Christian Life style, Faith Base

Matthew 11:1-6

And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.

Mat 11:2   Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:  The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.   

verses 2-3 Focus points: John had been put in prison by Herod. Herod had married his own sister – in law, and John publicly rebuked Herod’s flagrant sin(14:3-5) John’s Profile is found in John 1. Herod’s Profile is found in Mark 6.

Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 
The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:  The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.  And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

As John sat in prison, he began to have some doubts about whether Jesus really was the Messiah. If John’s purpose was to prepare people for the coming Messiah (3:3) and if Jesus really was that Messiah, then why was john in prison when he could have been preaching to the crows, preparing their hearts?  Jesus answered John’s doubts by pointing Jesus’ acts of healing the blind, lame, and deaf, curing the lepers, raising the dead, and preaching the good news to the poor. With so much evidence, Jesus identity was obvious. If you sometimes doubt your salvation, the forgiveness of your sins, or God’s work in your life, look at the evidence in Scripture and the changes in your life. When you doubt, don’t turn away from Christ, turn to him.

 

 

Christian Life style, Wisdom For All People

Psalm 28: 3 – 5 2018

Theme: God reveals his great power in nature. We can trust God to give us both the peace and the strength to weather the storms of life. 

Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. Give them according to their deed, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.

Focus Points: It’s easy to pretend friendship. Wicked people often put on a show of kindness or friendship in order to gain their own ends. David in his royal position, may have met many who pretended friendship only to meet their own goals. David knew that God would punish them eventually; but he prayed that their punishment would come swiftly. True believers should be straightforward and sincere in all their relationships. 

Christian Life style, Daily Bible Study

Daily Bible Study July 20, 2018

Proverbs 20:22

Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

 Ref:

Deut. 32:35> It is mine to avenge; I will repay.   In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”

Rom.12:17> Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.

1 Pet.3:9> Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.   

Focus points:  These verses summarize the core of Christian living. If we love someone the way Christ loves us, we will be willing to forgive. If we have experienced God’s grace, we will want to pass it on to others. And remember, grace is undeserved favor. By giving an enemy a drink, we’re not excusing his or her misdeeds. We’re recognizing them, and loving them in spite of their sins – Just as Christ did for us.    In this day of constant lawsuits and incessant demands for legal rights Paul’s command sounds almost impossible. when someone hurts you deeply, instead of giving them what they deserves, Paul says to befriend them. Why does Paul tell us to forgive our enemies?

(1) Forgiveness may break a cycle of retaliation and lead to mutual reconciliation.

(2) It may make the enemy feel ashamed and change his or her ways.

(3) By contrast, repaying evil for evil hurts you just as much as it hurts your enemy. Even if your enemy never repents, forgiving him or her will free you of a heavy load of bitterness.

     Forgiveness involves both attitudes and actions. If you find it difficult to feel forgiving toward someone who has hurt you, try responding with kind actions. If appropriate, tell this person that you would like to heal your relationship. Lend a helping hand. Send him or her a gift. Smile at him or her. Many times you will discover that right actions lead to right feelings.

 

A Message for Today, Christian Life style, Day By Day by Grace

Day by Day by Grace (September 14th)

Isaiah Warning against Worldly Counsel


“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the LORD, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin. Who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice.” (Isaiah 30:1-2)
Those who want to live by grace (living by God working in and through their lives) characteristically depend upon the counsel of the Lord. Correspondingly, they have a burden to warn against worldly counsel, which undermines, or substitutes itself for God’s counsel. “‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the LORD, ‘Who take counsel, but not of Me.'”


Everyone needs counsel consistently. We all need to find valid guidance and direction through the opportunities and challenges of life. The Lord is to be our constant resource for such counsel.

“This also comes from the LORD of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance” (Isaiah 28:29).

….The counsel of the Lord is wonderful; it is excellent! In fact, when Messiah would come (Jesus, the Christ), one of His descriptive title names would be “Wonderful Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6). For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

This wonderful counsel of God comes to us through the word of God. “Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors” (Psalm 119:24). Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.
Consequently, those who turn elsewhere for counsel are rebelling (at least, inadvertently) against the Lord. “‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the LORD, ‘Who take counsel, but not of Me.'” Our God of grace wants to counsel us down His path. He wants to teach us to live by His wisdom and His provision. When we are formulating our plans, He wants us to allow His Spirit to direct us through His word. The only other option is to lean on the counsel of the world: “who devise plans, but not of My Spirit… who walk to go down to Egypt( worldly), and have not asked My advice.”

God strongly warned His children of the vanity of seeking the worldly wisdom of Egypt ( the world).

“You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from these things that shall come upon you” (Isaiah 47:13).
The church world today frequently turns to the contemporary speculations of man. The wisdom of man is a vain help. We would do well to consider Isaiah’s clear warning. “Woe to those who go down to Egypt(the world) for help…who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!” (Isaiah 31:1-Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD ).

Lord Jesus, my Wonderful Counselor, forgive me for the many times that I have turned to worldly counsel. I see that such a choice interferes with Your work of grace in my life. Please remind me day by day to seek all of the counsel I need through the Holy Spirit unfolding the wisdom of Your word, Amen.

A Message for Today, Christian Life style

Preaching: Tues.Sep.25,2018

Heavenly Father, please guard me from the seductive influence of this godless world. I am already too familiar with the bondage that worldly indulgence brings. Please nurture to fullness every godly seed ever planted in my life, for Your glory, Amen.

Solomon was called preacher: Eccl.1:1-12> The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.

Noah was called preacher: 2Pet.2:5> if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;

Moses slow of speech, his brother Aaron was his mouthpiece: Ex.4:10-17> Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.” 

Focus point:

Moses pleaded with God to let him out of his mission, after all he was not a good speaker and would probably embarrass both himself and God. But God looked at Moses ‘ problem quite differently, all Moses need was some help and who better than God could help him say and do the right things. God made his mouth and would give him the words to say. It is easy for us to focus on our weaknesses, but if God asks us to do something, then he will help us get the job done. If the job involves some of our weak areas then we can trust that he will provide words, strength, courage, and ability where needed.  Moses clung tightly to the shepherd’s staff as he left for Egypt to face the greatest challenge of his life. The staff was his assurance of God’s presence and power. When feeling uncertain, some people need something to stabilize and reassure them. For assurance when facing great trails, God has given promises from his Word and examples from great heroes of faith, any Christian may cling tightly to these.

John the Baptist preached repentance:

Matt. 3:1>In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 

Focus points:

     Almost 30 years had passed since the events of Chapter 2. Here John the Baptist burst onto the scene. His theme was “Repent” Repent means doing an about face a 180 degree turn from the kind of self centeredness that leads to wrong actions such as lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, taking revenge, abusing, and indulging in sexual immorality. A person who repents stops rebelling and begins following God’s way of living prescribed in his Word.  The first step in turning to God to admit your sin, as John urged. Then God will receive you and help you live the way he wants. Remember that only God can get rid of sin. He doesn’t expect us to clean up our lives before we come to him.

Mark 1:4-5> And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Focus points:

John chose to live in the desert (1) to get away from distractions; (2) to symbolize a sharp break with the hypocrisy of  the religious leaders who preferred their luxurious homes and positions of authority over doing God’s work (4) to fulfilled Old Testament prophecies that said John would be a voice of one calling in the desert prepare the way for the LORD”. (Isaiah 40:3).In John’s ministry, baptism was a visible sign that  a person had decided to change his or her life, giving up a sinful and selfish way of living and turning to God. John took a known custom and gave it new meaning. The Jews, often baptized non Jews who had converted to Judaism. But to baptize  a Jew as a sign of repentance was radical departure from Jewish custom. The early church took baptism a step further associating it with Jesus’ death and resurrection.   (Rom.6:3,4; 1Pet.3:21) The purpose of John’s preaching was to prepare people to accept Jesus as God’s Son. When John challenged the people to confess sin individually, he singled the start of a new way to relate to God. Is change needed in your life before you can hear and understand Jesus’ message? You have to admit that you need forgiveness before you can accept it. To prepare to receive Christ, repent, denounce the world’s dead-end attractions, sinful temptations, and harmful attitudes.

The Gospel of Kingdom of God preached by Jesus:  Mark 1:14-15> After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The  time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Focus points:

What is the good news of God? These first words spoken by Jesus in Mark give the core of his teaching: that the long awaited Messiah has come to break the power os sins and begin God’s personal reign on earth. Most of the people who heard this message were oppressed, poor, and without hope. Jesus words were good news because they offered freedom, justice and hope.

Christ crucified and risen the theme of Paul:

Acts 17:3> explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said.

Matt. 28:19-20>
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Focus points: 

The disciples were to baptize people because baptism unites a believer with Jesus Christ in his or her death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism symbolizes submission to Christ, a willingness to live God’s way, and identification with God’s covenant people.

 

Christian Life style, Evening Reading

Following Jesus as a Disciple

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…Follow Me…If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Matthew 28:19; John 1:43; and Luke 9:23)
Living daily by God’s grace depends upon getting to know Him and then walking in the humility and faith that result from fellowship with Him. We have reflected upon four ways to relate rightly to the Lord in humility and faith: living by the Spirit, living by resurrection power, living by the sufficiency of God, and living by the promises of God. Another example is following Jesus as a disciple.
When our Lord was about to leave His disciples, He gave them the marching orders that were to guide the lives of His people until He would return. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” Jesus had been calling out people to follow Him as disciples. Now, they were to continue doing the same. A disciple is a follower of a master, who guides and shapes the lives of his followers. Jesus is the ultimate Master, who gives us a new life in Him-life eternal. Jesus’ invitation to discipleship was “Follow Me.” Along with this invitation, Jesus often explained the terms of discipleship: “If anyone desires to come after Me.” This would inform the willing and interested about how to respond. These terms dramatically depict the necessity of relating to the Lord in humility and faith.
The first aspect of being a disciple of Jesus is renouncing the self-life. “Let him deny himself.” True disciples refuse to develop their lives by fallen human resources (which are inherited from Adam through physical birth). Thus, followers of Jesus are to repudiate self-sufficiency, self-help, self-righteousness, self-exaltation, and the like. Our willingness to embrace this term of discipleship will be seen by our huFollowing Jesus as a Disciple
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…Follow Me…If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Matthew 28:19; John 1:43; and Luke 9:23)
Living daily by God’s grace depends upon getting to know Him and then walking in the humility and faith that result from fellowship with Him. We have reflected upon four ways to relate rightly to the Lord in humility and faith: living by the Spirit, living by resurrection power, living by the sufficiency of God, and living by the promises of God. Another example is following Jesus as a disciple.
When our Lord was about to leave His disciples, He gave them the marching orders that were to guide the lives of His people until He would return. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” Jesus had been calling out people to follow Him as disciples. Now, they were to continue doing the same. A disciple is a follower of a master, who guides and shapes the lives of his followers. Jesus is the ultimate Master, who gives us a new life in Him-life eternal. Jesus’ invitation to discipleship was “Follow Me.” Along with this invitation, Jesus often explained the terms of discipleship: “If anyone desires to come after Me.” This would inform the willing and interested about how to respond. These terms dramatically depict the necessity of relating to the Lord in humility and faith.
The first aspect of being a disciple of Jesus is renouncing the self-life. “Let him deny himself.” True disciples refuse to develop their lives by fallen human resources (which are inherited from Adam through physical birth). Thus, followers of Jesus are to repudiate self-sufficiency, self-help, self-righteousness, self-exaltation, and the like. Our willingness to embrace this term of discipleship will be seen by our humble agreement with similar biblical pronouncements. “Make no provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14). Those denying self do not want the flesh to have opportunities to indulge itself. “The flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63). Those who renounce self confess its total spiritual bankruptcy. We “have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). Those who repudiate the self-life do not want to place any hope in the natural resources of the flesh. “That no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:29). Those denying the self-life agree that nothing of the flesh can ever boast in itself before the Lord God Almighty.
Dear Lord Jesus, I want to relate rightly to You by following You as a disciple. I do not want my flesh to have any opportunity to indulge itself. I confess total spiritual bankruptcy in my flesh. I want to place no hope in my flesh. I agree that my flesh can never boast before You. I humbly renounce the self-life!

Yesterday’s Readingmble agreement with similar biblical pronouncements. “Make no provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14). Those denying self do not want the flesh to have opportunities to indulge itself. “The flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63). Those who renounce self confess its total spiritual bankruptcy. We “have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). Those who repudiate the self-life do not want to place any hope in the natural resources of the flesh. “That no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:29). Those denying the self-life agree that nothing of the flesh can ever boast in itself before the Lord God Almighty.
Dear Lord Jesus, I want to relate rightly to You by following You as a disciple. I do not want my flesh to have any opportunity to indulge itself. I confess total spiritual bankruptcy in my flesh. I want to place no hope in my flesh. I agree that my flesh can never boast before You. I humbly renounce the self-life!