This is how Jesus instructed His disciples when He sent them out to minister to people in need: (Bible verses quoted from Matthew 10 in parts. Please read the whole chapter)
THE GREAT COMMISSION: PREACHING THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HEALING THE SICK
7 Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
HOW THEY SHOULD BE ALERT OF THE REALITY/ENEMIES LURKING OUT THERE
16 “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.
THREAT WILL COME WHEN THEY TELL THE TRUTH, BUT TELL THE TRUTH AS JESUS HAS TAUGHT THEM ANYWAY
26 “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. 27 What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!
THEY NEED NOT FEAR THE ENEMY BECAUSE GOD WILL PROTECT THEM
28 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
WHAT EVERYONE DOES ON EARTH HAS RECIPROCATION IN HEAVEN
32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
DISCIPLESHIP REQUIRES RIGHT PRIORITY AND IT COMES WITH EVEN GREATER GAINS
37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
GOD’S EXPECTS RECEPTION AND HOSPITALITY FOR HIS MESSENGERS/REPRESENTATIVES, AND ASSURES REWARDS WHICH ARE FAR GREATER THAN WHAT ANYONE CAN PAY OUT
40 “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. 41 If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. 42 And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”
watch Discussing and advising my young nephew of the current ongoing untruthfulness in the reporting and editorial realm which was once so highly regarded by the civilized world, because he asks why I no longer read or watch or listen to most main-stream news-media, I realize how limited and yet how wide a man has in terms of choices of news/information due to technology. I tell him I subscribe to and read only technical, financial, scientific discovery, medical breakthrough etc. kind of info-news these days. No mainline generalists’ ‘intellectual’ dissertation. They have nothing for us. I told this eager young man who is of the generation as yet unspoiled and on whom we hope to raise leaders of a better future. Why? He asks. I reply, “Those men are trying to be God or judges. They are not.” My generation is sick and tired of those who smear and slander just to get a higher readership/viewership or advertisement rating. I advise the young man to caution his peers not to click or visit any web sites unless they are sure there are specific verifiable positive information there. Don’t ever add a click or a view to encourage more untruths to be churned out. I advise him that if all Christians in this world start being careful and discerning in what we choose to view or click, the impact of drop in viewership would be so significant that many would hesitate and think twice before they pen/type future communication. The good news is that they can come and join us and be aligned with the God of grace and truth.
In my prayer I ask the Lord what to say today and I am again led to read and quote Matthew 23. Do read. Pray and ask the Lord what He is saying to each individual. For the young Christians, Pharisees and scribes were the intellectual elites who were academically qualified and proficient in their field of study. They spent considerable amount of time reading and writing. They were the society’s leading voice. They exercised authority commenting and judging practically all subjects that impacted the lives of the Jewish people in Jesus’ time. Because of their ability to study, read and write, they commanded respect and honor from the ordinary people in their nation. And they in turn took control of politics and everything else.
In sum, Jesus says this of them, “You say, but you do not do!”
Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,[a] that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ 8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ,[b] and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.[c]
15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies[d] the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells[e] in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.[f] 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,
a. Matthew 23:3 NU-Text omits to observe.
b. Matthew 23:8 NU-Text omits the Christ.
c. Matthew 23:14 NU-Text omits this verse.
d. Matthew 23:17 NU-Text reads sanctified.
e. Matthew 23:21 M-Text reads dwelt.
f. Matthew 23:25 M-Text reads unrighteousness.
Many great Christian leaders, churches, missions and Christian organizations started off well but declined and fell away after some years. In some cases the founders could not leave behind a sustainable legacy to their successors. Sadly in many cases there were not even one credible successor. This is not new. King Solomon was one such tragic example. Today we read some of the accounts of his achievements in the world and his spiritual failures which actually caused the downfall of his kingdom. In sum, Solomon, unlike his father David, was a man of flesh and not a man of the Spirit. I pray that today’s national leaders in all realms understand this truth -you need to walk by the Spirit and not by flesh for leaving a sustainable and godly legacy to your successors. Like Paul, he had to raise godly successors like Timothy and many others to carry on after his martyrdom.
1 Kings 9-11 New Living Translation (NLT) (Please read all three chapters)
The Lord’s Response to Solomon
A SPIRITUAL CONDITION/COVENANT FOR SOLOMON AND HIS DESCENDANTS TO KEEP
9:1 So Solomon finished building the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do. 2 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had done before at Gibeon. 3 The Lord said to him,
“I have heard your prayer and your petition. I have set this Temple apart to be holy—this place you have built where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.
4 “As for you, if you will follow me with integrity and godliness, as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations, 5 then I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever. For I made this promise to your father, David: ‘One of your descendants will always sit on the throne of Israel.’
6 “But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the commands and decrees I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, 7 then I will uproot Israel from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name. I will make Israel an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations. 8 And though this Temple is impressive now, all who pass by will be appalled and will gasp in horror. They will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do such terrible things to this land and to this Temple?’
9 “And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why the Lord has brought all these disasters on them.’”
10 It took Solomon twenty years to build the Lord’s Temple and his own royal palace…19…He built everything he desired in Jerusalem and Lebanon and throughout his entire realm.
A HIDDEN SEED OF EVIL WAS PLANTED
24 Solomon moved his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from the City of David to the new palace he had built for her…
QUEEN OF SHEBA’S REMINDER TO SOLOMON
10:9 Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.”
HERE IS THE REASON OF SOLOMON’S EVENTUAL DOWNFALL
11:1 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. 2 The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. 3 He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.
4 In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David, had been. 5 Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech,[y] the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father, David, had done.
7 On the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem,[z] he even built a pagan shrine for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and another for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 Solomon built such shrines for all his foreign wives to use for burning incense and sacrificing to their gods.
9 The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command. 11 So now the Lord said to him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants. 12 But for the sake of your father, David, I will not do this while you are still alive. I will take the kingdom away from your son. 13 And even so, I will not take away the entire kingdom; I will let him be king of one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, my chosen city.”
HOW TO LIVE A VICTORIOUS LIFE AND LEAVE A SUSTAINABLE LEGACY?
Romans 8 New Living Translation (NLT)
Life in the Spirit
8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you[b] from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.[c] So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life[d] because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,[e] you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,[f] you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children[g] of God.
8:2a Greek the law; also in 8:2b.
8:2b Some manuscripts read me.
8:3c Greek our flesh; similarly in 8:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12.
8:10d Or your spirit is alive.
8:12e Greek brothers; also in 8:29.
8:13f Greek deeds of the body.
8:14g Greek sons; also in 8:19.
10 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Christ’s Death Fulfills God’s Will
5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings andsacrificesfor sin You had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’”[a]
8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, andofferingsfor sin You did not desire, nor had pleasurein them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.”[b] He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Christ’s Death Perfects the Sanctified
11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
16 “Thisisthe covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”[c]17 then He adds,“Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”[d]18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
Hold Fast Your Confession
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 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. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
The Just Live by Faith
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[e] says the Lord.[f]And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”[g]31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me[h] in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.[i]35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
37 “For yet a little while, AndHe[j]who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the[k]just shall live by faith; But ifanyonedraws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”[l]
39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
Today I am led to read Proverbs 1. King Solomon (reigned Israel 970–931 BC) was a very versatile, multitasking, talented and diligent man who authored 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32) amongst other famous art and scientific accomplishments. He received 666 talents of gold yearly (10:14). That’s about 730,000 ounces of gold per year. (10:14) At today’s gold price of $1252.08 per ounce, that means $914,018,400 yearly income from gold alone around three thousands ago! Why did he write Proverbs? What we can receive from reading this Book? Many ask. The answer I have received is “PLENTY” of especially practical wisdom, how to conduct one’s life wisely. The rewards are both material prosperity and beyond material wealth. The overall advice encourages a reverential fear of God, courage, kindness and piety living. In sum, the themes of Proverbs are neatly summed up in Eshet Hayil: “build a worthy family, stay on the path of virtue, and you shall be rewarded.”
Reading the Proverbs daily one chapter following the calendar date is a lifelong habit of many successful people. The Holy Spirit is in every born again Christian and we can read and ask the Lord to speak to us the verse(s) he wants us to pay specific attention.
There are 31 chapters (915 verses, or 15038 words) in the Book of Proverbs, an average of 29 verses or 500 words a day. For a person with basic English reading speed of 100-200 words you can finish reading your chapter in less than 5 minutes.
A testimony: I know of a young Christian child who wanted to be wise and do well in her study. She prayed and asked how to do that. Then she was led to read and copy the Proverbs (written by the wisest man in the world) one chapter daily. She truly became wise and excelled in her academic pursuits. She has since recommended this to other young people who are similarly struggling with their studies. From what I know she can study any subject and do just as well within a short span of time. Her uncle once told me that during a brief interval of her visit she had measles. So she studied insurance and passed her exam within the brief grounded period! They have never seen anything like this. Many youth find it hard to study but this one finds a way to help herself. Once she told me that to learn Chinese she was reading the Chinese dictionary (like a text book) from beginning progressively based on the number of Chinese characters’ strokes starting with the single stroke, and by then she had progressed to the words with six strokes. I had never seen anything like this but I was not surprised.
Proverbs 1:1-9 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Purpose of Proverbs
1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
knowledge and discernment to the young.
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
Let those with understanding receive guidance
6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
A Father’s Exhortation: Acquire Wisdom
8 My child,[a] listen when your father corrects you.
Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
9 What you learn from them will crown you with grace
and be a chain of honor around your neck.
Proverbs 31:25-31 (of a wise successful business woman)
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
I pray you too be encouraged to read and copy down the wisdom the Lord uses through this Book of Proverbs to speak to you. How do you apply the words? By faith put into action. You will harvest just as Solomon had advised three thousands years ago.
Your watchman friend
About Chinese characters
“Far from being complicated drawings, Chinese characters are made out of simple single strokes, all of them variations of only eight basic ones. All strokes have their own name and are written according to a few rules. It’s very important to learn to recognize them, since the number of strokes in a character is often the easiest way to find it in an index… but this will become clear after learning radicals and the use of dictionaries.” (Online source)
BTW: What happened to the young person? She became conversant in several professions. No worry about employment and enjoys the flexibility of choosing what she likes to do and where.
THE WORD TODAY IS “SHALL BE ADDED”. GOD’S WAY IS TO ADD AND NOT SUBTRACT GOODNESS AND BLESSINGS FOR HIS PEOPLE
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (NKJV)
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. (The Message)
But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. (AMP)
Matthew 6:32-34 Expanded Bible (EXB)
32 The ·people who don’t know God [Gentiles; pagans; unbelievers] ·keep trying to get [eagerly seek; run after] these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. 33 ·Seek first [Be concerned above all else with] God’s kingdom and ·what God wants [his righteousness]. Then all ·your other needs will be met as well [these things will be given to you]. 34 So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will ·have its own worries [or worry about/take care of itself]. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
MORE ABOUT WHAT GOD ADDED
Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Acts 2:47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Acts 5:14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,
Acts 11:24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
Proverbs 9:9-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.
IT ALSO MEANS TO MULTIPLY BLESSINGS IN TANGIBLE WAY
Proverbs 8:18 Riches and honor are mine to give. So are lasting wealth and ·success [or righteousness].
Proverbs 8:21 I ·give wealth to those who love me [cause those who love me to inherit substance], filling their houses with treasures.
Proverbs 10:22 The Lord’s blessing brings wealth, and no ·sorrow [trouble] comes with it.
Proverbs 22:4 ·Respecting [Fearing] the Lord [1:7] and ·not being proud [humility] will bring you wealth, honor, and life.
Deuteronomy 7:13 He will love and bless you. He will ·make the number of your people grow; he will bless you with children [multiply the fruit of your womb]. ·He will bless your fields with good crops and will give you grain, new wine, and oil […and the fruit of your land, your grain, new wine, and oil]. ·He will bless your herds with calves and your flocks with lambs […the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flocks] in the land he promised your ·ancestors [fathers] he would give you.
Deuteronomy 8:1-3 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Remember the Lord
8 Carefully obey every command I give you today. Then you will live and ·grow in number [multiply], and you will enter and ·take [possess] the land the Lord promised your ·ancestors [fathers; Gen. 12:1–3; 15:17–20]. 2 Remember ·how the Lord your God has led [all the way the Lord brought] you in the ·desert [wilderness] for these forty years, ·taking away your pride [humbling you] and testing you, because he wanted to know what was in your heart. He wanted to know if you would obey his commands. 3 He ·took away your pride [humbled you] when he let you get hungry, and then he fed you with manna [Ex. 16:31–36], which neither you nor your ·ancestors [fathers] had ever seen. This was to teach you that a person does not live on bread alone, but by everything the Lord says [Matt. 4:4].
AN OBSERVATION ON SLEEPLESSNESS AND WEALTH FROM THE RICHEST MAN IN HISTORY
Ecclesiastes 5:12 ·Those who work hard sleep in peace [Sweet is the sleep of the laborer]; it is not important if they eat little or much. But ·rich people worry about their wealth and cannot [the abundance of the wealthy does not let them] sleep.
I am reminded that some younger readers may not be acquainted with teachings on the Holy Spirit. And it is difficult to explain stuff which cannot be seen and or felt by the senses. So today’s word is “Power”. Why? Because as the millennial generation you are familiar with this word through the many media you engage in daily. What is power in the Bible? Where is it from? How can you have it? What is the power for? Here are some Bible verse for you to meditate on.
JESUS (THE SON OF GOD) HAD THE POWER (WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT IN HIM)
Luke 4:14 [ Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry ] Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out
Luke 4:36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
Luke 6:19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
Matthew 10:1 [ The Twelve Apostles ] And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
CHRIST IS THE POWER; THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER; GOD’S WORD IS POWER
1 Corinthians 1:18 [ Christ the Power and Wisdom of God ] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Romans 1:16 [ The Just Live by Faith ] For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE POWER; THE APOSTLES WHO HAD THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THEM DEMONSTRATED THE POWER
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 4:19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.
1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
THE POWER OF CHRIST COMES THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT TO US
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
GOD HAS GIVEN US THIS SAME SUPERNATURAL POWER TO LIVE CHRIST LIKE LIFE ON EARTH
John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
1 Corinthians 6:14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
2 Corinthians 4:7 [ Cast Down but Unconquered ] But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
2 Corinthians 6:7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
2 Corinthians 13:4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
Ephesians 1:19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
Ephesians 1:21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Ephesians 6:10 [ The Whole Armor of God ] Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL WILL MANIFEST THE POWER THROUGH SIGNS AND WONDERS
Romans 15:19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
Acts 5:12 [ Continuing Power in the Church ] And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
EVERYONE CAN SEE THIS POWER OF GOD IN CREATION
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
GOD GIVES POWER TO MAKE WEALTH AND POWER TO ENJOY IT
Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God.
Today I note that nine out of ten of the top posts in this blog are about watchman/intercessor. Someone is reading this topic at this kairos time in season. The related blogs were written during 2009-2013. I am led now to give an update to the watchman/intercessor(s) who have visited and perhaps are still reading some of my previous articles on this subject. I would simplify mattes using Q and A mode as follows: (This is not an exhaustive list.)
Q: are those articles still valid today?
A: read with prayers. I suggest you pray in tongue. Ask the Holy Spirit.
Q: as I am still new to hearing the Holy Spirit, which aspects of the articles shall I ask for discernment and perhaps discard?
A: everything that demands a legalistic adherence to the Laws of Moses.
Q: please give me a general guidance when reading the articles.
A: pray in tongue. Open your Bible. Read the Bible as you find verses that speak to you in the articles. Do not take things for granted. Ask the Lord.
Q: if some of the articles are outdated, why are you still keeping them?
A: they are not outdated. They were reflections of a series of Kairos time which our watchman has gone through at different periods. We keep them as a mirror. Someone may be going through similar growing up phases. The testimonies show how things in the spiritual can be overcome.
Q: what shall I be aware of or beware of?
A: Legalistic religious ritualistic practices that are formulated according to dead letters.
A: BECAUSE JESUS CLEARLY SPOKE AGAINST THEM.
Q: what are the dangers of dealing with the spiritual realm?
A: the clear danger is unless you know our God personally and have a relationship with Him, you can be snared and deceived by the father of all lies, the devil. Jesus has warned His disciples of false teachers, false prophets, false Christ-these are people used by the anti-Christ to snare Christians into spiritual falsehood.
Q: how do I keep away from spiritual falsehood?
A: keep close to God, the Father, the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. Abide in him. Let His words abide in you. Being spiritual does not mean you can do all the rituals (faith in action). Your character shows your true spiritual condition. Are you manifesting the fruit of the Holy Spirit or the fruit of the devil as clearly described in Galatians 5:16-26. Examine your secret agenda. What motivates you? Are you really seeking to glorify God or yourself? Have you died to self? There is no point talking and not manifesting the right fruit.
Q: will people know whether i am led by the Holy Spirit or the evil spirit?
A: YES. YOUR FRUIT SHOWS. JESUS SAID, A GOOD TREE PRODUCES GOOD FRUIT. PEOPLE SEE FRUIT.
Q: what is the number one snare i need to avoid?
A: taking offense. Jesus warned, “And then many will be offended, will betray one anther, and will hate one another.” (Continue to read the whole passage that starts with taking offense and the consequences thereof in Matthew 24:10-13)
Q: if i just stay away from people and keep to myself will i make an effective watchman/intercessor? how do i know what is going on?
A: watchman/intercessor sees into the spiritual realm behind the physical realm. The Holy Spirit alerts you to read or hear or see the physical events when needed and tells you about the spiritual implication. You are not required to be a hermit. Neither are you required to be a know-all. As Jesus spoke of His disciples, they are in the world but not of the world. We are in the world but we do not love the world or its things. We use things but we love people. The world loves things and use people. This is the difference.
Q: is a watchman a seer? how will i be upgraded to a seer?
A: in the Old testament time the Holy Spirit came and went. The Holy Spirit worked through individuals who were called and responded as prophets/messengers of God. Some were intercessors for the people of Israel. People (including kings) came to them for counsels and guidance because the seers could hear the Holy Spirit. Most people were drawn to the seers because they were forecasters of future events. Do we need seers today? Every believer who is born of the Holy Spirit should be able to hear the Holy Spirit, because Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and tell us things to come. Of course a watchman/intercessor who can always hear the Lord correctly and have the gift of the word of knowledge and word of wisdom is sometimes treated with honor as a seer. This role involves using the gifts that the Lord has endowed on the individual.
Q: can the seer use the aforementioned gifts to benefit himself or his family?
A: yes if it is what the Lord asks him to do, such as to avoid a personal danger, to make a right personal decision in investment, to help someone close out of a potentially disastrous situation etc. There are many New Testament verses on how God wants to bless every believer (not just a seer) according to the abundant life Jesus has given. God wants every believer to hear Him and have a relationship with Him. But the word of caution here is never use your gift to help someone who clearly goes against the words of God (the Bible). Never go against God’s words. We serve a holy God.
Q: can a seer make a worldly fortune out of his spiritual gifts?
A: i would be extremely cautious here if i were you. God clearly warns against fortune telling etc. Beware of getting snared into this number one temptation from the devil. Remember what Jesus and the apostles had warned us of. The greed for money is idolatry. The love of money is a snare. Sorcerers and idolators shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelations 21:8)
Q: how will a seer make a living?
A: just like any other honest hard working Christian does. He or she may have an employment elsewhere, may be a pastor, a teacher, a missionary, an evangelist, a writer, a helper, a full-time church worker, a housewife etc. He will be paid just like any other worker according to his job.
Q: is there a most suitable profession and age for a watchman/seer?
A: personally speaking, ideally a job without fixed schedule/time paradigm. A retiree or someone who has made it in the financial world and no longer needs to earn his bread and butter. Someone who cannot be bought by the world. The Lord always ensures that such an individual is well provided and protected.
Q: surely everybody wants more of the good stuff. is there such a person who cannot be bought?
A: well, my son/daughter, when you reach a spiritual point of your relationship with God, you cease to exist. Nothing in the world really matters. You died to the world. You only live to God. This is the true calling of a seer.
Q: what is your one sentence advice as a prerequisite for a watchman/intercessor/seer?
A: God makes sure the words of the true prophets are fulfilled.
Now Samuel grew; and the Lord was with him and He let none of his words fail [to be fulfilled].
1 Samuel 4:1 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Philistines Take the Ark in Victory
4 And the word of [the Lord through] Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and they camped beside Ebenezer while the Philistines camped at Aphek.
1 Samuel 7:8-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
8 And the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, so that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; and Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel and the Lord answered him. 10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines approached for the battle against Israel. Then the Lord thundered with a great voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated and fled before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel came out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down as far as [the territory] below Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and he named it Ebenezer (stone of help), saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued and they did not come anymore into Israelite territory. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
1 Samuel 3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Prophetic Call to Samuel
3 Now the boy Samuel was attending to the service of the Lord [a]under the supervision of Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.
2 Yet it happened at that time, as Eli was lying down in his own place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well). 3 and the [oil] lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, 4 that the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.” 5 He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call you; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know [or personally experience] the Lord, and the word of the Lord was not yet revealed [directly] to him. 8 So the Lord called Samuel a third time. And he stood and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli understood that it was the Lord [who was] calling the boy. 9 So Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and it shall be that if He calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Then the Lord came and stood and called as at the previous times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11 The Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will ring. 12 On that day I will carry out against Eli everything that I have spoken concerning his house (family), from beginning to end. 13 Now I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the sinful behavior which he knew [was happening], because his sons were bringing a curse on themselves [dishonoring and blaspheming God] and he did not rebuke them. 14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the sinful behavior of Eli’s house (family) shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
15 So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the Lord’s house. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16 But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he answered, “Here I am.” 17 Then Eli said, “What is it that He said to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do the same to you, and more also, if you hide from me anything of all that He said to you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. And Eli said, “It is the Lord; may He do what seems good [b]to Him.”
19 Now Samuel grew; and the Lord was with him and He let none of his words [c]fail [to be fulfilled]. 20 And all Israel from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south] knew that Samuel was appointed as a prophet of the Lord. 21 And the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
1 Samuel 3:1 Lit before.
1 Samuel 3:18 Lit in His eyes.
1 Samuel 3:19 Lit fall to the ground.
Psalm 99:6 NLT Moses and Aaron were among his priests; Samuel also called on his name. They cried to the Lord for help, and he answered them.
Jeremiah 15:1 [ Judgment Must Come ] Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me [interceding for them], My heart would still not be [turned with favor] toward this people [Judah]. Send them away from My presence and out of My sight and let them go!
1 Chronicles 9:22 All those chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds were 212. They were enrolled by their genealogies in their villages [around Jerusalem], these men [whose grandfathers] David and Samuel the seer had appointed to their official duty.
1 Chronicles 11:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant (solemn agreement) with them there before the Lord; and they anointed him king over Israel, in accordance with the word of the Lord through Samuel.
1 Chronicles 26:28 Also all that Samuel the seer had dedicated, and Saul the son of Kish, Abner the son of Ner and Joab the son of Zeruiah, everyone who had dedicated anything, this was in the care of Shelomoth and his relatives.
1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the chronicles (records) of Samuel the seer, in the chronicles of Nathan the prophet, and in the chronicles of Gad the seer,
Today’s words are all about the Light. The Word. Focus on this Light. You will receive your health and healing in all aspects of life.
The Bible verses are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV)
The Lamp of the Body
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
The Eternal Word, The Light
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
1 John 1:5-7
Fellowship with Him and One Another
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Today’s word is about investment. Many Christians struggle with how the Word of God really (practically) impacts our lives. Some have found the key and are living the divinely blessed way (super-abundant life) that Jesus has accomplished for His followers. Some are still experiencing the result of the “thief” who came to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) But God has given every believer the same capital (Seed of life), His Word. Why are there such disparities in the lives of different Christians?
Jesus has explained this in Matthew 13:23 (AMP) And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands and grasps it; he indeed bears fruit and yields, some a hundred times [as much as was sown], some sixty [times as much], and some thirty.” Luke 8:15 Expanded Bible (EXB) And the seed that fell on the good ground is like those who hear ·God’s teaching [the word] with good, honest hearts and ·obey [cling/hold to] it and ·patiently [with perseverance] produce good fruit.
Prior to describing this group who can produce positive outcome in their lives, Jesus also mentions others who fail in varying stages and degrees, but all with the same result -producing nothing despite the same capital God has given them. I quote below the Bible passage from the EXB version. (Highlight added)
Matthew 13:18-23 Expanded Bible (EXB) Jesus Explains the Seed Story
18 “So listen to the ·meaning of that story about the farmer [parable of the sower]. 19 What is the seed that fell ·by the road [along the path]? That seed is like ·the person [anyone] who hears the ·message [word; teaching] about the kingdom but does not understand it. The Evil One comes and ·takes away [snatches] what was ·planted [sown] in that person’s heart. 20 And what is the seed ·that fell [sown] on rocky ground? That seed is like the person who hears the ·teaching [word; message] and quickly ·accepts [receives] it with joy. 21 But ·he does not let the teaching go deep into his life, so [L since he has no root in himself] ·he keeps it only a short time [he does not endure; it is short-lived]. When trouble or persecution comes because of the ·teaching he accepted [word, message], he ·quickly [immediately] ·gives up [falls away; stumbles]. 22 And what is the seed ·that fell [sown] among the thorny weeds? That seed is like the person who hears the ·teaching [word; message] but lets worries about this ·life [world; age] and the ·temptation [deceitfulness; seduction] of wealth ·stop that teaching from growing [L choke the word/message]. So the teaching does not produce fruit in that person’s life. 23 But what is the seed ·that fell [sown] on the good ground? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and produces ·fruit [a crop], sometimes a hundred times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes thirty times more.”
In summary: God gives each of us who believe the same Word capital (Seed). On our part we need to hear, understand and accept (believe as the Truth). The more we invest with this capital the more will be the yield. Unlike other forms of capital, God’s words are invested in the inner being of a person. In our spirit and in our mind. Only God’s words can do that. God’s words are supernatural. They cause renewal of the mind and transformation of lives. When this happens every blessing God has prepared in the heavenly places will flow naturally into our whole being and in turn affects our physical existence and livelihood. Take note that there are stages/processes in time: hearing the Word, understanding, believing, allowing it to grow into our lives deeply, be focused and persistent in applying it no matter what. Beware of the obstacles that can sidetrack/deter us from the goals: hearing/preferring other words (which seem easier to understand), confining to superficial emotional experiences, fearing persecutions and other inconveniences, exhausting ourselves pursuing short-term successes that seem more tangible (like things that come with monetary wealth)
2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: The person who ·plants a little [sows sparingly] will ·have a small harvest [also reap sparingly], but the person who ·plants a lot [sows generously/bountifully] will ·have a big harvest [also reap generously/bountifully].
Galatians 6:7 [ Life Is like Planting a Field ] Do not be ·fooled [deceived; mistaken]: You cannot ·cheat [mock; make a fool of] God. People ·harvest only what they plant [reap what they sow].
Today’s word is from Isaiah 54:17 no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. The scenario is not new. Jesus had many accusers in His time on earth. So were the apostles. For example, Paul. Take note that the accuser uses words, spoken or written. Their accusations were based on their own personal (political) agenda and in the case of Jesus and the apostles (and later the believers of Jesus Christ) they were not true. For those who read the Bible to the end you will have noticed A RECORD OF AN ACCUSER of the brethren in the Book of Revelation. Jesus called the accuser the FATHER OF LIES. Those who lie and give false witness in courts/similar official places (of governing authority) are termed children of the father of lies. In the Old Testament Book of Exodus 20:16 recorded the original commandment of God against lying/giving false accusation about others, “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.”
In the New Testament Book of Revelation 22:15 Jesus names those (including everyone who loves and practices falsehood) who will not be allowed to enter into God’s presence (New heaven and new earth).
(The Bible verses are quoted from New Living Translation unless otherwise specified)
THE ACCUSER OF CHRISTIANS Revelation 12:10
10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,
“It has come at last—
salvation and power
and the Kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth—
the one who accuses them
before our God day and night.
THE GROUP WHO WILL BE EXCLUDED FROM GOD’S PRESENCE
Revelation 22:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Outside are the dogs [the godless, the impure, those of low moral character] and the sorcerers [with their intoxicating drugs, and magic arts], and the immoral persons [the perverted, the molesters, and the adulterers], and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying (deception, cheating).
GOD’S PROMSE OF A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR HIS PEOPLE
9 “Just as I swore in the time of Noah
that I would never again let a flood cover the earth,
so now I swear
that I will never again be angry and punish you.
10 For the mountains may move
and the hills disappear,
but even then my faithful love for you will remain.
My covenant of blessing will never be broken,”
says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
11 “O storm-battered city,
troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you with precious jewels
and make your foundations from lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your towers of sparkling rubies,
your gates of shining gems,
and your walls of precious stones. 13 I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. 14 You will be secure under a government that is just and fair. Your enemies will stay far away.
You will live in peace,
and terror will not come near.
15 If any nation comes to fight you,
it is not because I sent them. Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat.
16 “I have created the blacksmith
who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction.
And I have created the armies that destroy. 17 But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!
New Living Translation (NLT)
A NEW BEGINNING FOR EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN JESUS
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 Amplified Bible (AMP)
For the love of Christ controls and compels us, because we have concluded this, that One died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that all those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for their sake.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a human point of view [according to worldly standards and values]. Though we have known Christ from a human point of view, now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. 18 But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God].
20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us;we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God.21 He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].