Paul’s Ambassadorship: Rule of law

Today I have done a simple diagram. Let us read this new wine revealed in new wineskin. I am awed that we can actually apply this simple rule of law to every practical aspect of our lives, as ambassadors for Christ, representing the Kingdom of God.

2 Corinthians 5:11-21

2 Corinthians 5:11-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.

Be Reconciled to God

12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not [a]imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

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.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:19 reckoning
Advertisements

Bible in Diagram: John 17:1-5

THE WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE, HONOR AND GLORY

John 17:1-5

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life —to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.   I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.”

John17-1-5

What Jesus did on earth glorified God. he knew what His assignment was, how and when to finish it. He was totally focused. He knew His original source and was confident of returning there. His journey on earth was not in vain. He accomplished. He also gave us a glimpse of what it’s like:
A place of honor and glory.
Awesome!
(TO BE CONTINUED)

Does God have favoritism? Genesis 3-15 God’s beloved

Acts 10:34Does God have favoritism? Genesis 3-15 shows us who are God’s beloved. Sufferings come from man and not God. The first man reacted to an inbuilt conscience of guilt and shame and started the blame culture after eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The following verses sum up what happened after the fall of Adam: denial of own failures and responsibilities by blaming others. Adam blamed his wife Eve and God for giving him a wife. Eve blamed snake who successfully lied to her and cheated her. Their eldest son Cain blamed God and parents for imagined favoritism, rebelled against parents and God and murdered his own brother Abel and left the presence of God and parents. The rebellious mankind then tried to build a name for themselves and finally became “Babel”. As quoted from an online source: “Babel, the kingdom of earth, is hell-bent on de-throning the God of the universe. It is a kingdom of pride, self-sufficiency, and defiance to the Creator.”

As God warned Cain, beware that sin is a spiritual creature that lurks at the door of our soul and seizes opportunity given by human to conquer and control human. Cain failed to be alert and turn around back to God because he persisted in believing his own deceptive prideful imagination and the lies of the devil. He could have easily turned back to God because at that time God was speaking to him and he could hear and talk back! But he chose to be consumed by defiance, envy and hatred. I believe he was unspiritual and could not believe in a spiritual God. This is still the main problem with many today. Sin is the thief that Jesus has described with the purpose to steal, kill and destroy mankind. Sin seeks to destroy a person’s peace. (Genesis 4:6; John 10:10)

But human is not left helpless and defenseless. Jesus has brought victory over sin and broken the power of death. He has brought super-abundant life to mankind. Man is not destined to be eternal slaves to sin and the power of death. Every born again believer has a new beginning in life. A born again spirit that is joined to the Lord’s Spirit. The wisdom who is Christ in us. The authority of the name of Jesus. The power in us is the same power that raised Christ from the dead. This mighty power of the Holy Spirit now gives life to our mortal bodies. The children of God can rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us to live a victorious life. (Read Romans 5-8) We have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3) We can put on the whole armor of God and stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

When we read the Bible verses we can see God’s love and mercy everywhere. He is love. He gives warning to help us not to fall into the many snares set by the devil after the first man’s fall. In ancient days (as recorded in the Old Testament) people could even hear God talking directly to them. Today we can hear Him too through listening in our heart to the Holy Spirit and reading His words.

(All Scriptures are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise indicated)

Genesis 3:12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

Genesis 4:5-7 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

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.”

Genesis 4:16 The Family of Cain 16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden.

Genesis 6:5 5 Then the Lord[God] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

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.

Genesis 9:1 God’s Promise to Noah: So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

Genesis 11:1,4,6,9 The Tower of Babel 11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

GOOD NEWS TO ALL MANKIND: God does not have favoritism. You can be His beloved.

God seeks reconciliation and continuing relationship with human. He found a man who was faithful, not a nation, just one individual who could hear God and responded to God positively by faith. The good news is God intends Abraham to bless all mankind and not just his own biological descendants and tribe. The same blessings that God has given to him are to be given too to the rest of the world at all time. Who can qualify and how to receive? Read on.

Genesis 12:1-4 Promises to Abram (Abraham)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 :1 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.

Genesis 15:1,6 God’s Covenant with Abram1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Romans 4 on justification by faith: The Promise Granted Through Faith

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Galatians 3:5-9 You can have the faith of Jesus, the Son of God in you. You can have the Holy Spirit God gives to every believer as a guarantee of His blessings. Just believe and you will receive.

5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? —6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

Acts 10:34-36,42-44

Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name. ”Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message.

Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

scott-in-indiaAll hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball;
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call;
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.

Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.

Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, whom David Lord did call,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all.

Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall,
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.

[John Rippon add­ed this verse in 1787]

O that, with yonder sacred throng, we at His feet may fall,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!
Words: Ed­ward Per­ro­net. The first stan­za ap­peared anon­y­mous­ly in The Gos­pel Mag­a­zine, No­vem­ber 1779. In April 1780, the same mag­a­zine pub­lished eight vers­es ti­tled, “On the Re­sur­rect­ion, the Lord Is King.” It re­sur­faced half a doz­en years later, again anon­y­mous­ly, ac­comp­an­ied by an acros­tic po­em whose let­ters spelled out “Ed­ward Per­ro­net.”

Music: Cor­o­na­tion, Ol­iv­er Hold­en; first ap­peared in his Un­ion Har­mo­ny or Un­i­ver­sal Col­lect­ion of Sac­red Mu­sic (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: 1793) (MI­DI, score). Al­ter­nate tunes:

Diadem, James El­lor, 1838 (MI­DI, score)
Miles Lane, Wil­liam Shrub­sole, 1779 (MI­DI, score)
[Oliver Holden (1765-1844)]

One of the most dra­ma­tic in­stanc­es of [this hymn’s] use was found in the ex­per­i­ence of the Rev. E. P. Scott in In­dia. His friends had urged him not to ven­ture near a cer­tain bar­bar­ous in­land tribe, whom he wished to evan­gel­ize. But he went forth with high cour­age, ne­ver wa­ver­ing in his du­ty, and trust­ing in God to pro­tect him. When at last he reached their coun­try among the hills, he came up­on a com­pa­ny of these sav­ag­es. Im­me­di­ate­ly they sur­round­ed him, point­ing their spears at him with threat­en­ing scowls. He had no­thing in his hand but his vi­o­lin; and so, clos­ing his eyes, he be­gan to play and sing, “All Hail the Pow­er of Je­sus’ Name.” When at last he opened his eyes he ex­pect­ed to be killed in­stant­ly. But his life had been spared through the sing­ing of the hymn. Their spears had dropped, and they re­ceived him first with cur­i­o­si­ty and in­ter­est, and then lat­er with ea­gern­ess, as he told them the gos­pel sto­ry and won their hearts to the will of Je­sus Christ. (Quoted from online source)
Here is a video of the hymn and this little story:
https://youtu.be/Z24MNyfZlRk

2017 books for the year for all ages

2017-booksAs the chronological year is a boundary for many in this world, I am led today to share some books which will help us walk across the year’s path of divine appointment without the usual hassles which will come upon many in the increasingly volatile physical world. I collected this set of six books at random. I selected them about three months back and lent them to someone dear. she read over them many times and treasured the words of God in the new light. I believe they have really helped her to function better and cope more successfully with her many crisis situations which accumulated over all her life and the lives of her family members. I believe she is now able to appropriate the every blessings that the Lord has prepared for her (and every believer in Jesus) in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3). I can see the discernible enthusiasm for life with fresh hope , assurance and confidence in perspective and worldview of this 75 years old grandmother. She has learned to practice the authority of the position of a son of God, and the use of the powerful Jesus’ Name.

The books have been a blessing to many like her in every aspects, physical, mind and emotion. I pray the readers of this blog will gain access to these books and read them many times until you too can practice what the books teach. I would look at such books as manuals or handbooks. Their sole purpose is to help us learn to practice the truth that our God has revealed in the Bible. Read the books and and the Bible together. Let us start the new year with this resolution: Be the Bereans (Acts 17:11).
KJ21 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with allreadiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily to see whether those things were so. NLT And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

I quote excerpts (from Andrew Wommack’s articles) that briefly introduce to you each of the six books as follows. But the real treasure is in the complete books. Please read them!

A BETTER WAY TO PRAY
Decades ago, I was participating in an all-night prayer meeting bombarding the gates of heaven. I remember beating the wall and yelling, “God, if You loved the people in Arlington, Texas, half as much as I do, we’d have revival!” Immediately, my lightning-fast mind realized that something was seriously wrong with my theology. What was I thinking?

Did I really believe I loved these people more than God did? No, not exactly. Like many Christians, I believed God was angry with the human condition, and it was up to me to turn Him from wrath and judgment. I was interceding, or so I thought, pleading with God on the behalf of others. What could possibly be wrong with that? As I learned later, a lot.

The things the Lord has revealed to me about prayer since then have totally changed my life, and I’m now seeing miraculous results. If you aren’t getting the results you know the Lord wants you to have, maybe it’s time to consider a better way to pray. I’m not saying that anyone who doesn’t pray as I do is “of the devil.” I wasn’t “of the devil” in the way I used to pray. I loved God with all my heart, and the Lord loved me. But the results weren’t there.

First, we need to recognize that God isn’t angry at mankind anymore. He is no longer imputing or holding our sins against us.

God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:19

We are NOW reconciled to God through Jesus. That means we are in harmony and are friendly with God right now. He isn’t mad; He’s not even in a bad mood. The war between God and man is over. That’s what the angels proclaimed at the birth of Jesus…

LESSONS FROM ELIJAH
One of the most important things the Lord has ever spoken to me is taken from a passage of Scripture involving Elijah the prophet. Once I saw what it was really saying, it linked many other truths together and made a big impact on my life. This is so simple that once you see it, you’re going to wonder how you never saw it before.

Here’s what it says in 1 Kings 17:2-4:

And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, [3] Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. [4] And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

Elijah’s provision wasn’t where he was; it was where God told him to go! This is profound!

Some of you have an impression from God to do something. Maybe you’re supposed to start a new business, make a job change, move to another town, go to Bible college, speak to a person, etc. You want to do it, but you’re holding back because the provision isn’t there yet. You’re saying, “God, I can’t do what You’re asking without first seeing the provision. How do I know all these things are going work out‌” This principle in 1 Kings applies directly to your situation. God is sending the provision for your needs not to where you are but to where He told you to go! The question is, “Are you all ‘there’‌” Some of you aren’t experiencing supernatural provision because you aren’t “there.” There is a place called “there” for you.

In verse 4, God said, “I have commanded the ravens,” (emphasis mine), meaning He had already spoken to these ravens and they were on their way to where Elijah was supposed to go.

First Kings 17:5 says,

So [Elijah] went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
(Brackets mine)

In other words, if Elijah had stayed where he was, he could have prayed and fasted, saying, “God, why haven’t You supplied my needs‌” But he wouldn’t have seen God’s provision if he hadn’t gone where God instructed.

One of the reasons we aren’t seeing a greater provision from God financially, emotionally, or in our circumstances is because we aren’t doing what God told us to do. We’ve got a word from God that we haven’t acted on. We’re somewhere other than where He told us to be…

SPIRIT, SOUL, AND BODY
Knowledge is powerful!

I just returned from an overseas flight where Jamie and I were upgraded to business class. The seats made out into a flat bed. It was wonderful. It really reduces jet lag. As I was drifting off to sleep, I thought about John Wesley who traversed the Atlantic in the hold of a ship. It took him a couple of months one way, and the conditions were terrible. My flight from London to Denver took nine hours, and I had luxuries he couldn’t have imagined.

All of this is possible because of knowledge. Man hasn’t created anything new; he’s just discovered the laws that the Lord established from the beginning. “Bird brains” have been flying from the start. The same is true with communications, electricity, computing, and a host of other modern breakthroughs. Man is just discovering the laws God created.

Although mankind has made huge discoveries that have totally changed the way we live, it seems like we know less about ourselves than previous generations. While our ancestors didn’t have all the modern conveniences, they had a peace and strength that eludes most today. As our knowledge of our natural world has increased, our knowledge of spiritual things has decreased. In man’s arrogance, he blindly believes all of life’s problems can be solved by himself. But there can be no peace without if there isn’t peace within.

There is a whole universe that man in all his wisdom is ignorant of. That is the world of the spirit. And I’m not just talking about the spiritual realm outside of us but also the spiritual being inside of every person. We aren’t evolved animals; we were created in God’s image and likeness (Gen. 1:26). We are spirit beings. The ultimate way to control bad behavior isn’t by more laws, metal detectors, or social engineering; it’s changing the hearts of people, one at a time. Only Jesus can do that.

Yet sadly, even many Christians have lost this spiritual point of view. Very few Christians know who they are in the spirit. In fact, they have been taught by religion that they are sinners by nature—just the opposite of what the Bible teaches…

YOU’VE ALREADY GOT IT
What do you need the Lord to do for you? Do you need the Lord to heal you? How about prosperity? Could you use more money? The truth is, you don’t need the Lord to do anything for you. He’s already done His part. You’ve already got it, whatever “it” is.

This may sound crazy to some of you. You might be thinking, But I’ve got a doctor’s report to prove I don’t have healing or You haven’t seen my bank account. But regardless of what the natural facts are, the truth is that God has already given you whatever you need.

Second Peter 1:3 says,

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

The only thing we are lacking is knowledge.

Most Christians believe that God can do anything, but many of them don’t believe He has done very much. They live in a constant state of trying to get God to do something. They are begging God to move through revival, healing, prosperity, etc. They run from meeting to meeting, trying to get something from God. But they’ve already got it.

The Bible says,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3

This says He “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings,” meaning it’s already done. You already have all spiritual blessings. So, asking God or waiting on Him to bless you is counterproductive. And yet the average Christian starts from that position. If they’re sick in their bodies, instead of starting from “by His stripes, I was healed” (1 Pet. 2:24) or “I have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead living in me” (Eph. 1:19-20), they’ll take the doctor’s report or the pain in their bodies and say, “I’m sick. God, will You heal me?” They start moving toward victory instead of coming from victory!

One time, I was praying for healing for my son, who was very little at the time. I wasn’t seeing him healed, so asked God, “What’s wrong?”The Lord spoke to me, “You’re fighting to get your son healed instead of fighting because he is healed.” You might say, “I don’t see the difference.” There’s a huge difference! The Lord told me that instead of defending my son’s healing and just releasing what Jesus already provided, I was trying to get Him to do something.

If you didn’t understand this, then I can guarantee you, this is one of the main reasons you aren’t receiving from God. You need to get a revelation of this. Jesus has already provided everything you will ever need. You’re blessed with all spiritual blessings—all of them!

The key for me understanding these things was the revelation the Lord gave me that I’ve entitled Spirit, Soul & Body. God is a Spirit (John 4:24), and He moves in the spiritual realm. Whether or not we see a physical manifestation of what He has done in the spiritual realm is dependent upon what we believe and how we act, not on what He has done. It’s not up to the Lord to heal us; He’s already healed us (1 Pet. 2:24). But He gave His miraculous power to us to release.

Healing has already been provided. Financial prosperity has already been provided. Joy and peace and everything that you will ever need emotionally have already been provided. If you’re having a down day, if things aren’t going right, if you don’t feel good, you don’t need to embrace discouragement, despair, and hopelessness. And yet the average Christian just embraces this stuff, saying, “O God, I ask You to touch me. I ask You to give me joy.” The Bible says you’ve already received all these things. The logical question to ask, then, is “Well, where is it?”

In Galatians 5:22-23, it says love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance are in you if you’re born again. It’s right there in your spirit! I’ve had many people come to me and say, “I just don’t feel the love of God. Would you please pray that He would release His love toward me?” Most people think that’s a great request. But it assumes that it’s God’s fault that they don’t feel His love.

The truth is, God has already poured out His love toward you. Look what it says here in Romans:

The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans 5:5b

God loves you whether you feel it or not! His love has been poured in your heart—in other words, in your spirit. And His love isn’t conditional upon your good actions, or holiness. You’ve got to start from this place that “God has already provided everything, and if I don’t feel His love, it’s not that God didn’t give; it’s that I don’t realize what I have.” When you know that you have something, it takes the struggle out of it. It takes you out of condemnation. It takes you out of a legalistic mentality of trying to earn things from God. It removes doubt. How could you ever doubt that you’d get something that you already have? It’s really that simple…

HARNESSING YOUR EMOTIONS
The Bible teaches us that our thoughts are the determining factor which controls our actions. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Romans 8:6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Notice that carnal mindedness doesn’t just tend toward death — it is death!

No one can consistently perform differently than the way they think; therefore, we cannot change our actions without changing our thinking. It’s not just what we think about that needs changing, but we must change our thinking process. Our emotions are linked directly to how we think.

All people have a perception, or image, on the inside of them of what they are like. This image is not necessarily based on facts but on feelings. One negative experience can distort a person’s perception of themselves for a lifetime.

For instance, some people who are beautiful may think of themselves as ugly or undesirable because of unkind words spoken to them as a child. Some who achieve great success still see themselves as failures, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

To a degree, psychology has correctly diagnosed this problem. Psychologists use terminology such as “self-esteem” or “identity” in relating these truths; however, today’s secular wisdom is totally inadequate to help a person change the inner self image.

First, most people shift the blame for bad self-esteem, or self-image, to someone else. It has become popular to blame others for every negative thing in our lives. People often say, “I came from a dysfunctional family,” “My problems came because I’m part of a minority group,” “It’s that woman you gave me” (Gen. 3:12). Other people are not our problem!

All of us have had negative experiences. The choice is ours whether we become bitter or better as a result of them. For every person who can claim some dysfunctional behavior because of a traumatic experience in their life, there are others who have had similar or worse things happen to them, yet they overcame their circumstances. Why? Because problems do not dictate failure; we have a choice.

Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” God Almighty gave us a choice. God doesn’t make the choice for us, and Satan can’t make it for us. We have the privilege and responsibility to choose blessing or cursing.

Placing the blame on others is denying the real problem, and it will prevent finding a solution. If other people are my problem, I’m in trouble because God did not give me the ability to control other people. The devil will always send someone across my path who knows how to hit my hot button.

If the problem is within me, then there is hope because through Christ, I can change. This is freedom. Regardless of what others do, I can prosper through Christ.

After psychology tries to place the blame for your problems on someone else, they try to bolster your self-esteem by having you focus on the positive things in your self and minimize the negative attributes. That’s not what the Bible teaches. Jesus said, “For without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5)…

THE EFFECTS OF PRAISE
Living a life of praise is not only the most enjoyable way to live, but it’s also one of the most powerful ways to change your life. Praise isn’t like the caboose that just follows what happens, but it’s more like the engine of a train that makes things happen. Your faith isn’t complete without praise. Colossians 2:7 says that you abound in faith with thanksgiving. No thanksgiving equals not abounding in faith.

Praise affects you, it affects the devil, and it affects God. It touches everything and every part of your life. Likewise, a lack of praise affects you in a negative way, turns the devil loose in your life, and doesn’t bless God. You have to get this area of your life right.

Nearly everyone agrees that praise is good, but very few feel any responsibility to praise God when they don’t feel like it. I don’t know anyone who wakes up in the morning and plans on being depressed. They would like to be happy and praise God, but they don’t feel they have any control over this. They think that praise is just a response to what happens and that if everything goes right, they will automatically do it. That is definitely not the case.

The Lord told His disciples the night before His crucifixion not to let their hearts be troubled (John 14:1). This wasn’t a suggestion. It was a command. Yet most Christians today would think this was insensitive and unreasonable. They would say that Jesus wasn’t being understanding and compassionate.

These disciples were about to see Jesus arrested and then flee in fear for their lives. They would see Jesus unjustly condemned and then crucified and buried. And He was telling them not to let their hearts be troubled! To the average person, that’s unreasonable.

Jesus ended His discourse to His disciples that evening with a promise that they would have trouble (John 16:33). Wow! What an understatement! Yet He said to be of good cheer. How was this possible? He said it was possible because He had overcome the world.

At the time Jesus said that, He hadn’t been crucified, much less resurrected and seated at the Father’s right hand. It was because of faith that the disciples were supposed to rejoice. He had promised that He would be resurrected and then reign, and if they were in faith, they would rejoice—and so would we.

We live in a negative world, a fallen world where it seems that the ungodly are getting more and more prominent. So much of what we hear is just negative, and we have to make a deliberate effort to be positive and counter the culture we live in. Praise is a great tool to help us achieve that…

Links:

https://store.awmi.net/p-153-effects-of-praise.aspx

https://store.awmi.net/p-156-harnessing-your-emotions-book.aspx

https://store.awmi.net/p-160-youve-already-got-it.aspx

https://store.awmi.net/p-158-spirit-soul-body-book.aspx

https://store.awmi.net/p-198-lessons-from-elijah.aspx

https://store.awmi.net/p-170-better-way-to-pray.aspx

My prayer for you : Be filled

christmas-choirLuke 3:22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Romans 14:17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
KJ21 for the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
ASV for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.AMPC [After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
MSG God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.
OJB For the Malchut Hashem is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of tzedek (righteousness, DANIEL 9:24), shalom (peace) and simcha b’Ruach Hakodesh.
VOICE because the kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking. When God reigns, the order of the day is redeeming justice, true peace, and joy made possible by the Holy Spirit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My prayer for you: Be filled with the Holy Spirit!
Romans 15:13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
1 Thessalonians 1:6 So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.

Jesus and the Father in heaven

John 5-36On Sunday (Today Christian equivalent to Jewish Sabbath-Saturday) Jesus performed a miracle and healed a man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years. The Jewish leaders objected to the miracle because it happened on their traditional rest day. Jesus further revealed that He is the Son of God who can override all the traditions of man. Thus the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to kill Him. So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. 21 For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. 22 In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, 23 so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.Let us compare the religious leaders at that time with Jesus.

The religious leaders were not interested in the miraculous healing of a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years.
They were only concerned with the loss of their own authority and control through the Law of Moses and their added traditions.
They did not care whether their religion or tradition brought lives and healing to the suffering people.
They did not have an accurate knowledge of the God whom they claimed to worship.
They did not have a relationship with the spiritual God.
They were merely using God’s name to perpetuate their own self-importance through exercising their religious authority.
They felt threatened by Jesus because Jesus had all that they wanted but could not have: real spiritual relationship with God, authority and power from God, and a genuine love from God.

Jesus explained to them why he had what they wanted but they did not have:
Jesus is the Son of God.
He has a close relationship with His Father in heaven.
He only does God’s will: Whatever God does, Jesus also does.
This miraculous healing of a man who had suffered for thirty eight years (and daily placed in a location right in front of the religious leaders and they could not do anything about his sickness) is no big deal to Jesus.
There are bigger miracles Jesus can do: Raising the dead. Giving life. Absolute authority to judge the living and the dead. Give eternal life.

Jesus also told them who would qualify to receive eternal life:
“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” (John 5:24)

today’s reading is from: John 5

Jesus and His brothers

John71617The world can’t hate you, you go on to this festival of Shelters. Jesus replied His brothers. For even His worldly brothers didn’t believe in Him at that time. He was traveling around Galilee to stay out of Judea where the Jewish leaders were plotting to kill Him. His brothers told Him to leave and go to Judea, “where your followers can see your miracles!” They knew and had seen His supernatural power but they were not His followers. They wanted Him to show off the physical power He could display. They further said, “You can’t become famous if you hide like this!” They wanted him to become famous in their world. Judea was the centre of religious and political activities as people went there yearly for various national festivals. The ‘who is who’ would all be there, people of political/social/economic power, wealth and influential connection. They also said (obviously with unbelief), “If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!”

What makes a person believe in Jesus? Even His brothers did not believe, who can believe? This is the question today.

Jesus told us the answer in John 7:17 “Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether My teaching is from God or is merely My own.”

Anyone can believe.
The condition in your heart must be right and ready. You really want to do the will of God.
Believing in Jesus is the will of God. (John 6:29, 39-40)
You will be given the discernment from God to know that Jesus is the One who comes from God and is speaking to you God’s message for you.
Anyone who is thirsty for God. (John 7:37)
Anyone who loves God will love Jesus. (John 8:42)
Everyone who listens to the Father (God) and learns from Him comes to Jesus. (John 6:45)

to him I will give power over the nations

Revelation 2
Revelation 2:26

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power ove the nations-“
The Message to the Church in Ephesus
“Write this letter to the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:

2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first![b] 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. 6 But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.

7 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.

The Message to the Church in Smyrna
8 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive:

9 “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan. 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.

11 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.

The Message to the Church in Pergamum
12 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:

13 “I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.

14 “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. 15 In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. 16 Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.

The Message to the Church in Thyatira
18 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:

19 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.

20 “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.

22 “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering,[c] and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.

24 “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you 25 except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. 26 To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end,

To them I will give authority over all the nations.
27 They will rule the nations with an iron rod
and smash them like clay pots.[d]
28 They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!

29 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

Footnotes:

2:1 Or the messenger; also in 2:8, 12, 18.
2:4 Greek You have lost your first love.
2:22 Greek a bed.
2:26-27 Ps 2:8-9 (Greek version).

The above passage is quoted from: The Holy Bible, Revelation 2 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus talks about hate crime

Jesus the Son of God
Jesus, God’s beloved Son

Jesus talks about the hate crime against Him and His followers. “The world does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil.”

Here is a summary of what Jesus has said about hate crime against Him and Christians:
The world hates Jesus.
Anyone who hates Jesus also hates God.
It hates Jesus because He accuses it of doing evil.
The devil does evil things.
The devil is a murderer from the beginning.
The devil has always hated the truth.
Because there is no truth in the devil.
When the devil lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
His children love to do the evil things he does.
All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.
The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it.
If the world hates you, remember that it hated Jesus first.
But the followers of Jesus are no longer part of the world. Jesus chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
Jesus has given them you God’s word. And the world hates you because you do not belong to the world, just as Jesus does not belong to the world. Those who hear God’s words, receive and believe, are separated from the evil world. God’s words are truth and light. The world hates truth and light. God is truth and light. Jesus is the truth and the light.
Those who love God will not love money. 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.
Jesus said, “And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.”

Why does the devil hate Jesus? Jealousy. Here are some classic examples of how jealousy can cause hatred and murder.

The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but He did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry…and while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. Genesis 4
Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing. And Esau began to scheme: “I will soon be mourning my father’s death. Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.” Genesis 27
But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him. His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. Genesis 37

Was God unjust in favoring Abel, Jacob and Joseph?
Here is what God says about His standard of holiness and reason:
Let us look at the case of Abel and Cain, which is the classic case representing all mankind, the division of two groups: those who follow and obey God, and those who follow and obey the devil.

“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.” Genesis 4:7
It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed His approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. Hebrews 11:4

What did Abel give as an offering and why did it meet God’s requirement? Genesis 4:4
When it was time for the harvest, Abel brought the best of the first born lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift.
We note two things that must meet God’s requirements: the person who gives and the gift itself. God accepted both Abel and his gift, the best of his first born lambs. How did Abel know about God and His requirement? God had shown Adam. Adam had taught his two sons, Cain and Abel. But Abel obeyed and Cain disobeyed.

The lamb represents Jesus. The redemptive symbol and spiritual implication.
Without Jesus the Lamb of God, human race will perish forever, forever cut off from the holy God.
Sin is the number one enemy that blocks man from God.
Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
Jesus shed His blood to redeem human race from sins and the penalty of sins.
Abel became a righteous man because of his obedience to God’s holy standard, by an act of faith, offering an acceptable sacrifice. God’s holy standard has never changed. God does not change. That is why He sent His Son Jesus who is without sin to die as the Lamb of God.

John the Baptist witnessed that Jesus is the Lamb of God -the Son of God:
When he saw Jesus coming toward him he said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 (26-34) “The Father loves His Son and has put everything into His hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgement.” John 3:35-36 (27-36)

God witnessed that Jesus is His beloved Son:
“This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.” Matthew 3:17
“This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy. Listen to Him.” Matthew 17:5
“You are My dearly loved Son, and you being Me great joy.” Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22
“This is My Son, My Chosen One. Listen to Him.” Luke 9:35
“This is My dearly loved Son. Listen to Him.” Mark 9:7

The Apostle’s testimony: 2 Peter 1:16-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”[a] 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
Footnotes:
a.1:17 Matt 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35.

three kings of Persia (3)

favour-grace-and-mercyThe third king of Persia who made a significant impact on God’s people was Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) who reigned during the period 465-424BC.(Ezr.7:1,21-26; Ne.2:1-8) He appointed Ezra as the secretary of state for Jewish affairs (in today’s language). He trusted and favored Ezra so much that he gave him everything he asked for. He wanted to beautify the Temple of God in Jerusalem and also make sure the priests and Levites there were carrying the worship correctly. So he listened to Ezra’s advice and sent Ezra to Jerusalem in 458BC with all the resources Ezra needed. He paid for all expenses to re-establish the proper Temple worship and sacrifices. He also gave Ezra authority to ensure compulsory religious education of the people of God (teaching them the Law of Moses) and their due compliance with the Law. He decreed that those who refuse to obey the Law of Ezra’s God and the law of the king would be punished immediately, “either by death, punishment, confiscation of goods or imprisonment.” He honored God and favored God’s servants-gave those who served God tax free status!

Here is a prayer of Ezra, praising God for the favor from God and from the king:
Ezra 7:27-28 New Living Translation (NLT)
Ezra Praises the Lord
27 Praise the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who made the king want to beautify the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem! 28 And praise him for demonstrating such unfailing love to me by honoring me before the king, his council, and all his mighty nobles! I felt encouraged because the gracious hand of the Lord my God was on me. And I gathered some of the leaders of Israel to return with me to Jerusalem.

Thirteen years later, the same Persian king listened to another trusted Jewish official in his court, Nehemiah, allowed him to go back to Jerusalem in 445BC to re-build the wall of Jerusalem so the enemies would not be able to continue to harass the people of Israel and interrupt the Temple worship.

From these Biblical records we can see that king Artaxerxes I knew the two officials well, trusted them, acknowledged their godly wisdom, moral integrity, professional ability and leadership quality. History had proven that king Artaxerxes’ judgment was right in employing and granting favor to these two great men of God! Both men of God were not ambitious or greedy for gains for themselves. They served God faithfully, served the king with integrity,  and capability for the respective task assigned. They truly loved God and loved the people of God. Upon completion of their respective specific assignment they returned to their own previous posts in the Persian Empire working close to the king and continuing to counsel him wisely. In today’s language, this is a win-win situation when both parties work together with integrity, justice, and honor  for one another, sharing the ultimate reverential fear of the Almighty Holy God of Heaven.