Category: financial management

Financial Freedom: the Joseph Way

More and more individuals are called today to serve the Lord on a voluntary basis and have often to rely on his/her own savings or income from investments. I believe there is an urgent need for this group to learn the Joseph way. The key is to be able to know what is ahead and hear God’s instructions on what to invest.

Genesis 41:33Lately I received this reminder and again today to learn from Joseph’s testimony. There is no doubt Joseph had close relationship with God and could hear God.

Genesis 41 recorded how Joseph rose to financial power. Briefly, one night the powerful Egyptian Pharaoh (king) had two dreams that caused his spirit to be troubled and no one could interpret his dreams. He knew of Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams through his chief butler. He immediately summoned Joseph to be brought out of the dungeon to him.

Joseph not only accurately predicted the forthcoming economic boom, its subsequent global famine crisis and their timing, he also presented an immediate financial strategy and action plan to the king as a solution. It was remarkable that Joseph prophesied that God would give Pharaoh a favourable answer even before he knew what Pharaoh had dreamed of! He also knew the solutions beforehand. The king rightly recognized Joseph’s worth!

Let us read some of the Bible verses and see this spiritual yet financially proficient man in supernatural action:

Joseph’s Strategic Action 1: Before Joseph knew what the dreams were, Joseph confidently gave a prophecy of good news to the king. How could he be sure of the positive outcome? Amazing. Joseph was a man of God. God told him what was to happen.

Verse 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it; and I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream and interpret it.

Verse 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, It is not in me; God [not I] will give Pharaoh a [favourable] answer of peace….

Joseph’s Strategic Action 2: After Pharaoh told him the dreams, Joseph gave his interpretation, and advice on an economic/financial strategy and action plan to solve the future crisis and take advantage of the crisis.

He states the problem and its size ahead: 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, The [two] dreams are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do…29 Take note! Seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt are coming. 30 Then there will come seven years of hunger and famine, …for it will be very woefully severe. 32 That the dream was sent twice to Pharaoh and in two forms indicates that this thing which God will very soon bring to pass is fully prepared and established by God.

He also states the solution in terms of action plan. The solution actually ensures favour to him: 33 So now let Pharaoh seek out and provide a man discreet, understanding, proficient, and wise and set him over the land of Egypt [as governor]. 34 … let him select and appoint officers over the land, and take one-fifth [of the produce] of the [whole] land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years [year by year]. 35 And let them gather all the food of these good years …36 And that food shall be put in store for the country against the seven years of hunger…

Indeed, the king gave Joseph a positive response according to God’s plan for Joseph to rise:

37 And the plan seemed good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, Can we find this man’s equal, a man in whom is the spirit of God? 39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Forasmuch as [your] God has shown you all this, there is nobody as intelligent and discreet and understanding and wise as you are. 40 You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word [with reverence, submission, and obedience]. Only in matters of the throne will I be greater than you are. 41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.

Joseph’s Action 3: Implementation of a win-win action plan for the king, his nation and people. In doing so, his own family (his father Jacob and the whole family) was also ensured protection and sustenance.  Other countries too benefited from his wise administration.

…56 When the famine was over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians; for the famine grew extremely distressing in the land of Egypt. 57 And all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all [the known] earth.

Chapter 47

…20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field because of the overwhelming severity of the famine upon them. The land became Pharaoh’s,..

23 Then Joseph said to the people, Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land.

24 At [harvest time when you reap] the increase, you shall give one-fifth of it to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own to use for seed for the field and as food for you and those of your households and for your little ones.

25 And they said, You have saved our lives! Let us find favour in the sight of my lord; and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.

26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt—to this day—that Pharaoh should have the fifth part [of the crops]; …

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Daily Word: Word and Light (Mathew 6:22 and Hebrew 10:22)

matthew-622Today’s words are all about the Light. The Word. Focus on this Light. You will receive your health and healing in all aspects of life.

The Bible verses are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV)

Matthew 6:22
The Lamp of the Body
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

Hebrews 10:22-23
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Psalm 119:105
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

John 1:1-4
The Eternal Word, The Light
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

1 John 1:5-7
Fellowship with Him and One Another
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Daily Word: law of investment – Matthew 13:23

matthew-1323Today’s word is about investment. Many Christians struggle with how the Word of God really (practically) impacts our lives. Some have found the key and are living the divinely blessed way (super-abundant life) that Jesus has accomplished for His followers. Some are still experiencing the result of the “thief” who came to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) But God has given every believer the same capital (Seed of life), His Word. Why are there such disparities in the lives of different Christians?

Jesus has explained this in Matthew 13:23 (AMP) And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands and grasps it; he indeed bears fruit and yields, some a hundred times [as much as was sown], some sixty [times as much], and some thirty.” Luke 8:15 Expanded Bible (EXB) And the seed that fell on the good ground is like those who hear ·God’s teaching [the word] with good, honest hearts and ·obey [cling/hold to] it and ·patiently [with perseverance] produce good fruit.

Prior to describing this group who can produce positive outcome in their lives, Jesus also mentions others who fail in varying stages and degrees, but all with the same result -producing nothing despite the same capital God has given them. I quote below the Bible passage from the EXB version. (Highlight added)

Matthew 13:18-23 Expanded Bible (EXB) Jesus Explains the Seed Story
18 “So listen to the ·meaning of that story about the farmer [parable of the sower]. 19 What is the seed that fell ·by the road [along the path]? That seed is like ·the person [anyone] who hears the ·message [word; teaching] about the kingdom but does not understand it. The Evil One comes and ·takes away [snatches] what was ·planted [sown] in that person’s heart. 20 And what is the seed ·that fell [sown] on rocky ground? That seed is like the person who hears the ·teaching [word; message] and quickly ·accepts [receives] it with joy. 21 But ·he does not let the teaching go deep into his life, so [L since he has no root in himself] ·he keeps it only a short time [he does not endure; it is short-lived]. When trouble or persecution comes because of the ·teaching he accepted [word, message], he ·quickly [immediately] ·gives up [falls away; stumbles]. 22 And what is the seed ·that fell [sown] among the thorny weeds? That seed is like the person who hears the ·teaching [word; message] but lets worries about this ·life [world; age] and the ·temptation [deceitfulness; seduction] of wealth ·stop that teaching from growing [L choke the word/message]. So the teaching does not produce fruit in that person’s life. 23 But what is the seed ·that fell [sown] on the good ground? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and produces ·fruit [a crop], sometimes a hundred times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes thirty times more.”

In summary: God gives each of us who believe the same Word capital (Seed). On our part we need to hear, understand and accept (believe as the Truth). The more we invest with this capital the more will be the yield. Unlike other forms of capital, God’s words are invested in the inner being of a person. In our spirit and in our mind. Only God’s words can do that. God’s words are supernatural. They cause renewal of the mind and transformation of lives. When this happens every blessing God has prepared in the heavenly places will flow naturally into our whole being and in turn affects our physical existence and livelihood. Take note that there are stages/processes in time: hearing the Word, understanding, believing, allowing it to grow into our lives deeply, be focused and persistent in applying it no matter what. Beware of the obstacles that can sidetrack/deter us from the goals: hearing/preferring other words (which seem easier to understand), confining to superficial emotional experiences, fearing persecutions and other inconveniences, exhausting ourselves pursuing short-term successes that seem more tangible (like things that come with monetary wealth)
etc.

2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: The person who ·plants a little [sows sparingly] will ·have a small harvest [also reap sparingly], but the person who ·plants a lot [sows generously/bountifully] will ·have a big harvest [also reap generously/bountifully].

Galatians 6:7 [ Life Is like Planting a Field ] Do not be ·fooled [deceived; mistaken]: You cannot ·cheat [mock; make a fool of] God. People ·harvest only what they plant [reap what they sow].

Daily Word: Isaiah 5417 verbal accuser silenced and rendered ineffectual

isaiah-5417-copyToday’s word is from Isaiah 54:17 no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. The scenario is not new. Jesus had many accusers in His time on earth. So were the apostles. For example, Paul. Take note that the accuser uses words, spoken or written. Their accusations were based on their own personal (political) agenda and in the case of Jesus and the apostles (and later the believers of Jesus Christ) they were not true. For those who read the Bible to the end you will have noticed A RECORD OF AN ACCUSER of the brethren in the Book of Revelation. Jesus called the accuser the FATHER OF LIES. Those who lie and give false witness in courts/similar official places (of governing authority) are termed children of the father of lies. In the Old Testament Book of Exodus 20:16 recorded the original commandment of God against lying/giving false accusation about others, “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.”
In the New Testament Book of Revelation 22:15 Jesus names those (including everyone who loves and practices falsehood) who will not be allowed to enter into God’s presence (New heaven and new earth).

(The Bible verses are quoted from New Living Translation unless otherwise specified)
THE ACCUSER OF CHRISTIANS Revelation 12:10
10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,
“It has come at last—
salvation and power
and the Kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters
has been thrown down to earth
the one who accuses them
before our God day and night.

THE GROUP WHO WILL BE EXCLUDED FROM GOD’S PRESENCE
Revelation 22:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Outside are the dogs [the godless, the impure, those of low moral character] and the sorcerers [with their intoxicating drugs, and magic arts], and the immoral persons [the perverted, the molesters, and the adulterers], and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying (deception, cheating).

GOD’S PROMSE OF A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR HIS PEOPLE
Isaiah 54:9-17
9 “Just as I swore in the time of Noah
that I would never again let a flood cover the earth,
so now I swear
that I will never again be angry and punish you.
10 For the mountains may move
and the hills disappear,
but even then my faithful love for you will remain.
My covenant of blessing will never be broken,”
says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
11 “O storm-battered city,
troubled and desolate!
I will rebuild you with precious jewels
and make your foundations from lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your towers of sparkling rubies,
your gates of shining gems,
and your walls of precious stones.
13 I will teach all your children,
and they will enjoy great peace.
14 You will be secure under a government that is just and fair.
Your enemies will stay far away.
You will live in peace,
and terror will not come near.
15 If any nation comes to fight you,
it is not because I sent them.
Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat.
16 “I have created the blacksmith
who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction.
And I have created the armies that destroy.
17 But in that coming day
no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice
raised up to accuse you.
These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord;
their vindication will come from me.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
New Living Translation (NLT)

A NEW BEGINNING FOR EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN JESUS
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 Amplified Bible (AMP)
For the love of Christ controls and compels us, because we have concluded this, that One died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that all those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for their sake.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a human point of view [according to worldly standards and values]. Though we have known Christ from a human point of view, now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. 18 But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God].

20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us; we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. 21 He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].

Daily Word: think carefully and focus on promise of good in rebuilding (Haggai 1818)

haggai-218God always speaks before a thing happens. What He has spoken always comes to pass.God makes it come to pass to show that the message is from God. What shall the hearers do? Just believe and go forward. All the great men of God in history accomplished great exploits following this simple key. Today we read from Haggai 2 this prophetic verse: “Think about this eighteenth day of December, the day when the foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.” (2:18-19)

This is spoken by God to a group of people who were uncertain about their future after starting to rebuild the Temple of God. They inherited a system of ruin (political, social, economic and religious) as a result of years of corruption, neglect, self-seeking among the rulers and administrators in all significant fields of life. They were also facing political and religious enemies all round bent on causing disruptions and distractions to prevent their nation rebuilding efforts.

Who are in this group of brave rebuilders whom God is addressing right now? The group of remnants who have sacrificially left their own comparatively safe and comfortable zone/homes in foreign land and returned to Jerusalem to rebuild. They have responded to a common calling: to rebuild their nation. In today’s language, they left their own personal agenda and responded to God’s agenda.

God also speaks to the anointed leader loud and clear. In the case of this prophetic passage from prophet Haggai, the leader is a prince, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, whom God calls, “My servant.”

Haggai 2:23 “But when this happens, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, I will honor you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant. I will make you like a signet ring on my finger, says the Lord, for I have chosen you. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”

Daily Word: ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.'(Judges 717)

psalm-683Today’s daily word is not for the cowards. Courage and boldness are what the apostles and disciples continued to pray for even after they have witnessed the release of Peter and John from the hands of the adversary. (Acts 4:29) The physical number of the courageous men could not match the number of the adversary in the enemy camp. But God asked for a mere three hundred brave men (who remained standing) against armies like a swarm of locusts and camels like grains of sand on the seashore-too many to count! (Judges 7:12)

Judges 7:1-7 New Living Translation (NLT)
Gideon Defeats the Midianites
7 So Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon) and his army got up early and went as far as the spring of Harod. The armies of Midian were camped north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. 2 The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. 3 Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain[a] and go home.’” So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight.

4 But the Lord told Gideon, “There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not.” 5 When Gideon took his warriors down to the water, the Lord told him, “Divide the men into two groups. In one group put all those who cup water in their hands and lap it up with their tongues like dogs. In the other group put all those who kneel down and drink with their mouths in the stream.” 6 Only 300 of the men drank from their hands. All the others got down on their knees and drank with their mouths in the stream.

7 The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.”

The Lord even gave Gideon a supernatural prophetic confirmation
7:14 His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!”

The Outcome just as the Lord had promised to Gideon
7:21 Each man stood at his position around the camp and watched as all the Midianites rushed around in a panic, shouting as they ran to escape. 22 When the 300 Israelites blew their rams’ horns, the Lord caused the warriors in the camp to fight against each other with their swords. Those who were not killed fled to places as far away as…

A song for the intercessor to sing today
Psalm 68:1-4
1 Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies.
Let those who hate God run for their lives.
2 Blow them away like smoke.
Melt them like wax in a fire.
Let the wicked perish in the presence of God.
3 But let the godly rejoice.
Let them be glad in God’s presence.
Let them be filled with joy.
4 Sing praises to God and to his name!
Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.
His name is the Lord—
rejoice in his presence!

Daily Word: Look, walk through, remain undaunted (Genesis 1317)

genesis-1317Today’s prompting is entirely action-oriented: “look” and do not limit your looking. The word was first given to a man of established wealth and power. Yet, God gave him a very hands-on instruction. God told him to look far. Do not set your own limit based on your own limited view. God did not ask Abraham to look at the past accomplishment. No doubt he was a wealthy and powerful man in his own right in his own territory. But God had uprooted him and moved him to a strange, hostile territory with uncertainty and threat in all aspects. Yet God asked him to look beyond and keep looking, as far as he can see or imagine and even beyond…Awesome. God is awesome. We serve an awesome God. Note that God asked him to look at the further positive gains which God was giving and going to give instead of focusing on the loss of Lot and Lot’s loyal support.

What was Abraham required to do after looking in every direction? A simple task: “Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you.” Just walk through the territory and claim his right, based on God’s covenant and God’s authority. What did Abraham have? He had the Word of God, the Name of God, and the Covenant of God. What did he do? He obeyed and started walking through, exercising and executing God’s given authority just as God had said so.

It may seem too simple to be true. But Abraham was not just any man. He was a spiritual man. He heard God and communicated regularly and naturally with God like a close friend. God called him friend. Abraham was an intercessor. He was also a hands-on and action-oriented pragmatic man. Is this impossible for today’s would-be-Abraham? No. Jesus called His disciples friends. He even gave His life for His friends. Those who are followers of Jesus are born of the Holy Spirit under the Covenant established by the blood of Jesus, given the authority as sons of God, the Word of God, and the Name of Jesus. Awesome. God is awesome. We serve an awesome God. We call Him our Abba Father. We have His Spirit in us. We can discern spiritual matters. We can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

Genesis 13:2 New Living Translation (NLT)
2 (Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold.)

Genesis 13:5-6
5 Lot, who was traveling with Abram, had also become very wealthy with flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and many tents. 6 But the land could not support both Abram and Lot with all their flocks and herds living so close together.

Genesis 13:14-17
14 After Lot had gone, the Lord said to Abram, “Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west. 15 I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants[a] as a permanent possession. 16 And I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted! 17 Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you.”

Footnotes:
13:15 Hebrew seed; also in 13:16.

Note: There is one condition for the Covenant to take place: Lot must go. The Word clearly says, “After Lot Had gone,…” Lot was not included in the Abrahamic Covenant and had no share in what God had given to Abraham. Lot had a choice to stay in the favor of God by supporting Abraham. But he chose to leave.

I am also reminded of a scene at the time when Governor Nehemiah (with a formal official decree from the King Artaxerxes) entered Jerusalem and started to rebuild the Jerusalem wall. When the adversary party of three officials (Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab) heard of his plan  they continued to scoff contemptuously at him. But Nehemiah remained calm and undaunted, and boldly proclaimed, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.” (Nehemiah 2:19-20)

Daily Word (2/17/17) Why do you cry to God? Go forward!

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! 16 Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.

AAAJ watchman

exodus-141516In Exodus 14:14-16; 19-20; 15:1-2; 6-7, God gave Moses a sure win weapon.  All Moses had to do was to tell the people to go forward. Nothing would happen if they stood still. By faith, they went forward and of course they won the battle against the adverse forces: the enemy, the sea and their own fear and doubt.

“The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and…

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Decisions Determine Destiny (a call)

an urgent call to destiny.

God's Way of Healing

andrew-wommack-teachesI have decided to share this letter as I have subscribed and partnered with Charis Bible College World Outreach. By faith I decided sowing the seed of a mere $30 a month. What is a $30 to you? To a person not living in a developed world it could mean a lot. By faith I am also a registered first year correspondence student with the Charis Bible College through one of their overseas branches. I agreed with Andrew that “Decisions Determine Destiny”. I was born again in 1983 and for twenty years I tried to read the Bible and live the Bible way. I invested a fortune in buying many costly reference and commentary books from many theologians before I heard of Andrew’s free teaching. Despite the good intention and my zeal to serve God and live a better life (more abundant life) I increasingly realized that my discipleship ministry had no…

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Daily Word:Matthew 4111 power to make the adversary go away!

matthew-44Today’s key issue: how to make your adversary go away and leave you alone? There are many petty hassles that are trying their best to distract you from the really important issues like nation or church building. Daily hassles are stressors and their intention is to drive you to the point of being dysfunctional. Today the watchman is led in the spirit to give this following 100% effective strategy. It has worked perfectly when Jesus initiated it and it is still working effectively today. The arch-enemy the devil tried to pester Jesus when Jesus started his ministry. But Jesus was well prepared as the Son of God. What happened in the end? “Then the devil went away, and the angels came and took care of Jesus.”

My notes are in brackets in italics.

Matthew 4:1-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Temptation of Jesus
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.

(There are times of tiredness as you assume your new office of great responsibilities. And that is the time to be alert against the wiles of the enemy. The more important your job is the higher rank devil will be assigned to tempt you.)

3 During that time the devil[a] came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”

(Of course, the first trick is to make you eat unnecessarily and not at the right time and proportion. Many important people failed and fell because they made their belly/PHYSICAL PART their god. They suffer from a fear of lack. lack of physical comfort, popularity, security, esteem and friendship from others etc.)

4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,

‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”

(WHAT DID JESUS SAY? THE SPIRITUAL IS MORE IMPORTANT AND POTENT THAN THE PHYSICAL! WHERE DOES HIS SPIRITUAL SUSTENANCE COME FROM? THE WORD OF GOD.)

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’[c]”

(the devil then tried this seemingly equally spiritual and ‘godly’ temptation. He challenged Jesus in the matter of faith. “If you really have faith in God, you jump to your death!”)

7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’[d]” (WHAT DID JESUS SAY? HOW DARE YOU CHALLENGE GOD!” JESUS IS INDEED THE SON OF GOD AND HE DOESN’T HAVE TO PROVE HIS CREDENTIAL.)

8 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”

(lastly, the devil tried a seemingly fail-proof offer, power and wealth, fame and fortune.)

10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’[e]”

(JESUS FINALLY COMMANDED THE DEVIL TO GET OUT OF HIS SIGHT. IT WORKED! THE DEVIL HAD TO OBEY. WHY? BECAUSE JESUS IS TRULY THE SON OF GOD AND HE KNOWS HOW TO USE HIS AUTHORITY AGAINS HIS ENEMY.)

11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

Footnotes:

4:3 Greek the tempter.
4:4 Deut 8:3.
4:6 Ps 91:11-12.
4:7 Deut 6:16.
4:10 Deut 6:13.

GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY’S CHRISTIANS
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,
and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.
Don’t touch their filthy things,
and I will welcome you.[a]
18 And I will be your Father,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.[b]”
Footnotes:
6:17 Isa 52:11; Ezek 20:34 (Greek version).
6:18 2 Sam 7:14.

WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD.WE HAVE THE SAME AUTHORITY AND POWER JESUS HAS TO COMMAND THE ADVERSARY TO LEAVE.
Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Romans 8:15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
Romans 8:17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

Daily Word:Ecclesiastes 111 Send your grain across the seas, profits will flow back

ecclesiastes-111All about Christian (and Jewish) economics and finance today. In another word, how to persistently and sustainably prosper the Bible way?
Advice from the richest man in history. Ecclesiastes 11 New Living Translation (NLT) Investment and disbursement
11:1 Send your grain across the seas,
and in time, profits will flow back to you.
2 But divide your investments among many places,
for you do not know what risks might lie ahead.
3 When clouds are heavy, the rains come down.
Whether a tree falls north or south, it stays where it falls.
4 Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.
If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.
5 Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.

6 Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.

Isaiah 28:23-29 Listen to me;
listen, and pay close attention.
24 Does a farmer always plow and never sow?
Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting?
25 Does he not finally plant his seeds—
black cumin, cumin, wheat, barley, and emmer wheat—
each in its proper way,
and each in its proper place?
26 The farmer knows just what to do,
for God has given him understanding.
27 A heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cumin;
rather, it is beaten with a light stick.
A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin;
instead, it is beaten lightly with a flail.
28 Grain for bread is easily crushed,
so he doesn’t keep on pounding it.
He threshes it under the wheels of a cart,
but he doesn’t pulverize it.
29 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher,
and he gives the farmer great wisdom.

Daily Word: what 13 means today to Reform a nation (and transform man)

galatians-615He resembled Ezra in his fiery zeal, in his active spirit of enterprise, and in the piety of his life: but he was of a bluffer and a fiercer mood; he had less patience with transgressors; he was a man of action rather than a man of thought, and more inclined to use force than persuasion. His practical sagacity and high courage were very markedly shown in the arrangement with which he carried through the rebuilding of the wall and balked the cunning plans of the ‘adversaries.’ The piety of his heart, his deeply religious spirit and constant sense of communion with and absolute dependence upon God, are strikingly exhibited, first in the long prayer recorded in ch. 1:5-11 , and secondly and most remarkably in what have been called his ‘interjectional prayers’, those short but moving addresses to Almighty God which occur so frequently in his writings,”* (Who is this man? Nehemiah, the comforter-deliverer)

Nehemiah’s Various Reforms in chapter 13 (Bible book: Nehemiah in NLT)
13:1 On that same day, as the Book of Moses was being read to the people, the passage was found that said no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be permitted to enter the assembly of God.[a] 2 For they had not provided the Israelites with food and water in the wilderness. Instead, they hired Balaam to curse them, though our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 When this passage of the Law was read, all those of foreign descent were immediately excluded from the assembly.

4 Before this had happened, Eliashib the priest, who had been appointed as supervisor of the storerooms of the Temple of our God and who was also a relative of Tobiah, 5 had converted a large storage room and placed it at Tobiah’s disposal. The room had previously been used for storing the grain offerings, the frankincense, various articles for the Temple, and the tithes of grain, new wine, and olive oil (which were prescribed for the Levites, the singers, and the gatekeepers), as well as the offerings for the priests.

6 I was not in Jerusalem at that time, for I had returned to King Artaxerxes of Babylon in the thirty-second year of his reign,[b] though I later asked his permission to return. 7 When I arrived back in Jerusalem, I learned about Eliashib’s evil deed in providing Tobiah with a room in the courtyards of the Temple of God. 8 I became very upset and threw all of Tobiah’s belongings out of the room. 9 Then I demanded that the rooms be purified, and I brought back the articles for God’s Temple, the grain offerings, and the frankincense.

10 I also discovered that the Levites had not been given their prescribed portions of food, so they and the singers who were to conduct the worship services had all returned to work their fields. 11 I immediately confronted the leaders and demanded, “Why has the Temple of God been neglected?” Then I called all the Levites back again and restored them to their proper duties. 12 And once more all the people of Judah began bringing their tithes of grain, new wine, and olive oil to the Temple storerooms.

13 I assigned supervisors for the storerooms: Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah, one of the Levites. And I appointed Hanan son of Zaccur and grandson of Mattaniah as their assistant. These men had an excellent reputation, and it was their job to make honest distributions to their fellow Levites.

14 Remember this good deed, O my God, and do not forget all that I have faithfully done for the Temple of my God and its services.

15 In those days I saw men of Judah treading out their winepresses on the Sabbath. They were also bringing in grain, loading it on donkeys, and bringing their wine, grapes, figs, and all sorts of produce to Jerusalem to sell on the Sabbath. So I rebuked them for selling their produce on that day. 16 Some men from Tyre, who lived in Jerusalem, were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise. They were selling it on the Sabbath to the people of Judah—and in Jerusalem at that!

17 So I confronted the nobles of Judah. “Why are you profaning the Sabbath in this evil way?” I asked. 18 “Wasn’t it just this sort of thing that your ancestors did that caused our God to bring all this trouble upon us and our city? Now you are bringing even more wrath upon Israel by permitting the Sabbath to be desecrated in this way!”

19 Then I commanded that the gates of Jerusalem should be shut as darkness fell every Friday evening,[c] not to be opened until the Sabbath ended. I sent some of my own servants to guard the gates so that no merchandise could be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 The merchants and tradesmen with a variety of wares camped outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 But I spoke sharply to them and said, “What are you doing out here, camping around the wall? If you do this again, I will arrest you!” And that was the last time they came on the Sabbath. 22 Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and to guard the gates in order to preserve the holiness of the Sabbath.

Remember this good deed also, O my God! Have compassion on me according to your great and unfailing love.

23 About the same time I realized that some of the men of Judah had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. 24 Furthermore, half their children spoke the language of Ashdod or of some other people and could not speak the language of Judah at all. 25 So I confronted them and called down curses on them. I beat some of them and pulled out their hair. I made them swear in the name of God that they would not let their children intermarry with the pagan people of the land.

26 “Wasn’t this exactly what led King Solomon of Israel into sin?” I demanded. “There was no king from any nation who could compare to him, and God loved him and made him king over all Israel. But even he was led into sin by his foreign wives. 27 How could you even think of committing this sinful deed and acting unfaithfully toward God by marrying foreign women?”

28 One of the sons of Joiada son of Eliashib the high priest had married a daughter of Sanballat the Horonite, so I banished him from my presence.

29 Remember them, O my God, for they have defiled the priesthood and the solemn vows of the priests and Levites.

30 So I purged out everything foreign and assigned tasks to the priests and Levites, making certain that each knew his work. 31 I also made sure that the supply of wood for the altar and the first portions of the harvest were brought at the proper times.

Remember this in my favor, O my God.

Footnotes:

13:1 See Deut 23:3-6.
13:6 King Artaxerxes of Persia is here identified as the king of Babylon because Persia had conquered the Babylonian Empire. The thirty-second year of Artaxerxes was 433 B.c.
13:19 Hebrew on the day before the Sabbath.

What Transformation really means to an individual as well as a nation

Hosea 2:15 I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.

Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Galatians 6:15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.

*Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary