Yesterday I received a notice and congratulations from WordPress that ten years ago I registered with them as a blogger.
Time really flies. 2009 July seems like just yesterday. But so soon the new born has grown into a ten year old.
Along the years there have been births of other children in a variety of genre as some of the visitors and Googlers on the blogger name Crosslife Spaces would have noticed.
Yes, there are several blogs in addition to the watchman’s blog authored by this blogger on subjects like divine healing, sound mind, women, millennial humor, photography, travel, poetry, finance and blogs in other languages.
I like to believe that somewhere someone has found something in one blog that speaks to the heart at certain point of time and space.
Blogging long term requires a will and a passion. I pray that I would not grow cold and indifferent.
Thank you for visiting no matter how and where you come across this blog and decide to click. Do stay awhile in these spaces.
What does the name “Crosslife Spaces” mean? The words “cross and life” is obvious. Each one carries a cross in life. “Spaces” means places where we exist and interact with other living beings. No matter where and how and how long we live on earth, there is always a space where we meet with others and somehow connect and communicate with them. I pray that we shall all meet in the brilliant and glorious eternity too.
What is in God’s heart? How did Jesus demonstrate this?
Mark 6:34, 36 –
“When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He was moved with compassion
for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd [lacking guidance];
and He began to teach them
God’s solution to sin, sickness, poverty, and death: The sacrifice of Christ through the shedding of His blood. Ephesians 1:7 – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
Commandments given by Jesus
to all believers: (Scripture quoted in New King James Version)
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it
is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus
came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven
and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am
with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Mark 16:15-20 And He said to
them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who
believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be
condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they
will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up
serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them;
they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then, after the
Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the
right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord
working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
Luke 24:46-48 Then He said to
them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer
and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission
of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And you are witnesses of these things.
Acts 1:8 But you shall
receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be
witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of
2 Corinthians 5:19 – “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
THIS is What Stirs the Heart of God:
Luke 15:7 – “I say to you that likewise, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance.”
For Evangelists: Psalm 2:8 – “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.”
Titus 2:14 – “God gave Himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself.”
Examples of how the apostles
and early churches/disciples applied what Jesus has commanded: How they prayed,
the prayer’s effect, and how they applied:
Acts 4:29-31 Now, Lord, look
on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may
speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and
wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.” 31 And when
they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and
they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with
Acts 5:12 And through the
hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And
they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
Acts 5:14-16 And believers
were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so
that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and
couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.
16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing
sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all
Acts 5:29-32 But Peter and
the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.
31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give
repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these
things, and so also is the Holy Spirit Whom God has given to those who obey
Acts 5:42 And daily in the
temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as
Acts 6:7-8 Then the word of
God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem,
and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. 8 And Stephen, full
of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
Acts 8:6-8 And the multitudes
with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the
miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came
out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were
healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.
Today I ponder on the legacy we shall each leave behind. There is always a point where each of us must make a crucial decision that will be etched into our history. I walked through the histories of many great men and women in the past. A few years back I was invited to write the life story of one special woman who gave her best years to others (strangers in a remote land). I met some who know her well in her past life as a successful banker and the people group in the remote backwater war-ravished land whom she has loved so dearly and relentlessly that she has given up her past life decades ago to become one of them. I asked her why? She said she loves them because she knows Jesus loves them. A childhood friend of hers said he believed she wanted to leave a legacy behind.
Your choice may be to continue staying in the comfort of your vineyard at the safe shady valley below with gentle breeze or to continue climbing up to the high summit where there is strong wind and brilliant light from the sun. I pray you choose right.
Joshua 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Deuteronomy 30:18-20 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them
John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Joshua 1:7-9 New Living Translation (NLT)
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) (Galatians 1:1 KJV) Paul had been given unique authority from Christ to be his representative and the founder of churches (see Acts 1:21-26). In his letters to the Corinthian Christians he identified himself as “an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.” His apostolic ministry was clearly evidenced by the authority and the life transforming revealed words and power of the resurrected Christ. As a closing to my notes on a meditative journey in 2 Corinthians I have done the following chart on the subject of power and authority. My notes on the Bible verses are in brackets.
1 Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. (All authorities on earth will come to an end)
2 Corinthians 10:8 For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed— (God-given authority to men is for constructive and not destructive purposes)
2 Corinthians 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction. (same as above)
1:18 [Christ the Power and Wisdom of God] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (The salvation message is the power to save and transform)
1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (The resurrected Christ is the power and wisdom in us)
2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (Paul’s speeches are confirmed by deeds of spiritual power which manifests in physical realm)
2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (man’s words are powerless; power of God makes things work)
4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (We are so privileged to be chosen for His glory)
4:19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. (No use to boast about your ministry unless your words can be confirmed by God’s power)
4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. (God’s kingdom is about power in deeds that confirm His words)
6:14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. (God’s power raises the dead; power of God is the only source of life)
We finally reach a key survival tactic, how do Christians win wars? Apostle Paul is really an expert in this field judging from the long list of challenges he went through and his always emerging as the victor and not the victim! I have done a simple chart with the key Bible verses from 2 Corinthians 10. Please read the whole chapter for a better understanding. Paul’s other letters speak of how we can control and train our thought life. For example, Philippians 4:8 is a good place to start your meditation.
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
Meditate on These Things
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Today we are reminded that the ten plagues only struck those who chose not to believe and acknowledge the righteous God whom Moses and his people believed, the same God we believe. Take note the idolatry arrogant heart of Pharaoh caused him to make foolish and self-destructive decisions. He exalted himself above the righteous and holy God. Pharaoh did not fear God because he thought he himself was god. While he comfortably indulged himself in his luxurious palace wining and dining opulently, his people suffered in prolonged incremental fear and torment. He had no love or compassion even for his own people. Why was his heart hardened? He was obsessed with keeping an ample supply of cheap/free labor the miserable enslaved Israelites provided to perpetuate his wealth and related social-political power. He was consumed with jealousy of Moses, a former prince of Egypt, now the formidable great transformer leader championing for the justice, freedom and wellbeing of the Jewish nation.
Moses, on the other hand, after his miraculous encounter with God, was truly supernaturally transformed into a great and courageous leader who at the age of 80 would leave his comfort zone and even stick out his neck for the love of God and God’s own people. What happened in the end? “Exodus 12:40 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” The rest is history.
The life of Moses produced good fruit that lasts to eternity. Pharaoh’s life? Plagues and burning.
Today we learn how effectively Paul use both his mind and spirit: aligned with the mind of Christ and the Spirit of Christ.
His challenge list reads like a horror movie, far worse than any nightmare: five times whipped with 39 stripes each, three times beaten by rod, once stoned, three times shipwrecked, one night and one day in the deep, in journeys often, in perils of waters, robbers, own countrymen, gentiles, city, wilderness, sea, false brethren, weariness, toil, sleeplessness often, hunger, thirst, fasting often, cold, nakedness, deep concern for all churches, threat of imminent arrest (his life) from city authority. He was in constant physical and mind challenges: in much patience, tribulations, needs, distresses, stripes, imprisonments, tumults, and labors. (2 Corinthians 11:24-26; 6:4-5)
Imagine a human always being hounded, on the look-out, on the run, slandered, taunted, intimidated, verbally and physically abused, violently assaulted, falsely accused, brutally arrested, beaten, condemned as guilty without evidence, imprisoned without a just trial, and always overhung with the death sentence.
But what did Paul say about his conditions? How did he deal with such an overload of injustice and schemes of torments after his life? His letters showed how he looked at things both sides. He lived in both the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man, the spiritual and the physical realms, the temporary and the eternal, the external and the internal, the seen and the unseen. To Paul, both were real. He really experienced them, the natural and the supernatural. By knowing the two parallel realities Paul was able to handle the challenges confidently and overcome them successfully. Because his focus and priority are always on the side of the real victor, Christ.
He explained this plainly in his letters (2 Corinthians 6:6-10). There are two sides in everything: the view of the enemy and the view of a Spirit-filled Christian (reflecting God’s view). The evil and the good. The good will always overpower the evil one. Paul effectively and fearlessly exercised his spiritual power and authority over his unseen foe who worked through other human and natural elements. I append below self-explanatory Bible verses on this awesome revelation!
2 Corinthians 6:4-10 (NKJV)
4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much [a]patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by [b]sincere love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
24 Festus interrupted Paul’s defense,[a] blurting out, “You’re out of your mind! All this great learning of yours is driving you crazy.”[b]
25 Paul replied, “No, Your Excellency Festus, I am not crazy. I speak the words of truth and reason.[c]26 King Agrippa, I know I can speak frankly and freely with you, for you understand these matters well, and none of these things have escaped your notice. After all, it’s not like it was a secret!
Acts 26:24 The Aramaic can be translated “As the Holy Spirit spoke through Paul, Festus interrupted.”
Acts 26:24 Or “So much Scripture has made you senseless!”
Someone close forwarded to me a monetary write-up. I did not finish reading it and immediately told her not to share it to anyone anymore. The write-up mentioned an announcement by an international organization about a monetary decision and related speculations.
I am always confronted with questions like this. What shall we do about our rather humble investments which may be affected by policy changes in the world? Like what I told my faraway friend I could only tell her my views and predictions (prophecies) when we meet face to face as it is too complex to talk about in a chat. I would have to explain to her many multifaceted power factors and variables, social, political, economic, financial and many more. I shall need to explain to her the issues of two parallel kingdoms and citizens of the Kingdom of God are not to panic like the residents of another kingdom because we walk by the Spirit and not bound by the limitations of the external world.
So coming back to a small investor what shall we do? I have only one fall-safe advice. Do not follow the pack. Do not believe in the media (including so-called analysts). Do not make any hasty decision based on hearsay. Do not follow the world and its way.
Do follow the Holy Spirit.
I know someone will cry by now. How to follow the Holy Spirit if you have never practiced hearing Him and following His advice? Money is where the heart is. How to trust the Holy Spirit if you have never learned to trust and obey Him in small money matters like offerings and givings? Jesus gave a good way to test if you have listened and acted correctly. He said only the good trees produce good fruit. He also specifically said that hearing Him and acting on it would assure that your house is built on solid rock.
How to listen to the Holy Spirit? For a start, be baptized by the Holy Spirit and pray in tongue. Read God’s word (the Bible). Meditate on His words. Talk to God and listen to His Spirit talking to your spirit. No, it is not an intuition or magic. It is a relationship with someone really close built up over time.
Christians (born again by the Holy Spirit) have the ability to hear God. The Spirit in you is not a spirit of fear. It is a spirit of power, love, and sound mind. Fear is the major tool to make you lose peace and rest in God. You will forget God’s love for you which is a constant factor. God does not change His love. God’s Love is a supernatural power. Every Christian has this power.
My advice is always fall back on God’s love, peace and the faith that He has placed in your heart. Always maintain your close relationship with Him like you do with your best loved one. He has never failed me.
Be encouraged and built up by these Bible verses:
Romans 5:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
2 Timothy 1:7, 13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
2 Timothy 3:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Proverbs 28:4 Those who turn their backs on God’s teaching applaud the wicked, while those who observe His instruction oppose them at every turn.
Isaiah 1:26 New Living Translation (NLT) 26 Then I will give you good judges again and wise counselors like you used to have. Then Jerusalem will again be called the Home of Justice and the Faithful City.”