Category: kingdom citizenship

Daily Word: Matthew 2017 the last and the first

Matthew 20:16Jesus told the parable to show how jealousy and greed cannot be concealed and can ruin a person. His adversaries are driven by greed and are insanely jealous of Him. They (the religious and political leaders) have been there a long time. They have institutionalized themselves as the only authoritative governing voice for the nation (social, cultural, education, economic, religious and political). Jesus is not one of them. So how dare He now take the lead in all fields of the nation, with countless more followers from the grassroots than them (over their whole lifetime) in a mere short three years?

While Jesus is following God’s will, doing all the good deeds feeding the poor, genuinely caring loving those upon whom the society looks down, healing the sick, setting the captives/oppressed free, his adversaries are plotting to kill him.

AAAJ watchman

1-corinthians-212 picture with Bible verses: 1 Corinthians 2:12

Today we read what happened to Jesus. Because Jesus said that the same will happen to His followers (disciples). Matthew recorded many teachings of Jesus which depicted everyday lives. They are timeless. Human heart and nature have not changed. Matthew 20:1-17 tells us the scene in the marketplace (employment agency) on one ordinary day. An employer (God) employs workers at different intervals and pays each one the same wage he has committed. But those who think that they deserve more just because they have been in employment longer become angry and indignant. They try to incite a revolt against the employer. But the employer tells them off. He is honoring his part of the employment agreement. But these protestors/revolters are not. They have forgotten or conveniently ignored the agreement. Why?

Jesus gave the reason why in His life.
13 “He answered one of…

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A better king arises: reformation and transformation

Ezra 3:12The Proclamation of Cyrus (2 Chronicles 36)
22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:

All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!

Ezra 1 New King James Version (NKJV)

End of The Babylonian Captivity
1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:

All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. 3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.

5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all those who were around them encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.

7 King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods; 8 and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives, 10 thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles. 11 All the articles of gold and silver were five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar took with the captives who were brought from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Ezra 3

Restoration of the Temple Begins
8 Now in the second month of the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Jeshua the son of Jozadak,[b] and the rest of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all those who had come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, began work and appointed the Levites from twenty years old and above to oversee the work of the house of the Lord. 9 Then Jeshua with his sons and brothers, Kadmiel with his sons, and the sons of Judah,[c] arose as one to oversee those working on the house of God: the sons of Henadad with their sons and their brethren the Levites.

10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood[d] in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord:

“For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”[e]
Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.

12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off.

Letter to my young friends: Get Solomon’s treasure

Bible verse Proverbs 31:2630Dear young friends:

Today I am led to read Proverbs 1. King Solomon (reigned Israel 970–931 BC) was a very versatile, multitasking, talented and diligent man who authored 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32) amongst other famous art and scientific accomplishments. He received 666 talents of gold yearly (10:14). That’s about 730,000 ounces of gold per year. (10:14) At today’s gold price of $1252.08 per ounce, that means $914,018,400 yearly income from gold alone around three thousands ago! Why did he write Proverbs? What we can receive from reading this Book? Many ask. The answer I have received is “PLENTY” of especially practical wisdom, how to conduct one’s life wisely. The rewards are both material prosperity and beyond material wealth. The overall advice encourages a reverential fear of God, courage, kindness and piety living. In sum, the themes of Proverbs are neatly summed up in Eshet Hayil: “build a worthy family, stay on the path of virtue, and you shall be rewarded.”

Reading the Proverbs daily one chapter following the calendar date is a lifelong habit of many successful people. The Holy Spirit is in every born again Christian and we can read and ask the Lord to speak to us the verse(s) he wants us to pay specific attention.

There are 31 chapters (915 verses, or 15038 words) in the Book of Proverbs, an average of 29 verses or 500 words a day. For a person with basic English reading speed of 100-200 words you can finish reading your chapter in less than 5 minutes.

A testimony: I know of a young Christian child who wanted to be wise and do well in her study. She prayed and asked how to do that. Then she was led to read and copy the Proverbs (written by the wisest man in the world) one chapter daily. She truly became wise and excelled in her academic pursuits. She has since recommended this to other young people who are similarly struggling with their studies. From what I know she can study any subject and do just as well within a short span of time. Her uncle once told me that during a brief interval of her visit she had measles. So she studied insurance and passed her exam within the brief grounded period! They have never seen anything like this. Many youth find it hard to study but this one finds a way to help herself. Once she told me that to learn Chinese she was reading the Chinese dictionary (like a text book) from beginning progressively based on the number of Chinese characters’ strokes starting with the single stroke, and by then she had progressed to the words with six strokes. I had never seen anything like this but I was not surprised.

Proverbs 1:1-9 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Purpose of Proverbs
1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.

2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
knowledge and discernment to the young.
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
Let those with understanding receive guidance
6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
A Father’s Exhortation: Acquire Wisdom
8 My child,[a] listen when your father corrects you.
Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
9 What you learn from them will crown you with grace
and be a chain of honor around your neck.

Proverbs 31:25-31 (of a wise successful business woman)
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

I pray you too be encouraged to read and copy down the wisdom the Lord uses through this Book of Proverbs to speak to you. How do you apply the words? By faith put into action. You will harvest just as Solomon had advised three thousands years ago.

Your watchman friend

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~“
About Chinese characters
“Far from being complicated drawings, Chinese characters are made out of simple single strokes, all of them variations of only eight basic ones. All strokes have their own name and are written according to a few rules. It’s very important to learn to recognize them, since the number of strokes in a character is often the easiest way to find it in an index… but this will become clear after learning radicals and the use of dictionaries.” (Online source)

BTW: What happened to the young person? She became conversant in several professions. No worry about employment and enjoys the flexibility of choosing what she likes to do and where.

a letter to princes and princesses of God: the dangers of last days (2222)

2 Timothy 2:22
2 Timothy 2:22 Bible verse

Having had long discourses with young friends and relatives lately, I realize how close the last days are and how unaware our young people are of the dangerous times. Subconsciously they have been alerted by their spirit and they desperately need help with seemingly no help in sight for them in their own world, mainly virtual and unreal. Even in the real world of their own home and neighborhood the grown-ups seem living in another distant world which they cannot reach. Indeed these lonely youth daily surf the internet to find answers to the many questions they are encountering in futility. What can a spiritual watchman do in this vast virtual space of emptiness? What do we have to fill the void? Today I am led to read Apostle Paul’s letters to young Timothy. Timothy was an exemplary godly youth in his time well brought up by his godly grandmother and mother. Yet, Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to write to him and alert him of the requirement to pursue godliness and holiness. Why? Because Paul knew the end times will come and even godly men will fall. What is Paul’s answer to this great danger? Here is my quote of his timeless letter to my young friends.

Dear young friends, princes and princesses of God:
I am writing with an urgency compelled by the love of God. I pray you read what my friend Paul has written. His timeless letter has helped many young people in his time and throughout the history of mankind for nearly two thousands years. Believe me, I was a young person once .

“Difficult Times Will Come”
3 But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, 3 [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Let us all be vessels for honor!
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God [which He has laid] stands [sure and unshaken despite attacks], bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord stand apart from wickedness and withdraw from wrongdoing.”

20 Now in a large house there are not only [a]vessels and objects of gold and silver, but also vessels and objects of wood and of earthenware, and some are for honorable (noble, good) use and some for dishonorable (ignoble, common). 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things [which are dishonorable—disobedient, sinful], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified [set apart for a special purpose and], useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

2:22 Run away from youthful lusts—pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those [believers] who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
(2 Timothy 2:19-22)

In summary: Let us run away from the bad, and run towards the good! It means running away in both our thoughts and in physical actions. We do not act unless we have been there in our thoughts. Guard our thoughts. Don’t let our thoughts go to places we should not go. Keep our thoughts pure by reading the pure words from God together with our godly friends. Bombard our ears with good songs based on the words of God from godly singers. Pray in tongue without ceasing just as the Apostle Paul taught us.*

Love from your dear friend,
Watchman J
3/21/2017

* I will write about the impact of music and tongue on our mind in another letter.

Footnotes:
2 Timothy 2:20 Like Rom 9:20-23, the analogy here has its roots in OT poetry (e.g. Ps 31:12; Prov 26:23) and prophecy (e.g. Is 45:9; Jer 18:2-6). Paul speaks of believers and unbelievers in Rom 9, but here he seems to be describing God’s household or family, in which all the vessels (containers, utensils) represent believers. While the objects in Rom 9:21 do not change, the vessels here are capable of changing their status and the use to which God puts them by keeping themselves from sinful behavior and influences (v 21).

Bible verses are quoted from Amplified Bible (AMP)

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

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

AAAJ watchman

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

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

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

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

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

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

My notes are in brackets in italics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Footnotes:

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

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

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

second word for 2017: FULFILLED

[ Dedication to Theophilus ] In as much as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us,

[ The Scriptures Opened ] Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

Matthew 1:22

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”

[ Jesus Identifies His Betrayer ] “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”

God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’

that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

OJB

In order that the maleh chukat haTorah (the full statute requirement of the Torah, see VAYIKRA 18:5) might be fulfilled in us whose halakhah is in the Derech [HaChayyim] (the Way of Life) according to the Ruach Hakodesh and not in accordance with the basar.
[ End of The Babylonian Captivity ] Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

Joshua 21:43

[ The Promise Fulfilled ] So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.

Galatians 5:14

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

My prayer for you : Be filled

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

There was a man named Ezra.

amos-plumb-lineThere is this Christian teacher who is fully qualified in knowing and teaching the Bible and is filled with the Holy Spirit. At the right time he goes to see the President of the country and the President respects, honors and favors him. The President gives him everything he asks for regarding the matter of following God’s Law to govern the people. The reason? The President believes that by pleasing God he and his family will be blessed instead of cursed. The President is afraid of God’s wrath against “the realm of the President and his sons”.

The President gives this Christian man full authority to access the federal and state treasuries for all the resources he needs for the church, and blanket executive power to execute the following based on Biblical principles in the country selected by God for God’s people:

1.Conduct inquiries into all aspects of lives in the country, to ensure that they are based on Biblical plumb line.
2.Give generous offerings and donations to the church according to God’s will.
3.Provide whatever God requires for the upkeep of His church.
4.Appoint magistrates and judges who know the Bible to govern all the people.
5.Teach the Bible to anyone who does not know it.
6.Anyone who refuses to obey the Bible and the national Constitution will be punished and corrected immediately according to the Law.
7.Tax free status assured for the church and all the church workers. They are exempted from paying all taxes, rates, custom and excise of any kind.

(I have put the above historical record into today’s language, taken from the Bible book of Ezra, Chapter Seven)
The time was in the seventh year of Persian King Artaxerxes’ reign (465-424BC).
The Biblical man is called Ezra. He was a descendant of the chosen high priest Aaron. This Ezra was a scribe well versed in the Law of Moses, which the God of Israel had given to the people of Israel. He was the priest and scribe who studied and taught the commands and decrees of the Lord to Israel. The King of Persia described Ezra as the priest and teacher of the law of the God of heaven. About 47 years after the completion of the Temple of Jerusalem, Ezra went to ask the king for favor and the king gave him everything he asked for. The king gave him a teaching job in Israel that he was most qualified to do, to teach the Law of Moses, and with absolute authority to ensure the law is practiced and fully complied with. God’s favor was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel.

July 28th 2016

Then the righteous will shine like the sun

righteous shine like stars
the righteous will shine like the sun

Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
“‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
“‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”

Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.”
Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels.

“Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

(Above quoted from the Holy Bible, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

Purpose of signs: Living to God

Daniel prayed
Daniel praying

We shall increase our focus on this subject through reading the Word of God so we can live wisely in dangerous time, knowing that the Lord Jesus’ return is closer than before just as the Apostles had remarked and taught. What does God look for and what is His will? In previous posts we read that He wants godliness and holiness. He is holy. He is also our Father in heaven. Godliness means we shall be like Him just as Jesus has told His disciples. Today we read from 1 Thessalonians how to please God in our daily living.

Take heed that there are no cliches in Christendom. In the world, there is a norm of man-defined practices driven by the pursuit of instant gratification and external pleasure linked to the senses. Christians pursue another realm of happiness -God’s realm. God’s holy word defines the parameters and brings us to God’s realm. Because God’s word are life and spirit and God is the God of the living, every individual Christian lives before the living God and interacts with Him Who permeates every aspect of our lives. Reading God’s Word, we have to admit that there is no option for Christians to pursue anything different from God’s realm and His definition of happiness.

I pray that each of us stay focused on this pursuit more and more just as Jesus has commanded through the apostles in the Scripture. Seeing the signs of time should spur us to seriously look at all aspects of our lives. Apostle Peter in old age has given his heart-felt admonition: Each is to examine oneself “what manner of persons ought I to be in holy conduct and godliness…” (2 Peter 3:11)

Summary: These instructions are given by the authority of Jesus through the apostles.

  1. God wants us to live a life that pleases Him. Mere doing is not enough. God wants us to know Him and be like Him more and more.
  2. It is God’s will that we be sanctified: Avoid sexual immorality; keep the body pure, holy and honorable by learning to control it against immoral lust practiced by those who do not believe in God.
  3. God has given each believer the Holy Spirit to enable us to do and fulfill the above requirement that involves our body and soul (mind, emotion, mood, the sensual and senses).
  4. God wants us to live a quiet and peaceful working life.

1 Thessalonians 4:4-10 New International Version (NIV)

LIVING TO PLEASE GOD

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

BODY AND SOUL TO BE MADE HOLY AND TO STAY PURE FOR GOD -BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

WISELY CONDUCT OUR DAILY WORKING LIVES AND INTERACTIONS WITH OUTSIDERS: keep in peace, live a quiet life; mind your own business; do your own work. Be self-supporting. Note that respect must be earned. No short-cut.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 Amplified Bible (AMP)

11 and to make it your ambition to live quietly and peacefully, and to mind your own affairs and work with your hands, just as we directed you, 12 so that you will behave properly toward outsiders [exhibiting good character, personal integrity, and moral courage worthy of the respect of the outside world], and be dependent on no one and in need of nothing [be self-supporting].

The Jesus Generation

i am a child of GodSome years back, we read of people born in different periods being classified as generation X or generation Y etc. The social classifiers (mostly commercially linked) tried to put people into periods with distinct market related characteristics (for the sake of selling the right consumption products to each niche people market) by the chronological years in which they were born. This watchman did a bit of market-related study on such classifications then. Of course nothing of original note or unique worthiness came out of the study. Any serious researcher will admit that there are no fixed factors. One famous management saying at one time was, “The only constant is change.” Having been in the management scene practically all of my corporate years, I have learned this important fact and principle: “Do not attempt to presume and classify an individual.”

Because this is not a management blog, I will proceed to share of some recent testimonies of Christian individuals I have met who have lived a fruitful life in the Kingdom of God and have never fit into any ‘sociology-commercial’ or ‘pseudo-psychology’ categories.

I have been honored and blessed to meet with a godly couple. A medical (dentistry) doctor and his wife who used to be a professional nurse until she became a full-time housewife cum intercessor. When I listened to their sharing I was humbled and touched. The man (now in his mid-fifties) came from a Christian family and went through the whole journey of being in Sunday school, junior and senior youth in the church. When he attended university, he was exposed to and discipled by many Christian theological and Bible-focused scholars and practitioners. He was also given many opportunities to serve the Lord in various Great-Commission-oriented evangelical ministries. After graduation he heard from the Lord, “Give Me your best 25 years.”

He went back to his hometown, started his dentistry practice (as a ‘tent-maker’) and resumed serving as an elder in his home church. He continued this ministry for thirty years to date. When I interviewed him I perceived his unwavering and ever-burning zeal and passion for the Lord and the Great Commission given by Jesus to the disciples. His wife and his children (two medical doctors and one dentist) too serve the Lord actively. This is a family of disciples of Jesus. Their affluence and professional successes have not diverted them from their first love.

The head of the house shared how he was overwhelmed by the great love of God in the form of brilliant light twice in his life, comforting him at his depressed moments when he felt such burdens on his shoulder from the external environment in spiritual valley (family and church lives not being what he wanted them to be). He shared how the love of God changed his perspectives.

What generations are they? They are members of only one generation -the Jesus generation. The Child of God generation. They are timeless. They live the characteristics of the Kingdom of God people.