Ask any Christian - where is the best place to be in the Lord?
Some say in His arms. Some say on His breast. Some say on His shoulders.
I say at His feet!
(I can hear see some of you scratching your head!)
It is not a common place for a Christian to want to be.
Most often we envision ourselves serving from positions of power.
Some feel inclined to move from nations and nations to preach.
Others feel more inclined to run the race.
There is nothing wrong with the above (if you're doing it by grace).
But I recently discovered an exciting blessing and anointing at Jesus' feet.
If ever there is a place a Christian ought to be, He should always begin at Jesus' feet.
Ever wonder why?
But what does Jesus' feet mean in present day 'up and going', 'non-stop' Christianity?
Being at 'Jesus' Feet' has so often been a common saying that it has perhaps lost its meaning today.
Read these References:
Jesus' Feet Is A Place Of Learning
Most Christians feel, they SHOULD SERVE, whether or not there is deep gospel/theological understanding. They are more concerned about ministry results instead of a believer's growth (in fact they measure the believer's growth by the growth of the ministry!).
These Church goers want Christians to serve.
Jesus begs to differ - He tells Martha that Mary has chosen the better. And it is better for her to remain there.
In Luke 10:39, the word used for Mary's act of sitting at Jesus' feet is -parakathizo¯
It means to sit very close.
The word listen in v39 isakouo¯
It means to hear in understanding. She did not just let words pass through her head, she comprehended what Jesus was teaching in the house.
Martha, on the other hand, was burdened - perispao¯
It shows a 'dragging' burden that follows you here and there.
The word serve here is - diakoneo¯, that is to attend to (as though in a ministry).
Martha was burning with zeal - she was committed and SERIOUS about doing what she did without knowing what she ought to know.
Rather than let Mary be dragging around a burden of service, Jesus PREFERS that Mary stay close by and listen with understanding.
A 'burdensome' service only pulls a believer AWAY from Jesus.
Does that mean we DON'T serve? Of course not. I will show you an even better way to serve as you continue reading.
Jesus' Feet Is A Place Of Refuge
Consider John 11 where Lazarus is dead, and the ONLY thing Mary could do was to run to Jesus and fell at His feet.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
I used to think it was the crowd. I used to believe it was emotions accumulating and waiting to burst.
I now think that very act of a bawling believer at the feet of the Saviour is all that moved Him.
Jesus did not react in the same way when zealous Martha came. And having Mary at His feet, His heart reached for the purpose of His coming - to bring life and the resurrection. No theological class, no silent rebuke like the one Martha about Jesus being the resurrection and the life.
Just a saviour that was moved to the heart. And when His heart moved, his lips that commanded the creation of the world, commanded the resurrection of a man in a tomb.
Jesus' Feet Is An Anointed Place To Serve
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Mary did in one act, what Martha could NEVER achieve in one lifetime of cooking in the kitchen. That's the kind of noteworthy service one can achieve when serving at His feet.
It's not about the achievement. It's not about 'I did more than you'. It's not about having many ministries under your belt, or having utilised all the human talents God has given you.
It's about receiving and resting at His feet.
It's about letting Him give and overflow your cup.
It's about learning to relax in His presence, and letting Him lead.
It's about not letting service draw you far away from Himself.
At Jesus' feet, you have more to receive from Him - and hence, more to give.
Because when we are at His feet, it's NEVER about us.
It is never about our boasting, or our ministry, or our pride.
It's not about what we've done, or how we've obeyed.
It's all about being as close to Him as possible.
And having depart from that place should tear your heart apart, and not create a more burning desire to serve.
Be like Mary at Jesus' feet...
Monday, October 5, 2009
Ask any Christian - where is the best place to be in the Lord?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Note: This article was written based on Thy Kingdom Come 3 Sermon on the All Souls Fellowship Nokia Podcast. It is irrelevant to the ongoing/current things happening in my life. The only relevance to me, is the application back to my own life...
Ask yourself these questions: What does loving God means to you? What do you define as loving God?
If I tried to visualise responses from a crowd, the usual definitions are:
- Worshipping God
- Serving God
- Reading Your Scriptures
- Preach your faith
- Trusting Him
- Obey His Commandments
- Study Theology
- Submit to leadership
- and much more!
You know what's the problem with this?
It's man's definition!
Don't believe me?
Go ahead - ask ANY Pharisee or Saducee, an you will get probably the SAME answer.
Ask ANY NON-Christians and you'll PROBABLY get a same answer.
Ask ANY cults, you'll also get a similar answer.
Ask ANY Atheists, and you'll get answers minus God, with philosophy added in.
If you ask most Christians regarding this list of definitions, them might be tempted themselves to define all these acts as proof of loving God. Hence, it results in a chicken and egg process.
Eg - do you love God first, and then serve? Or serve and then show that you love God? It's an endless loop that so many are trapped in their definitions.
The root of the problem?
Man and his definitions of 'loving God'.
(they may not have perfectly done it, but if you ask them, they would have agree that they have loved God to a certain extent)
Let's be honest. Let's not play the religion button or our definitions here.
Let's ask what the Bible says and test it according to the Spirit.
1 John 4:20-21
If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
(Here John shows the result of loving God is loving your brother)
Matthew 22:37-39 (Jesus said:)
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.
(Jesus shows that loving your neighbour is very much like loving God)
Pharisees and Saducees can claim their love for God. But failed at loving their neighbour or their brother. Their claims are based on what they do - that defines their love for God.
But Jesus defined the Pharisees' neighbour as an enemy - the Samaritans!
[Jews consider Samaritans as their sworn enemy] Luke 10:37
A year back, I was in another Church. We had this fellow brother (which was very much alienated) who wasn't mentally stable and kept poor hygiene. (he rarely bathe and had a change of clothing only once in a few days). Often he would walk around with his fly down, and would hound & scare the girls in Church. Hence, people often sidelined him - drawing near only to feed him. Once, we were at this fellowship and we were planning to go out for some noodles outside the Church. And when I arrive, I saw this mentally unstable brother walking away down the street - away from the noodle shop. I asked those who are already there, and a leader told me that it wasn't appropriate for this brother to join us and that it would have been uncomfortable for everyone present. Other times, Christian brothers would make fun of him and mimic his antics. It was mocking him, but the only thing was that this brother didn't know it was a mockery - he was not intellectually capable of understanding what is happening.
That noodle outing incident disturbed me for weeks. I felt that I could have done something. I could have invited this brother to dine with me on a separate table. (besides, it isn't his choice to act this way, he was born like that).
Jesus considered loving your fellow man as great as loving God. Jesus said loving your neighbour is 'like it' (referring to the first commandment). Which is what made John wrote in 1 John 4 - that if you cannot love a person you can see, you cannot love a God you cannot see.
Not only to love those who love you - but also people who do not love you or are unable to love you. Even love those who are against you. Love those who persecute you. [That said - I have been made a mockery for a lot of things I've 'preached' on facebook and my blog]
Instead, of love - what we would find rampant in MANY Churches today is a 'Christian Standard' of conformity - that is, if you are not like us, you are not part of us. [Does it also surprise you such groupies existed even in Jesus' time? - the Pharisees vs Saducees?]
Think about it...
Going back to the list of 'Loving God'. We can say we have done all these things -by our own definition.
Some might even be tempted to shut out people from a "Deserving love" category by disqualifying those who do not have similar convictions as them.
Judging the tree by it's fruit has become - judge other trees by your own fruit.
Other good fruitful trees are condemned just because they do not have the same fruit of the person who judges. (you see, they judge by what they see - that is their own worth and what they themselves do).
Have we all made our definitions (and definition of fruits) into a religion?
Do we shut out people who don't attend the same Church, serve like ourselves, or do not possess the same Godly knowledge like ourselves? Do we kill & hate those who agree not to the same theological beliefs we hold? Some 'ex-communicate' those who do not possess 'sound doctrine' - the very doctrine ONLY their church/denomination possess.
Are we playing God by our own definitions of fruits and love and faith and sound doctrine?
Rather than rejoicing about their brother's fruit, they mock the abundance of it. But they forget one thing - it is God who grows the fruit - that is why it's called the FRUIT OF THE (HOLY) SPIRIT.
To them, if any Christian that comes along the way, and does not fit into their 'profile' they are rejected as believers - and given labels and stereotypes. (Is this God's way?)
We must begin to understand. Church is not a building. It's not something that happens within 4 walls. It's not a collection of theological beliefs. It's not a collection of ministries under one roof. It's not ministries that you serve and do things in. It's not the bible you read and the quiet time that you do.
If you make any of this 'Church', then you are merely making a set of intangible intellectual concept of definitions as an idol. In fact, challenge any of these intellectual concepts, and these people will burn you on the stake (verbally or for real) - whether you prove them right or wrong - doesn't matter.
As a consequence, labels and stereotypes are used without self-examination - myself, I have been called a BUM, wolf in sheep skin, prodigal son, hypocrite, fruitless tree, pharisees and more. Yet, are there anyone who can charge me of mocking anyone? Name callings?
Church is the body of Christ. The Bride of Christ. It does not define itself. It lets Christ defines her. It begins with Him and ends with Him. The Church submits herself to Christ.
It's all about the person of Jesus, and
NOTHINGabout our definition of things.
(but please do it by faith through grace, and be established in righteousness). In fact, if you look at the Gospels - ONLY THE PHARISEES loved the definition of things - their countless 'are you the messiah?', 'who is my neighbour?', 'on whose authority do you do these things?', 'what MUST I DO to have eternal life?', 'teacher, should we stone her?' and much much more!
In fact, tear away the definitions, and these are the people who are left naked. Their righteousness and faith is based on definitions, not the real Christ.
At the end of the day, ALL OF US can play the definition card. All of us can play Church. All of us can play theologian. All of us can play servants. All of us can play righteous. All of us can play mockers.
But we can only become Christlike through the renewing of the mind.
And true, selfless love can only begin once we know we are loved by God. Our love is defined by His own love for us - for we love because He first loved us.
Friday, August 28, 2009
This is part 2 of Law and Grace. Enjoy.
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
What do you notice in these passages?
a) BOTH wanted to offer to God
b) Cain brought some fruits of the soil
c) Abel brought fat portions from the firstborn of his flock
d) God had favour on Abel and his offering but not on Cain and Cain’s offering
f) Cain became angry and his face was downcast
g) God rebukes Cain that what Cain did was wrong
h) God says ONLY to Cain that sin is crouching at his door
These are 2 brothers. Both with clear-cut motives. Good motives to make an offering to God. Whether for righteousness or just a mere offering, we do not know. Neither is there any record that God clothed Abel with garments of skin.
But what is clear is this – both men offered to God.
Cain’s Fruit Of Self Effort Cannot Please God
Please remember at this point of time, the Law of Moses has not come in yet. This may have taken place 20-30 years after the fall in Eden. The curse on the ground is still in effect. Man had to worked the ground to feed his mouth. Notice Cain offered what was curse: The ground. The ground was cursed because God has curse man that it is with his sweat that he works the ground. “Sweat” is synonym with stress and hard labour. This means Cain tried to please God with his works.
Here Cain offers his fruits to God. He worked the ground. Waters it. Puts manure on it. He sweats. He might even have injured himself a few times in the process, as there are no tools. No cangkul, no irrigation, no best known way to bear fruits.
Yet somehow he produces them and offers them to God.
His offering speaks of what he does. The effort he puts in. It describes all the pain and toil that he went through. It was his ‘ministry’ if you can call it that. It was his calling. It was his duty. It was not only his effort, but his self-worth. His work defines him.
Abel’s Fat Portions Speak Of God’s Mediator For Man
Abel offers the fat portions from his flock.
Abel was born with sin. He needed a mediator. A perfect and unblemished lamb. And as much as the Bible doesn’t say lambs, I think we all know it was fat portions from his flock of lambs.
One here must appreciate that God had to clothe Adam and Eve when they had sin in order that they could overcome their nakedness and shame. God clothed them with skin of an animal. An animal had to die in a substitution death for Adam and Eve so that Adam and Eve will have covering over what they did. God provided this death as a means of his grace. That animal we all know from what Abel offered was a lamb. This point to fact that Abel wanted to please God by telling God he was gracious!
The lamb speaks of a relationship – a shepherd and the lamb. It talks about how God (as a shepherd) deals with his people. That lamb talks about Jesus’ perfection and goodness. How unblemished and perfect it is.
It speaks of the quality of the mediator and not the offerer. It speaks of sacrificial love and not human effort. And God showed favour on the unblemished flock. Abel’s acceptance was based upon the lamb, not his own merit.
The Works Of Flesh Is Prideful
Cain was obviously not too happy about being rejected.
After all he had good intentions. He worked hard to please God.
Imagine having grown up as a boy, and having your mom and dad talk about Eden and how at the fall, God made garments of skin for them. Adam and Eve might have even shown Cain the garments.
Yet Cain had the strange idea to offer fruits. To offer self-effort. To offer his best is filthy rag. And when his filthy rag were rejected, instead of realising why he failed, he was angry at God and with Abel.
God Rebukes Cain And Not Abel
God said to Cain - If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
When I was younger I always thought that it was Cain that withheld the best from God. I was always previously taught that Abel gave his best, but Cain offered some. But now I realise that that could not be.
Cain was not able to offer his best because he offered himself – his effort, his results, his fruit – the focus was always on himself. And God said it straight to Cain’s face that Cain would have been accepted if he offered the right sacrifice. The fruit of self-effort CANNOT please God.
Even Hebrews testify about Abel’s offering: Hebrews 11:4
By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
Earlier we established that there was no clear understanding why the offerings were made, but despite that, IT WAS STILL COUNTED AS RIGHTEOUSNESS to Abel!
Sin Crouches At The Door Of Self-Effort
What many Christians do not know is this:
Your self-effort arouses your sinful nature.
1 Corinthians 15:56
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
At the time of Cain and Abel, the Law of Moses have not been given.
But you must realise what sin does.
Romans 7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.
Sin seizes the commandments (Law of Moses) and condemns you to death.
Hence if a person is offering self-effort, the more:-
i) unrighteous he would become
ii) realise the more sinful he is
iii) more powerless to turn from sin
iv) basically give up changing
But if you offer like Abel, you get the opposite:-
i) righteousness apart from the law & self-effort!
ii) focuses on the Perfection of Jesus
iii) gain power to overcome sin – for you are not under law, but under grace
iv) you are transformed by beholding His face
You see, God is more concerned about the perfection of your offering, than the amount of trouble, sleepless nights and effort you put in.
He is more concerned about you having Christ than you having deeds.
There is a place for deeds – but only in the way God approves.
There is no room for law and self effort.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Over the last few weeks, I've been really busy. Even as I'm typing this out, I've got tonnes of work on my hands that I'm not sure how to even start. May I have abundant Grace to finish them.
But this topic i'm sharing now has been on my mind quite some time.
I guess, I need to get it out.
Maybe God willing, in a form of a book in the future.
May you be blessed!
I don't know if you've noticed. But EVERYTHING in the Bible is separated between Law and Grace. And I've come to realise that the greatest deception of Satan was not that he does not exist, but that - you can gain through your effort, what you already have through the cross. 1
Think about it:
Law - Grace
Law of Moses - Walking in the Spirit
Righteousness through works - Righteousness through faith
Keeping the Commandments - Christ kept the Commandments
Knowledge of good and evil - Tree of life
Sinner - Saint
Cain - Abel
Ishmael - Isaac
Esau - Jacob
King Saul - King David
Moses, the OT guide - Holy Spirit, the NT guide
Circumcision of flesh - Circumcision of heart
Let's begin from Eden.
God made Adam and Eve and God gave them free will to choose.
That is why the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life is there.
It was placed there so that God honours the free will of men to choose.
And God made men in HIS IMAGE. Adam was NOT GOD, but he WAS LIKE GOD. (Genesis 1:26)
Then came the Serpent.
People say the greatest deception of the serpent is the he does not exist.
What nonsense! Here he is in the open! Showing himself existing!
Genesis 3:5 - "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Now, let us consider the statement above.
Are Adam and Eve already like God? YES! (they were made in His likeness!)
Where is the deception then?
It was when they sought to attain that likeness by their own effort, when they already received it by grace...
You see, law is not only a written code, but it is also SELF-EFFORT
Everything you need for salvation and life is already found in Jesus Christ.
It's either you accept it, or you go about it through your own efforts.
It is this deception that is STILL HAPPENING in Churches all over the world.
Preachers preach that you need to work out your salvation in fear and trembling - which is in fact a misquotation that is not based on the context.
How can God who gave you not a spirit of fear, but of Sonship, encourage you to go back under a system of fear? Yet it is preached!
Preachers say that you need to repent from the acts of sin. But the Bible is clear that we repent (metanoia - change our minds) from unbelief and dead works -> to believing Jesus Christ who is the Son of God who came and died for our sins and was raised again 3 days later. We are transformed from glory and glory from beholding Jesus, not from our discipline or 'acts of repentance'.
Preachers preach that you need to obey the law of Moses (or at least the 10 commandments) as a guide to living. Paul writes that we have died to the law - and we now serve in the new ways of the Spirit. (Romans 7:6)
Don't you know those who goes back under the Law are called the 'lawless'?
After all, Colossians 2:14 - having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
The law was nailed to the cross! No more law of Moses!
Now, that the law is gone, we live by the Spirit!
In the same way a 'homeless' man desires to have a home but does not have one, so is:-
a 'lawless' man who desires to follow the law of moses, when it is already fulfilled in Christ!
But what does Hebrews 8:10 mean - when God said He will write His Laws in our hearts?
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
You Pharisees insist that because of this quotation, there is a need to obey the written code.
But don't you know the Law of Moses were given through angels?
Acts 7:53 [stephen before the sanhedrin]
you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it." (NIV)
Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. (KJV)
The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. (NIV)
and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. (KJV)
The Law of Moses were given through an angel!
Shocking? It is.
Hence, the law that God writes in their minds are not the Law of Moses!
It is the law of Christ!
1 Corinthians 9:21
To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law.
Brethren, you are not required to obey the Law of Moses!
May the truth set you free!
Walk in the Spirit and unleash his Fruits! The law of Moses will only bring out the 'workings of your flesh'!
Today Satan wants your life stunted. He wants you to go back under law.
He wants you to work with your bare hands what has already been attained through the Cross...
What is your choice?
Next article:- Law Vs. Grace Pt.2 - Cain & Abel
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Thursday, August 20, 2009
I love this song. Not because of the lyrics.
Not because of the music.
But because every time I hear it, I wanna sit down, sing along and worship.
There is great beauty in simplicity.
The same Jesus who made the world, also made the simplest of atoms.
From the biggest galaxies, to the littles of nano-particles of atoms.
Please stay, listen, enjoy it. And maybe you'll sing along to as well.
God Bless you. And God grants you His peace.
Lyrics - How Great Is Our God - Chris Tomlin
The splendor of a King,
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice,
All the earth rejoice
He wraps himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at his voice,
And trembles at his voice
How great is our God,
sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see
How great, How great
Is our God
Age to age he stands
And time is in His Hands
Beginning and the End,
Beginning and the End
The Godhead, Three in one
Father, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb,
The Lion and the Lamb
How great is our God,
sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see
How great, How great
Is our God
Name above all names
You are Worthy of all praise
and My heart will sing how great
Is our God
How great is our God,
Sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see
How great, How great
Is our God
How great is our God,
Sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see
How great, How great
Is our God
Saturday, August 15, 2009
People have often said - the greatest deception of the Devil is that he wants you to believe he does not exist.
You know what? I don't think he cares about that.
The real deception is that he wants you to work with your own effort for what you already have through Jesus Christ at the Cross.
Think about it.
2 trees in Eden, law vs faith righteousness, work vs rest, etc...
Everything that is attacked, has already been given through Jesus Christ.
Eden - Adam already possessed God's glory. The Jews call it the Shekhainah glory. He was already in the state of Glorification (if you can call it that). The serpent came and offered Adam a lesser thing through the law, that is the forbidden tree.
Job - satan's charge against God was that Job was already in a state of immunity and blessing. He says that if that is lifted from Job, Job will in fact curse God for the removal. And turn away from God to human effort. [Naturally, with human effort meeting failure, one would be bitter with God]
Jesus - the serpent told Jesus to turn these bread into stones in Matt 4 - which in fact means taking your nourishment from the 10 commandments - that is the law! Satan tries to turn Jesus' ministry back to Moses'!
Present time - Churches are feeding fear of failure to people - so much so, they doubt their salvation when they sin, or that they are not rooted in righteousness, or that they are taught to obey some parts of the law and mix it with grace.
Lord Jesus, help us all to see your light.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Recently some fellow Christians brothers came against a few of us because we, after reading the bible time and time again, were convinced that the Holy Spirit does not convict believers of sin.
Some brothers even came to the point of slandering us openly and behind our backs. (these were also because of other things we spoke/taught/preach.)
This article is to answer the questions and misconceptions we believe many practice...
So (for the sake of entertainment of our souls) let us take these claims that the Spirit convict believers of sin as true and see if it stands.
So, let us make an assumption.
Let's really assume that the Holy Spirit did convict believers of sin.
But with every theory and assumption, let us put it to the litmus test of the Holy Spirit.
The Definition Of Conviction Bars Believers From Coming Boldly To God
Let's define 'convict'.
According to: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/convict
1. to prove or declare guilty of an offense
2. to impress with a sense of guilt
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
"This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds." Then he adds:
"Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more."
And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.
In these passage of Hebrews the Holy Spirit himself says He remembers our sins NO MORE.
What is there to convict of sin? What is there to bring to remembrance of sin?
Some said that it is not to convict but to impress the sense of guilt.
But Hebrews 10 later goes on to say in vs 22-
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.(Hebrews 10:22)
What other sense of guilt is there?
If a believers' 'conviction of sin', 'sense of guilt' or 'whatever-you-term-it' remains, then you cannot draw near! Your "Knowledge of Good and Evil" will cause God to put back that flaming sword. Minds will be veiled.
But what we discover is No condemnation and no separation - Read Romans 8!
Why no more condemnation and no separation? Because He is faithful when He and that remembering our sins no more is part of His faithfulness!
The Law Is Void Of Purpose If The Spirit Convicts Believers Of Sin!
Paul says in Romans 5:20
The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,
Paul's argument in Romans 5 was that the law was given so that trespass (sin) might increase - hence made known and become clearer - hence the law was given the full right to not only convict but also condemn everyone as a sinner - for all have fallen short.
This resounds in Romans 7:7
What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."
The purpose of the law was to convict sin and to define what sin is.
Hence if the Holy Spirit convicted believers of sin, then would not the purpose of the Law made void? Yet no where in the Bible does any part of scripture shows that the Holy Spirit made sin more clearer!
So where did such teaching come from? Men?
Also, God's word cannot return to him empty. The things of God never fail! How is it that now the Holy Spirit does law's work - that is to condemn and convict - hence implying the Law failed in its purpose???
Hence, the Law MUST HAVE achieved its purpose of bringing out sin clearer - therefore, the Holy Spirit cannot convict believers of sin.
If the Holy Spirit Convicts Believers Of Sin, He CANNOT Convict Them Of Righteousness
When I read my bible, I discover:
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death
If the Spirit of Life (that is the Holy Spirit) sets believers free from the law of sin and death, can you be convicted of sin anymore??? - IN FACT it is Him that sets us free from the conviction of sin!
You cannot be condemned NOR convicted of sin - Why?
For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
You see, our SINS WERE CONDEMNED at the cross - in the body of Jesus Christ! The result - the requirements of the law were met and now believers no longer live according to sinful nature (condemnation & conviction of sin) but according to the Spirit (that convicts you of righteousness)
Question - Are believers in Christ when they believe in Jesus?
YES THEY ARE! The result?
But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Why are believers alive? Because the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to believers!
The Holy Spirit's Conviction Of Sin Nullifies Christ's Perfect Sacrifice
The Bible says in 1 Cor 15:2-4
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you.
Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
a) If Jesus died for believer's sins and God REMEMBERS IT NO MORE, why does the Holy Spirit still remembers it and reminds believers? (and to what end?)
b) If Christ Work is already completed and the Holy Spirit now convicts believers of sin, where can we now find forgiveness? There is no more sacrifice for sins! [some say confession - but think about it - Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith - will He save believers halfway, and leave the balance of salvation for you to do? - when in fact the bible says it is ONLY BY GRACE you have been saved and NOT BY WORKS?] Believers are saved by grace through faith - not daily confessions!
1 Peter 1:2
who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
The Sanctification process belongs to the Holy Spirit! Not you!
Your role is to make that salvation clear - that is to bring forth the fruits.
Our role is to believe and made clear the fruits of our salvation - that is to show to others what salvation through Christ is in total!
The Holy Spirit's Conviction Of Sin Categorises You WITH THE WORLD!
John 16:8-11 - The Holy Spirit's Work
When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
If the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, then you will die with the world!
You need to be clear on a few thing!
Who does the Holy Spirit convicts of sin?
because they do not believe in Jesus!
What does the Spirit convict believers?
Because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father!
Who does the Spirit judge?
The prince of this world!
The Holy Spirit cannot convict believers of sin! If He did all the problems above will arise.
But the Holy Spirit convicts believers of righteousness!
If you still believe that the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin - then you better brace yourself - because you'll fall in the same category with the WORLD!
Please change your mind! Metanoia please!
Monday, August 10, 2009
I was at Hebrew class yesterday and we reached the last Hebrew letter in the Hebrew language.
The last Hebrew letter is the Tau ת
My Hebrew teacher said in Genesis 1:1 - there is an untranslated part that is the את (read from right to left)
In the beginning God [aleph tau] created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1
It was left untranslated because it was something the Jews could not themselves understand.
The Aleph-Tau also appears in :
and they shall look upon me [aleph tau] whom they have pierced... Zechariah 12:10
It is made of the first letter Aleph and the last letter Tau - which is Aleph-Tau.
If you have studied Hebrew, you would know that each letter represents one or maybe more pictures.
Aleph - Sacrificial Ox, Strength
Tau - Cross, perfection
To go deeper in Aleph, you'll realise the letter is made of 2 yods and 1 Vav.
Yod - Hand,
Vav - nail, hook
Hence, looking at these insights, you would realise that Aleph-Tau is in fact a reference to Jesus Christ, who was the Son of God who came in the flesh. He took our sins and the law and nailed it to the cross. And the Father rose Him up again after 3 days and seated Jesus at His right hand.
The problem with many denominational Christians today are that some have without knowingly gone back to law (this stems from a lack of understanding what the law is, and what its effects are). Their beliefs and teaching are based on the Cross, but not on the complete and finished work of the cross.
IF WE COULD gain anything apart from Christ and his finished work - his coming would have been unnecessary. If salvation, rewards and blessings could have come through the law, Christ would have died in vain - but not so! For we have a righteousness that comes through His finished work at the cross.
Which is why the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the day of pentecost so important.
To the Jew, Aleph-tau meant little to them - it was only a reference to God who is the beginning and the end.
But when the Holy Spirit was poured out, it filled the aleph-tau - producing truth - that is EMET - Aleph-Mem-Tau = Truth.
Dear Beloved Christian - each and every bible interpretation has to be based on the person of Jesus Christ's and His finished work on the Cross and tested according to the spirit.
If anyone attempts to seek truth without Christ or the cross, it may prove disastrous.
EMET minus the Aleph will product MET - which is death!
EMET minus the Tau - will produce Aleph-Mem Sopit = The Sacrifice Concealed
(this is because any letters that ends with a mem is transformed into its sopit form - which is Mem-sopit which meaning transforms from revelation to concealment)
To seek the truth without Christ and His finished work leads to spiritual death and blindness
Hence why, the truth, being in total has to be understood in total.
Truth - Aleph Mem Tau =
Aleph - sacrificial ox
Mem - reveal, Holy Spirit
Tau - Cross, perfection
=> the Sacrificial Ox Revealed at the Cross
Again the truth testifies the kind of freedom we receive by His finished work and has to be read according to it so.
May you be blessed! And may the truth set you free!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I've been using DiGi for the last few months..
The experience?:- HORRIBLE
10 Reasons DiGi Failed me:-
a) always dropcalls
b) lines not responsive and are usually connected on the second try of calling (or else service is not available)
c) customer service ALWAYS fails and never carries out what they promised to do... (eg. to call me back in 48 hours time - Failed 4/5 times)
d) Constant barring of line, when in fact, DiGI HAS NOT revert to me in regards to my billing queries... hence i had to suffer for their inefficiency
e) my complains to customer service falls on deaf ears...
f) their basis of inability to tackle my GPRS billing problems is that it is customer confidentiality and forces me to accept that or get out
g) their unwillingness to examine my billings and notice that there is something not right with my bill shows their lack of initiative despite customer complaint
f) customer service always slow - puts me on hold on average 5 minutes, longest is 15 minutes...
g) their inability and absence of initiative to make amends for their errors. No apology is made for making me call them back when in fact they promised to get back to me
i) DiGi Internet (Edge) always clashes with calls - (cannot receive calls when I'm surfing with DiGi)
j) Cannot take simple instructions eg. Always send my bill to my office when I tell them to send it to my home!
Good things about DiGi
a) only 1/5 people in DiGi customer service gets the job done... hire better people please!
b) Edge is at very good speeds and stable
c) Downloadable Detailed billings at their website
My case - 012 252 7168
During my usage of DiGi, I found their EDGE useful - so I use it quite often, even more once I've gotten the unlimited date package.
However, my prob occured in my bills when DiGi billed me a staggering RM369.20 from 12th May to 11th June 2009... [this was before my unlimited data package]
Although their tier discounts lowered the sum to a maximum RM149, it did not answer what amounted to that huge surge of charges.
I checked my bills and I discovered as below (in the pic)
On the date 8th June 2009, I was billed RM 67, RM 133.70 and RM 127.60 on 3 separate occasions for GPRS (Pay As You Go)... That amounts to RM328.30...
This happened all in ONE DAY and DiGi could not determine what amounts to the data nor the website that incurred this charge.
The timing of the charges is illogical as part of the charges showed that I used the internet, when in fact, it was my norm to use my office internet during work hours. Still today is 28th July, and STILL NO answers from DiGi on this matter... That one and a half months time of investigation yielding NOTHING...
Without the additional 328.30 charge, my GPRS would only amount to RM 40.90, which would make my bill for that month as RM 101.28 and not RM 220.15 as stipulated in my bill..
To me, that is a DOUBLE CHARGE...
I switched to DiGi expecting better things, but that is not what I found
So apparently "Time To Change" does not guarantee it it always a good change.
I'm going back to Maxis...
What can you learn if you are using DiGi?
a) ALWAYS check your bills...
b) or switch to other networks
c) make sure they don't charge you randomly
What should DiGi do?
a) I don't care, I don't wanna know
b) I would have preferred that DiGi took the initiative to offer me a further discount, but I already paid my outstanding bill today, and I already put in my transfer request to Maxis... TOO LATE for anything of such..
c) Make sure you meet your promises. Even if you got nothing to report, a courtesy call can be important to customers. So many times CS promised to get back to me in 48 hours, and for me to call back asking why I was not given feedback DOES NOT look good on you...
d) Hire better people in CS - some are just horrible, some are in fact very good. As a customer, I want people that can give me results... Your CS people represents you. When they do a good job, they don't get the credit - YOU DO... when they do a bad job, you get the blame... Understand?
e) You need to hear your customer. You don't want a frustrated customer who has repeatedly given you a chance to prove yourself (one and a half months) and for them to blow their top on Social Media sites or on blogs like what I am doing now...
f) One act of kindness speaks more than the evil - assumingly you did write off those questionable charges for 8th June, my reaction would be opposite. I would be defending you instead of questioning you, I would be happy with you instead of being dissatisfied, I might even be asking people to switch to DiGi instead of Maxis (or other telcos)... But I find myself switching back to Maxis because the bad experience you have given me makes me think that Maxis is indeed the lesser evil... I may not have blogged about it, or tell my whole Facebook network about it, but I WOULD HAVE FELT GOOD ABOUT DIGI...
g) I told your CS people many times - tell me what those charges amount to and I will gladly pay if INDEED I really did use it... yet, you fail, and made me feel unimportant. Your current solution for this matter does not seem to do anything. Please change.
h) stop bothering me from now on. I'm waiting for my Maxis package to begin, and I don't want you to further hound me on anything unnecessary.. thank you...
DiGi, It is TIME (for you) TO CHANGE
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I was having dinner today at MidValley's Manhattan Fish Market, and as usual during my makan time, I turned to the ODB of the day.
What was significant about 25th July's ODB is that it talks about Metanoeo (repentance/change your mind).
The bible constantly speaks about repentance. But how we understand and define repentance, will result to the way we live our lives.
In the Old Covenant (that is by law), you do your best as a follower of Judaism to keep God's Commandments (with in total 613), do good, and should you at times fail, the Day of Atonement and the Sin Offering is present to save you. The Burnt offering (which often the Holy Spirit testifies in Scripture is a sweet smelling aroma) because the unblemishness (perfection) of the lamb is imparted to the believer - and that is a good will offering by the believer.
To summarise - your rightstanding (or righteousness) before God comes from WHAT YOU DO.
In the New Covenant, (that is by grace), Christ met the requirements of the law, nailing on the Cross - your sins and the requirements of the law. Christ took your sins (becoming your sin offering) and imparted His righteousness (becoming your burnt offering) and restored the broken fellowship between you and God (fellowship/drink offerings). What you attained was WHAT JESUS DID FOR YOU.
Your Righteousness comes from Jesus Christ - not something you earned, but was accredited to you (by grace) for your faith.
Hence, by one sacrifice, Jesus abolished the need of Good works as a requirement for salvation.
Question is - Why does a Christian serve today? And on what basis does he/she serves? (be it ministry, at home, at work, etc)
So what is it that Paul is saying in Acts 26:20?
He is before King Agrippa, and Paul testifies the message he received from Jesus.
Acts 26:20 (Amplified Bible)
But made known openly first of all to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout the whole land of Judea, and also among the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works and live lives consistent with and worthy of their repentance.
Paul is clear the message is FIRST for the Jews (in Damascus, Jerusalem and Judea).
Because the Jews' understanding of righteousness is that righteousness is earned through keeping the law...
Hence, they need the change of mind (repentance) from trying to attain it themselves, to finding it given through Christ.
That is why the author of Hebrews said in Hebrews 6:
Hebrews 6:1 (Amplified Bible)
THEREFORE LET us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God,
Repentance of Dead works AKA Dead Formalism - It means don't serve God to earn your righteousness, but serve God because you HAVE your righteousness...
The problem is this:
Churches today teaches believer to work out your salvation in fear and trembling. Phi 2:12
As a result, a lot of people are serving to gain righteousness (or God's favour) or have NO CLUE why they are serving, OR are serving out of PEER PRESSURE.
Such thinking might also stem from self condemnation (searching acceptance with peers or God) or a false notion of inactivity (that you are not a good Christian if you don't get involved like the rest)
As a result, A LOT OF active servants backslide from the Ministry!!! WHY???
So then, the word of the LORD to them will become:
Do and do, do and do,
rule on rule, rule on rule;
a little here, a little there—
so that they will go and fall backward,
be injured and snared and captured.
BLIND SERVICE will only cause a person to backslide...
A lot of what people receive (teaching) are not in line with the New covenant, but the Old one...
The reason why it happens is because of certain leaders who either do not know the truth, OR it was simply a tradition imparted to them, OR a lack of faith that God will sustain the ministry that He has promised to flourish...
It is clear New Wine cannot be put in Old Wineskins...
CHURCH PROGRESS is not synonymous with CHURCH ACTIVITY
You can be doing a lot, but going backwards...
The Bible says in
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
What does Paul mean when he says this in Romans 5, yet seemingly contradict himself in Philippians 2?
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
It makes more sense if you read Philippians 2:13, the continuation of vs 12!
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
The WORKING OUT of your salvation is in fact, what God is doing in your life. (And is clear, that you are merely acting it out)
Hebrews 10:27 says
but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
The bible is clear that fearful expectation of judgment are for the enemies of God!
Hence, Paul in Philippians make sense! God's Spirit's did not come to make you have "an expectation of judgment" but a sense of Sonship.
This GOES AGAINST every teaching in the Church that says the Holy Spirit is there to convict you of sin!
What the Holy Spirit convicts you are in fact:-
When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt[a] in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
Convicts - Guilt, Righteousness and Judgment
Guilt & sin = because they do not believe in me (unbelievers)
Righteousness = because Jesus is going to the Father (to intercede for believers)
Judgment - Satan is now condemned (demons)
The Holy Spirit is here to convict believers of RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!
Working out salvation in fear and trembling.
In fact, if you search the scripture for fear and trembling, you'll find:-
Why was the woman trembling with fear???
VS 33- knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.
What was it that she knew?
She knew she found grace and healing through her faith!
The Christian serve because he knows he is made righteous.
That is why James said in
But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
Your good works is the expression of your faith!
That is why Paul said - Acts 26:20b
I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.
Change your mind from serving to gain God's favour and salvation to serving BECAUSE you know you're already saved and are deeply loved by God.
Serve because you know you are saved.
Serve because you know you are righteous.
Serve because you have faith.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I am very caught up with work recently.
So bad, that I had no chance of having that weekly breakfast session with my mom and dad.
A few months back, a brother challenged me to honour my parents in a very different way. Lately, I’m spending more time with them than I had ever been. And I’ve also been supplying them much more than I did before. Since then, I could see grace infecting my parents! Haha… Hallelujah!
But I was shocked even more a few days ago.
I was supposed to go shopping with my parents – they have been asking me to get new clothes... My waist is not on clothing terms with my current clothes (LOL and yes I know I need to cut back on food).
I was shocked to wake up on Tuesday and my mom asking me to put on a new shirt. Obviously me being me – grumbled. Then my mom told me that my dad took the trouble – travelling down town, walked around shopping malls and got new clothing for me. And to top it up, he used ALL THE MONEY I gave him for his monthly expenses on it. I was blown away.
As much as I thought I could show my love to my dad, he showed me God’s love in a glorious manner.
That very day I drove to work, that whole event made me think deep about the way Father God gave us His Son.
It was that same all or nothing scenario…
And in the same way, God gave all he had.
That beautiful relationship the Father and Jesus had – which God the Father proclaims over all the earth - This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17). That relationship – God’s cherished possession.
That bond of love lies broken at the cross where Jesus who had always been calling God as his ‘Father’ felt that separation – which for the first time, He could only look up and call God as eloi - Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani (Matthew 27:46).
Not only did it hurt Jesus – the crown of thorns, 40 minus 1 lashes, and the cross..
But it hurt the Father to have that broken fellowship with the Son.
As the Michael Card ‘Love Crucified Arose’ song goes – the Father turned His face away… Such a very act, that contradicts His very loving nature – must have been the hardest thing to do… But it was done because justice was required when each and every sin of ours fell on Jesus – the shroud of darkness covered Jesus from the Father’s eyes. Such was the agony Christ had to suffer – so did the Father…
I imagine when the prodigal son left his father’s household; the father would have suffered – not because his wealth was reduced but because the fellowship and relationship is broken. Out of the love for that son, he gave into his request. He withheld the hands that demand the condemnation and stoning of such a son (Deut 21:18-21). The father would probably sink down on the floor and cried behind closed doors.
It did not hurt him to lose his possessions as much as it hurt him to lose his son…
But when we come back to God. We can either live like the elder brother (who despite being a son, considered himself worthy to be a servant, and miss what God wants for him – despite everything that is the father is his). He missed the point when he thinks he can find favour from his father by serving and serving.
Or we can live like the repented son, who despite wanting to become a servant just for food; finds a robe of righteousness, a ring of sonship, a sandal of redemption and a fattened calf waiting for him – not to mention a father who RAN and embrace him. That broken fellowship is restored, and now, much closer than before.
And between the two, it is clear that through that the servanthood attitude of the elder brother caused the blessing of the firstborn to go to the second.
You can only live either by grace or by law.
For me, I choose to live by grace, not like Martha who wants to give her best, but like Mary – who receives the best at the feet of Jesus – that ONLY one thing that is needed (Luke 10:42).
Yes, there is a place for ministry, but not in the manner that Martha was serving.
Today, I look at the shirts my dad gave to me, and I could see such power of the Gospels in what my dad has done. And how much he has taught me about his love for me and the love God the Father has for me.
And that makes me love both of them more! I wouldn’t call myself the best son in the world. I still feel very much that I fall short in many areas. But by grace, I am being renewed every day!
And it is by knowing the love of the Father that grace can abound much more!
Logically, I should be ashamed, but I am not - because I realised what it cost him to make such a sacrifice. In the same way, when I realised all the more what God has done for me (and I assure you that you may think you know, but it is very different when it really sinks in), the more I am not ashamed about the Gospel - and the grace that is in it...
Monday, July 6, 2009
Have you ever wondered why some Churches shout Amen to sermons?
Some Churches in Malaysia practice this, some don’t. Those who do, claim a special power to the word. Those who don’t practice it, believe that there is no power in the word.
But what does Amen mean?
אָמֵן - Amen means ‘so be it’ (also ‘let it be') or ‘truly’ (as in surely or verily)
To the Jew, the way you catch a blessing from heaven is to utter the word ‘Amen’ (ps. Joseph Prince)
Hence when the Beatles sang the song ‘Let It Be’ – they are singing the ‘Amen’ (but of course we know that ONLY Jesus is LORD).
Amen in Hebrew is made of 3 consonants: - the Aleph (א), the Mem (מ) and the Nun Sopit (ן).
These 3 letters is taken and originate from the
נאמן מלך אל (‘EYL MELEKH NE’EMAN) = God The Trustworthy King.
Amen comes about when you take the Aleph from ‘EYL, the Mem from MELEKH and Nun from NE’EMAN – to form AMN = AMEN.
Hence, when we utter the words ‘Amen’, we are saying that not only is God Trustworthy to carry out everything He promised, but it also denotes that God is a King. This not only goes in line to the Jewish perspective that the Messiah is from the line of David (the line of Kings), but also dictates that God’s word as a decree.
Today, we enjoy ALL of God’s promises through the Amen because:-
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
The thing is this – If we are sinful, and we utter the Amen, It means God is trustworthy to execute the judgment we deserve. Because there is no one perfect and blameless (righteousness through the law perspective), hence the trustworthy God only punish us – and He cannot bless us.
But through Christ, we are NO LONGER the objects of God's wrath.
Christ cleanses those who are righteous through faith (apart from the law), they are blessed when they utter the ‘Amen’ because then, God can bless you without being unjust (that is because you are no longer a sinner, hence the trustworthy thing is to bless you!!!) The trustworthy King is so willing to bless!
Hence Paul said what he said!
If you look at the word Amen, It begins with the Aleph (the picture of the sacrificial ox – the picture of Jesus at the cross), goes through the revealed Mem (showing the flowing water – the picture of the Holy Spirit rushing to fill) and ends with the Nun (the picture of the moving fish – an symbolism of massive life).
Therefore, when we utter the Amen, we are uttering faith that it is through the Cross of Christ, the Holy Spirit testifies it and results (ends) with flowing LIFE! Hallelujah!
Paul understood this and hence, he that is why he included Amen in ALL HIS EPISTLES…(source wikipedia.org/Amen)
If you don't want to be blessed, it's ok.. you don't have to utter the Amen or believe in blessing. But if you want life and blessing up to the full, Amen to you!
Written and Copyrighted by Randy Khoo.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
It's Sunday, 5th July 2009 - 1.30 am.
But I have 2 lessons I need to share with you today.
I was with 2 brothers and a sister today, and we were sharing the Gospel of grace with the sister.
And somewhat in my heart, I discerned that the sister was suffering what she was suffering because of a previous relationship with a man. And that she needed to hear that to be freed from her chains of the past. That she needed to know that God loved her despite of what 'that man' did to her...
But me being me, I opted to keep quiet. (as I always do)
Only after that sister was encouraged by the other 2 brothers and left did the brothers shared to me how that sister encountered an abusive marriage and suffered so...
This was the FIRST TIME we met...
I realise that some times God wants me to speak up on certain things. And perhaps as what I am encouraged to know - that's the kind of ministry that God is interested to use me for...
This experience has encouraged me to speak more boldly in the future rather that just blogging His truths that I've discovered.
At 1am, I finished an Old Town Cheras session with the usuals.
I was beat. Having been awake for the last 17 hours, my body showed signs of fatigue.
Plus the night before I had only 4 hours of sleep.
As I got into my car and leaving the car park, I got a call...
My friend's car had broken down. And his car battery was dead. Apparently he forgot to switch off the headlights..
So I drove back to the car park and we tried to kickstart the engine via human power - 'car pushing'.
Since we both didn't have jumpstart cables with us, we all jumped into my car and went hunting for a cable at nearby petrol stations. Finally found one...
We went back to his car, and I poped up my bonnet.
To my horror, my radiator reserve tank cover was open. It dawned on me that I have been driving around with the possibly of my radiator drying up.
I could only thank God that through such an intervention, did I realise that God's protection is on me.
And I have no doubt that my friend was put into such trouble for my sake...
It is SO TRUE that when you know how much Jesus loves you, His warm protection hedges you also!
I'm truly encouraged and this has reinforce my joy in trials...
Sometimes pain/distractions happen because God's protection is in motion.
Hallelujah and Amen!
Friday, June 26, 2009
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…
What does it mean to look unto Jesus? Well, we can think of it like this: If you are drowning and somebody walks past you, you do not look at him. You look unto him. When you look unto him, you are turning to him and expecting him to rescue you.
In the same manner, you look unto Jesus expecting Him to save, heal and protect you because you know His mighty power and sacrificial love for you. God’s Word says that we are to keep “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”. That is how God wants us to live.
So if you have a recurring migraine, keep looking unto Jesus. See Him taking that migraine upon His body on the cross and say, “Lord, I thank You that by Your stripes I am healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) As you keep looking unto Jesus, your healer, that migraine will have to bow to His finished work!
If you have a financial lack in your life, just keep looking unto Jesus with confident expectation that He will provide for you and deliver you from your lack.
“But Pastor Prince, is it really so simple? All I have to do is look unto Jesus and He will bless me financially?”
Yes, it is that simple. The problem with us is that we tend to look unto ourselves. But we cannot save or deliver ourselves. Even the apostle Paul struggled when he depended on his self-effort. That is why he said, “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.” (Romans 7:19) It was only when Paul looked away from himself and unto Jesus that he received his deliverance. (Romans 7:24–25)
My friend, if you have been looking unto yourself, it is time to start looking unto Jesus. Look unto Him, the author and finisher of your faith. And soon, you will be looking at your healing and prosperity!
© Copyright Joseph Prince, 2006. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
By Jeff Goins
I have something to say to the fast faith, consumerist churches of America. It’s not something that you want to hear, but something that I believe you need to hear. I definitely needed to hear it. I used to try to fit God into my own broken paradigm, instead of fitting into God’s way of seeing the world. I used to relegate Christianity to political stances and moralism. And I was missing out. It took me awhile to realize that it was my theology, my view of God, that needed fixing.
Maybe that’s where you are. If such is the case, then it’s time to face the facts: Your god sucks.
Your god dwells in man-made, concrete buildings. He likes frilly things like Easter brunches and well-decorated narthexes. He appreciates a good program and applauds any effort put forth to get people to come inside the building. When the congregants leave the building, he retires to the pastor’s office until the next scheduled activity.
Your god gets mad at you for no good reason like a fickle, teenage girl, and all you can do to make it up to him is try to be really, really good or at least do your best to hide all your faults. You return the favor, doing unto others as has been done unto you, compelling your “brothers and sisters” to perform religious acts of obligation, regardless of what’s in their hearts.
Your god doesn’t care particularly for the poor or the downtrodden. Anything that’s happening on the other side of the world is of little relevance to him; he knows that the Western world is where all the real, Holy Spirit action is happening.
He has a soft spot in his heart for rich people and appreciates the excess of time they have to dedicate to going to church. He’s quite pleased that they’re not caught up in where their next meal will come from, so as not to bother him with such pathetic requests. He has a strong ethic about only helping people that first help themselves. He’s a fan of capitalism, listens to conservative radio and doesn’t have time for weaklings.
When I think about it, your god looks a lot like Donald Trump.
Like I said, your god sucks.
Your god inspired a theology that says bad things happen to people just because they do and that it’s your job to deal with it. According to him, the world’s problems are part of “the plan.” He allows pain in people’s lives, because they’re sinful and it’s their own fault. He doesn’t like to intervene, because that would upset the nature of the universe. His expectation is that you will diligently perform your duties and not bother him with petty requests like alleviating the suffering of the oppressed. He’s just too busy and aloof to redeem difficult and hopeless situations.
Your god is a one-size-fits-all, prepackaged sort of god that could be sold as an impulse buy in the Wal-Mart checkout line next to the king-sized candy bars. Your god doesn’t want a contrite heart, but just some really good sacrifices. Your god is more concerned about whether you dragged yourself to church on Sunday than he is about what you did for the guy standing on the street corner. Your god uses felt boards and attendance sheets. His idea of grace is letting slide those few times you fell asleep during the sermon, so long as you’ve made up for it with plenty of other activities.
Your god is a black-and-white god with principles, agendas and schedules that can’t be broken or bent. He isn’t interested in relationship or communication. Your god doesn’t move or speak in personal ways anymore; that was before the Reformation and the printing press.
Again, I say: your god sucks.
Your god sucks because he’s controllable. Your god sucks because he’s tame and predictable. Most of all, your god sucks because he looks nothing like Jesus, and I’m convinced he’s not the real God at all.
Monday, June 22, 2009
|Make Your Temple A House Of Prayer|
|© Copyright Joseph Prince, 2006. All rights reserved.|
Sunday, June 21, 2009
|Look To The Word, Not Natural Facts|
|© Copyright Joseph Prince, 2006. All rights reserved.|
Saturday, June 20, 2009
God has been very good to me.
To be honest, my current pay is VERY comfortable.
This sum, has allowed me to pay off my initially huge credit card debt as well as to enjoy little luxuries like my Nokia 5800, more family time, dim sum sessions with parents, etc.
Now God is opening doors for me to earn another (quite significant) sum just by working an extra 8-16 hours a week. And it's a guaranteed sum - so no multilevel nonsense here.
Initially, I thought I was on goal to buy a house end of next year.
But by the look of things, I might be having that house sooner that I expect.. possibly an apartment by the end of the year or a REAL GOOD property by the middle of next year.
I can only credit all these to Jesus. After all, God is the one to bless me. And He wants to make you rich too. And for that matter, Christ came poor to make us rich (2 Cor 8v9).
[BTW, If you ask any Jew, they will tell you physical wealth is a SPIRITUAL BLESSING]
Romans 15:27 - They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.
Many Christians today can accept the Spiritual blessings in Christ, but are unable to believe that physical blessings are a form of spiritual blessings.
How is it that Christians are unable to believe Jesus - who walked on this earth in a spiritual and physical body, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, and healed the bodies of men, who can create wealth in an instant - by turning water into wine, feeding the thousands, and that same Saviour CHOOSE not to even turn the littlest stone into bread for His own benefit - that in such extreme poverty, He sought to gave us immense wealth!
Yet Christians today, took that epitome of a poor Jesus as a 'law' that they tried to follow 100% with their own efforts. [I find this an irony that it is the rich preachers would be the ones to preach a poor Christian life to believers]
And still they forget it is through the Holy Spirit that they are sanctified - Romans 15:16
Still, they try to be like Jesus on account of their own efforts.
Your Holiness, Righteousness, Justification and Sanctification has been made possibly through the Cross - not by what you do, that you can give yourself credit.
Your Holiness - that God see you Holy as He looks down as sees Jesus in you
Your Righteousness - that by the blood of Jesus you are declared so that you may inherit all the benefits of the Righteous
Your Justification - that each and every sin of yours has been taken and punished in the body of Jesus at the Cross
Your Sanctification - that through the finished work, the Holy Spirit rests in you and He is the one that continues the washing of you feet to make you more like Jesus.
Believe and be extremely blessed with abundance Grace!
You are a NEW CREATION in Christ!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
2 Peter 1:2–3
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
Imagine if God were to visit you in a dream tonight and ask you what He could do for you. What would you say to Him? Would you ask Him to give you a deeper knowledge of Jesus our Lord?
God’s Word tells us that when you receive revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, it will cause grace and peace to be multiplied in your life. It will cause you to receive all things that pertain to life and godliness.
What is grace? It is the unmerited, unearned and undeserved favor of God shown to us. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s grace. But the more we learn of the beauty and love of our Lord Jesus, the more we see His perfect work on the cross, and the more we position ourselves to receive a multiplication of God’s grace in our lives.
The verse says that peace too, is multiplied to us through the knowledge of Jesus our Lord. The peace of God sets our hearts free from fear, stress, worries, anxieties and cares. Wouldn’t you want to have the peace of God presiding over your heart always?
God’s divine power has given us all things that pertain not just to godliness, but to life as well. Wouldn’t you say that health, money, a good job and a nice home for your family pertain to life? Well, all these things and everything else which God has already given is released to you through the knowledge of Jesus our Lord.
So let’s ask God every day, “Father, give me wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus.” For to know Jesus is to have grace and peace multiplied to us. To know Jesus is to receive all things pertaining to life and godliness!
© Copyright Joseph Prince, 2006. All rights reserved.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
This post MAY BE taken in wrongly, as CHURCH BASHING, but NO, that is not the intention of this post, but my reflections and my thoughts.
The other day when I was listening to a ‘Cheerful Giving’ message from Joseph Prince (can’t remember which CD it is), it got me thinking about giving cheerfully.
After listening to it, some things stuck to my mind. One of the things which came to my mind (which JP DIDN’T touch on) was on Christian service.
When I started my Christian walk in my previous church, I realised that most often when I was there, I was called to ‘carry the cross’, ‘deny myself’ and to ‘serve the Lord’. And personally, in the past, I’ve arrived at points in life where I didn’t want to serve because I’ve felt somewhat abandoned to do it, unsupported, and wearied by it.
It just seems taxing that when we are all called (as my previous church calls it), we are left to ‘work out our salvation in fear and trembling’. (it made me doubt the surety of salvation when I did not want to serve)
Hence, when I decided to pull back and not continue in that service, I (felt like) was given a squinted condemning eye, and often pulled aside and given a mini pep talk by the elder, or having brothers coming up to me asking “what happened?” [Personally, I believe this is still happening in many churches].
Firstly, such things made people feel bad. It made me feel like God is using these people to arm-twist me to serve. It seems like an invasion of my free-will. Such things made me feel that if I do not serve, I’m not a ‘good’ Christian – or that I’m going against God’s will.
Secondly, whatever I gave could not be my best. I was doing for the sake of doing. How can I overflow blessings out, when deep inside, I was dry? What you get from an empty cup is empty.
Thirdly, church members’ reaction were negative. Rather than exhibit grace, there were a lot of backstabbing and gossiping - and none said to my face.
So after listening to that sermon, I came to a conclusion – that God Loves a cheerful giver – not just in sowing to the needy (financially) or sowing the word of God (in preaching or encouragement). But also in service!
I came to the conclusion that – God loves a cheerful service.
However, at that time I came to that conclusion, I didn’t have any word from God to support it.
Today I was pleasantly surprised that God confirmed this message to me!
1 Peter 5:
Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be;
Be Shepherds not because you must, but because you are willing.
1 Peter 5:2 of The Amplified Bible describes PERFECTLY what I’m saying today.
Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully;
1) If you feel FORCED into a position/leadership/duty of God, don’t do it. It’s better you let it go and let someone else to do it cheerfully.
2) Don’t be afraid to voice out to your leaders about how you feel about the service that you do and how it can be improved.
3) Don’t force people to serve, and don’t make them feel bad about not serving. Don’t judge them for not wanting to help.
4) If serving causes your ego to puff up, stop serving.
5) If you feel that your service is dishonourably motivated, or that a leader above you is so, then quit.
May you be blessed and serve God in the right and cheerful manner! :)