let’s not debate on which one has to started first: Is it the husband? Is it the wife? Yes, it may look like a chicken and egg situation. I can say that guys, it’s your responsibility just like Jesus come to earth and die for the church. But then, I can say again, had it not been Mary’s (a lady) willingness to bear Jesus, Jesus may not be born. But let’s scratch that endless loop, and start with a new beginning. I’d propose for the guys to start first. Be responsible by sacrifice.
What do I hope from my own marriage? I asked this questions many times to myself. All I know so far, I’d like to have a successful life- the life that God has promised through Jesus Christ. I don’t have a specific answer to this question, but I know its meaningful answer: that it’s an abundant life and nothing can describe or fathom it.
The ultimate question (for the husband) linger: are you willing to die for your wife? Ladies, please don’t mock your husband if you read this and demand him to have this kind of love. If you respect and honor him, he will eventually be willing to give himself for you.
March 14, 2010
Note: this post was originally posted on Nov 6, 2009
There is a similar question that are asked by believers and non-believers. To the believers, the questions are “why does good thing happen to bad people and why does bad thing happen to good people?”. To those non-believers, the questions is “if God exist, why there are famines, hungry, destruction in the world?”. In essence, the question wonders why God allows such things to happen.
In a quick reasoning, those are quite valid questions. After all, isn’t He the almighty One? But ecclesiastes 5:2 say:
2 Do not be rash with your mouth,
And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.
For God is in heaven, and you on earth;
Therefore let your words be few.
Certainly, there are things in life that you can’t really choose. Some of those are your ethnicity, gender, birthday and time of death. Yet, there are things in life that you can choose, such as your spoken words and actions. Each one has it’s own circumstances, yet, God demands the same output with His commandments. And He will judge each and everyone actions whether it’s hidden or not.
Yesterday, I heard this story from radio (from Ron Vietti):
“an atheist barber was cutting the hair of a christian man. While cutting his hair, the barber said: “if God exist, why there are famines and destruction in land? Those alone is a proof that God doesn’t exist. His customer just keep quiet and keep smiling. Once the haircut is finished, the guy pays the barber and heads out. Then he gets a couple of guys from the street. They got long filthy messy hairs. Then this customer shout “There is no such things as a barber! If there is barber, there won’t be any guy with these kind of hair!”. The barber reply “But those people didn’t come to the barber!”. In which the christian guy say: “Precisely!”.
Most of the time, we have this wrong picture about God. Life is not fair, AND God is just. He paved a way for us to reach into Him. It’s your decision whether you want to go through it. Who are we to tell God that we want it our way and not His? And who are we that we dare to blame God?
Psalm 37 gives a good insight:
1 Don’t be upset because of sinful people.
Don’t be jealous of those who do wrong.
2 Like grass, they will soon dry up.
Like green plants, they will soon die.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live in the land and enjoy its food.
4 Find your delight in the Lord.
Then he will give you everything your heart really wants.
5 Commit your life to the Lord.
Here is what he will do if you trust in him.
6 He will make your godly ways shine like the dawn.
He will make your honest life shine like the sun at noon.
7 Be still. Be patient. Wait for the Lord to act.
Don’t be upset when other people succeed.
Don’t be upset when they carry out their evil plans.
8 Keep from being angry. Turn away from anger.
Don’t be upset. That only leads to evil.
9 Sinful people will be cut off from the land.
But it will be given to those who put their hope in the Lord.
10 In a little while, there won’t be any more sinners.
Even if you look for them, you won’t be able to find them.
11 But those who are free of pride will be given the land.
They will enjoy great peace.
12 Sinful people make plans to harm those who do what is right.
They grind their teeth at them.
13 But the Lord laughs at those who do evil.
He knows the day is coming when he will judge them.
14 Sinners pull out their swords.
They bend their bows.
They want to kill poor and needy people.
They plan to murder those who lead honest lives.
15 But they will be killed with their own swords.
Their own bows will be broken.
16 Those who do what is right may have very little.
But it’s better than the wealth of many sinners.
17 The power of those who are evil will be broken.
But the Lord takes good care of those who do what is right.
18 Every day the Lord watches over those who are without blame.
What he has given them will last forever.
19 When trouble comes to them, they will have what they need.
When there is little food in the land, they will still have plenty.
20 But sinful people will die.
The Lord’s enemies will be like flowers in the field.
They will disappear like smoke.
21 Sinful people borrow and don’t pay back.
But those who are godly give freely to others.
22 The Lord will give the land to those he blesses.
But he will cut off those he puts a curse on.
23 If the Lord is pleased with the way a man lives,
he makes his steps secure.
24 Even if the man trips, he won’t fall.
The Lord’s hand takes good care of him.
25 I once was young, and now I’m old.
But I’ve never seen godly people deserted.
I’ve never seen their children begging for bread.
26 The godly are always giving and lending freely.
Their children will be blessed.
27 Turn away from evil and do good.
Then you will live in the land forever.
28 The Lord loves those who are honest.
He will not desert those who are faithful to him.
They will be kept safe forever.
But the children of sinners will be cut off from the land.
29 Those who do what is right will be given the land.
They will live in it forever.
30 The mouths of those who do what is right speak words of wisdom.
They say what is honest.
31 God’s law is in their hearts.
Their feet do not slip.
32 Those who are evil hide and wait for godly people.
They are trying to kill them.
33 But the Lord will not leave the godly in their power.
He will not let them be found guilty when they are brought into court.
34 Wait for the Lord to act.
Live as he wants you to.
He will honor you by giving you the land.
When sinners are cut off from it, you will see it.
35 I saw a mean and sinful person.
He was doing well, like a green tree in its own soil.
36 But he soon passed away and was gone.
Even though I looked for him, I couldn’t find him.
37 Think about those who are without blame. Look at those who are honest.
A man who loves peace will have a tomorrow.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed.
Those who are evil won’t have a tomorrow.
They will be cut off from the land.
39 The Lord saves those who do what is right.
He is their place of safety when trouble comes.
40 The Lord helps them and saves them.
He saves them from sinful people
because they go to him for safety.
February 26, 2009
Have been thinking about temptations for the past few weeks- It’s interesting to see that Job was tempted even though he was doing all the things right in the eyes of God:
Job 1:8 (New King James Version)
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
Still, he has to go through temptations. Same thing happened with Lord Jesus. After fasting, he was led to a desert place to be tempted. The point is clear: temptations are for everyone, whether the person is upright with God or not. When one thing that he is strong in a way no temptation can harm him, that person better think twice and worry (verse 12):
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (New King James Version)
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
But God is faithful! He will show the way out. Hallelujah!
September 5, 2008
My prayer is that I would be effective when I use my tounge. That practice include when I used it toward my wife, kids, extended families and friends. As I grown up, I have seen that spoken words can be effective on it’s time. The same spoken words, if spoken at different time/ocassions, will bring different results. The best thing is to say the right thing at the right time, while the worst one is to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. I was specifically astounded by v. 4 and 5 from Isaiah 50:
Isaiah 50:4-10 (NKJV)
4 “ The Lord GOD has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned.
5 The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.
6 I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
7 “ For the Lord GOD will help Me;
Therefore I will not be disgraced;
Therefore I have set My face like a flint,
And I know that I will not be ashamed.
8 He is near who justifies Me;
Who will contend with Me?
Let us stand together.
Who is My adversary?
Let him come near Me.
9 Surely the Lord GOD will help Me;
Who is he who will condemn Me?
Indeed they will all grow old like a garment;
The moth will eat them up.
10 “ Who among you fears the LORD?
Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
Who walks in darkness
And has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the LORD
And rely upon his God.
I want to be ‘the learned’ ones. To hear and learn on daily basis. To gain understanding. To be obedience and not rebelious. That’s maturity, and that’s where I want to be. Not only myself, but with my family. That’s my prayer.
May 2, 2008
Reading on Luke 5 for the past few weeks, I wondered what happen to Simon. Jesus use his boat to preach and teach from it. (This could be the coolest preaching platform). But at the end of the day, he obeyed what Jesus commanded; even though he did it with a failure before. What’s more interesting, is the fact, that after he received the miracle, he asked Jesus to go away!
I believe in miracle. Miracle is the thing that happened beyond our control or beyond our mind who think it’s impossible to happen. I can imagine, in a real world scenario, that when they throw the net after Jesus told them to do so, only few fish that they will catch. That might not have changed Peter’s heart to realize who Jesus is.
The only thing that I start to realize is when miracle happened, we ought to give thanks to the Lord since every good thing comes ONLY from Him. And if it indeed happened, I hope that we are clinging back (Repent) to Jesus who change live for good. God’s intention is for us to repent and come back to Him.
Luke 5 (NIV)
1One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, 2he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” 11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
April 4, 2008
Conscience speaks softly, yet it may have the loudest resonance. When we are water baptized, it is cleansed so that we have unblemished/clear conscience.
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.
The book of first Corinthians discuss plenty of it. And it is indeed shed a light in the gray area that may not have been explicitly mentioned in the bible.
David, the man who after God’s heart, is a conscious-stricken man that he, in his power, wouldn’t allow harm to Saul even it is clear that Saul has attempted to kill him. Not only once that David has the opportunity to kill Saul but twice. And both times, he stayed true to his conscience.
April 1, 2008
Plenty of sites and sources have written the importance about prayer. Indeed, the bible is also compiled of plenty occasions, situations and testimonials where God answered prayers.
Watched Joel Osteen program last Sunday night, and he brought up topic on “Praying Boldly”. It translates into “Praying for something beyond what you could have imagined or praying for an increases that stretches beyond your capabilities”.
This is not a new topic, but he referred back to Jabez (See “Prayer of Jabez” by Bruce Wilkinson).
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (NIV)
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, [c] saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
It’s interesting to see that the verses before and after the above, it recorded the name of descendants without anything notable on each person. Note also, that Jabez is mentioned to be more honorable than his brothers, but there is no record of who is the father.
The scripture, however, noted how Jabez prayed boldly. For his name itself has negative impact on him, yet, he want God to set him free, and allow him to soar beyond.
If your live is in negative situations, prayer is the answer. Praying boldly allow God to do miracles. Miracles are good things that happen beyond your capabilities.
While I would list out things that I need to pray for, I am hoping that you would do the same. Here is some lists/topics that can help you to start with a list:
1. Your personal situation
2. Your family (parents, children)
3. Your finances
4. Salvation of loved ones
5. Your church
6. Any dire situations
Remember, Nothing is Impossible with God. Be precise in what you want; rather than praying generically in the topic.
March 24, 2008
It’s been a while since my last update, as we just passed easter yesterday. I’d rather call it passover rather than easter(which is next month according to the Jewish Calendar). Jesus died on the cross on passover and He was risen on the third day. And He is still alive until today.
It was His obedience that allow any person to start a new life again. Being born again of the spirit. Nicodemus asked how this could happened (“how can one be born again? Certainly not by going back to the mother’s womb!”). Jesus responded by pointing to born in the Spirit (John 3)
Being born again means able to live in a righteous manner. No more condemnation. There may be things that one have to go through due to past mistakes, but the future is not hold by the past anymore.
Born not by flesh, but by the power of holy spirit in flesh. That’s Jesus. Sickness and diseases are still around in the world. But by His stripes, we are healed. The sin that was placed on a pure and without-a-sin man, Jesus, allowed redemption of those with sin.
To be born again, one simply need to ask God for His forgiveness. and Jesus has shown the way. In fact, He is the only way. It would only take a prayer and confessions. If you have that, then His grace will be over you.
That’s what have happened. and it is still the most important event ever happened in this world. Ever.
March 8, 2008
2 Tim 3:16 (NIV)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
There were four functions of the scripture usefulness: To Teach, To Rebuke, To Correct, and to Train in righteousness.
In John 5:39 (NIV)
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
The scriptures were also testify about Jesus (you in this phrase refers to the pharisees).
When Jesus was on earth, he does all the things that the scriptures has prophesied. He taught many of the truth, He rebukes the pharisees and His disciples, He corrected the mindset of others (Kingdom of Heaven mindset) and trained His disciples for the works of righteousness.
All of these were written in the scriptures (either old and new testaments), as it’s our task to dig deep into the scriptures, and we’ll gain more from it.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.