Dear honorable visitor: I note you have visited and/or downloaded 223 images from this blog during the last two days. Whist I am positive about visitors who take pain in viewing so many images and perhaps downloading them in a short span of two consecutive days, I would also like to know a bit about yourself and/or your purpose.
Being an imaginative yet analytical blogger/writer, I like to imagine that perhaps another group of people will be reached by the images, especially those with Bible verses. I am elated to imagine perhaps you have started a Christian website or Instagram or something like that to which you can upload the images and reach out to a wider audience than my usual crowd (only from countries about the number of United Nations). I would like to think that you may have come from a new people group and have undertaken the mission of taking the images back to them.
I also imagine that perhaps a young new believer on fire for God has stumbled upon my blog and discovered the stock of free images rich in Bible verses or Bible stories. I like to imagine that you have been led by the Holy Spirit to this rather serious old blog and have found exactly what you have been seeking…(please let me know what search term you have used to find this blog’s images)
How may I reach you? Or how shall you reach me? I believe by clicking like to one of my recent blogs will alert me to reach you.
Your blogger, AAAJ Watchman.
P/S: Please feel free to continue to visit and download all the images (About one image per blog. To date I have published 1447 blogs in this blog). The earlier images are not original. Those posted in recent years (like 2015, 2016, 2017) are mostly original. If you like to take pictures I would encourage you to take some pictures in your beautiful country and paste some Bible verses on them. They will surely look nice on your website. Because I have not learned drawing using the PC I have not been able to produce pictures of the Bible characters. There are limited choices in the internet data base. Perhaps you may consider drawing if you can draw. I would like to see them too if you like to share. Thank you.
BTW: The above rose picture is original. I took it in February 2016 in someone else’s garden.
I am reminded that some younger readers may not be acquainted with teachings on the Holy Spirit. And it is difficult to explain stuff which cannot be seen and or felt by the senses. So today’s word is “Power”. Why? Because as the millennial generation you are familiar with this word through the many media you engage in daily. What is power in the Bible? Where is it from? How can you have it? What is the power for? Here are some Bible verse for you to meditate on.
JESUS (THE SON OF GOD) HAD THE POWER (WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT IN HIM)
Luke 4:14 [ Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry ] Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out
Luke 4:36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
Luke 6:19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
Matthew 10:1 [ The Twelve Apostles ] And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
CHRIST IS THE POWER; THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER; GOD’S WORD IS POWER
1 Corinthians 1:18 [ Christ the Power and Wisdom of God ] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Romans 1:16 [ The Just Live by Faith ] For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE POWER; THE APOSTLES WHO HAD THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THEM DEMONSTRATED THE POWER
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 4:19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.
1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
THE POWER OF CHRIST COMES THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT TO US
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
GOD HAS GIVEN US THIS SAME SUPERNATURAL POWER TO LIVE CHRIST LIKE LIFE ON EARTH
John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
1 Corinthians 6:14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
2 Corinthians 4:7 [ Cast Down but Unconquered ] But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
2 Corinthians 6:7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
2 Corinthians 13:4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
Ephesians 1:19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
Ephesians 1:21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Ephesians 6:10 [ The Whole Armor of God ] Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL WILL MANIFEST THE POWER THROUGH SIGNS AND WONDERS
Romans 15:19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
Acts 5:12 [ Continuing Power in the Church ] And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
EVERYONE CAN SEE THIS POWER OF GOD IN CREATION
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
GOD GIVES POWER TO MAKE WEALTH AND POWER TO ENJOY IT
Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God.
on the subject of food and drink for Daniel fast, the watchman is led to say some random words. There are many recipes on the internet. He shares his own experience below.
there is no need to follow recipes unless you absolutely have no ideas of what to eat and how to prepare food. the main thing about fasting is you need to be focused on your goals, both for your personal issues and for the corporate issues that the Lord has prompted you when you decide to start a fast. thoughts about cooking and getting the right ingredients hamper and distract you from reaching your goals. be divine. that means you need not bother at all of what to eat or drink and what to avoid. the overall idea is to avoid heavy and meaty food. your overall goal is to hear God and abide in Jesus. Let Jesus’ victorious…
Having had long discourses with young friends and relatives lately, I realize how close the last days are and how unaware our young people are of the dangerous times. Subconsciously they have been alerted by their spirit and they desperately need help with seemingly no help in sight for them in their own world, mainly virtual and unreal. Even in the real world of their own home and neighborhood the grown-ups seem living in another distant world which they cannot reach. Indeed these lonely youth daily surf the internet to find answers to the many questions they are encountering in futility. What can a spiritual watchman do in this vast virtual space of emptiness? What do we have to fill the void? Today I am led to read Apostle Paul’s letters to young Timothy. Timothy was an exemplary godly youth in his time well brought up by his godly grandmother and mother. Yet, Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to write to him and alert him of the requirement to pursue godliness and holiness. Why? Because Paul knew the end times will come and even godly men will fall. What is Paul’s answer to this great danger? Here is my quote of his timeless letter to my young friends.
Dear young friends, princes and princesses of God:
I am writing with an urgency compelled by the love of God. I pray you read what my friend Paul has written. His timeless letter has helped many young people in his time and throughout the history of mankind for nearly two thousands years. Believe me, I was a young person once .
“Difficult Times Will Come”
3 But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, 3 [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Let us all be vessels for honor!
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God [which He has laid] stands [sure and unshaken despite attacks], bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord stand apart from wickedness and withdraw from wrongdoing.”
20 Now in a large house there are not only [a]vessels and objects of gold and silver, but also vessels and objects of wood and of earthenware, and some are for honorable (noble, good) use and some for dishonorable (ignoble, common). 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things [which are dishonorable—disobedient, sinful], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified [set apart for a special purpose and], useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
2:22Run away from youthful lusts—pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those [believers] who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
(2 Timothy 2:19-22)
In summary: Let us run away from the bad, and run towards the good! It means running away in both our thoughts and in physical actions. We do not act unless we have been there in our thoughts. Guard our thoughts. Don’t let our thoughts go to places we should not go. Keep our thoughts pure by reading the pure words from God together with our godly friends. Bombard our ears with good songs based on the words of God from godly singers. Pray in tongue without ceasing just as the Apostle Paul taught us.*
Love from your dear friend,
* I will write about the impact of music and tongue on our mind in another letter.
2 Timothy 2:20 Like Rom 9:20-23, the analogy here has its roots in OT poetry (e.g. Ps 31:12; Prov 26:23) and prophecy (e.g. Is 45:9; Jer 18:2-6). Paul speaks of believers and unbelievers in Rom 9, but here he seems to be describing God’s household or family, in which all the vessels (containers, utensils) represent believers. While the objects in Rom 9:21 do not change, the vessels here are capable of changing their status and the use to which God puts them by keeping themselves from sinful behavior and influences (v 21).
Bible verses are quoted from Amplified Bible (AMP)
Today I note that nine out of ten of the top posts in this blog are about watchman/intercessor. Someone is reading this topic at this kairos time in season. The related blogs were written during 2009-2013. I am led now to give an update to the watchman/intercessor(s) who have visited and perhaps are still reading some of my previous articles on this subject. I would simplify mattes using Q and A mode as follows: (This is not an exhaustive list.)
Q: are those articles still valid today?
A: read with prayers. I suggest you pray in tongue. Ask the Holy Spirit.
Q: as I am still new to hearing the Holy Spirit, which aspects of the articles shall I ask for discernment and perhaps discard?
A: everything that demands a legalistic adherence to the Laws of Moses.
Q: please give me a general guidance when reading the articles.
A: pray in tongue. Open your Bible. Read the Bible as you find verses that speak to you in the articles. Do not take things for granted. Ask the Lord.
Q: if some of the articles are outdated, why are you still keeping them?
A: they are not outdated. They were reflections of a series of Kairos time which our watchman has gone through at different periods. We keep them as a mirror. Someone may be going through similar growing up phases. The testimonies show how things in the spiritual can be overcome.
Q: what shall I be aware of or beware of?
A: Legalistic religious ritualistic practices that are formulated according to dead letters.
A: BECAUSE JESUS CLEARLY SPOKE AGAINST THEM.
Q: what are the dangers of dealing with the spiritual realm?
A: the clear danger is unless you know our God personally and have a relationship with Him, you can be snared and deceived by the father of all lies, the devil. Jesus has warned His disciples of false teachers, false prophets, false Christ-these are people used by the anti-Christ to snare Christians into spiritual falsehood.
Q: how do I keep away from spiritual falsehood?
A: keep close to God, the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. Abide in him. Let His words abide in you. Being spiritual does not mean you can do all the rituals (faith in action). Your character shows your true spiritual condition. Are you manifesting the fruit of the Holy Spirit or the fruit of the devil as clearly described in Galatians 5:16-26. Examine your secret agenda. What motivates you? Are you really seeking to glorify God or yourself? Have you died to self? There is no point talking and not manifesting the right fruit.
Q: will people know whether i am led by the Holy Spirit or the evil spirit?
A: YES. YOUR FRUIT SHOWS. JESUS SAID, A GOOD TREE PRODUCES GOOD FRUIT. PEOPLE SEE FRUIT.
Q: what is the number one snare i need to avoid?
A: taking offense. Jesus warned, “And then many will be offended, will betray one anther, and will hate one another.” (Continue to read the whole passage that starts with taking offense and the consequences thereof in Matthew 24:10-13)
Q: if i just stay away from people and keep to myself will i make an effective watchman/intercessor? how do i know what is going on?
A: watchman/intercessor sees into the spiritual realm behind the physical realm. The Holy Spirit alerts you to read or hear or see the physical events when needed and tells you about the spiritual implication. You are not required to be a hermit. Neither are you required to be a know-all. As Jesus spoke of His disciples, they are in the world but not of the world. We are in the world but we do not love the world or its things. We use things but we love people. The world loves things and use people. This is the difference.
Q: is a watchman a seer? how will i be upgraded to a seer?
A: in the Old testament time the Holy Spirit came and went. The Holy Spirit worked through individuals who were called and responded as prophets/messengers of God. Some were intercessors for the people of Israel. People (including kings) came to them for counsels and guidance because the seers could hear the Holy Spirit. Most people were drawn to the seers because they were forecasters of future events. Do we need seers today? Every believer who is born of the Holy Spirit should be able to hear the Holy Spirit, because Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and tell us things to come. Of course a watchman/intercessor who can always hear the Lord correctly and have the gift of the word of knowledge and word of wisdom is sometimes treated with honor as a seer. This role involves using the gifts that the Lord has endowed on the individual.
Q: can the seer use the aforementioned gifts to benefit himself or his family?
A: yes if it is what the Lord asks him to do, such as to avoid a personal danger, to make a right personal decision in investment, to help someone close out of a potentially disastrous situation etc. There are many New Testament verses on how God wants to bless every believer (not just a seer) according to the abundant life Jesus has given. God wants every believer to hear Him and have a relationship with Him. But the word of caution here is never use your gift to help someone who clearly goes against the words of God (the Bible). Never go against God’s words. We serve a holy God.
Q: can a seer make a worldly fortune out of his spiritual gifts?
A: i would be extremely cautious here if i were you. God clearly warns against fortune telling etc. Beware of getting snared into this number one temptation from the devil. Remember what Jesus and the apostles had warned us of. The greed for money is idolatry. The love of money is a snare. Sorcerers and idolators shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelations 21:8)
Q: how will a seer make a living?
A: just like any other honest hard working Christian does. He or she may have an employment elsewhere, may be a pastor, a teacher, a missionary, an evangelist, a writer, a helper, a full-time church worker, a housewife etc. He will be paid just like any other worker according to his job.
Q: is there a most suitable profession and age for a watchman/seer?
A: personally speaking, ideally a job without fixed schedule/time paradigm. A retiree or someone who has made it in the financial world and no longer needs to earn his bread and butter. Someone who cannot be bought by the world. The Lord always ensures that such an individual is well provided and protected.
Q: surely everybody wants more of the good stuff. is there such a person who cannot be bought?
A: well, my son/daughter, when you reach a spiritual point of your relationship with God, you cease to exist. Nothing in the world really matters. You died to the world. You only live to God. This is the true calling of a seer.
Q: what is your one sentence advice as a prerequisite for a watchman/intercessor/seer?
A: God makes sure the words of the true prophets are fulfilled.
Now Samuel grew; and the Lord was with him and He let none of his words fail [to be fulfilled].
1 Samuel 4:1 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Philistines Take the Ark in Victory
4 And the word of [the Lord through] Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and they camped beside Ebenezer while the Philistines camped at Aphek.
1 Samuel 7:8-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
8 And the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, so that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; and Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel and the Lord answered him. 10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines approached for the battle against Israel. Then the Lord thundered with a great voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated and fled before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel came out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down as far as [the territory] below Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and he named it Ebenezer (stone of help), saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued and they did not come anymore into Israelite territory. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
1 Samuel 3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Prophetic Call to Samuel
3 Now the boy Samuel was attending to the service of the Lord [a]under the supervision of Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.
2 Yet it happened at that time, as Eli was lying down in his own place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well). 3 and the [oil] lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, 4 that the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.” 5 He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call you; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know [or personally experience] the Lord, and the word of the Lord was not yet revealed [directly] to him. 8 So the Lord called Samuel a third time. And he stood and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli understood that it was the Lord [who was] calling the boy. 9 So Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and it shall be that if He calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Then the Lord came and stood and called as at the previous times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11 The Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will ring. 12 On that day I will carry out against Eli everything that I have spoken concerning his house (family), from beginning to end. 13 Now I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the sinful behavior which he knew [was happening], because his sons were bringing a curse on themselves [dishonoring and blaspheming God] and he did not rebuke them. 14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the sinful behavior of Eli’s house (family) shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
15 So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the Lord’s house. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16 But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he answered, “Here I am.” 17 Then Eli said, “What is it that He said to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do the same to you, and more also, if you hide from me anything of all that He said to you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. And Eli said, “It is the Lord; may He do what seems good [b]to Him.”
19 Now Samuel grew; and the Lord was with him and He let none of his words [c]fail [to be fulfilled]. 20 And all Israel from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south] knew that Samuel was appointed as a prophet of the Lord. 21 And the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
1 Samuel 3:1 Lit before.
1 Samuel 3:18 Lit in His eyes.
1 Samuel 3:19 Lit fall to the ground.
Psalm 99:6 NLT Moses and Aaron were among his priests; Samuel also called on his name. They cried to the Lord for help, and he answered them.
Jeremiah 15:1 [ Judgment Must Come ] Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me [interceding for them], My heart would still not be [turned with favor] toward this people [Judah]. Send them away from My presence and out of My sight and let them go!
1 Chronicles 9:22 All those chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds were 212. They were enrolled by their genealogies in their villages [around Jerusalem], these men [whose grandfathers] David and Samuel the seer had appointed to their official duty.
1 Chronicles 11:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant (solemn agreement) with them there before the Lord; and they anointed him king over Israel, in accordance with the word of the Lord through Samuel.
1 Chronicles 26:28 Also all that Samuel the seer had dedicated, and Saul the son of Kish, Abner the son of Ner and Joab the son of Zeruiah, everyone who had dedicated anything, this was in the care of Shelomoth and his relatives.
1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the chronicles (records) of Samuel the seer, in the chronicles of Nathan the prophet, and in the chronicles of Gad the seer,
Today’s words are all about the Light. The Word. Focus on this Light. You will receive your health and healing in all aspects of life.
The Bible verses are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV)
The Lamp of the Body
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
The Eternal Word, The Light
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
1 John 1:5-7
Fellowship with Him and One Another
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Today’s word is about investment. Many Christians struggle with how the Word of God really (practically) impacts our lives. Some have found the key and are living the divinely blessed way (super-abundant life) that Jesus has accomplished for His followers. Some are still experiencing the result of the “thief” who came to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) But God has given every believer the same capital (Seed of life), His Word. Why are there such disparities in the lives of different Christians?
Jesus has explained this in Matthew 13:23 (AMP) And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands and grasps it; he indeed bears fruit and yields, some a hundred times [as much as was sown], some sixty [times as much], and some thirty.” Luke 8:15 Expanded Bible (EXB) And the seed that fell on the good ground is like those who hear ·God’s teaching [the word] with good, honest hearts and ·obey [cling/hold to] it and ·patiently [with perseverance] produce good fruit.
Prior to describing this group who can produce positive outcome in their lives, Jesus also mentions others who fail in varying stages and degrees, but all with the same result -producing nothing despite the same capital God has given them. I quote below the Bible passage from the EXB version. (Highlight added)
Matthew 13:18-23 Expanded Bible (EXB) Jesus Explains the Seed Story
18 “So listen to the ·meaning of that story about the farmer [parable of the sower]. 19 What is the seed that fell ·by the road [along the path]? That seed is like ·the person [anyone] who hears the ·message [word; teaching] about the kingdom but does not understand it. The Evil One comes and ·takes away [snatches] what was ·planted [sown] in that person’s heart. 20 And what is the seed ·that fell [sown] on rocky ground? That seed is like the person who hears the ·teaching [word; message] and quickly ·accepts [receives] it with joy. 21 But ·he does not let the teaching go deep into his life, so [L since he has no root in himself] ·he keeps it only a short time [he does not endure; it is short-lived]. When trouble or persecution comes because of the ·teaching he accepted [word, message], he ·quickly [immediately] ·gives up [falls away; stumbles]. 22 And what is the seed ·that fell [sown] among the thorny weeds? That seed is like the person who hears the ·teaching [word; message] but lets worries about this ·life [world; age] and the ·temptation [deceitfulness; seduction] of wealth ·stop that teaching from growing [L choke the word/message]. So the teaching does not produce fruit in that person’s life. 23 But what is the seed ·that fell [sown] on the good ground? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and produces ·fruit [a crop], sometimes a hundred times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes thirty times more.”
In summary: God gives each of us who believe the same Word capital (Seed). On our part we need to hear, understand and accept (believe as the Truth). The more we invest with this capital the more will be the yield. Unlike other forms of capital, God’s words are invested in the inner being of a person. In our spirit and in our mind. Only God’s words can do that. God’s words are supernatural. They cause renewal of the mind and transformation of lives. When this happens every blessing God has prepared in the heavenly places will flow naturally into our whole being and in turn affects our physical existence and livelihood. Take note that there are stages/processes in time: hearing the Word, understanding, believing, allowing it to grow into our lives deeply, be focused and persistent in applying it no matter what. Beware of the obstacles that can sidetrack/deter us from the goals: hearing/preferring other words (which seem easier to understand), confining to superficial emotional experiences, fearing persecutions and other inconveniences, exhausting ourselves pursuing short-term successes that seem more tangible (like things that come with monetary wealth)
2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: The person who ·plants a little [sows sparingly] will ·have a small harvest [also reap sparingly], but the person who ·plants a lot [sows generously/bountifully] will ·have a big harvest [also reap generously/bountifully].
Galatians 6:7 [ Life Is like Planting a Field ] Do not be ·fooled [deceived; mistaken]: You cannot ·cheat [mock; make a fool of] God. People ·harvest only what they plant [reap what they sow].
Today’s word is from Isaiah 54:17 no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. The scenario is not new. Jesus had many accusers in His time on earth. So were the apostles. For example, Paul. Take note that the accuser uses words, spoken or written. Their accusations were based on their own personal (political) agenda and in the case of Jesus and the apostles (and later the believers of Jesus Christ) they were not true. For those who read the Bible to the end you will have noticed A RECORD OF AN ACCUSER of the brethren in the Book of Revelation. Jesus called the accuser the FATHER OF LIES. Those who lie and give false witness in courts/similar official places (of governing authority) are termed children of the father of lies. In the Old Testament Book of Exodus 20:16 recorded the original commandment of God against lying/giving false accusation about others, “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.”
In the New Testament Book of Revelation 22:15 Jesus names those (including everyone who loves and practices falsehood) who will not be allowed to enter into God’s presence (New heaven and new earth).
(The Bible verses are quoted from New Living Translation unless otherwise specified)
THE ACCUSER OF CHRISTIANS Revelation 12:10
10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,
“It has come at last—
salvation and power
and the Kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth—
the one who accuses them
before our God day and night.
THE GROUP WHO WILL BE EXCLUDED FROM GOD’S PRESENCE
Revelation 22:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Outside are the dogs [the godless, the impure, those of low moral character] and the sorcerers [with their intoxicating drugs, and magic arts], and the immoral persons [the perverted, the molesters, and the adulterers], and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying (deception, cheating).
GOD’S PROMSE OF A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR HIS PEOPLE
9 “Just as I swore in the time of Noah
that I would never again let a flood cover the earth,
so now I swear
that I will never again be angry and punish you.
10 For the mountains may move
and the hills disappear,
but even then my faithful love for you will remain.
My covenant of blessing will never be broken,”
says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
11 “O storm-battered city,
troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you with precious jewels
and make your foundations from lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your towers of sparkling rubies,
your gates of shining gems,
and your walls of precious stones. 13 I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. 14 You will be secure under a government that is just and fair. Your enemies will stay far away.
You will live in peace,
and terror will not come near.
15 If any nation comes to fight you,
it is not because I sent them. Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat.
16 “I have created the blacksmith
who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction.
And I have created the armies that destroy. 17 But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!
New Living Translation (NLT)
A NEW BEGINNING FOR EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN JESUS
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 Amplified Bible (AMP)
For the love of Christ controls and compels us, because we have concluded this, that One died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that all those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for their sake.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a human point of view [according to worldly standards and values]. Though we have known Christ from a human point of view, now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. 18 But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God].
20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us;we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God.21 He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].
Intercessors are praying right now. Some believers are considering joining their rank and want to know how God speaks to man. Today we read the Bible for the first set of recorded verbal interaction (in conversation format) God had with man. We take note how God initiated the conversation and the respective responses of men impacted their lives. Those who responded positively to God received positive supernatural superabundant blessings just as God had spoken. Today every born again believer of Jesus can have the same interaction with our God, because our spirit can join to the Holy Spirit in us (1 Corinthians 6:17), as we pray and seek God and read His words. But we all need training so that we may do so effectively and proficiently. Remember one thing, we can speak to God and hear God through the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ. (BIBLE VERSES ARE QUOTED FROM NKJV UNLESS SEPARATELY SPECIFIED)
FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF MANKIND: see how God took initiative to speak to man. Some men could hear Him. He spoke to them with the intention to help them/human out. The following three events (recorded in Genesis 3, 4, and 7) significantly impacted mankind. Read the whole passages in their respective context for more revelation. Take note that God even spoke to evil man (e.g the first murder, Cain) with the same good intention to save him. ADAM’S CASE: Genesis 3:9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (This took place after Adam had committed the first sin of mankind which caused the downfall of mankind!) CAIN’S CASE: Genesis 6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” NOAH’S CASE: Genesis 7:1 [ The Great Flood ] Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.
ABRAHAM’S FAITH JOURNEY (FORMERLY KNOWN AS ABRAM)
The beginning of Abraham’s calling: Genesis 12
Promises to Abram 12:1 Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
The end of Abraham’s life on earth: 24:1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 24:34 So he (his servant) said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.
25:7 This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.
ISAAC STAYED CLOSE TO GOD JUST AS HIS FATHER DID
Genesis 24:63 (AMPC) And Isaac went out to meditate and bow down [in prayer] in the open country in the evening; and he looked up and saw that, behold, the camels were coming.
Genesis 26:2 Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you.
genesis 26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. 13 The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; 14 for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.
Genesis 26:24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.”
Genesis 35:27-29 Then Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had dwelt. 28 Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. 29 So Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people, being old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
ISRAEL (FORMERLY KNOWN AS JACOB)
Genesis 28:13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.
Genesis 31:3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”
32:9 Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. 11 Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children. 12 For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”
So Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly. 28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years.
JACOB’S DESCENDANTS GREW TO THE SIZE THAT GOD HAD PROMISED BY THE TIME THEY LEFT EGYPT TO CLAIM THE PROMISED LAND (an exodus population of 2.5 million)
But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Numbers 1:45-47 (The number of able-bodied men of 20 years old and above)
45 So all who were numbered of the children of Israel, by their fathers’ houses, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war in Israel— 46 all who were numbered were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty.
47 But the Levites were not numbered among them by their fathers’ tribe;
BIBLE VERSES ON HOW TO HEAR GOD
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. Mark 4:24
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Romans 8:16
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16
Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing of faith..? Galatians 3:5
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his go Philippians 2:13
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; Colossians 1:9
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Today’s word is confirmed by two witnesses. I opened my Bible and was led to read this: Numbers 23:23 in which God declares: “No curse can touch Jacob; no magic has any power against Israel.” After reading and meditating on its implication today, I looked at emails that came through during the night and found a reader’s request to comment on a book, Derek Prince’s “Blessing or Curse: You can Choose” . I found the book and when opened it showed chapter 13, and the same reference to Numbers 22, 23 and 24 (alerting me to read Numbers 23:23).
In the Old Testament around 1407 BC a famous proficient “witch doctor” called Balaam was commissioned by a powerful rich king Balak to curse the people of God, the Israelites. But God says, NO CURSE CAN TOUCH JACOB, NO MAGIC HAS ANY POWER AGAINST ISRAEL. Balaam was a man well versed in using curses and magic power. But he could not use them against the chosen people of God. God did not take it lightly. He turned the intended curses into blessings despite Balaam’s intention to curse as he commanded a high fee for his job and the terrified Moab king was willing to pay. Of course, when God intervened supernaturally, Balaam did not get his pay. He died a terrible death in the end.
Let us read some of the passages in Numbers 22, 23, 24. I deliberately quoted the blessings which still apply to God’s people today. The Christians who are the descendants of Abraham by faith. In spiritual reality, Jesus has accomplished the breaking of two major curses: the curse from the Law of Moses, and the curse from Adam’s fall. (Galatians 3:13-14) (The curses from the Law of Moses are recorded in Deuteronomy 28:15-68)
Numbers 22-24 New Living Translation (NLT)
Balak Sends for Balaam
22:1 Then the people of Israel traveled to the plains of Moab and camped east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho. 2 Balak .., the Moabite king, had seen everything the Israelites did to the Amorites…“This mob will devour everything in sight, like an ox devours grass in the field!”
So Balak, king of Moab, 5 sent messengers to call Balaam …6 Please come and curse these people for me because they are too powerful for me…
Balaam Blesses Israel
23:7 This was the message Balaam delivered: 8 “But how can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I condemn those whom the Lord has not condemned?
…Let me die like the righteous;
let my life end like theirs.”
Balaam’s Second Message
16 And the Lord met Balaam and gave him a message. Then he said, “Go back to Balak and give him my message.”
18 This was the message Balaam delivered:…
19 God is not a man, so he does not lie.
He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
20 Listen, I received a command to bless;
God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!
21 No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob;
no trouble is in store for Israel.
For the Lord their God is with them;
he has been proclaimed their king.
22 God brought them out of Egypt;
for them he is as strong as a wild ox. 23 No curse can touch Jacob; no magic has any power against Israel. For now it will be said of Jacob, ‘What wonders God has done for Israel!’
24 These people rise up like a lioness,
like a majestic lion rousing itself.
They refuse to rest
until they have feasted on prey,
drinking the blood of the slaughtered!”
25 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Fine, but if you won’t curse them, at least don’t bless them!”
26 But Balaam replied to Balak, “Didn’t I tell you that I can do only what the Lord tells me?”
Balaam’s Third Message
24:2 Then the Spirit of God came upon him, 3 and this is the message he delivered:
“This is the message of Balaam son of Beor,
the message of the man whose eyes see clearly,
4 the message of one who hears the words of God,
who sees a vision from the Almighty,
who bows down with eyes wide open:
5 How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob;
how lovely are your homes, O Israel!
6 They spread before me like palm groves,[e]
like gardens by the riverside.
They are like tall trees planted by the Lord,
like cedars beside the waters.
7 Water will flow from their buckets;
their offspring have all they need.
Their king will be greater than Agag;
their kingdom will be exalted.
8 God brought them out of Egypt;
for them he is as strong as a wild ox.
He devours all the nations that oppose him,
breaking their bones in pieces,
shooting them with arrows.
9 Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down;
like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you.”
24:10 King Balak flew into a rage against Balaam…
Galatians 3:13-14 New Living Translation (NLT) 13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”[a] 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised[b] Holy Spirit through faith.
3:13 Deut 21:23 (Greek version).
3:14 Some manuscripts read the blessing of the.
FREEDOM FROM CURSES IS BASED ON ONE CONDITION
Galatians 3:22 New Living Translation (NLT)
22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.
Revelation 22:2-4 New King James Version (NKJV) In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
Today we read what happened to Jesus. Because Jesus said that the same will happen to His followers (disciples). Matthew recorded many teachings of Jesus which depicted everyday lives. They are timeless. Human heart and nature have not changed. Matthew 20:1-17 tells us the scene in the marketplace (employment agency) on one ordinary day. An employer (God) employs workers at different intervals and pays each one the same wage he has committed. But those who think that they deserve more just because they have been in employment longer become angry and indignant. They try to incite a revolt against the employer. But the employer tells them off. He is honoring his part of the employment agreement. But these protestors/revolters are not. They have forgotten or conveniently ignored the agreement. Why?
Jesus gave the reason why in His life.
13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’
16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”
Jesus Again Predicts His Death
17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him. 18 “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man[b] will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romans[c] to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”
Jesus told the parable to show how jealousy and greed cannot be concealed and can ruin a person. His adversaries are driven by greed and are insanely jealous of Him. They (the religious and political leaders) have been there a long time. They have institutionalized themselves as the only authoritative governing voice for the nation (social, cultural, education, economic, religious and political). Jesus is not one of them. So how dare He now take the lead in all fields of the nation, with countless more followers from the grassroots than them (over their whole lifetime) in a mere short three years?
While Jesus is following God’s will, doing all the good deeds feeding the poor, genuinely caring loving those upon whom the society looks down, healing the sick, setting the captives/oppressed free, his adversaries are plotting to kill him.
Pilate the Roman Governor knows the motive of the adversaries of Jesus. Matthew 27:18 For Pilate knew that it was because of jealousy that the chief priests and elders had handed Jesus over to him.
The point for Christian intercessors of knowing or revising the above is to pray more effectively. Now we are reminded of the motive of the adversary of God, how shall we pray? I am led to read Mark chapter one and sixteen right now as I ask the Lord.
Here are the verses that should spur us into the right course and action:
Mark 1:3 This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.[a] It began 2 just as the prophet Isaiah had written:
“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way.
3 He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!’”
14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”
16:15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
19 When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 20 And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.
In summary: Press on in the supernatural journey and run faithfully and consistently as we are led by the Spirit of Christ as ordained by the Almighty and not be distracted by the petty ways of man (motivated by personal agenda and not aligned with God’s plan).
1 Corinthians 2:12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
a word of encouragement 2 Kings 6:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
a word for those angry with God
Genesis 4:4-7New Living Translation (NLT)
4 Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.
6 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”