Help!

Philippians 4:3 HELPS calling

“I am called to be a helper!” A successful professional communicator with over forty years of track-record in the field, declared. I was listening to the introductory lesson of a media class partial recording and heard this utterance by the instructor. This unexpected remark answered my earlier secret question, “Lord, where is my direction? I seem to have many gifts and yet no calling!” After being baptized with the Holy Spirit, I have been given some opportunities to be a “back-up” preacher, teacher and healer, manifesting the gifts of the Spirit and witnessing positive outcome. I have also enjoyed a variety of “chores”: from everything to do with writing, word processing and using a variety of media, to cooking and cleaning up for others in the ministry! What is my calling then? It never crossed my mind until now that there is an essential ministry called “Helps”!

The Holy Spirit The Helper; God is a Helper

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

The disciples as helpers in the ministry of others individually and corporately

1 Corinthians 12:27-29 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?

Romans 15:24 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.

2 Corinthians 1:15-16 And in this confidence I intended to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit— 16 to pass by way of you to Macedonia, to come again from Macedonia to you, and be helped by you on my way to Judea

Romans 16:1-3 (Sister Phoebe Commended by Apostle Paul as a very important helper) I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

Philippians 4:2-4 Be United, Joyful, and in Prayer I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Footnotes: Philippians 4:3 NU, M Yes

The power of helpers in unison with God

2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (Helpers’ prayers in unison can effectively align with and supernaturally activate God’s will -Delivering others from suffering) 8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our [a]trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and [b]does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on [c]our behalf for the gift granted to us through many. Footnotes: a. 2 Corinthians 1:8 tribulation b. 2 Corinthians 1:10 NU shall c. 2 Corinthians 1:11 M your behalf

The Earth as a helper in a spiritual battle

Revelation 12:15-16 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.

truth about resurrection

John 11:25 Resurrection and life

Whilst no one can turn back the time for the dead, for those who are still alive and perhaps grieving, you may want to know more about resurrection. Resurrection from the dead is part of the doctrine of the first principles of Christ. It is an essential foundational truth of Christianity. The teaching of the resurrection is the one essential truth that separates Christianity from all other religions of the world. (Hebrews 6:1-3) Every man will live forever. Some will live with God; some will live apart from God, but all will live forever.

The Bible records ten supernatural resurrections that returned the dead to human life. In addition to Jesus’ own resurrection, and “many bodies of the saints (believers) who had died were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (Matthew 27:51-52). The remaining eight resurrections are recorded in

1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:32-37; 13:20-21; Luke 8:49–56; Luke 7:11-17; John 11:1-44; Acts 9:36-42; 20:7-12.

Jesus predicted his own resurrection: Matthew 17:22-23, “The Son of Man is going to be handed over to the power of men, and they will kill him. And on the third day he will be raised to life again.” This greatly distressed the disciples. (PHILLIPS)

Jesus resurrected just as He said. (Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-52; John 20:1-21:25)

Jesus Himself raised people from the dead: e.g. Lazarus (John 11:1-44), Jairus’ Daughter (Luke 8:49–56) and Widow of Nain’s Son (Luke 7:11–17).

Important truth concerning Jesus’ resurrection:

  1. Paul says that the fact that Jesus was resurrected is the proof that He is the Son of God. Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead…” (KJV)
  2. And the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead is our guarantee that we have eternal life through Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. (NKJV)
  3. Apostle Paul also said that the Holy Spirit was given to us as a deposit to guarantee our eternal life.  2 Corinthians 1:21-22 It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, 22 and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us. (NLT)

Jesus’ teaching on the facts of resurrection: Luke 20:34-38 (NKJV)

34 Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”

The apostles also raised people from the dead:

Acts 9:36-42 (NLT) Apostle Peter resurrected Tabitha (Dorcas).

Acts 20:7-12 Apostle Paul resurrected Eutychus.

Old Testament Prophets raised people from the dead:

Widow of Zarephath’s Son raised by the prophet Elijah (1 King 17:17-24); Shunammite Woman’s Son raised by the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4:18-37); an Israelite dead man’s body resurrected by touching prophet Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20–21).  

Finally, there is hope for us as declared by the Apostle Paul in the following verses:

1 Corinthians 15:51-53 (NLT) 51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

1 Thessalonians 5:10 (NLT) Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.

The Vital Signs of being Alive

Luke 6:9 the vital signs of life

Many tragedies occurred lately this 2019 Easter and Passover. I now recall reading this, “The big tragedy in the church today is that for the most part Christians major on and build their lives upon truths that are non-foundational or non-essentials.” The Bible teacher continued to state that “from the beginning it’s always been God’s intention that we be stable and well-balanced beings. It is not God’s will that we live unstable and unbalanced lives. This is not the quality of life that Jesus died to give us.” He said.

How may Christians live a balanced and stable quality life? Jesus came to give us truths (words) as our foundation to build our lives upon and not be shaken and fall. What are those word foundations? The teacher taught, “Righteousness by faith (Faith-Righteousness) is the cornerstone (or capstone) of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Why did God call Abraham righteous? Because he believed God. Likewise, we believe in Jesus whom God gave us through sacrificing His life for us and made us righteous before God by grace through faith. The teacher described the foundation truths as the vital signs of a person.

Daily we return to bed knowing how miraculous it has been that a day has passed and we are still alive. This is how many acknowledge these days.

What does Jesus say about living a good life with the right focus on earth? Let us read some of His words lest we forget.

Then Jesus said to his critics, “I have a question for you. Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9)

Then he told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” (Luke 7:22)

“If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” (Luke 11:36)

Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” (Luke 12:15)

Teaching about Money and Possessions ] Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Luke 12:22-23,25)

“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware,” (Luke 21:34)

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. (John 1:4)

For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! ” The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 5:21,39; 6:63)

Jesus, the Light of the World ] 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.” (John 8:12)

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10)

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, ” (John 10:10,11,15,17-18,28)

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” (John 11:25)

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:6,20)

decision determines destiny

the power in time: Ephesians 5:16-17

I just listened to an excellent teaching on “the power in time” by my favorite Bible teacher, considered one of the premium Bible teachers today. The subject is based on Ephesians 5:15-17, about how to walk as wise, redeeming the time. He teaches that time is a resource that impacts eternity. We can take from the eternal and sow into this temporal life, and from the temporal and sow into eternity. Some go through time, never redeeming one minute. How to redeem time? 1. Have the right attitude. Hebrews 11:1 (faith). 2. Do not look at the temporal. 2 Corinthians 4:18. We have spiritual eyeballs to choose to see through God’s words, our default, and expect God’s promises to be fully realized. 3. Perseverance. Galatians 6:9. Do not grow weary doing good, for in due season (time) we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

The above encouragement is timely as I am pondering on making a choice in what to major in third year. I just watched the presentation of the seven faculties to choose from. It is hard to make a decision at this moment. I have narrowed down the options to three. But it appears that all three are relevant to my future direction: ministry, business, and media school.

My mentor advises me to be patient and continue to finish my present year’s course and the Holy Spirit will guide me on the right choice. Has my fasting worked in terms of sharpening my spiritual hearing ability? I seem out of practice after having been so engrossed in busyness in chores, what with sudden landing of a young ward to serve for a season (time)… Alas. But I am determined to redeem time and sow into eternity come what may.

My generic guide: Bible verses from Luke 4:18

Luke 4:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me [a]to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are [b]oppressed;

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 4:18 NU omits to heal the brokenhearted
  2. Luke 4:18 downtrodden

fasting: aligning with God for a money goal

Matthew 6:19-24

I am fasting from the service of money. Lately I find that my increased focus on money has caused thorns and thistles to grow and choke the words in the soft garden of my heart. Thus, I have found an additional purpose to fast. I am fasting from the most prevalent worry of this world, the fear of a lack of money (Actually not for myself, ironically.) Like the Apostle Paul advised, “I train like a champion athlete. I subdue my body and get it under my control.” What has money got to do with subduing the body (physical)? For me and many other born again believers, we believe we need to hear God and receive wisdom to manage our lives on earth. God actually speaks through His revelation words and many other ways. When we are tied down in our physical needs and worrying and occupied mind we just cannot hear Him clearly and align with His plan accurately. Fasting is always accompanied with reading His words and praying. I pray this sharing of my experience encourages you to ponder over how you may hear God too.

As I have written in this blog previously, there are variations and ways to prepare. (click this link to read)

Three types of fasting: Normal- Abstaining from food, solids, liquids except for water. Absolute – Abstaining from everything. (Not more than three days.) Partial (Daniel 10:3) Restricted Diet. Jesus fasted and taught it as a part of the Christian discipline.

You may choose from a long list of choices: 1. the number of days (1, 3, 7, 14, 21, 40) 2. the number of meals to abstain (1, 2, all ) 3. eat vegetables/fruits only 4. no solid intake, drink water/liquid only.

This time I decided to have plain water with no food and solid intake for three days. Prior to this, I did a full 24 hours’ fast as a preliminary trial, followed by a break of taking one light meal a day for two days. I would urge you to follow the prompting you receive from the Lord. How is the fast so far? It is showing positive effect after getting through the tough second day. For new comers, yes, you may feel physically uncomfortable initially. But you can overcome it by focusing on the right source of your strength and purpose. Throughout the Bible God tells us that He is our strength and focus.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Paul’s Disciplined Lifestyle

24 Isn’t it obvious that all runners on the racetrack[a] keep on running to win, but only one receives the victor’s prize? Yet each one of you must run the race to be victorious. 25 A true athlete will be disciplined in every respect, practicing constant self-control in order to win a laurel wreath that quickly withers. But we run our race to win a victor’s crown that will last forever. 26 For that reason, I don’t run just for exercise[b] or box like one throwing aimless punches, 27 but I train like a champion athlete. I subdue my body[c] and get it under my control, so that after preaching the good news to others I myself won’t be disqualified.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 9:24 Or “the runners in a stadium.” This refers to the Pan-Hellenic stadium near Corinth where the Isthmian games were held.
  2. 1 Corinthians 9:26 Or “I don’t run aimlessly.” That is, Paul ran with his eyes on the goal of ending well.
  3. 1 Corinthians 9:27 Or “I beat my body black and blue.” This is an obvious metaphor of placing the desires of one’s body as second place to the desires of the Holy Spirit. See Rom. 8:13.

Money Matters: To SERVE money means to place such a high value on it that we develop a wrong priority compared with our relationship with God and others. Here are some symptoms: Place our trust and faith in it. Look to it for our security and happiness. Expect that it will guarantee our future. Desire it more than we desire God (as evidenced by the time we spend with whom). Our life is then spent in the pursuit of it rather than God.

Jesus spoke about money through these Bible verses:

Matthew 6:19-24 New Living Translation (NLT)

Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

My prayer today: all grace abounding toward you

My prayer: All Grace Abounding toward you

Ephesians 1:8-10

which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and [a]prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, [b]both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

Footnotes: Ephesians 1:8 understandingEphesians; 1:10 NU, M omit both

Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 3:16-20

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

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,

Paul: “give no offense”

1 Corinthians 10:33

Is it merely my conscience involved to live my personal preferences? Today let us meditate on what the Lord Holy Spirit spoke through Apostle Paul on this controversial subject in our very personal and subjective world and the predominant “me, me, me” philosophy believed in, practiced and permeated throughout many human societies. The following bible passages speak specifically to God’s people, -the Christians and draw us to focus on some practical missions in this life: promote spiritual growth in others, beware of others’ judgmental conscience (do not let others have the opportunity to condemn yours), do not (even if passively) cause others fall into a trap (take offense) even if dug by themselves because they interpret your actions according to their conscience. This is a tall order to Christians. Are we keepers of others? Reading this passage it would appear “yes”. Like what Paul advised all Christians, “I sincerely attempt to do anything I can so that others may be saved.” In the final analysis nothing else matters.

1 Corinthians 10:32 (NKJV) “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,”

1 Corinthians 10:23-33 The Passion Translation (TPT) )

You say, “Under grace there are no rules and we’re free to do anything we please.” Not exactly. Because not everything promotes growth in others. Your slogan, “We’re allowed to do anything we choose,” may be true—but not everything causes the spiritual advancement of others. 24 So don’t always seek what is best for you at the expense of another. 25 Yes, you are free to eat anything without worrying about your conscience, 26 for the earth and all its abundance belongs to the Lord.[a]

27 So if an unbeliever invites you to dinner, go ahead and eat whatever is served, without asking questions concerning where it came from.[b] 28 But if he goes out of his way to inform you that the meat was actually an offering sacrificed to idols, then you should pass, not only for his sake but because of his conscience. 29 I’m talking about someone else’s conscience, not yours. What good is there in doing what you please if it’s condemned by someone else?

30 So if I voluntarily participate, why should I be judged for celebrating my freedom?[c] 31 Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God. 32 And make sure you’re not offending Jews or Greeks or any part of God’s assembly over your personal preferences. 33 Follow my example, for I try to please everyone in all things, rather than putting my liberty first. I sincerely attempt to do anything I can so that others may be saved.

Footnotes:

1 Corinthians 10:26 See Pss. 24:1; 50:12; 89:11.

1 Corinthians 10:27 Or “questions of conscience.”

1 Corinthians 10:30 Or “eating food that I gave thanks for.”

For those interested to know more, I quote from

Vine’s Greek New Testament Dictionary

Offence [Noun] skandalon originally was “the name of the part of a trap to which the bait is attached, hence, the trap or snare itself, as in Rom 11:9, RV, ‘stumblingblock,’ quoted from Psalm 69:22, and in Rev 2:14, for Balaam’s device was rather a trap for Israel than a stumblingblock to them, and in Matt 16:23, for in Peter’s words the Lord perceived a snare laid for Him by Satan.

“In NT skandalon is always used metaphorically, and ordinarily of anything that arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way.”

Prosperity God’s way: the rich and the poor

Wise sayings about the rich and the poor to meditate today.

The rich man’s wealth is his strong city;

The destruction of the poor is their poverty.

The way of the Lord is strength for the upright,

But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.

The blessing of the Lord makes one rich,

And He adds no sorrow with it.

The labor of the righteous leads to life,

The wages of the wicked to sin.

He who has a slack hand becomes poor,

But the hand of the diligent makes rich.

He who gathers in summer is a wise son;

He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.

The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish,

But He casts away the desire of the wicked.

The wise in heart will receive commands,

But a prating fool will fall.

He who walks with integrity walks securely,

But he who perverts his ways will become known.

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing,

But righteousness delivers from death.

The fear of the wicked will come upon him,

And the desire of the righteous will be granted.

The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,

But the perverse tongue will be cut out.

The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,

But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.

The righteous will never be removed,

But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.

When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more,

But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

(Based on Proverbs 10)

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

The Revelation’s Last Chapter: inside and outside

Revelation 22:17b

Today we start reading from the end. It is good to be more focused on what matters in the end and not waste time on squabbling on matters that do not add value to whether one enters or not in the end.

By the way, the mention of dog in 22:15 is somewhat disturbing for owners of dogs. So I have found a few different versions which are more specific and the word “dog” pertains to human and not our pet.

Those not permitted to enter are outside: the malicious hypocrites, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, murderers, idolaters, and every lover of lies. (TPT)

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). (AMP)

Outside the city are all those who live like dogs—those who do evil magic, those who sin sexually, those who murder, those who worship idols, and those who love to lie and pretend to be good. (ERV)

Revelation 22 New King James Version (NKJV)

The River of Life

And he showed me a [a]pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 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. 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. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

The Time Is Near

Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the [b]holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Now I, John, [c]saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. [d]For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” 10 And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him [e]be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”

Jesus Testifies to the Churches

12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the [f]Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

14 Blessed are those who [g]do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 [h]But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

A Warning

18 [i]For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, [j]God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God[k] shall take away his part from the [l]Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

I Am Coming Quickly

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be [m]with you all. Amen.

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 22:1 NU, M omit pure
  2. Revelation 22:6 NU, M spirits of the prophets
  3. Revelation 22:8 NU, M am the one who heard and saw
  4. Revelation 22:9 NU, M omit For
  5. Revelation 22:11 NU, M do right
  6. Revelation 22:13 NU, M First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
  7. Revelation 22:14 NU wash their robes,
  8. Revelation 22:15 NU, M omit But
  9. Revelation 22:18 NU, M omit For
  10. Revelation 22:18 M may God add
  11. Revelation 22:19 M may God take away
  12. Revelation 22:19 NU, M tree of life
  13. Revelation 22:21 NU with all; M with all the saints

Supernatural Christianity with a purpose

Ephesians 1:7 redeemed through the blood of Jesus

What is in God’s heart? How did Jesus demonstrate this?

Mark 6:34, 36 – “When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He was moved with compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd [lacking guidance]; and He began to teach them many things.

God’s solution to sin, sickness, poverty, and death: The sacrifice of Christ through the shedding of His blood. Ephesians 1:7 – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

Commandments given by Jesus to all believers: (Scripture quoted in New King James Version)

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Mark 16:15-20 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Luke 24:46-48 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things.

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.”

2 Corinthians 5:19 – “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

THIS is What Stirs the Heart of God:

Luke 15:7 – “I say to you that likewise, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance.”

For Evangelists: Psalm 2:8 – “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.”

Titus 2:14 – “God gave Himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself.”

Examples of how the apostles and early churches/disciples applied what Jesus has commanded: How they prayed, the prayer’s effect, and how they applied:

Acts 4:29-31 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts 5:12 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.

Acts 5:14-16 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

Acts 5:29-32 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit Whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Acts 6:7-8 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. 8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.

Acts 8:6-8 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

CHOOSE

CHOOSE GREATNESS: CHOOSE LIFE

Today I ponder on the legacy we shall each leave behind. There is always a point where each of us must make a crucial decision that will be etched into our history. I walked through the histories of many great men and women in the past. A few years back I was invited to write the life story of one special woman who gave her best years to others (strangers in a remote land). I met some who know her well in her past life as a successful banker and the people group in the remote backwater war-ravished land whom she has loved so dearly and relentlessly that she has given up her past life decades ago to become one of them. I asked her why? She said she loves them because she knows Jesus loves them. A childhood friend of hers said he believed she wanted to leave a legacy behind.

Your choice may be to continue staying in the comfort of your vineyard at the safe shady valley below with gentle breeze or to continue climbing up to the high summit where there is strong wind and brilliant light from the sun. I pray you choose right.

Joshua 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Deuteronomy 30:18-20  18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them

John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

Joshua 1:7-9 New Living Translation (NLT)

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


Paul’s motivation speech

2 Corinthians 7:13

I was asked to give an impromptu speech for five minutes under the main topic of “high performing organization” to my fellow corporate colleagues. We were each given 10 minutes to prepare. Unlike others who were experienced managers, I was at that time a fresh graduate and had to think outside the box. I chose to speak on “leadership” with a very simplistic illustration of a man standing on top of a patch of ground. Then the ground was dug away and he fell into the hole. It gave the message that a leader without supporters/helpers (or a king without subjects) is useless. The seemingly insignificant supportive workers (or citizens) in an organization (kingdom) form the solid ground the CEO-leader stands on. A high performing organization requires a leader who values and sustains those who together make and hold up the solid ground for a pre-defined and agreed upon common good and rewards according to each share of contribution in efforts. I was thinking of a somewhat “populistic” yet effective performance-based leadership.

Good management theories and practices have sustained over the years and in fact have impacted all economic activities. In my worldview, ethical, productive, and constructive economic activities and their sustainable distribution of positive outcome can solve many problems in this world.

I use the term ‘economic activities” to sum up all the activities that involve two humans or more doing something productive together with the goal of achieving a mutually beneficial increase in the sum total outcome than each would have achieved on his own. There is a term called “synergy” to describe this: a state in which two or more things work together in a particularly fruitful way that produces an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. Expressed also as “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

I find this quote relevant and give a higher level of perspective: “We are all bound to work in the vineyard where God is the husbandman. We have all been given our little vineyard, but the way in which we cultivate it is of great importance for the prosperity of our neighbour’s vineyard… In fact all our vineyards are a part of the Lord’s great vineyard, the Holy Church, and we are all bound to work here too.” ― Sigrid Undset

The apostle Paul was such a practitioner. In his letter (speech) to the Corinthian Christians (2 Corinthians 7) he showed such a servant-leadership characteristic. He had every right to tell them off as being ungrateful and disrespectful etc. But he did not. Instead he praised them for the positive things they had done and highlighted those aspects that showed their sincerity in their relationship with him and his team.

He wrote: 7:Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one. I do not say this to condemn; for I have said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.

He praised them further for their repentance: 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

He spoke of his talking good about them to his co-worker Titus who also witnessed their goodness when visiting them: 13 Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all. 14 For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I am not ashamed. But as we spoke all things to you in truth, even so our boasting to Titus was found true. 15 And his affections are greater for you as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you received him. 16 Therefore I rejoice that I have confidence in you in everything.

I will continue in my next blog on Paul’s motivational leadership practice.