today’s heart cry to the millennials

millennial cry
millennial memes: coming out

Lately I ponder on what might happen when this older generation passes away, particularly those born during or right after the WWII. The former national, social and family values, personal integrity, moral and work ethics have been eroded, depleted and forsaken beyond any imagination during the past five to six decades. When I look at the past, present and future I can feel the increasing sense of urgency now more than ever.

I can feel the same concern and heart cry from my generation. We know the old guards are not hanging around for another innumerable decades and some seniors who are still bravely selflessly holding the fort are in fact rather worn and tired by now. What will happen to this world when the really wise and powerful older seers and prophets pass on to another world? What will happen when no one in the subsequent generations have any interest or ability to see into the spiritual realm and warn mankind?

What will happen when human continues to be satisfied with the superficial level and trust their technology shortcut and ignore the spiritual wickedness which cannot be fought with human weapons? How may the seers and prophets impart/pass on the overcomer’s spiritual sword/key they have guarded so well for millennium?

Where are the seven thousands* the Lord has preserved somewhere in this world? This is the watchman’s heart cry to the millennials.

*(1 Kings 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.)

Hear the Holy Spirit’s cry:
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:7-15)

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One great America, one great vision

Amos 3:3
Amos 3:3 One direction for one nation

Who are laughing at American news? The rest of the world? No, America. we don’t enjoy or laugh as we watch your ongoing news “drama”. We are not amused by any long dragged out stalemate show on a serious matter.

The constant bombardment of bad news, like washing personal laundry in public, albeit perhaps a “diversion from boredom” (which in reality, more a diversion from the more serious pertinent unresolved matters between conflicting power interests) to some, no longer draws the right audience. (Please refresh your news-watching market-study on the rest of the world).

When, how and why have you become what your news seems to depict you today? What is your true identity? The crux of the matter seems to be on your definition.

The self-inflicted huge handicap seems unbelievable to the rest of the world. How can a nation be functionally effective when 50% of its population is deemed (in the news) to be against another 50%? How can a football team ever expect to win any game if it’s divided into two halves with each running towards opposite directions (disregarding the rules of the game)? When two equally strong horses refuse to be yoked together and submit to the driver’s directive, instead each tries to pull a cart to the direction opposing that pulled towards by the other horse, whatever products on the cart would have rotted and become useless and of no value if they ever reach the market.

Instead, one nation, one vision, one goal, without the constant bickering and stalemate, and with more focused and more effective use of resources, abilities and strength, the overall good can be achieved within a shorter timeframe at a much lower cost.

Someone may ask the rest of the world: “Why don’t you switch channel?” Well, the reality is that we are all on one earth-stage. We cannot switch channel.

Some may laugh for a while at your presumably internal “squabbles”. But many are realists with the big picture in mind. Of course, we do not presume that we can see the whole picture. But we can watch for and detect good news. Good and tangible news from major players, such as America.

Ideally, great nations, (like successful corporations), display these characteristics: internally excellent: well developed, ethically, efficiently and effectively managed, orderly, safe, successful and prosperous in all aspects of a good life for its own people; externally magnanimously investing: sharing/exporting at affordable prices highly demanded and valued goods and services to the rest of the world; overall focused on being a successful role model of good virtues, capable and ethical stewardship of limited resources (tangible and intangible) other nations would consider beneficial to emulate. (Good and profitable practices can even be packaged and sold to other nations. The world is hungry for successful management models.)

For those of us who believe in the spiritual realm, the accurate and timely aligning role of America (and other great and small nations) with the eternal plan of God for nations is of significant importance.

The watchman therefore urges: Please wake up. America.

We want you well. God wants you well.

Amos 3:3 (NLT)
Can two people walk together
without agreeing on the direction?

how a talking donkey saved a prophet

Balaam and donkey
Balaam, donkey and angel with sword

How did a donkey save a prophet? Why was the donkey, an apparently dumb weight-bearing animal, able to see into the spiritual realm but his master the prophet remained blinded? The following account gives us the answer.

Food for thought: God can enable even an animal see, understand and talk sense. What did the animal gain? He had faithfully served his master since the day he was owned. How did the master treat the donkey? Was Balaam grateful that his donkey saved him from instant death? Did he repent and set the donkey free from bondage? There was no record of any kind acts on the part of Balaam. Instead he went on to his personal destruction in a subsequent war against Israel. If he made his donkey accompany him it could mean that the donkey was killed in the war too due to the personal greed for power and money of his master. Sad end for a gifted prophet and his faithful donkey. Take note that God spoke and warned Balaam repeatedly. He even used the donkey to prevent Balaam from self-destruction.

Meditate on this:
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

The account of a faithful talking donkey who saved his master’s life:

“Then the children of Israel moved, and camped in the plains of Moab on the side of the Jordan across from Jericho.
Now Balak (king of Moab)saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites (already defeated by the Israelites). And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. ..Then he sent messengers to Balaam (a prophet powerful in cursing) ..to call him, saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me! Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

So the elders …came to Balaam and spoke to him …So Balaam said to God, “Balak…king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, ‘….’”

And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”

…Then Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more honorable than they…“Thus says Balak..: ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me; for I will certainly honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore please come, curse this people for me.’”

…So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.

Interaction between Balaam, the Donkey, and the Angel:

Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. Now the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. Then the Angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. Then the Angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.

Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!”

So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?”

And he said, “No.”

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.”

And Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back.”

Then the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

…And Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.”…

(The above account was recorded in Numbers 22.)

Mark 1333: truth and integrity matter

Mark 1333Today I am sad to be reminded how human mind can be so limited that we tend to forget the big picture when the enemy lures us to pick on the nitty gritty of stuff he displays with a fanfare, dangling like a carrot in front of the donkey’s nose. I really cannot believe my ears when I watch the current campaign of a popular young (in age comparatively) yet veteran (in terms of two decades of being an elected representative) politician who represents hope and justice in a small nation. He performs well and I fully agree with the pertinent economic and legal issues he raises about his country’s political scene.

But he made a slip when he commented on the election of the greatest nation in the world. I am disappointed that he did not do a thorough study (being an obviously brilliant oratorial lawyer) on the other nation before he passed that comment on the final choice of the presidential candidate. No doubt he intended to make the point that every vote mattered as around 40% did not vote. He omitted to mention the fact that 62,979,636 voters had voted for the winning candidate. He also erred in making the presumption that the 40% dormant votes could have been in favor of another candidate!

I pray we all become more responsible and careful with our words. Globally. I have readers from nearly all the nations of the world who have internet access and those who read the downloaded articles sent to them by their loved ones. I do not presume to know all but I maintain my belief that the truth and each individual’s integrity matter. In my seven decades of life on earth I have come to the conviction and conclusion that each word we speak really matters. A person’s word may not influence others but it does speak to oneself and could inadvertently lead one to believing in deceptions that harm oneself and even stumble others. I do agree with the young politician that every vote counts. So it is time to register your vote and turn out to vote with the care that it may mean a life and death matter to you and your loved ones, and the survival of your people and nation.

The Bible verses that I received today are from Jesus in Mark 13:33-37, “Be on your guard [constantly alert], and watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man [already] going on a journey; when he leaves home, he puts his servants in charge, each with his particular task, and he gives orders to the doorkeeper to be constantly alert and on the watch.
Therefore watch (give strict attention, be cautious and alert), for you do not know when the Master of the house is coming—in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning—
[Watch, I say] lest He come suddenly and unexpectedly and find you asleep.
And what I say to you I say to everybody: Watch (give strict attention, be cautious, active, and alert)!

a fifty percent perspective

a portraitIt’s common to wonder what causes someone to be a sociopath as we watch in disbelief as the sociopath lies, manipulates, harms, and feels no empathy for anyone. Trying to teach empathy and emotion to a sociopath is like trying to teach a cellphone to cook a pizza. If it sounds ridiculous to teach a phone to cook a pizza, it’s because it is. A phone isn’t wired to cook, and it’s not bothered by this fact. Likewise, a sociopath’s brain isn’t wired to feel empathy or other emotions, and like the phone, the sociopath isn’t bothered about it.

Quoted from an answer in Quora about dating a sociopath: She will lie about almost everything, and if you ever call her out on it, she will deny it vehemently…to the point where you start to question yourself and your own memory.
She will create a LOT of drama. She will…

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healthy aging: brevity of life, longevity factor, ever presence of my God

Joshua 14:1415 Out of This World My dear brethren, when asked once, in his mid-60s, what surprised him most in his old age, Billy Graham answered without hesitation: “the brevity of life.” The brevity of life has caught up with even centenarians. Looking back this watchman too is shocked at the speed of time. After walking with the Lord for a long long time how did Enoch feel? What did he talk to God about? I sometimes ask. 365 years seem a long time to us. But most men lived long before the flood. Adam lived 930 years. Methuselah lived 969 years old. Noah lived 950 years. God talked to them. They talked to God. After the flood, some men lived to over a hundred years though not as long. Abraham 175 (born 1946 years after Adam), Isaac 180.

One thing that stands out is the relationship they had with God. Being able to hear God and talk to God is something that we all need today. Can we? Yes. God has given every born again believer the Holy Spirit who lives in us and talks to us. We are joined to the Lord and one spirit with the Lord. (1 Corinthians 6:17) There are many teachings on how we can hear God today. We can enjoy the longevity of life span on earth and not miss out our daily walk with God engaging in friendly two way conversation with Him, just as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses and many others did. God called Abraham His friend.

To live to such old age one needs to be healthy and youthful. God has set man’s life to be one hundred and twenty years. (Genesis 6:3) Moses lived to 120. His eyes were not dimmed nor his natural vigor diminished. (Deuteronomy 34:7) David testified in his psalm that his youth was renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:5) Sarah lived until 127 and died. After that Abraham (137 and above) married again and had other sons.

One man that stood out was Caleb. Caleb was known for his strength in his spirit, soul (mind and will) and body wholly. God described Caleb this way, “But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.” (Numbers 14:24) At 85 Caleb was as strong as he was at forty including his strength for war, going out and coming in, because he wholly followed God and held fast to God’s promises spoken to him through Moses. (Joshua 14:6-14)

When we sum up the lives of all these men of faith in the Bible, we can see that the significance of life is the “quantity in terms of quality”. Quality can only come from their relationship with God. They had lived in the presence of God.

My first spiritual breakthrough after being born again for thirty years was knowing God in the spirit just as Jesus has emphasized that God is Spirit (John 4:24). Since then I have walked with a new passion and assurance in the spiritual reality of God and the truthfulness of His words which are spirit and life (John 6:63). Looking at all the past miracles God has done in my life I too hold fast to the promises and prophecies that the Lord has spoken. I am looking forward to this year with increasingly renewed strength to live in the ever presence of my God. I pray that you too, expect the same with confident hope. Age is no excuse.

Bible verses Joshua 14:6-14
6 Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ 10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”

13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. 15 And the name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim).

Then the land had rest from war.

Watchman’s notes on fasting, prophetess, first evangelist

Luke 2:37Why do people fast? More and more Christians are fasting on and off for various reasons. I have learned and practiced fasting regularly for a decade since I attended meetings that practiced this more consistently. Here are some personal notes at random sequence for young visitors who read this blog.
1. fasting is not a ritual or legalistic requirement.
2. Jesus and His disciples fasted regularly.
3. the early churches fasted regularly.
4. the Bible records many incidents of fasting.
5. fasting is a common practice in the days of the Old Testament and New Testament.
6. fasting has many ways.
7. not one way of fasting is a must for everyone.
8. you do need a goal.
9. be open.
10. the act of fasting does not gain you favor from God.
11. my goal: gain sensitivity toward God and spiritual matters.
12. my experience: the more I practice this discipline to subdue my body and mind, the more I am sensitized to the reality of God’s spiritual realm and the things of God just as stated in the Bible.
13. my tested way: fast in a combination of ways, including daily only one light meal with more vegetables and less/no meat. It means: one light breakfast of two slices of bread (with or without butter, jam and cheese), no lunch, one early dinner of rice/bread/potato/sweet potato with vegetables, with/without one egg, no supper. Drink water. One cup of morning Tea/coffee is optional.
14. varying fast period: 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, 21 days and so on. It can become a lifestyle too.
15. Always be led by the Holy Spirit.
16. Activities: Do as normal days. Read the Bible, pray (talk to God and listen to Him talking to me), meditate on the matters of God and focus on God. I listen to audio Bible and copy down verses too.
17. Physical exercises: I do as my normal days, usually leisurely and without stress. Do not go all out to do strenuous tasks.
18. Entertainment: I do not do these anyway except walking the dog in the park.
19. Social networking: Minimum unless it is your family calling.
20. Summary: Focus on my goal to become more and more sensitive to God.
21. Expected results: To know God intimately, hear Him clearly, act on His guidance accurately in all aspects of my life -live the truly abundant life Jesus has promised and given to every believer!

A classic example of a significant and impactful fast: Anna was significant because of her single-mindedness on and sensitivity to God. Here are her characteristics singled out in the Bible record:
1. a prophetess/watchman 2. longevity. 3. woman. 4. married for 7 years. 5. became a widow for 84 years. 6. stayed always in God’s presence. 7. worshiping day and night. 8. God considered her fastings and prayers worship to Him. 9. She has a name and a recorded lineage. 10. She knew the Old Testament and prophecies written about Jesus. 11. She had faith in God and believed in the words of God. 12. Accurate spiritual discernment: she identified the child Jesus as the Messiah she had been waiting for all these years. 13. She became the first witness and evangelist for Jesus!

Luke 2:37 MSG
Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

A quote about Lent fasting: “Abstinence and fasting is a discipline that teaches us to gain control, because so often the source of our sin is a loss of control. By gaining control of something so simple as food, we can move to gain control of those things that really distancing us from God. So together with abstinence and fasting, you are encouraged to think about what it is that is blocking your way to Christ. If you only abstain and fast in Lent without a greater purpose of distancing yourself from a sin that is controlling your life, then fasting and abstinence will be nothing more than a diet. Lent is a time to pick your medicine, remove the obstacles and encounter Christ this Lent.”

Lent 2018 began on
Wednesday, 14 February
and ends on
Thursday, 29 March
What is Lent?
Lent is a 40-day Christian religious period that comes before Easter. Although it technically lasts for 46 days, Western Churches do not count the Sundays during the period.
It is a time of solemnity and fasting during which many people abstain from festivities and certain foods such as chocolate and fast food.
Why do people fast for Lent and why does it last 40 days?
The reason why people fast for Lent and abstain from festivities is because Lent is meant to be a reflection on, and reenactment of, Jesus’s suffering during the 40 days he spent in the desert being tempted by Satan.

2018-02-lentPray-Fast-Give

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

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

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

Genesis 7:1 The Great Flood: Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.

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

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

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

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

Genesis 12:1-4 Promises to Abram (Abraham)1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”4 :1 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

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

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

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

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

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

Acts 10:34-36,42-44

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

talents are God-given and are meant for you to use for His good purpose

Jeremiah 27:67 Most Christians had in the past avoided pursuing political-governmental positions. Some have woken up in recent years and see that this avoidance is increasingly costly… Today we look at Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, c. 605 BC – c. 562 BC, the longest and most powerful reign of any monarch in the Neo-Babylonian empire. He defeated the Egyptians and their allies the Assyrians, subdued Palestine and Syria and, consolidating his power, controlled all trade routes across Mesopotamia from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. He was thus famous for empire expanding military conquests, building great walls, commerce and economic wealth. God actually described him as His servant. When we read his letter (Daniel chapter 4), we realize how God can use any prominent political leader even this presumably ‘hateful and feared’ (to many foreign people under his rule) pagan king to testify God’s reality, greatness and purpose!

Because of his boast of his own might and honor, Nebuchadnezzar went through seven years of forced retreat as prophesied in a strange dream (Daniel 4).  After the seven years, he acknowledged and repented his pride, and gave God honor and praise! He was then restored to kingship. It is plausible that he was completely converted and died a faithful follower of God as he continued to let Daniel remain an influential divine counselor in his government. The Old Testament Bible recorded several important Jewish men and a woman who held high/strategic political/socially influential positions in countries under pagan kings: Joseph, Moses, Queen Esther, Mordecai, Daniel, his three Jewish friends, Nehemiah, and Ezra the scribe. These individuals had played crucial roles in shaping the history of the people of God. Their strategic courageous and positive influences had saved many innocent lives including those who believed in our God and refused to bow down to pagan gods/idols.

Most Christians had in the past avoided pursuing political-governmental positions. Some have woken up in recent years and see that this avoidance is increasingly costly in terms of the erosion of freedom to continue to worship our God and bring up our own children in the godly principles and lifestyle we believe and value.  The worst is that the erosion of power and influence is in the unseen spiritual realm. When Christians lose ground in the physical it means they lose ground in the spiritual realm. The physical manifestation on earth in terms of governments and policies actually reflects the spiritual conditions in the unseen world. It is now the Kairos time for each individual to make the right decision with the opportunity and authority in hand.  (Read and meditate on Matthew 25:14-30 The parable of stewardship of the talent/resources the Lord has given to each individual).

(All Bible verses are quoted from New King James Version)
Jeremiah 27:4-7 God appoints a pagan king to be His servant.
4 And command them to say to their masters, … 6 And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him. 7 So all nations shall serve him and his son and his son’s son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them.

Daniel 4
Nebuchadnezzar the king, To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.
2 I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.

3 How great are His signs,
And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.

4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. 5 I saw a dream which made me afraid, …6 Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men …8 But at last Daniel came before me …

18 “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”

Daniel Explains the Second Dream
19 Then Daniel, …“My lord, may the dream concern those who hate you, and its interpretation concern your enemies!

20 “The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong,…— 22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.

23 “And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, …till seven times pass over him’; 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25 They shall drive you from men, …and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.

26 “And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation
28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar… 30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, …and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men …
34 And at the end of the time[b] I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:…36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. ..and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

Footnotes:
Daniel 4:16 Possibly seven years, and so in verses 23, 25, and 32
Daniel 4:34 Literally days

Declare among the nations, Proclaim, and set up a standard

Jeremiah 50:34(A prophetic announcement) (Jeremiah 50:2)
“Declare among the nations, Proclaim, and set up a standard; Proclaim—do not conceal it— Say, ‘Babylon is taken, Bel is shamed. Merodach is broken in pieces; Her idols are humiliated, Her images are broken in pieces.’ (NKJV)
This is what the Lord says: “Tell the whole world, and keep nothing back. Raise a signal flag to tell everyone that Babylon will fall! Her images and idols will be shattered. Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced. (NLT)

The following Scriptures are quoted from NKJV Bible.
Jeremiah 50:20
20 In those days and in that time,” says the Lord,
“The iniquity of Israel shall be sought, but there shall be none;
And the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found;
For I will pardon those whom I preserve.

Jeremiah 50:34
34 Their Redeemer is strong;
The Lord of hosts is His name.
He will thoroughly plead their case,
That He may give rest to the land,
And disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon.

Romans 11:5
5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Romans 11:25-27
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved,[a] as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”[b]

Footnotes:
Romans 11:26 Or delivered
Romans 11:27 Isaiah 59:20, 21

Romans 11:34 (NKJV)
34
“For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”[a]

Footnotes:
Romans 11:34 Isaiah 40:13; Jeremiah 23:18

1 Corinthians 2:16, 9
16 “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?”[e] But we have the mind of Christ.

9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”[c]
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Footnotes:
(c) 1 Corinthians 2:9 Isaiah 64:4
(e) 1 Corinthians 2:16 Isaiah 40:13

Hebrews 11:11-15 The Heavenly Sanctuary
11:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come,[a] with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 11:22-28 Greatness of Christ’s Sacrifice
22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

The Lord says to me: ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’

SereneIsaiah 4113For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’ (Isaiah 41:13)
When the watchman felt troubled lately about a financial decision, the Lord spoke the this verse. He is here to help the watchman.
Why did I feel troubled? Because I was looking at the ‘man-made storm’ in the economy. I know it is just the usual responses from the market at this season. Yet I feel a bit concerned at the herd’s behavior.
So I turned to the Lord one night and He said, “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.”

Today when I recall how the Lord responded to my prayer with such a powerful verse, I am reminded of the incident in which Jesus responded and saved Peter immediately from sinking in the stormy sea.

The incident was different but the requirement of faith is the same. Faith is when we look at Jesus and not at the storm (big or small). Here is my note on what I have learned:
1. We need to focus on seeing Jesus and His might instead of watching the circumstances and base our assessment on them.
2. The uncertainty and inability to see far can cause fear and doubt. The situation can be magnified in our mind when we see others panicking.
3. We must ask the Lord to help us and He will hear and come immediately to our aid.
4. The truth is that the Lord is actually with us. He takes the initiative to come to us and says. “I am here to help you.” He is always HERE to help us. He is our ever present help!
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

Bible verses from Matthew 14:24-33 (NKJV)
THE DISCIPLES ENCOUNTERED A STORM AT SEA IN THE DARK 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

JESUS CAME TO THEM 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
JESUS IMMEDIATELY SPOKE TO THEM 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
JESUS RESPONDED POSITIVELY TO INDIVIDUAL REQUEST NO MATTER HOW IMPOSSIBLE IT MIGHT SEEM 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

JESUS IMMEDIATELY TOOK HOLD OF THE PREDICAMENT OR EVEN AT RISK POSITION OF AN INDIVIDUAL WHO CRIED TO HIM FOR HELP 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

OTHERS CAN WITNESS JESUS’ MIRACULOUS SAVING AND DELIVERANCE OF YOU FROM YOUR PERSONAL STORM. THEY TOO WILL BELIEVE JESUS’ DEITY. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

the power of prophetic praises: from a king

Today we look at how a king sang praises to the King of kings. David lived in the times before Christ when the Holy Spirit was not indwelling inside the people of God. But the Spirit of God led him to prophecy even at the time when he was surrounded by his enemies. Anyone familiar with the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus Christ can see the obvious parallels, and the writers of the gospel accounts—especially Matthew—bring them out through direct quotations of this psalm.
Psalm 22
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Doe of the Dawn.”
1
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
2
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

3
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4
Our ancestors trusted in you,
and you rescued them.
5
They cried out to you and were saved.
They trusted in you and were never disgraced.

6
But I am a worm and not a man.
I am scorned and despised by all!
7
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
8
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
let the Lord rescue him!”

9
Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
10
I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
You have been my God from the moment I was born.

11
Do not stay so far from me,
for trouble is near,
and no one else can help me.
12
My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
13
Like lions they open their jaws against me,
roaring and tearing into their prey.
14
My life is poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
melting within me.
15
My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
16
My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
an evil gang closes in on me.
They have pierced[a] my hands and feet.
17
I can count all my bones.
My enemies stare at me and gloat.
18
They divide my garments among themselves
and throw dice[b] for my clothing.

19
O Lord, do not stay far away!
You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
20
Save me from the sword;
spare my precious life from these dogs.
21
Snatch me from the lion’s jaws
and from the horns of these wild oxen.

22
I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.[c]
I will praise you among your assembled people.
23
Praise the Lord, all you who fear him!
Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
24
For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them,
but has listened to their cries for help.

25
I will praise you in the great assembly.
I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
26
The poor will eat and be satisfied.
All who seek the Lord will praise him.
Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
27
The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
28
For royal power belongs to the Lord.
He rules all the nations.

29
Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
Bow before him, all who are mortal,
all whose lives will end as dust.
30
Our children will also serve him.
Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
31
His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
They will hear about everything he has done.

Footnotes:
22:16 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Syriac versions; most Hebrew manuscripts read They are like a lion at.
22:18 Hebrew cast lots.
22:22 Hebrew my brothers.

Daily Word: Samuel the seer’s prayers never failed

Bible SamuelNow 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.

Footnotes:

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,