Supernatural Christianity with a purpose

Ephesians 1:7 redeemed through the blood of Jesus

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 many things.

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 the earth.”

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 boldness.

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 healed.

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 Him.”

Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

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.

CHOOSE

CHOOSE GREATNESS: CHOOSE LIFE

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)

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. 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. 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.”


There will be a very great multitude of fish

Luke 5.6There are three scenes in the Bible that depict the catching of very great multitude of fish. All three scenes are in the presence of the Lord Himself, who is the way, the truth and the life. He gives life wherever He goes. He attracts the fishes. (John 6:2) Even the dead will live. The sea is the world and the fishes are men. Jesus expects His disciples to do the same as He did, be fishers of men.

There are three keys for the disciples to become a good fisher of men:
1. The waters of life flow to the sea. Jesus’ living water flow to where healing is needed.
2. The disciples must go where they can spread their nets and Jesus has promised and demonstrated that there will be exceedingly many to give life to.
3. The presence of Jesus must be acknowledged by the disciples.

Scene One: The prophet Ezekiel saw in a vision the healing waters flowing from under the threshold of the temple…
The Lord told him that 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. The fishermen will stand by the appointed places to spread their nets, and the fish there will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.
(Ezekiel 47:1, 8-10)

Scene Two: Jesus told Simon Peter to launch out into the deep. Despite Peter’s anticipation and even proclamation of foreseeable failure based on physical experience, he obeyed. He caught a great number of fish and their net was breaking!
Peter’s famous statement of obedience: “nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”
Jesus’ famous calling to His disciples: “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”
The first group of disciples’ famous response to Jesus: “So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.” (Luke 5:4-11)

Scene Three: After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, Simon Peter and others went back to their former profession as fishermen. History repeated as they again faced the defeat and futility any fishermen would encounter against nature.
“…and that night they caught nothing.”
But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore…He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.
…Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.
Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish…This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. (John 21:1-14)

Where is the living water today? How to receive this living water? The Holy Spirit is the Living Water. We can receive by asking from God. We can find the answer below from what Jesus says.

John 6:63 (Jesus said to His disciples), “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her (a Samaritan woman), “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

John 7:37-39
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

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.

come in from the cold: the real fasting God sees

snow country.jpegGod is for family. Even your in-laws (relatives). This is the reality God sees. “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel[a] of their sins!
2 Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
pretending they want to be near me.
3 ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don’t even notice it!’
“I will tell you why!” I respond.
“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers.
4 What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me.
5 You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the Lord?
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.
13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
14 Then the Lord will be your delight.
I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Footnotes:
58:1 Hebrew Jacob. See note on 14:1.

(Quoted from the Holy Bible Book of Isaiah Chapter 58 New Living Translation (NLT) on True and False Worship)

Question to ask today (especially in this season): Are you destroying home and the family’s protective walls or are you re-building? Are you a restorer of love and peace or are you an instigator of hatred and strifes?

Yes, God is watching you.

Believers Should Stand Firm

narrow ridgeNow, dear brothers and sisters,[a] let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. 2 Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. 3 Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness[b] is revealed—the one who brings destruction.[c] 4 He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.

5 Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? 6 And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. 7 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8 Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.

9 This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.

Believers Should Stand Firm
13 As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first[d] to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. 14 He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, 17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

Footnotes:

2:1 Greek brothers; also in 2:13, 15.
2:3a Some manuscripts read the man of sin.
2:3b Greek the son of destruction.
2:13 Some manuscripts read chose you from the very beginning.

The above passage is quoted from the Holy Bible 2 Thessalonians 2 NLT

There was a man named Ezra.

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

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

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

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

July 28th 2016

JOURNEY TO SEE GOD: Fear not, O land

amos-plumb-lineThe day to watch and take heed. In four parts: The Day of the Lord. A Call to Repentance. The Land Refreshed. God’s Spirit Poured Out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~Joel 2 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Day of the Lord

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:
A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.

A fire devours before them,
And behind them a flame burns;
The land is like the Garden of Eden before them,
And behind them a desolate wilderness;
Surely nothing shall escape them.
Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like swift steeds, so they run.
With a noise like chariots
Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.

Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces are drained of color.[a]
They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.
They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own column.[b]
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not cut down.[c]
They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.

10 The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.
11 The Lord gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it?

A Call to Repentance

12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
13 So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
14 Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
16 Gather the people,
Sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and nursing babes;
Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
And the bride from her dressing room.
17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
That the nations should rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

The Land Refreshed

18 Then the Lord will be zealous for His land,
And pity His people.
19 The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

20 “But I will remove far from you the northern army,
And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land,
With his face toward the eastern sea
And his back toward the western sea;
His stench will come up,
And his foul odor will rise,
Because he has done monstrous things.”

21 Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done marvelous things!
22 Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
For the open pastures are springing up,
And the tree bears its fruit;
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.
23 Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,[d]
And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.
24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,[e]
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

God’s Spirit Poured Out

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
32 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

Footnotes:

  1. Joel 2:6 Septuagint, Targum, and Vulgate read gather blackness.
  2. Joel 2:8 Literally his own highway
  3. Joel 2:8 That is, they are not halted by losses
  4. Joel 2:23 Or the teacher of righteousness
  5. Joel 2:25 Compare 1:4

Hearing God: words of sorrow and comfort

hannahs-prayerAll about sorrow today. And comforting words for the right kind of sorrow.

2 Corinthians 7:10 [Full Chapter] For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

1 Samuel 1:16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” (Hannah)

IN SORROW: what sorrow awaits for some

Proverbs 23:29

Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?

In Context

What sorrow for you who buy up house after house and field after field, until everyone is evicted and you live alone in the land.

What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk.

What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.

What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.

What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine and boast about all the alcohol they can hold.

What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws.

What sorrow awaits those who try to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their evil deeds in the dark! “The Lord can’t see us,” they say. “He doesn’t know what’s going on!”

[ Judah’s Worthless Treaty with Egypt ] “What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,” says the Lord. “You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins.

What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
COMFORTING WORDS: for some
He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

Isaiah 14:3

In that wonderful day when the Lord gives his people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains,

Isaiah 53:3-5 New Living Translation (NLT)

He was despised and rejected—
    a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
    He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
    it was our sorrows[a] that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
    a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed.

Footnotes:

  1. 53:4 Or Yet it was our sicknesses he carried; / it was our diseases.

know God

start cryingThis is the time of trouble. The unbelievers (labelled Christians and/or non-Christians) are crying out for God. The mass media (believing and/or unbelieving) are flooded with reports and messages attempting to solve the critical problems at hand.  “You are supposed to know,” God said, “because there is no answer from God.” Why?  Jesus has given His answer as follows:

“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
1 Timothy 6:10 [Full Chapter]

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Today’s Bible reading. (Substitute the terms ‘Israel’, ‘Jerusalem’, ‘Mount Zion’ with your own valued places: country, capital, city, church, your ‘Temple‘.)

Micah 3 New Living Translation (NLT) Judgment against Israel’s Leaders
3 I said, “Listen, you leaders of Israel!
You are supposed to know right from wrong,
2 but you are the very ones
who hate good and love evil.
You skin my people alive
and tear the flesh from their bones.
3 Yes, you eat my people’s flesh,
strip off their skin,
and break their bones.
You chop them up
like meat for the cooking pot.
4 Then you beg the Lord for help in times of trouble!
Do you really expect him to answer?
After all the evil you have done,
he won’t even look at you!”
5 This is what the Lord says:
“You false prophets are leading my people astray!
You promise peace for those who give you food,
but you declare war on those who refuse to feed you.
6 Now the night will close around you,
cutting off all your visions.
Darkness will cover you,
putting an end to your predictions.
The sun will set for you prophets,
and your day will come to an end.
7 Then you seers will be put to shame,
and you fortune-tellers will be disgraced.
And you will cover your faces
because there is no answer from God.”
8 But as for me, I am filled with power—
with the Spirit of the Lord.
I am filled with justice and strength
to boldly declare Israel’s sin and rebellion.
9 Listen to me, you leaders of Israel!
You hate justice and twist all that is right.
10 You are building Jerusalem
on a foundation of murder and corruption.
11 You rulers make decisions based on bribes;
you priests teach God’s laws only for a price;
you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid.
Yet all of you claim to depend on the Lord.
“No harm can come to us,” you say,
“for the Lord is here among us.”
12 Because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field;
Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins!
A thicket will grow on the heights
where the Temple now stands.

Day five: God says, “Love does not cheat!”

LoveOneAnotherCan one cheat in love? God says “NO”! Love is a covenant. In a covenanted relationship: No cheating. Love demands: purity, honesty, fairness and justice in monetary reward economic system, protection of the disadvantageous and weaker ones, love of goodness and righteousness, honor and mercy to one another, respect and reverential fear of God -the ultimate Supreme Judge. Love can sum up in one key: “Know God” (Who is good and does not change).

Bible reading ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Malachi 3 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Coming Day of Judgment
3 “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
2 “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. 3 He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD. 4 Then once more the LORD will accept the offerings brought to him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as he did in the past.
5 “At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
A Call to Repentance
6 “I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. 7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
“But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’
8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’
“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease.[a] Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
13 “You have said terrible things about me,” says the LORD.
“But you say, ‘What do you mean? What have we said against you?’
14 “You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the LORD of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins? 15 From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.’”
The LORD’s Promise of Mercy
16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.
17 “They will be my people,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”
Footnotes:
3:11 Hebrew from the devourer.

Day three: God speaks of the positive aspects of love

God speaks loveGod speaks of the positive aspects of love as we listen to Him through reading Malachi 2.
1. Love is a command from God.
2. Love requires making a clear decision.
3. Love honors God. Love requires reverence of God.
4. Love is a covenant.
5. Love’s covenant in practice brings life and peace.
6. Love’s words, when spoken, should preserve the knowledge of God.
7. Love’s words are spoken by the messenger of God.
8. Love does not show favoritism.
Malachi 2:1-9 New Living Translation (NLT)
A Warning to the Priests
2 “Listen, you priests—this command is for you! 2 Listen to me and make up your minds to honor my name,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies,
“or I will bring a terrible curse against you. I will curse even the blessings you receive. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you have not taken my warning to heart. 3 I will punish your descendants and splatter your faces with the manure from your festival sacrifices, and I will throw you on the manure pile. 4 Then at last you will know it was I who sent you this warning so that my covenant with the Levites can continue,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
5 “The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from them, and they greatly revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 They passed on to the people the truth of the instructions they received from me. They did not lie or cheat; they walked with me, living good and righteous lives, and they turned many from lives of sin.
7 “The words of a priest’s lips should preserve knowledge of God, and people should go to him for instruction, for the priest is the messenger of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 8 But you priests have left God’s paths. Your instructions have caused many to stumble into sin. You have corrupted the covenant I made with the Levites,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 9 “So I have made you despised and humiliated in the eyes of all the people. For you have not obeyed me but have shown favoritism in the way you carry out my instructions.”