Paul’s testimony: how he uses the mind of Christ

2 Corinthians 6:4

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)

But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much [a]patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by [b]sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 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.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 6:4 endurance
  2. 2 Corinthians 6:6 Lit. unhypocritical

Acts 26:24-26 The Passion Translation (TPT)

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!

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 26:24 The Aramaic can be translated “As the Holy Spirit spoke through Paul, Festus interrupted.”
  2. Acts 26:24 Or “So much Scripture has made you senseless!”
  3. Acts 26:25 Or “words of sober truth.”

Jesus’ teaching on what and how to watch

Luke 21:34

Today we learn what Jesus said about what and how to watch to be ready for dangerous times in answer to His disciples’ questions. We also read some historical accounts of what happened after Jesus prophesied. Note that they asked when the temple would be destroyed and the signs. Jesus answered more than that. But today we only read the part about the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem which came to pass in AD 70.

Because Jesus had given adequate warning about thirty-seven years ahead, those who heeded the prophecies survived, while most others perished. While the Jews suffered starvation, slaughter, and capture, Christians in Jerusalem escaped. Jesus foretold the terrible events that would follow his death. He warned his followers to immediately flee Jerusalem when the signs he predicted occurred. The Christian community carefully watched for the signs and followed the Savior’s warning. History reveals that His prophecies were realized. It also reveals the stunning fact that the believers obeyed the warnings, fled Jerusalem to a town called Pella, and thus saved themselves. 

I quote here some of the historical accounts of what happened. “The members of the Jerusalem church by means of an oracle, given by revelation to acceptable persons there, were ordered to leave the city before the war began and settle in a town in Peraea called Pella.” (Book III, 5:4,Eusebius, Historian, AD263-339). “For when the city was about to be captured and sacked by the Romans, all the disciples were warned beforehand by an angel to remove from the city, doomed as it was to utter destruction. On migrating from it they settled at Pella, the town already indicated, across the Jordan. It is said to belong to Decapolis (de Mens. et Pond., 15). “or on the approach of the Roman army, all the Christians in the province, warned, as ecclesiastical history tells us, miraculously from heaven, withdrew, and passing the Jordan, took refuge in the city of Pella; and under the protection of that King Agrippa, of whom we read in the Acts of the Apostles, they continued some time;” [Thomas Aquinas (1841)

Luke 21:5-7, 20-24, 34-37 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was [a]adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, “These things which you see—the days will come in which not onestone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”

The Destruction of Jerusalem 20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Importance of Watching 34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with [f]carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may [g]be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 21:5 decorated
  2. Luke 21:34 dissipation
  3. Luke 21:36 NU have strength to

You may click this link to read more on the subject

a new direction for investment: the Spirit way

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)

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)

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.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Timothy 3:16 training, discipline

3 John 2 New King James Version (NKJV)

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.


Just thinking aloud 4

thinking aloud4I have not been thinking aloud for sometime. What have I been doing? Well I have been studying and sitting for exam. I am serious. The last time I studied for exam was when I did a postgraduate degree for a second career. The current three years’ course is for my “third career”. Yes, my family members are laughing out loud when they read this. At my age and my station? Unbelievable! Well, why am I taking up such a seemingly directionless challenge? I could have easily gone on a world cruise and enjoy watching, listening and recording a great variety of perspectives of many sights, sounds and tastes.

For the benefit of my closed ones and other passers by, here is a random list of my study goals in no order of importance. As some may observe the goals are personal.
1. to be a role model for the younger generation who have aversion to study in my extended family. (I include this goal because several very young members are still students)
2. to compel me to leave the soft couch and sit on a chair with hard back.
3. to change my habit from random information skimming to a focused in-depth study.
4. to have a clear sense of direction.
5. to have a specific higher goal.
6. to practice self-discipline.
7. to exercise my memory and brain functions.
8. to practice long-suffering and perseverance.
9. to learn focus and deter distraction.
10. to equip for a third career. (I include this goal as a commercial motivation for myself and the younger generation too!)

Have I achieved or progressed in any of the above goals? To some degree, yes. I did not include my spiritual and goals of higher values in the above list. They are personal too. Have I achieved or progressed in them? Yes, very much. Would I recommend to my peers such a course? Yes, definitely. Far, far better than going on a world cruise. From a spiritual watchman’s perspective, cruising in the sky has a wider and more panoramic view than taking a ride in a boat.

A personal prayer

We need to be beware of the spirit that twists other’s words and distorts their original meaning and purpose. We pray for discerning spiritual gift so we know and can be accurate and clear in sending and receiving communication especially with people close to us and our coworkers.
In Jesus name we command clarity and accuracy in our thoughts and words spoken and otherwise in all forms of communication for ourselves and our family and loved ones and even our nation. Amen
Philippians 4:8
[ Meditate on These Things ] 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.

You have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name

Exodus 34:6Exodus 33-34 (excerpts)
The Command to Leave Sinai
33:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’
7 Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp.
9 And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. 11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.
12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”
18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

34:5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,

The Faith of Moses
Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

(Scriptures quoted from New King James Version Bible)

Watchman’s rejoices: kol ha’aretz is full of His kavod (the whole earth is full of His glory) (reblog 07/17/17)

The supernatural sign he saw: two light rays of pure gold color streaming down from his white plastered ceiling (perpendicular lines). He could not see the top parts. The golden light rays were sparkling (flashing) and ‘dancing’ or ‘racing’ at quite a speed. When they hit the dark marble top of the kitchen counter, they deflected. There was no rational or natural explanation. He video captured the phenomenon in a mobile phone camera. The golden rainfall went on for about 15 minutes at least…

AAAJ watchman

lightThe watchman prayed for revelation of the signs of this time as his spirit has prompted of great changes ahead. For three days he has received messages of words (like puzzle pieces) which pointed to Bible verses, words with Bible chapter clearly, and even a sign followed by Bible verses.

So it had been a fruitful time for the watchman’s own learning to hear the Holy Spirit. Here is a brief summary of the three instances.

  1. On an evening he asked the Lord for words. He wanted to practice hearing correctly in his spirit. So he started receiving words. He quickly jotted down the six words in sequence of his perception: floating, house (?), scrolling, sea, flower, violet (?). Then he spent considerable time looking up the possible meaning. He thought they came in pairs, so he looked up floating house, scrolling sea, and violet flower.

Finally he received the…

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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.

Daily Word: how does God speak to man

genesis-122-4Intercessors are praying right now. Some believers are considering joining their rank and want to know how God speaks to man. Today we read the Bible for the first set of recorded verbal interaction (in conversation format) God had with man. We take note how God initiated the conversation and the respective responses of men impacted their lives. Those who responded positively to God received positive supernatural superabundant blessings just as God had spoken. Today every born again believer of Jesus can have the same interaction with our God, because our spirit can join to the Holy Spirit in us (1 Corinthians 6:17), as we pray and seek God and read His words. But we all need training so that we may do so effectively and proficiently. Remember one thing, we can speak to God and hear God through the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ. (BIBLE VERSES ARE QUOTED FROM NKJV UNLESS SEPARATELY SPECIFIED)

FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF MANKIND: see how God took initiative to speak to man. Some men could hear Him. He spoke to them with the intention to help them/human out. The following three events (recorded in Genesis 3, 4, and 7) significantly impacted mankind. Read the whole passages in their respective context for more revelation. Take note that God even spoke to evil man (e.g the first murder, Cain) with the same good intention to save him.
ADAM’S CASE: Genesis 3:9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (This took place after Adam had committed the first sin of mankind which caused the downfall of mankind!)
CAIN’S CASE: Genesis 6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
NOAH’S CASE: Genesis 7:1 [ The Great Flood ] Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.

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

The end of Abraham’s life on earth: 24:1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 24:34 So he (his servant) said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.
25:7 This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.

ISAAC STAYED CLOSE TO GOD JUST AS HIS FATHER DID
Genesis 24:63 (AMPC) And Isaac went out to meditate and bow down [in prayer] in the open country in the evening; and he looked up and saw that, behold, the camels were coming.
Genesis 26:2 Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you.
genesis 26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. 13 The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; 14 for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.
Genesis 26:24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.”
Genesis 35:27-29 Then Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had dwelt. 28 Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. 29 So Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people, being old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

ISRAEL (FORMERLY KNOWN AS JACOB)
Genesis 28:13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.
Genesis 31:3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”
JACOB’S PRAYER:
32:9 Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. 11 Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children. 12 For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”
Genesis 47:27-28
So Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly. 28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years.
JACOB’S DESCENDANTS GREW TO THE SIZE THAT GOD HAD PROMISED BY THE TIME THEY LEFT EGYPT TO CLAIM THE PROMISED LAND (an exodus population of 2.5 million)
Exodus 1:7
But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Numbers 1:45-47 (The number of able-bodied men of 20 years old and above)
45 So all who were numbered of the children of Israel, by their fathers’ houses, from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war in Israel— 46 all who were numbered were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty.
47 But the Levites were not numbered among them by their fathers’ tribe;

BIBLE VERSES ON HOW TO HEAR GOD
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. Mark 4:24
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Romans 8:16
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16
Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing of faith..? Galatians 3:5
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his go Philippians 2:13
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; Colossians 1:9
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Paul writes a letter today

2-corinthians-4-6Paul’s writes this letter today.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10, 14-17, 20-21, 6:1-2
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Marks of the Ministry
6:1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says:
“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Paul’s Sincerity
2 Corinthians 1:12-13, 20, 24
12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you. 13 For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end.
20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God,
24 Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.
2 Corinthians 2:17
17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:3, 6, 16
3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
All Bible verse are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV)

conversation with a child

worship-in-spirit-and-in-truth“God is good.” I told her. She was upset with God because she thought God was a tyrant who wanted to control, restrict, and punish her if she did not do well academically and performed as a human being in all aspects up to His high standards. The one thing she could not do was to obey parents without questioning whether it was right and reasonable and within her ability. The parents had projected an unfair, unjust and uncaring portrait of God because they quoted the Bible to force the child to obey without allowing her to be heard. They quoted part of the passage about respecting parents but omitted quoting the rest of the Scripture about parents not to antagonize children. The child was full of anger-rage-aggression. She rejected God because because she thought her parents were God.  Eventually she threatened to leave God and Christianity. The conflict between her parents and her and God blew out of proportion. The threats of death that came with a situation where people are without God manifested. What can we do in this crisis?

In Christian counseling there are both physical and spiritual steps to be taken as follows:

show unconditional love and acceptance to the hurting child.
show what true unselfish love means to the parents.
read God’s words and show the true meanings of God’s words.
pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide through each step.
guide the parents through a functional way of communication with the child.
practice the win-win way of conversation and discussion of matters.
show and explain what mutual interests and benefits really mean to the parents and child and walk them through the practical parts, including making lists and covenants to keep by both parties.
repeat the above steps as often as needed.
review and follow through until a healthy Biblical lifestyle is established.
all parties (including the counselor ) are to walk the talk and give honor to God and not selves.

Notes: My own conviction is all the above require a spiritual lifestyle including the counselor. Psychology alone or Bible words alone have no power to change and transform. Only the power of God that works together with His words (through which we acquire His truth and wisdom) can do it. Nothing can be more powerful and lasting than the power of the Holy Spirit. The words of God is the Sword of the Spirit. This is true and practicable in my own life. I believe that in counseling praying in the Spirit is important and essential too. I ask the parents to read the Bible and write down notes. That usually calms them down. I also ask them to pray in the Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit minister to them and reveal matters about themselves that need to be changed. This has worked. I also help the child to draw pictures using a verse or even a short psalm. It works too as the words and the picture minister to the little one.

relevant Bible verses:
Romans 1:16 [ The Just Live by Faith ] For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:18 [ Christ the Power and Wisdom of God ] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
Ephesians 3:7of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

Ephesians 6:1-4 New Living Translation (NLT)
Children and Parents
6 Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,[a] for this is the right thing to do. 2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”[b]
4 Fathers,[c] do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
Footnotes:
6:1 Or Children, obey your parents who belong to the Lord; some manuscripts read simply Children, obey your parents.
6:2-3 Exod 20:12; Deut 5:16.
6:4 Or Parents.

Ephesians 6:10-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Whole Armor of God
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[a] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[b] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[c] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.[d]
Footnotes:
6:12 Some manuscripts read you.
6:15 Or For shoes, put on the readiness to preach the Good News of peace with God.
6:16 Greek the evil one.
6:18 Greek all of God’s holy people.

week 11 day 7: Be led by the Spirit

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Be led by the Spirit. Be careful to offer to God at the appointed time. This is the message we read today. In the passage from Numbers 27-28 quoted below, we read of God telling Moses why he lost his credibility to enter the Promised Land and how Moses responded by asking God to appoint a new leader (a shepherd) to lead the people of God.

God appointed the military commander Joshua with just one qualification that mattered: ‘a man in whom is the Spirit’. Moses spoke of leadership. God spoke of being led by the Holy Spirit. What a difference between God and man! Moses lost his leadership position because he acted in one incident by flesh and not by Spirit, and thus brought shame to God’s name.  God did not say anything about the outside abilities of a man. He spoke of the inside condition and attitude. Is the man led by the Spirit? Or is he led by his own flesh?  Offering to God by flesh had led men to perish in the wilderness (the first example was the incident of the two elder sons of Aaron who were killed when they offered strange fire -not holy fire according to God’s instructions. Saul lost his kingship later when he too disobeyed God who spoke through the anointed prophet Samuel). This warning must not be overlooked today by churches. God looks for a king who is also a priest, a royal holy priesthood in his people. (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6)

Jesus said, “For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”(John 4:24)  The Holy Spirit said, “But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Corinthians 6:17) “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (Romans 8:14) “For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:16)

Romans 8:12-16 New King James Version (NKJV) Sonship Through the Spirit

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Numbers 27:12-28:1

12 Now the Lord said to Moses: “Go up into this Mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel. 13 And when you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered. 14 For in the Wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to hallow Me at the waters before their eyes.” (These are the waters of Meribah, at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin.)

15 Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying: 16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 17 who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”

18 And the Lord said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19 set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight. 20 And you shall give some of your authority to him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. 21 He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire before the Lord for him by the judgment of the Urim. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, he and all the children of Israel with him—all the congregation.”

22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation.23 And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the Lordcommanded by the hand of Moses.

Daily Offerings

28:1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.’

Bible reading: Psalms 40:11-17; Numbers 26:52-28:15; Luke 3:1-22; Proverbs 11:16-17