Luke 5:4 New Living Translation (NLT)
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon (Peter), “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
What did Jesus tell Simon Peter?
Key words: “Now”, “Go out”, “where”, “deeper”, “nets” and “catch”. Jesus issued a command with a specific time limit and an urgency. He also specified where, with what and for what purpose.
Did it work? Peter and his business partners had been fishing all previous night and didn’t catch a thing. But he decided to do exactly what Jesus said, “But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”
And what happened when he acted on the word revealed by Jesus?
“And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!”
1. Jesus “says so” to Peter specifically. Peter received the revelation.
2. Peter responded to Jesus, “I’ll let the nets down again”. Peter obeyed Jesus’ words exactly. He took the boat back to the deeper place and let down more than one net because Jesus said “nets”. indeed, all his nets were filled to breaking point!
When we receive a word from the Lord to meet our needs we can expect the Lord to give plenty and not a handful. Peter’s case is not an isolated one. God has demonstrated His superabundant supplies in the case of the widow with one last jar of oil in Elisah’s time. He filled all the empty vessels she borrowed and stopped only when she ran out of vessels. (2 Kings 4:1-6) Jesus would have filled more nets with fish but Peter ran out of nets.
The vessels and the nets we put out often limit the amounts we receive.
GOD SENDS HIS COMMANDER FOR GOD’S OWN WAR
Joshua 5:13-15 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Commander of the Army of the Lord
13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”
14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”
15 Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.
GOD’S COMMANDER WORKS WITH MAN’S COMMANDER
2 Samuel 5:23-24 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. 24 And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.”
GOD SENDS MAN AS HIS ANOINTED COMMANDER
Isaiah 55:3-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
The sure mercies of David.
4 Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
A leader and commander for the people.
5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the Lord your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”
Many great Christian leaders, churches, missions and Christian organizations started off well but declined and fell away after some years. In some cases the founders could not leave behind a sustainable legacy to their successors. Sadly in many cases there were not even one credible successor. This is not new. King Solomon was one such tragic example. Today we read some of the accounts of his achievements in the world and his spiritual failures which actually caused the downfall of his kingdom. In sum, Solomon, unlike his father David, was a man of flesh and not a man of the Spirit. I pray that today’s national leaders in all realms understand this truth -you need to walk by the Spirit and not by flesh for leaving a sustainable and godly legacy to your successors. Like Paul, he had to raise godly successors like Timothy and many others to carry on after his martyrdom.
1 Kings 9-11 New Living Translation (NLT) (Please read all three chapters)
The Lord’s Response to Solomon
A SPIRITUAL CONDITION/COVENANT FOR SOLOMON AND HIS DESCENDANTS TO KEEP
9:1 So Solomon finished building the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do. 2 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had done before at Gibeon. 3 The Lord said to him,
“I have heard your prayer and your petition. I have set this Temple apart to be holy—this place you have built where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.
4 “As for you, if you will follow me with integrity and godliness, as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations, 5 then I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever. For I made this promise to your father, David: ‘One of your descendants will always sit on the throne of Israel.’
6 “But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the commands and decrees I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, 7 then I will uproot Israel from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name. I will make Israel an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations. 8 And though this Temple is impressive now, all who pass by will be appalled and will gasp in horror. They will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do such terrible things to this land and to this Temple?’
9 “And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why the Lord has brought all these disasters on them.’”
10 It took Solomon twenty years to build the Lord’s Temple and his own royal palace…19…He built everything he desired in Jerusalem and Lebanon and throughout his entire realm.
A HIDDEN SEED OF EVIL WAS PLANTED
24 Solomon moved his wife, Pharaoh’s daughter, from the City of David to the new palace he had built for her…
QUEEN OF SHEBA’S REMINDER TO SOLOMON
10:9 Praise the Lord your God, who delights in you and has placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.”
HERE IS THE REASON OF SOLOMON’S EVENTUAL DOWNFALL
11:1 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. 2 The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. 3 He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.
4 In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David, had been. 5 Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech,[y] the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father, David, had done.
7 On the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem,[z] he even built a pagan shrine for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and another for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 Solomon built such shrines for all his foreign wives to use for burning incense and sacrificing to their gods.
9 The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command. 11 So now the Lord said to him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants. 12 But for the sake of your father, David, I will not do this while you are still alive. I will take the kingdom away from your son. 13 And even so, I will not take away the entire kingdom; I will let him be king of one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, my chosen city.”
HOW TO LIVE A VICTORIOUS LIFE AND LEAVE A SUSTAINABLE LEGACY?
Romans 8 New Living Translation (NLT)
Life in the Spirit
8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you[b] from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.[c] So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life[d] because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,[e] you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,[f] you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children[g] of God.
8:2a Greek the law; also in 8:2b.
8:2b Some manuscripts read me.
8:3c Greek our flesh; similarly in 8:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12.
8:10d Or your spirit is alive.
8:12e Greek brothers; also in 8:29.
8:13f Greek deeds of the body.
8:14g Greek sons; also in 8:19.
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.
I am reminded that some younger readers may not be acquainted with teachings on the Holy Spirit. And it is difficult to explain stuff which cannot be seen and or felt by the senses. So today’s word is “Power”. Why? Because as the millennial generation you are familiar with this word through the many media you engage in daily. What is power in the Bible? Where is it from? How can you have it? What is the power for? Here are some Bible verse for you to meditate on.
JESUS (THE SON OF GOD) HAD THE POWER (WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT IN HIM)
Luke 4:14 [ Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry ] Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out
Luke 4:36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
Luke 6:19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
Matthew 10:1 [ The Twelve Apostles ] And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
CHRIST IS THE POWER; THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER; GOD’S WORD IS POWER
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.
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.
Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE POWER; THE APOSTLES WHO HAD THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THEM DEMONSTRATED THE POWER
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.”
1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 4:19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.
1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
THE POWER OF CHRIST COMES THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT TO US
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.
1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
GOD HAS GIVEN US THIS SAME SUPERNATURAL POWER TO LIVE CHRIST LIKE LIFE ON EARTH
John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
1 Corinthians 6:14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
2 Corinthians 4:7 [ Cast Down but Unconquered ] But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
2 Corinthians 6:7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
2 Corinthians 13:4 For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.
Ephesians 1:19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
Ephesians 1:21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Ephesians 6:10 [ The Whole Armor of God ] Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL WILL MANIFEST THE POWER THROUGH SIGNS AND WONDERS
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.
Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
Acts 5:12 [ Continuing Power in the Church ] 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.
EVERYONE CAN SEE THIS POWER OF GOD IN CREATION
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
GOD GIVES POWER TO MAKE WEALTH AND POWER TO ENJOY IT
Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God.
Having had long discourses with young friends and relatives lately, I realize how close the last days are and how unaware our young people are of the dangerous times. Subconsciously they have been alerted by their spirit and they desperately need help with seemingly no help in sight for them in their own world, mainly virtual and unreal. Even in the real world of their own home and neighborhood the grown-ups seem living in another distant world which they cannot reach. Indeed these lonely youth daily surf the internet to find answers to the many questions they are encountering in futility. What can a spiritual watchman do in this vast virtual space of emptiness? What do we have to fill the void? Today I am led to read Apostle Paul’s letters to young Timothy. Timothy was an exemplary godly youth in his time well brought up by his godly grandmother and mother. Yet, Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to write to him and alert him of the requirement to pursue godliness and holiness. Why? Because Paul knew the end times will come and even godly men will fall. What is Paul’s answer to this great danger? Here is my quote of his timeless letter to my young friends.
Dear young friends, princes and princesses of God:
I am writing with an urgency compelled by the love of God. I pray you read what my friend Paul has written. His timeless letter has helped many young people in his time and throughout the history of mankind for nearly two thousands years. Believe me, I was a young person once .
“Difficult Times Will Come”
3 But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, 3 [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Let us all be vessels for honor!
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God [which He has laid] stands [sure and unshaken despite attacks], bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord stand apart from wickedness and withdraw from wrongdoing.”
20 Now in a large house there are not only [a]vessels and objects of gold and silver, but also vessels and objects of wood and of earthenware, and some are for honorable (noble, good) use and some for dishonorable (ignoble, common). 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things [which are dishonorable—disobedient, sinful], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified [set apart for a special purpose and], useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
2:22Run away from youthful lusts—pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those [believers] who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
(2 Timothy 2:19-22)
In summary: Let us run away from the bad, and run towards the good! It means running away in both our thoughts and in physical actions. We do not act unless we have been there in our thoughts. Guard our thoughts. Don’t let our thoughts go to places we should not go. Keep our thoughts pure by reading the pure words from God together with our godly friends. Bombard our ears with good songs based on the words of God from godly singers. Pray in tongue without ceasing just as the Apostle Paul taught us.*
Love from your dear friend,
* I will write about the impact of music and tongue on our mind in another letter.
2 Timothy 2:20 Like Rom 9:20-23, the analogy here has its roots in OT poetry (e.g. Ps 31:12; Prov 26:23) and prophecy (e.g. Is 45:9; Jer 18:2-6). Paul speaks of believers and unbelievers in Rom 9, but here he seems to be describing God’s household or family, in which all the vessels (containers, utensils) represent believers. While the objects in Rom 9:21 do not change, the vessels here are capable of changing their status and the use to which God puts them by keeping themselves from sinful behavior and influences (v 21).
Bible verses are quoted from Amplified Bible (AMP)
Now Samuel grew; and the Lord was with him and He let none of his words fail [to be fulfilled].
1 Samuel 4:1 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Philistines Take the Ark in Victory
4 And the word of [the Lord through] Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and they camped beside Ebenezer while the Philistines camped at Aphek.
1 Samuel 7:8-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
8 And the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, so that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; and Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel and the Lord answered him. 10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines approached for the battle against Israel. Then the Lord thundered with a great voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated and fled before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel came out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them down as far as [the territory] below Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and he named it Ebenezer (stone of help), saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued and they did not come anymore into Israelite territory. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
1 Samuel 3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Prophetic Call to Samuel
3 Now the boy Samuel was attending to the service of the Lord [a]under the supervision of Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.
2 Yet it happened at that time, as Eli was lying down in his own place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well). 3 and the [oil] lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, 4 that the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.” 5 He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call you; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know [or personally experience] the Lord, and the word of the Lord was not yet revealed [directly] to him. 8 So the Lord called Samuel a third time. And he stood and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli understood that it was the Lord [who was] calling the boy. 9 So Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and it shall be that if He calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Then the Lord came and stood and called as at the previous times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11 The Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will ring. 12 On that day I will carry out against Eli everything that I have spoken concerning his house (family), from beginning to end. 13 Now I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the sinful behavior which he knew [was happening], because his sons were bringing a curse on themselves [dishonoring and blaspheming God] and he did not rebuke them. 14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the sinful behavior of Eli’s house (family) shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
15 So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the Lord’s house. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16 But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he answered, “Here I am.” 17 Then Eli said, “What is it that He said to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do the same to you, and more also, if you hide from me anything of all that He said to you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. And Eli said, “It is the Lord; may He do what seems good [b]to Him.”
19 Now Samuel grew; and the Lord was with him and He let none of his words [c]fail [to be fulfilled]. 20 And all Israel from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south] knew that Samuel was appointed as a prophet of the Lord. 21 And the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
1 Samuel 3:1 Lit before.
1 Samuel 3:18 Lit in His eyes.
1 Samuel 3:19 Lit fall to the ground.
Psalm 99:6 NLT Moses and Aaron were among his priests; Samuel also called on his name. They cried to the Lord for help, and he answered them.
Jeremiah 15:1 [ Judgment Must Come ] Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me [interceding for them], My heart would still not be [turned with favor] toward this people [Judah]. Send them away from My presence and out of My sight and let them go!
1 Chronicles 9:22 All those chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds were 212. They were enrolled by their genealogies in their villages [around Jerusalem], these men [whose grandfathers] David and Samuel the seer had appointed to their official duty.
1 Chronicles 11:3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant (solemn agreement) with them there before the Lord; and they anointed him king over Israel, in accordance with the word of the Lord through Samuel.
1 Chronicles 26:28 Also all that Samuel the seer had dedicated, and Saul the son of Kish, Abner the son of Ner and Joab the son of Zeruiah, everyone who had dedicated anything, this was in the care of Shelomoth and his relatives.
1 Chronicles 29:29 Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the chronicles (records) of Samuel the seer, in the chronicles of Nathan the prophet, and in the chronicles of Gad the seer,
Today’s words are all about the Light. The Word. Focus on this Light. You will receive your health and healing in all aspects of life.
The Bible verses are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV)
The Lamp of the Body
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
The Eternal Word, The Light
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
1 John 1:5-7
Fellowship with Him and One Another
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Today’s word is about investment. Many Christians struggle with how the Word of God really (practically) impacts our lives. Some have found the key and are living the divinely blessed way (super-abundant life) that Jesus has accomplished for His followers. Some are still experiencing the result of the “thief” who came to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) But God has given every believer the same capital (Seed of life), His Word. Why are there such disparities in the lives of different Christians?
Jesus has explained this in Matthew 13:23 (AMP) And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands and grasps it; he indeed bears fruit and yields, some a hundred times [as much as was sown], some sixty [times as much], and some thirty.” Luke 8:15 Expanded Bible (EXB) And the seed that fell on the good ground is like those who hear ·God’s teaching [the word] with good, honest hearts and ·obey [cling/hold to] it and ·patiently [with perseverance] produce good fruit.
Prior to describing this group who can produce positive outcome in their lives, Jesus also mentions others who fail in varying stages and degrees, but all with the same result -producing nothing despite the same capital God has given them. I quote below the Bible passage from the EXB version. (Highlight added)
Matthew 13:18-23 Expanded Bible (EXB) Jesus Explains the Seed Story
18 “So listen to the ·meaning of that story about the farmer [parable of the sower]. 19 What is the seed that fell ·by the road [along the path]? That seed is like ·the person [anyone] who hears the ·message [word; teaching] about the kingdom but does not understand it. The Evil One comes and ·takes away [snatches] what was ·planted [sown] in that person’s heart. 20 And what is the seed ·that fell [sown] on rocky ground? That seed is like the person who hears the ·teaching [word; message] and quickly ·accepts [receives] it with joy. 21 But ·he does not let the teaching go deep into his life, so [L since he has no root in himself] ·he keeps it only a short time [he does not endure; it is short-lived]. When trouble or persecution comes because of the ·teaching he accepted [word, message], he ·quickly [immediately] ·gives up [falls away; stumbles]. 22 And what is the seed ·that fell [sown] among the thorny weeds? That seed is like the person who hears the ·teaching [word; message] but lets worries about this ·life [world; age] and the ·temptation [deceitfulness; seduction] of wealth ·stop that teaching from growing [L choke the word/message]. So the teaching does not produce fruit in that person’s life. 23 But what is the seed ·that fell [sown] on the good ground? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and produces ·fruit [a crop], sometimes a hundred times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes thirty times more.”
In summary: God gives each of us who believe the same Word capital (Seed). On our part we need to hear, understand and accept (believe as the Truth). The more we invest with this capital the more will be the yield. Unlike other forms of capital, God’s words are invested in the inner being of a person. In our spirit and in our mind. Only God’s words can do that. God’s words are supernatural. They cause renewal of the mind and transformation of lives. When this happens every blessing God has prepared in the heavenly places will flow naturally into our whole being and in turn affects our physical existence and livelihood. Take note that there are stages/processes in time: hearing the Word, understanding, believing, allowing it to grow into our lives deeply, be focused and persistent in applying it no matter what. Beware of the obstacles that can sidetrack/deter us from the goals: hearing/preferring other words (which seem easier to understand), confining to superficial emotional experiences, fearing persecutions and other inconveniences, exhausting ourselves pursuing short-term successes that seem more tangible (like things that come with monetary wealth)
2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: The person who ·plants a little [sows sparingly] will ·have a small harvest [also reap sparingly], but the person who ·plants a lot [sows generously/bountifully] will ·have a big harvest [also reap generously/bountifully].
Galatians 6:7 [ Life Is like Planting a Field ] Do not be ·fooled [deceived; mistaken]: You cannot ·cheat [mock; make a fool of] God. People ·harvest only what they plant [reap what they sow].
Today’s word is from Isaiah 54:17 no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. The scenario is not new. Jesus had many accusers in His time on earth. So were the apostles. For example, Paul. Take note that the accuser uses words, spoken or written. Their accusations were based on their own personal (political) agenda and in the case of Jesus and the apostles (and later the believers of Jesus Christ) they were not true. For those who read the Bible to the end you will have noticed A RECORD OF AN ACCUSER of the brethren in the Book of Revelation. Jesus called the accuser the FATHER OF LIES. Those who lie and give false witness in courts/similar official places (of governing authority) are termed children of the father of lies. In the Old Testament Book of Exodus 20:16 recorded the original commandment of God against lying/giving false accusation about others, “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.”
In the New Testament Book of Revelation 22:15 Jesus names those (including everyone who loves and practices falsehood) who will not be allowed to enter into God’s presence (New heaven and new earth).
(The Bible verses are quoted from New Living Translation unless otherwise specified)
THE ACCUSER OF CHRISTIANS Revelation 12:10
10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,
“It has come at last—
salvation and power
and the Kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth—
the one who accuses them
before our God day and night.
THE GROUP WHO WILL BE EXCLUDED FROM GOD’S PRESENCE
Revelation 22:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Outside are the dogs [the godless, the impure, those of low moral character] and the sorcerers [with their intoxicating drugs, and magic arts], and the immoral persons [the perverted, the molesters, and the adulterers], and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying (deception, cheating).
GOD’S PROMSE OF A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR HIS PEOPLE
9 “Just as I swore in the time of Noah
that I would never again let a flood cover the earth,
so now I swear
that I will never again be angry and punish you.
10 For the mountains may move
and the hills disappear,
but even then my faithful love for you will remain.
My covenant of blessing will never be broken,”
says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
11 “O storm-battered city,
troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you with precious jewels
and make your foundations from lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your towers of sparkling rubies,
your gates of shining gems,
and your walls of precious stones. 13 I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. 14 You will be secure under a government that is just and fair. Your enemies will stay far away.
You will live in peace,
and terror will not come near.
15 If any nation comes to fight you,
it is not because I sent them. Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat.
16 “I have created the blacksmith
who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction.
And I have created the armies that destroy. 17 But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!
New Living Translation (NLT)
A NEW BEGINNING FOR EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN JESUS
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 Amplified Bible (AMP)
For the love of Christ controls and compels us, because we have concluded this, that One died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that all those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for their sake.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a human point of view [according to worldly standards and values]. Though we have known Christ from a human point of view, now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. 18 But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God].
20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us;we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God.21 He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].
Intercessors 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.”
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.’”
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)
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