Category: Bible plumbline

His descendants will be mighty on earth

psalm 112:3The Blessed State of the Righteous
Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who delights greatly in His commandments.
2 His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
4 Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
5 A good man deals graciously and lends;
He will guide his affairs with discretion.
6 Surely he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.
7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is established;
He will not be afraid,
Until he sees his desire upon his enemies.
9 He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever;
His horn will be exalted with honor.
10 The wicked will see it and be grieved;
He will gnash his teeth and melt away;
The desire of the wicked shall perish.
(Psalm 112 NKJV)

Romans 3:22 [Full Chapter]
even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;

2 Corinthians 5:20-21
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 9:8-10
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now may[b] He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

Footnotes:
2 Corinthians 9:9 Psalm 112:9
2 Corinthians 9:10 NU-Text reads Now He who supplies . . . will supply . . . .

a watchman’s random rambling account of direction and ministry: Behold the greatness of God!

1 corinthians 14:1This watchman has been asking and seeking the Lord about currently relevant ministry and direction in the last five years after obeying the call to be scattered, move out and go north. The verses received included what God told Moses to move out and what Solomon advised to sow on many waters for harvests.

The changes were drastic and fast-paced after launching out by faith. After returning from a series of travel and living in the poorest and richest nations in the world, there began a time of writing, translating, and word-processing in different languages. There was a need to learn to upgrade the use IT of and internet amenities. There was a need to use the latest social and multi-media and word processing tools.

Lately there started a time to revise and apply educational knowledge stored in the mind as well as the spirit for “inner healing” or rather mind/thought pattern counseling to deconstruct chronic “malignant” (malfunction) behavioral pattern that had resulted adversed physical and mental effects, and to input and construct fresh thought and behavioral pattern to align with the original perfect design (that includes divine health and wellness functioning) of the Creator. This latest assignment is the most difficult as human innate stubbornness appears to obstruct every effort to align with the Lord’s purpose. The motto the watchman has been reminded repeatedly is: “Exercise patience and endurance in the love of God” when carrying out such healing assignments. The Lord’s love which is indeed the power behind our service must compel and motivate any ministry action, and the healing way is through faith under His grace.

Lately there has been a wave of revelation of the supernatural direction and increase that the lord has been working on and enabling throughout the globe: the raising up of a generation of young people who love the Lord. They have encountered Jesus Christ, are walking by the Spirit, being discipled on the solid rock of the Word of God, set their hearts after the Lord’s heart, and are passionate for the lost, the poor and the young. Their hearts are fixed and focused on the Lord and His goodness. The generation of revivalists in the former century has left behind a spiritual revival legacy and today we can see the evidence and fruit all over the world in many continents. The signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit moving today confirming the witnessing for Jesus and His words being preached as in the book of Acts are undeniable and real to even the hardest and unbelieving hearts. There are: the love for the Spirit, radical abandonment, and evangelism.

The sharing of this random rambling is to encourage and exhort perhaps a few lone watchmen out there who may be presently seeking the Lord’s fresh direction to venture out and look at the magnificent view beyond the present mountain top. Yes, many years ago the Lord (through another watchman) had urged this watchman to leave a comfort zone and venture out where the greatness of God is being beheld by “eyes that see, ears that hear, and hearts that understand.” The prayers of Paul (and this watchman praying Paul’s prayers) in his letter to the Ephesians (chapters 1 & 3) had been answered.

Here are some of the quotes that I find very relevant and refreshing reminders today:
God is not about using the mighty but the willing. He is not into using amazing people, just ones who prepared to lay their lives down to him. God is not looking for extraordinary, exceptionally gifted people, just laid down lovers of Jesus who will carry his glory with transparency and not take it for themselves. Heidi Baker
If you have God’s presence, you have favor. One minute of God’s presence can accomplish more than 20 years of your striving.
Heidi Baker
Yes, God wants you to do signs and wonders. But the love of God manifested through you is what people really need. So you first must see His face. You must become so close to His very heartbeat that you can feel what others feel. Heidi Baker
If you are not in love you’ll never keep going…Our overwhelming desire for God produces endurances and welcomes revival. This love for Him accomplishes much and never fails. Stacey Campbell
We don’t seek God’s power, we seek His presence. His power & everything else we need is always found in His presence.. John Wimber
We must realize that the ministries and gifts of the Spirit are for everyday life, not just meetings. Rick Joyner
Every revival in history seems to be the result of a few people becoming so hungry for God that they wanted Him more than oxygen. Those who have such hunger will not be denied. It’s time to seek a revival that becomes the most famous address in the world. It’s time to seek a move of God that won’t quit moving. Rick Joyner
You know your mind is renewed when the impossible looks logical. Bill Johnson
Any revelation from God’s Word that does not lead us to an encounter with God only serves to make us more religious. The Church cannot afford ‘form without power,’ for it creates Christians without purpose. Bill Johnson
People who refuse to step out and be used by God become the critics of those who do. Risk takers, the ones who thrill the heart of God, become the targets of those who never fail because they seldom try. Bill Johnson
Every gift of the Holy Spirit is a service gift! Stacey Campbell

Ephesians 4:11-13 New Living Translation (NLT)
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
“I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons & your daughters will prophesy,– Joel 2:29
“Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy” – 1 Corinthians 14:1

God’s gold standard for the nations of the world

JerusalemMatthew 25:31-46 The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations on how they have treated His brethren (Israel).

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Who are the brethren of the King? The Jews.
Romans 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,
Romans 10:1 [ Israel Needs the Gospel ] Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

a man of grace and power

Romans 15:29-32
Bible verses: Romans 15:29-32

I ask the Lord to reveal to me Biblical models to emulate.I have been led to read two related passages: Romans 15-16 and Acts 27-28, to learn Paul’s way of conducting his relationship and interactions with others: his friends (brothers and sisters in Christ with whom he stayed in contact through correspondence) and others (Roman officials and soldiers, sailors and crew of ship, fellow travelers/prisoners on board, and island people in needs).

Here are my notes on the testimony of Paul as revealed in the book of Romans chapters 15-16 and Acts chapters 27-28.

1. He walks in transparency with the Lord closely and listens to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit tells him things to come. Thus he can use his spiritual gift of words of knowledge and words of wisdom to counsel others.
2. He keeps abreast with his friends and brethren in Christ, and sustains a close relationship even from a geographical distance and despite the relatively primitive mode of communication (one thousand years ago).
3. He truly values their friendship and keeps them in constant prayers.
4. Their good and genuine relationship is mutual as they keep him in their prayers too and supply his physical needs. They do not forsake him even when he is under house arrest.
5. His relationship with the non-believers demonstrates what Jesus did: Fearlessness, boldness and courage, firmness with speaking the truth about God and His Kingdom, spiritual authority and power, practical wisdom as appropriate, kindness and compassion for their physical needs and welfare.
6. Paul lives his words.
7. He testifies to them the greatness and faithfulness of the God he serves.
8. He demonstrates the awesome power of God (the Holy Spirit) in his accurate prophecy/forecast regarding the storm, the danger, the fate of the ship and the people on board. He also demonstrates the power and compassion of God in ministering to the needs of the people on board and the people on the island.
9. He focuses on his mission of preaching the Good News of the Gospel of grace and building up the churches (believers). He is transparent in his relationship and interactions with the believers. He also shows that he is a man of integrity to the non-believers.
10. He knows the supernatural God, believes in the revealed truth about Jesus Christ, is passionate to witness Him, walks in the power of the Holy Spirit and is confidence of what he preaches and teaches.
In sum, Paul has the indwelling Spirit of the Lord as described by Isaiah (in a prophecy about Jesus in Isaiah 11:2): The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

I quote below some passages from the above four chapters. Please read the whole chapters on your own. I pray you receive your revelation too!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A letter from Paul to the church (Christians) in Roman
(Note the positive way Paul shares his thoughts and exhortation with christians treating them as his his good friends)
Romans 15 New King James Version (NKJV)
Bearing Others’ Burdens
15 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves…5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God…
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.
14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God,…
24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints…
29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me,…32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In Chapter 16 Paul further displays through his positive commendations, his detailed knowledge of and close relationship with a whole list of Christians in Rome. When later he arrived at Rome as a Roman prisoner, they came out to greet him and supported him spiritually and physically as only good friends would dare to do.

Acts 27-28 (excerpts quoted) described how Paul interacted with others while he was under the custody of the Roman officials. We also read how God had provided for him protections and supplies through various people, believers and non-believers.

27:7 When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed,…
9 Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous…Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” 11 Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul.

20 Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up.
21 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 26 However, we must run aground on a certain island.”

…30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, …31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff and let it fall off.

33 And as day was about to dawn, Paul implored them all to take food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have waited and continued without food, and eaten nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat. 36 Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves. 37 And in all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship.

39 When it was day, they did not recognize the land; but they observed a bay with a beach, onto which they planned to run the ship if possible. 41 But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; …but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.

42 And the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. 43 But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, …And so it was that they all escaped safely to land.

28:7 In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days. 8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. 10 They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.

11 After three months we sailed…14 where we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome. 15 And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.
16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him…
30 Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

Positive prayer for healing of the oppressed: “All things are possible to him that believes.”

Mark 9:23
Bible verses: Mark 9:23

To the man who came with a son who had a spirit that convulsed him, Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23). The man had come to Jesus and said, “From childhood. And often he (the evil spirit)has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22).

Reading Jesus’ response in Mark 9:23, Jesus in fact said to him, in so many words, “It’s not so much a matter of what I can do as it is of what you can believe. All things are possible to him that believes.”

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to leave the boy and healed the boy instantly.

Prayer for those similarly oppressed: Lord, I believe. In Jesus’ name I submit myself to you and resist the devil.

James 4:7 AMP So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.

Positive Prayer for healing

1 John 4:2
Bible verses: 1 John 4:2

Healing is spiritual. What you confess is important as it impacts the spiritual realm.

“First John 4:2 says, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” When I talk about the Lord Jesus Christ, I’m not talking about some idea; I’m talking about the Son of God!

Jesus Christ of Nazareth came in the flesh and walked the shores of Galilee. When I talk about God, I’m not talking about my mind or your mind or someone else’s mind! I’m talking about a divine Personality – the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Confession: “Jesus Christ came in the flesh. He is the Son of God. And He died for me to redeem me from sin, sickness, and disease. I am free because Jesus came to this earth and died on the Cross for me. Thank You, Jesus!”

Above excerpts quoted from: Kenneth E. Hagin

a great mystery: great and abundant gain

1 Timothy 3:16
Bible verses: 1 Timothy 3:16

I asked the Lord fresh words for this blog and perceived a verse: 1 Timothy 3:16 which talks about Godliness (Christlikeness) of/from Jesus. Both the apostles Paul and Peter told us to be godly. I quote below some related verses (red letters added by me). Note that godliness is associated with other characteristics: perfection (maturity in mind and character), virtue, integrity, righteousness, reverence, seriousness, faith, love, patience, gentleness of heart, contentment (inward sufficiency), knowledge, self-control, brotherly affection and Christian love.

Paul reminded Timothy that godliness requires training like he did physical exercises! It is not difficult, based on the assurance given by apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:1-4). Godliness promises great and abundant gain for this present life and the life to come! This is certainly good news!

Summary: Godliness is of divine nature. By the faith that God has given us in Jesus, through the divine power of the Holy Spirit, we get to know God and Jesus, and partake this godly nature.

1 Timothy 3:16 And great and important and weighty, we confess, is the hidden truth (the mystic secret) of godliness. He [God] was made visible in human flesh, justified and vindicated in the [Holy] Spirit, was seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, [and] taken up in glory.

The same passage 1 Timothy 3:16 from The Message Bible:
This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are clear enough: He appeared in a human body, was proved right by the invisible Spirit, was seen by angels. He was proclaimed among all kinds of peoples, believed in all over the world, taken up into heavenly glory.

Some passages on godliness from the New Testament:
Matthew 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.

1 Timothy 2:2 For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 But refuse and avoid irreverent legends (profane and impure and godless fictions, mere grandmothers’ tales) and silly myths, and express your disapproval of them. Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit]. For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.

1 Timothy 6:6 [And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.

1 Timothy 6:11 But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart.

2 Peter 1:6-7 And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.

2 Peter 1:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 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, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

what shall we do with the prophets?

Habakkuk 2:3
Bible Verse: Habakkuk 2:3

What shall Christians do with the Old Testament, especially the prophets? May we quote them? There seems such a lot of negative words spoken by them which may offend today’s generation?

Let us read what Paul taught his disciple, young Timothy, a Spirit-filled Christian pastor/teacher in charge of a number of churches.

“You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:15-16)

Briefly I summarize below the keys Paul charged Timothy, and all Christians.

1. Paul spoke of the Holy Scriptures, which include both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Scriptures gave Timothy wisdom to receive salvation by believing in Christ Jesus.
2. Paul also elaborated further. He declared that “all Scripture is inspired by God”. Here he does not differentiate between Old Testament and New Testament. In Paul’s days they had only the Old Testament and letters written by the apostles themselves to the churches. He was referring to the Old Testament mainly.
3. Paul declared that “All Scripture is inspired by God.” There is no dispute about the divine authority of the Scripture, Old (before Christ), and New (during and after Christ).
3. Paul taught that Scripture is relevant to Timothy, the New Testament Christian.
4. Paul taught Timothy the relevance of Scripture: “useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
5. All these are in present tenses. The power of the Scripture to change lives is alive today.
6. What does Old Testament do today when quoted? The same effect as declared above.
7. Were Old Testament verses quoted after Jesus ascended into heaven? Yes. In the first sermon given by Peter after he and 119 disciples were baptized by the Holy Spirit, Peter quoted the Old Testament profusely (Acts 2:14-40). “Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.” (Acts 2:41)

Here is a list for those interested to read more.
Old Testament texts from the prophets quoted in the New Testament:
Isa 1:9 Rom 9:29
Isa 6:9-10 Matt 13:14-15, Mark 4:12, Acts 28:26-27
Isa 6:9 Luke 8:10
Isa 6:10 Joh 12:40
Isa 7:14 Matt, 1:23
Isa 8:12-13 1 Pet 3:14-15
Isa 8:17-18 Heb 2:13
Isa 9:1-2 Matt 4:15-16
Isa 11:10 Rom 15:12
Isa 13:10 Matt 24:29, Mark 13:24-25
Isa 34:4 Luke 21:26
Isa 22:13 1 Co 15:32
Isa 25:8 1 Co 15:54, Rev 7:17
Isa 26:19 Matt 11:5
Isa 35:5-6 Luke 7:22
Isa 26:20 Heb 10:37-38
Isa 28:11-12 1 Co 14:21
Isa 29:13 Matt 15:8-9, Mark 1:3, Joh 1:23
Isa 40:6-8 1 Pet 1:24-25
Isa 40:13 Rom 11:34, 1 Co 2:16
Isa 42:1-4 Matt 12:18-21
Isa 45:23 Rom 14:11
Isa 49:6 Acts 13:47
Isa 49:8 2 Co 6:2
Isa 52:5 Rom 2:24
Isa 52:7 Rom 10:15
Isa 52:11 2 Co 6:17
Isa 52:15 Rom 15:21
Isa 53:1 Joh 12:38, Rom 8:17
Isa 53:7-8 Acts 8:32-33
Isa 53:9 1 Pet 2:23
Isa 53:12 Luke 22:37
Isa 54:1 Gal 4:27
Isa 54:13 Joh 6:45
Isa 55:3 Acts 13:34
Isa 55:10 2 Co 9:10
Isa 56:7 Matt 21:13
Jer 7:11 Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46
Isa 59:7-8 Rom 3:15-17
Isa 59:20-21 Rom 11:26-27
Isa 61:1-2 Luke 4:18-19
Isa 62:11 Matt 21:5
Isa 64:3 1 Co 2:9
Isa 65:1-2 Rom10:10-21
Isa 65:17 2 Pet 3:13
Isa 66:1-2 Acts 7:49-50
Jer 5:21 Mark 8:18
Jer 9:23 1 Co 1:31, 2 Co 10:17
Jer31:15 Matt 2:18
Jer 31:31-34 Heb 8:8-12
Ezk 11:20 Rev 21:7
Ezk 37:5, 10 Rev 11:11
Dan 3:6 Matt13:42, 50
Dan 7:13 Matt 24:30, 26:64, Mark 13:26,14:62, Luke 21:27,22:69
Dan 9:27 Matt 24:15
Dan 11:31 Mark 13:14
Hos 2:1, 3 Rom 9:25-28
Hos 6:6 Matt 9:13, Matt 12:7
Hos 10:8 Luke 23:30, Rev 6:16
Hos 11:1 Matt 2:15
Hos 13:14 1 Co 15:55
Joel 3:1-5 Acts 2:17-21, Rom 10:13
Amos 5:25-27 Acts 7:42-43
Amos 9:11-12 Acts 15:16-17
Jonah 2:17 Matt 12:40
Mic 5:2 Matt 2:6
Mic 7:6 Matt 10:35-36
Hab2:3-4 Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11
Hab 1:5 Acts 13:41
Hag 2:6, 21 Heb 12:26
Zac 8:16 Eph 4:25
Zech 9:9 Joh 12:15
Zac 11:12-13 Matt 27:9-10
Zac 12:10 Joh 19:37
Zac 13:7 Matt 26:31, Mark 14:27
Mal 1:2-3 Rom 9:13
Mal 3:1 Matt 11:10, Mark 1:2,Luke 7:27
Mal 4:5-6 Matt 17:10-11

Habakkuk 2:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
4 “Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.

Freedom from lack

John 8:12
Bible Verse: John 8:12 Jesus is the light of the world

Today we learn all about freedom. Jesus says that if we know the truth, the truth will set us free.

He also says that He is the Way, the Truth, and The Life.

Reading the passage below (Excerpted from John 8. Please read the whole chapter), we note that people just cannot understand Him. They are contented with the assurance or security they think they have from their genealogy and tradition.

But Jesus talks about the spiritual reality, indeed, the real authority and source of security and assurance, God Himself.

Jesus declares that to know God, the Father, and the One Whom God sent (Jesus) is eternal life.

The key is to KNOW God through Jesus in an intimate way like in a family.

We are called the children of God. Why? God wants a family relationship. He created family. We are His family. That is why Jesus has taught us to call God, ABBA. Father. The Holy Spirit in us enables us to call God ABBA Father. This is the true freedom. Free to live as the children of the holy God. Free to live the super-abundant life as citizens in the Kingdom of God, with the power of the Holy Spirit, authority of Jesus’ name, and all the benefits Jesus has given to His believers through the cross. By grace we become entitled and through faith we receive.

Jesus, the Light of the World, He came to give light to everyone.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

He came to witness for God who sent Him. Those who see Him and acknowledge Him as God’s Son, they actually see God.

(Jesus declares), “I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.”

Seeing is not enough. Knowing Jesus is a must. Knowing Him means knowing God. This is the key to eternal life and freedom from the bondage of sins that bring death.

Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not.  That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”

How will people know who Jesus really is? After His death on the cross and His resurrection. By His Holy Spirit we shall know the truth. The Holy Spirit came after Jesus ascended to heaven and sit at the right hand of God.

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I am he.”

Only those who believe in Jesus and remain faithful to His teachings (which will be explained by the Holy Spirit) will know the truth and receive the freedom Jesus has given.

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,”

People who continue not to believe in Jesus remain slaves to sin. Slaves are not heirs. They have no share in the Kingdom (family) of God.

“But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.  A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever, So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

Children imitate parents. God’s children imitate God. This is clearly evident. When we are born again by God’s Spirit, our genealogy changes. We become heirs of God, co-heir with Jesus.

“Our father is Abraham!” they declared. “No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example…, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. No, you are imitating your real father.”They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me.

Why some people cannot understand Jesus? Jesus explains: 1. They are not God’s children. 2. They love to do what the devil does.

(Jesus told them), “Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me!

Reality check 1 for all Christians: Children of God love to listen to God’s words.

(Jesus told them), “Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”

Reality check 2 for all Christians: God’s children honor God. in honoring Jesus, we honor God.

The people retorted, “You Samaritan devil! Didn’t we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?” “No,” Jesus said, “I have no demon in me. For I honor my Father—and you dishonor me.  And though I have no wish to glorify myself, God is going to glorify me. He is the true judge.  I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”

Reality check 3: Those who know God will obey Him. Jesus does that. God gives honor to those who honor Him.

Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him…”

Bible power for behavioral modification

power of God's words
power of God’s words to renew mind and transform heart

A parent called and lamented that her kid was rude to her in public and regretted that she did not discipline her when young. Now the kid is a young teen and perhaps too late to discipline. This is not new. We have seen many similar cases. It appears to be a social norm for kids to be rude to parents. I do not want to go into the arguments of social and psychological philosophies. Instead I share the following verses which have the supernatural power of God and can truly transform even the hardest human hearts. We are transformed by the renewal of our minds. God’s words have the power that renew minds. I have personally experienced the power of the words of God. I pray you and your children too. Note that ungodliness comes hand in hand with disobedience to parents. Power of God is needed to be godly. The power of God comes to us through His words. There is no short cut, parents.

2 Timothy 3 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Dangers of the Last Days
CHILDREN HAVE DISOBEYED PARENTS EVER SINCE 2000 YEARS AGO WHEN APOSTLE PAUL WROTE THE FOLLOWING LETTER: SEE ALL THE FAMILIAR TRAITS THEY HAD THAT STLL MANIFEST IN TODAY’S GENERATION
3 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

WORSE, THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE DEPRAVED AND EVIL
6 They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of[a] vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. 7 (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) 8 These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. 9 But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres.

WHAT SHALL PARENTS DO? THE SAME THING THAT PAUL CHARGED TIMOTHY DO
Paul’s Charge to Timothy
10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. 12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.

NOTE: THE POWER OF THE WORDS OF GOD
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Footnotes:
3:6 Greek and take captive.

MY NOTES: The Bible teaches us to honor God before God honors us. Parents should start loving and obeying the words of God before they can convince their children to honor them. There is no power in mere words and lip service. Empty word about faith without action is dead. God sees the hearts. Children are not deceived by hypocrisy. Let us be men and women of integrity, which is a rare but essential word today. I repeat, Power of God is needed to be godly. The power of God comes to us through His words. There is no short cut, parents.

power of integrity: speaking life

james 3?17.jpg
Bible verse: James 3:17

Some Christians like to know why they do not seem to receive blessing as others do. Why do we continue to praise God when we do not feel like it?

In Biblical teaching praising God is a form of worship, and is based on God’s goodness and not our feelings. IT MEANS “to bless,” AND indicates the action of pronouncing good things upon the recipient. We can read many examples in psalms of king David praising God in all sorts of circumstances, indeed often regardless of the environment and external events. He recounted lots of good deeds that the Lord has done for His people. He chose to focus on God’s goodness and greatness.

Jesus taught us to worship in spirit and in truth. This means we do not worship based on our own feelings and circumstances. We worship based on our born again spirit who aligns with the Holy Spirit and based on the truthfulness of the words of God.

Today we read the New Testament teaching of the praise requirement for a worshipper in spirit and in truth. The key word is integrity. The integrity of our heart is demonstrated in the words we utter through our mouths. One thing is sure: praise and curse do not co-exist. God is looking for praises and not curses from our mouths.

James 3 New Living Translation (NLT) (Quoted in part)

Controlling the Tongue
3 Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

5…the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire…

9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

True Wisdom Comes from God
13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom…
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.