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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walking with Jesus: Luke 5 Launch out into the deep

Who is JesusWho is Jesus? He still says this to you today: “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

God's Way of Healing

launch into the deep

WHO IS JESUS? We continue to read Luke. In chapter 5 we see that Jesus is concerned with the depth and not the shallow.

An encounter with Jesus means an encounter that stirs the deepest part of our soul. Peter feels it and he fells down before Jesus, discarding all his professional pride and social esteem as a well proficient experienced fishing leader.

An encounter with Jesus results in both outer and inner healing and restoration to wholeness, body, soul and spirit. One’s sickness is healed, conscience cleansed, sin forgiven. Indeed, Jesus gives every believer a new birth, born again by the Spirit of God.

An encounter with Jesus exposes and separates the superficial traditional religious formality and the real worship in spirit and in truth in a person’s efforts to please God.

The Holy Spirit reveals the truth to us in God’s words: launch out into the deep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Bible…

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To my young friends: rendezvous with destiny

destiny-encounter“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. 13 And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man.[h] He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. 15 His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.[i]

19 “Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.[j] 20 This is the meaning of the mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels[k] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Footnotes:
1:1a Or of.
1:1b Or suddenly, or quickly.
1:4a Asia was a Roman province in what is now western Turkey.
1:4b Greek the seven spirits.
1:8 Greek I am the Alpha and the Omega, referring to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
1:10 Or in spirit.
1:11 Or on a scroll.
1:13 Or like a son of man. See Dan 7:13. “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself.
1:18 Greek and Hades.
1:19 Or what you have seen and what they mean—the things that have already begun to happen.
1:20 Or the messengers.
[Bible verses quoted from Revelation 1:12-19 (New Living Translation NLT)]

To my very young friends: what happens when you worship in Spirit

revelation-110The Father in heaven is looking for you today. [Apostle John continues to tell us about his own encounter with Jesus] It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit.[a] Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. 11 It said,

“Write in a book[b] everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

12 When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands.

Footnotes:
1:10 Or in spirit.
1:11 Or on a scroll.

(Above passage quoted from: Revelation 1:10-12 New Living Translation (NLT))

John 4:23 New Living Translation (NLT)
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.

for my very young friends: I Am the Beginning and the End

revelation-18God’s beloved young friends: Today I pray you receive a supernatural divine eye sight, seeing the realm that is beyond where we earthlings are located. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall gaze upon Him and beat their breasts and mourn and lament over Him. Even so [must it be]. Amen (so be it).

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord God, “He Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty (the Ruler of all).”

9 I, John, your brother and companion (sharer and participator) with you in the tribulation and kingdom and patient endurance [which are] in Jesus Christ, was on the isle called Patmos, [banished] on account of [my witnessing to] the Word of God and the testimony (the proof, the evidence) for Jesus Christ.
(Quoted from Revelation 1:7-9 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC))

for my very young friends: He has made you kings and priests

revelation-156Beloved young friends and children of the Most High King: Here is today’s message for you. You may take a while to figure out the “codes”. But the answers are all there. Spotted the key phrase?

John Iōannēs to the ho seven hepta churches ekklēsia that ho are in en · ho Asia Asia: Grace charis to you hymeis and kai peace eirēnē from apo the ho one who is eimi, and kai who ho was eimi, and kai who ho is to come erchomai, and kai from apo the ho seven hepta spirits pneuma who hos are before enōpion · ho his autos throne thronos, 5 and kai from apo Jesus Iēsous Christ Christos the ho faithful pistos witness martys, · ho the ho firstborn prōtotokos of the ho dead nekros, and kai the ho ruler archōn of the ho kings basileus of the ho world gē. To him ho who loves agapaō us hēmeis and kai has freed lyō us hēmeis from ek · ho our hēmeis sins hamartia by en · ho his autos blood haima 6 and kai has made poieō us hēmeis a kingdom basileia, priests hiereus to ho his autos God theos and kai Father patēr, to him autos be · ho glory doxa and kai · ho dominion kratos for eis all ho time aiōn ho. · ho Amen amēn. [taken from: Revelation 1:4-6 Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament (MOUNCE)]

Below quoted from Revelation 1:4-6 NKJV
John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed[a] us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings[b] and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:5 NU-Text reads loves us and freed; M-Text reads loves us and washed.
Revelation 1:6 NU-Text and M-Text read a kingdom.

For my very young friends: for the time is near

revelation-1123Prologue: This is a revelation from[a] Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon[b] take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John, 2 who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

3 God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.
Footnotes:

1:1a Or of.
1:1b Or suddenly, or quickly.

Young friends: 22 year old and below. Generation Z: 17 and below.

Day Two : Amos 8 & John 8 “A matter of God passing by”

john-851Vision of the Summer Fruit: Thus the Lord God showed me: Behold, a basket of summer fruit. 2 And He said, “Amos, what do you see?”

So I said, “A basket of summer fruit.”

Then the Lord said to me:
“The end has come upon My people Israel;
I will not pass by them anymore.
3
And the songs of the temple
Shall be wailing in that day,”
Says the Lord God—
“Many dead bodies everywhere,
They shall be thrown out in silence.”

4
Hear this, you who swallow up[a] the needy,
And make the poor of the land fail,

5 Saying:

“When will the New Moon be past,
That we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
That we may trade wheat?
Making the ephah small and the shekel large,
Falsifying the scales by deceit,
6
That we may buy the poor for silver,
And the needy for a pair of sandals—
Even sell the bad wheat?”

7
The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
“Surely I will never forget any of their works.
8
Shall the land not tremble for this,
And everyone mourn who dwells in it?
All of it shall swell like the River,[b]
Heave and subside
Like the River of Egypt.

9
“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God,
“That I will make the sun go down at noon,
And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;
10
I will turn your feasts into mourning,
And all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on every waist,
And baldness on every head;
I will make it like mourning for an only son,
And its end like a bitter day.

11
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God,
“That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12
They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it.

13
“In that day the fair virgins
And strong young men
Shall faint from thirst.
14
Those who swear by the sin[c] of Samaria,
Who say,
‘As your god lives, O Dan!’
And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives!’
They shall fall and never rise again.”

Footnotes:
a. Amos 8:4 Or trample on (compare 2:7)
b. Amos 8:8 That is, the Nile; some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate read River; Masoretic Text reads the light.
c. Amos 8:14 Or Ashima, a Syrian goddess

John 8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[e] 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f]

7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Jesus Defends His Self-Witness

13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.”

14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. 17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”

19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”

Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”

20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.

Jesus Predicts His Departure

21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”

22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?”

23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”

And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”

27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.

28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.

The Truth Shall Make You Free

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Abraham’s Seed and Satan’s

37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with[l] your father.”

39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.”

Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

Before Abraham Was, I AM

48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your[m] God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple,[n] going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Footnotes:
a John 8:2 M-Text reads very early.
b. John 8:4 M-Text reads we found this woman.
c. John 8:5 M-Text reads in our law Moses commanded.
d. John 8:5 NU-Text and M-Text read to stone such.
e. John 8:5 M-Text adds about her.
f. John 8:6 NU-Text and M-Text omit as though He did not hear.
g. John 8:7 M-Text reads He looked up.
h. John 8:9 NU-Text and M-Text omit being convicted by their conscience.
i. John 8:10 NU-Text omits and saw no one but the woman; M-Text reads He saw her and said.
j. John 8:10 NU-Text and M-Text omit of yours.
k. John 8:11 NU-Text and M-Text add from now on.
l. John 8:38 NU-Text reads heard from.
m. John 8:54 NU-Text and M-Text read our.

9th week 4th day: my cost

Counting of gold
counting gold in the Kingdom of God

Today is about cost. The cost of relationship. The hefty prices. Payment. I have stayed away from this nation for a long time. Recently I came back for awhile. The first thing that really shocked me was the cost. One morning after my walk in the park, I got into the usual nearby economy supermarket and took a few essential basic breakfast food. When I checked out, I was in for a shock. I did not have enough cash to pay for the stuff. I thought I was carrying more than sufficient cash to even buy more if I had wanted to. But how wrong it turned out. I was holding up the queue. So I told the cashier to remove three items: tea, toilet paper, and oranges. It was the moment of truth in this nation. In less than a year, inflation of all goods and service have rocketed  by over 30%-100% (plus newly implemented additional sales and service taxes). The plastic bags cost twenty-five cents a piece. As I had to walk quite a distance to the parked car, I had to purchase three flimsy plastic grocery bags. It was like daylight robbery. When I went to a wet market to buy sweet potatoes the following day, the foreign work seller sighed and mumbled to me apologetically after he weighed and calculated the price of two tiny pieces of sweet potatoes. He said. “Nowadays no one can afford to eat anything!” Then he threw up his hands into the air and pointed to the fish market, “Tell me, who can afford to eat a fish today?” The fish market was indeed quite empty compared to a year ago. I briefly gazed at it, sighed, and left with my two precious sweet potatoes, imagining the various ways I can ration these two pieces of delicacy.

The message that touches me deeply today is what Jesus said about the real cost.

In Mark 10:13-31, Jesus talks about the un-calculative childlike requirement to receive and thereby enter the Kingdom of God. There is a Kingdom where God rules. The qualification to receive and enter it is not to count like the people of the world count. The mathematics of this world does not measure up in His Kingdom. The disciples were shock too when they heard this new math. “Then who in the world can be saved?” They questioned Jesus. Like, what is the point? Even the one who can count most cannot enter?

What Jesus replies is even more shocking. First, the one who cannot count can enter. Second, those who can count must henceforth become someone who cannot count.

What? How can this be possible? But Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

Peter could not understand and kept talking about human way of counting. So Jesus spoke to them about how the Kingdom of God’s math works. This is real good counting. I am happy I am using this math and not the one I had left behind.

Mark 10:29-31 New Living Translation (NLT)

29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. 10:31 Greek But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.

Today’s reading: Mark 10:13-31; Leviticus 24:1-25:46; Psalm 33:12-22; Proverbs 10:20-21

(Updated on 7/6/ 2018) Watchman’s adventure 2015-2016: end and begin

numbers 14-24
Caleb has a different spirit-Numbers 14:24

A brief summary of a watchman’s journal of the last few days of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. (Fasted modified combined Esther’s and Daniel’s fast for seven days—12/31/15-1/6/16.)
Updated on 6th July 2018: Please note this is my personal historical journal and not to be used as a theological doctrine or a religious or spiritual ritual to practice. As far as Jesus is concerned He only spoke once on fasting and praying to the disciples to cast out their unbelief when they asked Him why they failed in their one particular practical healing case of ministering to an epileptic boy who was manifesting the symptoms of epilepsy. Their unbelief when they focused on the physical symptoms obstructed the faith of Jesus Christ in them. It was a matter of focus when they carried out their healing ministry. Instead of focusing on the power and authority which Jesus had delegated to them, they focussed on the physical aspects and the ugliness of the manifestations of demons of whatever conditions the boy was suffering. Their wrong focus gave the devil a field day manifesting its perceived power!

WARNING: Do fasting and praying give the disciples more power to deal with demons? NO!!! Don’t ever entertain that. Jesus never said that!!! Because once you think so you are putting your flesh and efforts above everything that Jesus has already accomplished for you!!! Fasting and praying is only for you to read the word of God (the Bible) and stay focused on Him without distractions. In the process you may be able to receive your own personal revelation in His words. Can you do it at home by yourself? Yes. You don’t go to a public place or an assembly to publicize together with a whole lot of people all feeling high and trusting on five senses. Jesus has clearly warned us of the three failed conditions of soils which cannot bear fruit. Getting high (through your senses and emotions) but not having an inner space in your heart for the words to grow deep root is condition number two that fails.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~originally published on 1/7/2016 (historical personal Bible reading record)
Journey for the people of God. On 2015 12/28 Prompted to read Numbers 33, 34, 35. Theme: stages of journey—leaving and camping, repeatedly many times. finally, moving on according to God’s plan and instructions.

2015/12/31 Habakkuk’s conversation with God. he asked God ‘how long’ and lots of ‘whys’. However he changed his tone to this statement in chapter 3:1 “Lord, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of  Your deeds, Lord. REPEAT THEM IN OUR DAY, IN OUR TIME MAKE THEM KNOWN; IN WRATH REMEMBER MERCY.” God then showed the prophet His glory, praise, splendor, and power (3:3).  3:10-17 described the scene of a terrible Tsunami.  3:10 “the mountains saw you and writhed, Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on high…15 You trampled the sea with Your horses, churning the great waters…” Zephaniah 1:3 “I will sweep away both man and beast; I will sweep away the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea…” 18 “neither their silver or their gold will be able to save them on the day…”

2016 1/1 Proverbs 29. Theme: State of the nations. “The good, the bad, the ugly.” Key words: ‘snared by their own sins’ —stiff-necked, greedy for bribes, evildoers, mockers, fools, bloodthirsty, rages and scoffs, flatter neighbors and spreading nets and snares, oppressor, undisciplined child, no revelation–cast off restraint, insolent servants unresponsive to corrections, speak in haste, angry person, pride, accomplice of thieves, fear of man. 27 “The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.”

2016 1/2 Matthew whole chapter 24. Theme: The Day of Jesus’ return will come. 2 “Do you see all these things? Truly I tell you…” 10-14 “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations,  and then the end will come.

2016/1/3 State of the nations continued in Jeremiah 42, 43. Jesus teaches ‘that which defiles’ (. Theme: Be prepared. Watch the mouth which reflects the heart. The battle is in in the words (the Sword of the Spirit). Matthew 15:1-20, 23:25, 38 “Look, your house is left to you desolate.” Mark 7:14-15, 18-22, 23 “All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” Luke 6:45 “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

2016 1/4-6 Jesus teaches by questions and answers (mainly from the book of Luke). Theme: salvation and healing come by believing in Jesus. Know God’s good plan and purpose, and the power of the Living God in His words (Life and Spirit) for each individual believer. “What is written in the Law? How do you read it? You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?” (Luke 10:26, 40, 56) Interpretation of God’s Word by the Holy Spirit and not by man’s ways.

2016 1/7 Numbers 14:29, 34, 38. v29 “Everyone of you twenty years old or more”, v34 “for forty years”. v38 “Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.”

v24 “But because My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” 

Seeing God: Discourse with Jesus (purpose and power)

Holy Spirit purpose power
See God’s Purpose and Power

God has revealed His purpose and power for us in this New Year’s journey to see God. Three questions are posted here today with answers from Jesus Himself. I have grouped some questions together for the same theme. Please read the passage or chapter for the context of each of the questions. I have taken them from the Gospel recorded by Luke (in NIV unless specifically denoted separately).

Question 6: What did you go out into the wilderness to see? To what, then, shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? (Luke 7:24, 31-32) (Read from Luke 7:24-35)

Jesus focuses on the key word ‘seeing’ again. You can only see what you want to see. Seeing takes growing up and maturity. In the Kingdom of God seeing requires a heart for God. Seeing what God sees. What does God see in this context of John the Baptist? Jesus has shown us what God sees: A true prophet, a messenger from God, accomplishing God’s plan faithfully. “’This is the one about whom it is written: “’I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’…

There are three types for seeing: (1) seeing the physical nature as it is, such as, the reed blown and swayed by the wind; (2) seeing man’s impressive worldly accomplishment, such as, display of wealth, social status, and political power (What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. Luke 16:15); or (3) seeing what God sees in the spiritual realm: His will being carried out just as planned for the salvation of mankind. How do we see what God see? We have two most reliable spiritual guides: the Bible, the Holy Spirit.

Seeing God through the preaching, hearing and reading of His words requires positive response and faith in action on our part. The positive response to God comes after a genuine conversion: “All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John.” (Luke 7:29; Matthew 3:5-6)

But another group responded negatively, the Pharisees and the experts of the law. They “rejected God’s purpose for themselves because they were not baptized by John.”(Luke 7:30) Jesus described them like children in the marketplace, mimicking their adults’ mocking, scorning, with contempt for matters they did not understand. Many Pharisees and Sadducees went to where John was baptizing but he saw through their real motive, rebuked them and exposed their unrepentant hearts which disqualified them from being

Question 7: Do you see this woman? Where is your faith? Who touched Me? Who do you say I am? However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? (Luke 7:44; 8:25; 8:45; 9:20; 18:8)

Jesus focuses on the key word ‘FAITH’ when He asks the above questions. Do you see faith? Do you have faith? Where is your faith? What does faith look like? One thing that stands out is faith must manifest. It can be seen. God can see. The spiritual beings can see. Human can see.

Faith in Jesus brings salvation and healing. An ostracized woman had faith that Jesus came from God, had the power and authority to forgive sins, and was willing to forgive her many sins. So she took an action of faith to approach Him, showered Him her appreciation and reverential love, even at great cost, perhaps the greatest cost of her lifetime. She was forgiven. (Luke 7:44, 47, 50) Another similarly ostracized woman of faith approached Jesus with the same faith, boldness in action, risking being discovered and punished harshly according to their law. She was healed. (Luke 8:45, 48)

In the final analysis, everyone is confronted with the same question: “Who do you think I am?” Salvation and healing do not come cheap. No amount of lip service can bring a person this twin-benefit. Jesus questioned His disciples. “Where is your faith? Who do you think I am?” These are what He is looking for in everyone who wants to follow Him. Without faith in Jesus being the Son of God, the only way to God, no one can go to God. Without faith no one can please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

When Jesus returns he wants to find one thing on earth: Faith. (Luke 18:8) Why? Because before He comes again His believers are required to always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1, 8). During the interval between the time Jesus left earth and His imminent return, His followers will go through storms and squall, boat being swamped, great danger that need faith. That is why Jesus questioned, “Where is your faith?”(Luke 8:22-25) Faith makes things manifest from the unseen realm to the seen realm. (Hebrews 11:3)

Faith is the end time survival key. Faith extinguishes all the flaming arrows from the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16). We need to have the shield of faith as part of the full armor of God on the day of evil. (Ephesians 6:13). Jesus has taught His disciples to put on daily and be prepared for we do not know when it comes. The gospel of Jesus requires faith to receive. The same salvation message was proclaimed but the message some heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who listened to God and obeyed. (Hebrews 4:2)

Question 8: What is written in the Law? How do you read it? You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? (Luke 10:26, 40, 56)

Law is a highly esteemed and favorite study of the Jewish people because it governs every aspect of their lives. In the time of Jesus, There were scholarly experts and specialists in the Law of Moses. They knew all the fine prints and liked to question and challenge Jesus intellectually. But Jesus was more than well prepared for them than they thought. Jesus knew everything they knew. In addition He knew what they did not know because they had no direct link to God in the spirit. Jesus pointed out the flaw in their reasoning.

The Law of Moses had two parts: the written part and the part they read and understood and receive the power of God. The written part is external. People could read, memorize and recite them. The difficulty is in the reading and understanding internally. Jesus questions: “How do you read it?

There is no real understanding without allowing the words to become life and spirit inside us. (John 6:67)

Jesus pointed out the error of those who tried to interpret God’s truth using the same principle and method they use to interpret physical appearance–natural sciences and philosophy. (Luke 12:56) Reading the Bible is not difficult. But its interpretation requires the Holy Spirit. Jesus said this to the Sadducees who came to challenge Him on the truth of resurrection,

There is no real impact on lives if not accompanied by the power of God. God’s words require interpretation.Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?” (Mark 12:24)

Summary: Through God’s Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit

  1. Seeing that God’s purpose is to save through Jesus and it is a serious matter of either having eternal life with God or eternal damnation with the devil.

  2. Believing and receiving the power of God as real in our lives.

  3. Taking the bold step of faith in action: believe in Jesus and receive salvation and healing!