Paul’s fearlessness: right priority right time right target

2 Corinthians 2:14

Today I am back to 2 Corinthians on why Paul was fearless against all odds. Chapter 2 showed a different Paul from the evangelistic goal-focused apostle Paul we may imagine he was. I summarize below my deeper understanding after reading this part of his letter to the Corinth Christians.

Chapter 2: Pauls’ Ministry of the body of Christ -Paul teaches the right priority in ministry, motive and manner in handling the body of Christ.

  1. He clarified that his ministry was not to bring sorrow to himself and/or the body of Christ but joy: through forgiving, comforting, reaffirming God’s love.
  2. He showed his concern for the body of Christ which took precedence over his personal ministry. For example, he wanted to follow through their progress in Christ. So he chose to forego an opportunity to preach gospel at Troas and instead returned to Macedonia to wait for his co-worker Titus whom he expected to bring the latest news about the Corinthian body of Christ.
  3. Paul followed the Holy Spirit and the peace in his heart. When he did not find rest in his heart he decided not to start an evangelical work in a new place alone despite the valuable opportunity offered. He also followed the rule that they worked in a team of two or more (he, Titus and others).
  4. Whilst in the midst of uncertainty with his flocks at Corinth: their spiritual condition and his (and his team’s) relationship with them, he remained calm and confident of the positive outcome and described the work of the evangelists always in triumph in Christ because it is God who initiates the work and causes the victory to manifest.
  5. He has personally experienced the God-initiated work which always gives life and triumph over death and doom.
  6. Paul was confident with the Corinth Christians because he was fearless to preach the word of God with sincerity and authority in Christ. He wanted them well. He had God’s heart for them.
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Paul’s fearless success factor: with God at sea in tempest

Acts 27:43-44

While meditating 2 Corinthians on how to be fearless in the fearful days, I was led to read Acts 27 Paul’s fearlessness at sea in a tempest. The incident happened around 62AD, about five years after he wrote to the Corinthians. In the letter to Corinthians he stated that he was shipwrecked three times and spent a day and a night in the deep previously. Paul lived a supernatural life by the Spirit. He was always with His God (ours too).

In this shipwreck he again stayed calm and confident at all time. The captain (owner) and the helmsman of the ship panicked. The Romans centurion was persuaded to listen to them. But only Paul was right in his predictions.

Paul was right because he knew our God, “the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,” Paul described to them. God had sent spiritual messenger (angel) to tell Paul things beforehand.

Paul perceived correctly the voyage would end with disaster and much loss, cargo and ship and possibly lives before they encountered the tempest.

 After they encountered the tempest for many days and lost all hope Paul gave them his words of comfort and assurance of safety from the Lord: that there would be no loss except for the ship which would run aground on a certain island. “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”

 Paul’s further prediction and advice: unless the sailors who tried to escape on their own stay in the ship they could not be saved; that all should take nourishment for this was for their survival (after fourteen days of fasting); “not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” He promised.

That night they ate and the next day they were shipwrecked. Those who could swim jumped overboard first and got to land. The rest on boards and on parts of the ship. And all 276 escaped safely to land.  The ship was a total loss.

Paul’s confession: his key success factor

2 Corinthians 1:3

I started reading 2 Corinthians in the Bible with freshness and revelation in my spirit. I believe this is an antidote to the prevailing fear in the face of uncertainties in the external factors that appear to impact our life and our ministry. In chapter one Paul displayed his key success factor, the God he believed in. Who is God? What can God do? What has God done? What is his relationship with God? These are the questions he has answered. I pray you too will be comforted and reassured as you read Paul’s confession in this letter.

My summary of 2 Corinthians Chapter 1 Paul is entirely God-focused:

  1. God is: God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.
  2. God raises the dead: who delivered them (Paul and his team) from death in the past, and does deliver them (present), and in whom they trust that He will still deliver them in future.
  3. God is faithful with all His promises: when He says Yes He means Yes.
  4. God is his witness; anointed them; given them the Spirit as seal and guarantee; God gives grace and wisdom abundantly to Paul and his team.
  5. Paul is apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.
  6. Paul follows God’s plan (walking by the Holy Spirit) in every decision.
  7. With God in mind, Paul and his team conduct themselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity.
  8. Paul values the answered prayer/intercession by the Corinthian and Achaia Christians for Paul and his team’s safety.

2019 word: Be fearless, be sealed

When I ponder about why there is a sudden surge of interest in end-time prophesies, I receive the word “fear”, people are fearful and that is why they want to know more. That includes Christians. So last night I looked at some verses on being fearless.

The following verses are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV) Bible

2 Timothy 1:7 7For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Proverbs 3:25-26  Do not be afraid of sudden terror,
Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;
 For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught.

Psalm 91:5-6  You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

Psalm 112:6-7 Surely he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.
7He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

2 Corinthians 1:22 He sealed us as his own and gave us the Spirit as the down payment in our hearts.

Ephesians 1:13 In him, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and in him, when you also believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The following verses are quoted from Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) Bible

Psalm 105:15 “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do not harm my prophets.”

Psalm 121:7 The Lord will watch to keep you from all harm. He will watch over your life.

Acts 18:10 For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

Revelation 7:2 And I saw another angel coming up from the east, who had the seal of the living God. He called out with a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to harm the earth and the sea. He said,

Revelation 7:3 “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees until we have placed a seal on the foreheads of God’s servants.”

Revelation 9:4 They were told not to harm the earth’s grass, any green plant, or any tree, but only those people who do not have God’s seal on their foreheads.

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

When will Jesus come and how will we know it’s Him?

Matthew 24:44

A Christian trend emerges lately, that is, inviting ‘speakers’ to speak on end time matters. In a recent extreme case, a man turned up suddenly and claims that he is Christ and some Christians believe him and follow him to call on all their Christian networks to enlist followers! You may think it ridiculous but it is happening at the doorstep of churches. Unprepared Christians are like sheep lured into following the fake ‘christ’. I believe it’s time to read what Jesus said about end times in answer to His disciples’ questions.

How will He appear and how will we know it’s Jesus? Jesus said that when He comes He will be seen by the whole world all at once. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30)

Obviously, everybody in the world will see Him all at once and know He is the Christ.

Let us reread Matthew 24, in which Lord Jesus answered His disciples about the His return. We can see a few key points: 1. Don’t believe those who claim to be Christ; 2. When Jesus Christ returns, people all over the world can see at the same time and know that He is the Christ. 3. No one can know in advance when Christ will come. 4. When Christ appears (verse 37-41), it will be a normal day, with people living and working as usual, because no one could know in advance that He will return that day and moment. So Jesus warned Christians: Be ready to see the Lord. 5. Scripture 45-51 specifically warns those responsible for feeding Christians spiritually (such as church pastors, etc.) to pastor and feed them faithfully and with integrity, rather than being a hypocrite whose fate will be terrible.

In sum, no one can predict when Jesus is coming. His advice to His believers is just this: Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)

Bible Verses: Matthew 24:3-44 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for [a]all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, [b]pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The Great Tribulation

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the [c]elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His [d]elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Parable of the Fig Tree

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that [e]it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

No One Knows the Day or Hour

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of [f]heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what [g]hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what [h]hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 24:6 NU omits all
  2. Matthew 24:7 NU omits pestilences
  3. Matthew 24:22 chosen ones’
  4. Matthew 24:31 chosen ones
  5. Matthew 24:33 Or He
  6. Matthew 24:36 NU adds nor the Son
  7. Matthew 24:42 NU day
  8. Matthew 24:43 Lit. watch of the night

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.


a new year of walking deeper in the Spirit and healing

Ezekiel 47:8

Towards the end of last year I went through a challenging time in the physical and spiritual realms. The incident drew me to re-examine my daily timetable and reprioritize my life. I decided to get into the spiritual realm to handle it and it meant halting other stuff and adopt a new schedule as follows:

Put God-factor as number One. How? Praying in tongue persistently in most of my waking hours. Read the word of God whilst praying in tongue. My spirit prompted me to read 2 Corinthians so I have been doing that until now. Read. Meditate. Pray. Let the Lord speak to me. Receive and record down His revelation. Meditate and act upon it by faith with the position I have in Christ and the authority I have as a believer.

Result was significant and the manifestation was completely over by the third week. I resumed my normal routine incorporating the modifications as above. The experience changed my perspective and lifestyle. I have been reminded that there is no off time in walking by the Spirit. Discerning from the state of the world today, it is evident that the spiritual realm is getting more real and is increasingly taking precedence over the physical realm.

As I have been praying for new direction this year, I realize that this is a year we need to walk deeper in the Spirit (Ezekiel 47:Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.)

Yesterday while driving I pondered on the purpose of the church (a gathering of Christians) and thought of what Jesus did and what He commissioned His apostles and disciples do, the same and more. Healing is a major need in the physical human world. The ability to heal makes a significant difference in a church compared to others. Weekly I hear of individuals seeking healing from one place to another. I also find that in my current Bible study subjects the topic of healing is really prominent and relevant. Walking in the Spirit means walking in the power of healing because the Spirit gives life to our mortal bodies. This is the direction to develop further this year in our walk with the Lord both as an individual and as an assembly of people together for the purpose of worship, prayer, praise and looking unto God.

Ezekiel 47:When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.

47:12 Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

2019 New year’s eve: prayer, evangelists and watchman

Psalm 68:4

Two unexpected ministry friends joined my house-mate for the watch night on new year eve and spent a busy day visiting and ministering to a needy family. By the time the three of them returned they were practically quite weary but determined to spend the last hour of 2018 praying. I joined them and prayed together during which each person shared their most memorable encounter with God/the Word of God in 2018. I shared my whole recent healed testimony.

After that we each took turn to pray. I was not sure of what they meant so I prayed an intercessory prayer for my country which took my prayer partners by surprise. My house mate nudged me a few times and urged me to stop. So I ended the prayer in a hurry. As it was near midnight I suggested we all pray in tongue in the last 15 minutes. But it ended up we had not more than ten minutes to pray. I soon discovered I was praying/singing in tongue sort of solo as the others were like dozing off. They assured me they were praying softly in tongue. By midnight I was alone.

What was I to do? I was the lone watchman in the group. They are evangelists who go to the frontline and really work physically with people in need. I am just a typical spiritual watchman who is always in the background in the unseen realm. We are so different and yet we are all working in the Kingdom of God. We practice what we are called to do with the gifts the Lord has given each of us specifically. My gifts are entirely different from theirs.

When we were about to start the prayer meeting I received a verse in my spirit. At the close of the meeting I received another verse.

Beginning verse: Acts 11:12 Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. (This was Peter’s testimony of how the Holy Spirit guided him to do evangelism.) This verse was meant for the three evangelists as they have been doing just that!

Ending verse: Psalm 68:11 Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) The Lord Defeats the Kings of the Land “11 The Lord provided the message.
The women who proclaimed it were a great army”. The three evangelists are all women! The verse was meant for them!

The Lord has demonstrated how His Kingdom’s frontline ministry works, always using a team of individuals of different yet related gifts, such as, teaching, healing and helping.

Where do I fit in then? The watchman asks. Are watchmen obsolete? This is going to be what I shall focus on in the new year 2019. Finding a spiritual place and purpose in the Kingdom of God for watchman.

Reading Psalm 68 which I have posted on January 1 2019, I believe that this is what I have been called to do as a watchman, listening carefully in the spirit, praying in the spirit, reading God’s words as the Holy Spirit leads me, proclaiming those words which He wants a target audience to know and pay attention to. The words will exalt God and yet comfort and build His people up.

Here are some of the revealed verses from Psalm 68 about God that He wants you to see today as you are led to read this post. I pray you are stirred up in the spirit to praise and sing to the Lord a new song. I believe I am one of the troop who sing in the Spirit and not a solo singer.

Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV)

Blessing on God’s People

But the righteous rejoice and celebrate in the presence of God.
They will be happy and joyful.
Sing to God. Make music to his name.
Lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts.
His name is the Lord.[b Celebrate before him.
In his holy dwelling, God is a father for the fatherless
and a judge who defends widows.
God causes the lonely to dwell together as a household.
He leads out the prisoners with music,
but the rebellious dwell in a scorched land.

Let God arise 2019

 Let God arise,
Let His enemies be scattered;
Let those also who hate Him flee before Him.
As smoke is driven away,
So drive them away;
As wax melts before the fire,
So let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
But let the righteous be glad;
Let them rejoice before God;
Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.

Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Extol[a] Him who rides on the [b]clouds,
By His name [c]Yah,
And rejoice before Him.

A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
God sets the solitary in families;
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;
But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

O God, when You went out before Your people,
When You marched through the wilderness, Selah
The earth shook;
The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God;
Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
You, O God, sent a plentiful rain,
Whereby You confirmed Your inheritance,
When it was weary.
10 Your congregation dwelt in it;
You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.

11 The Lord gave the word;
Great was the [d]company of those who proclaimed it:
12 “Kings of armies flee, they flee,
And she who remains at home divides the [e]spoil.
13 Though you lie down among the [f]sheepfolds,
You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver,
And her feathers with yellow gold.”
14 When the Almighty scattered kings in it,
It was white as snow in Zalmon.

15 A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan;
A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan.
16 Why do you [g]fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks?
This is the mountain which God desires to dwell in;
Yes, the Lord will dwell in it forever.

17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand,
Even thousands of thousands;
The Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place.
18 You have ascended on high,
You have led captivity captive;
You have received gifts among men,
Even from the rebellious,
That the Lord God might dwell there.

19 Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation! Selah
20 Our God is the God of salvation;
And to God the Lord belong escapes from death.

21 But God will wound the head of His enemies,
The hairy scalp of the one who still goes on in his trespasses.
22 The Lord said, “I will bring back from Bashan,
I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,
23 That [h]your foot may crush them in blood,
And the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from your enemies.”

24 They have seen Your [i]procession, O God,
The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.
25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after;
Among them were the maidens playing timbrels.
26 Bless God in the congregations,
The Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
27 There is little Benjamin, their leader,
The princes of Judah and their [j]company,
The princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naphtali.

28 [k]Your God has commanded your strength;
Strengthen, O God, what You have done for us.
29 Because of Your temple at Jerusalem,
Kings will bring presents to You.
30 Rebuke the beasts of the reeds,
The herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples,
Till everyone submits himself with pieces of silver.
Scatter the peoples who delight in war.
31 Envoys will come out of Egypt;
Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God.

32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth;
Oh, sing praises to the Lord, Selah
33 To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!
Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.
34 Ascribe strength to God;
His excellence is over Israel,
And His strength is in the clouds.
35 O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places.
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.

Blessed be God!

Psalm 68 (NKJV) The Glory of God in His Goodness to Israel (To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song.)

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 68:4 Praise
  2. Psalm 68:4 MT deserts; Tg. heavens (cf. v. 34 and Is. 19:1)
  3. Psalm 68:4 Lit. Lord, a shortened Heb. form
  4. Psalm 68:11 host
  5. Psalm 68:12 plunder
  6. Psalm 68:13 Or saddlebags
  7. Psalm 68:16 Lit. stare
  8. Psalm 68:23 LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. you may dip your foot
  9. Psalm 68:24 Lit. goings
  10. Psalm 68:27 throng
  11. Psalm 68:28 LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. Command, O God

Not Ashamed: Jesus’ words for today

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. 

Mark 8:38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Ephesians 6:16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

A sample of The New American Standard Bible, 1977 edition (NASB)

The Love Motivation

John 21:15 So when they had afinished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon, 1son of John, do you 2love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I 3love You.” He *said to him, “Tend cMy lambs.” 16 He *said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you 1love Me?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I 2love You.” He *said to him, “aShepherd My sheep.” 17 He *said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you 1love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him athe third time, “Do you 1love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, bYou know all things; You know that I 1love You.” Jesus *said to him, “cTend My sheep.

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes

2 Corinthians 1:19-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. 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,