Tag: Christianity

CHAPTER THREE: AS DIFFICULT AS CAN BE FOR A MAN (re-blog on July 13, 2017)

AAAJ watchman

matthew 5:8

I received a note from the WordPress. Here it is:
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 8 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

I decided to reblog this blog which was posted on 13th July 2009. It is interesting to see how one person struggled with spiritual issues when he first encountered the spiritual reality of God.
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CHAPTER THREE: AS DIFFICULT AS CAN BE FOR A MAN

chapter three: as difficult as can be for a man

Jack was into the second day of Biblical living when he discovered it was not as simple as he thought. A modern intellectual man with no spiritual experience whatsoever who tried to put the Bible knowledge in his head into practice was doomed to failure from the start. As he started on the Beatitudes (the Sermon on the Mount) of Jesus he found that…

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Positive prayer for healing of the oppressed: “All things are possible to him that believes.”

Mark 9:23
Bible verses: Mark 9:23

To the man who came with a son who had a spirit that convulsed him, Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23). The man had come to Jesus and said, “From childhood. And often he (the evil spirit)has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22).

Reading Jesus’ response in Mark 9:23, Jesus in fact said to him, in so many words, “It’s not so much a matter of what I can do as it is of what you can believe. All things are possible to him that believes.”

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to leave the boy and healed the boy instantly.

Prayer for those similarly oppressed: Lord, I believe. In Jesus’ name I submit myself to you and resist the devil.

James 4:7 AMP So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.

Positive Prayer for healing

1 John 4:2
Bible verses: 1 John 4:2

Healing is spiritual. What you confess is important as it impacts the spiritual realm.

“First John 4:2 says, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” When I talk about the Lord Jesus Christ, I’m not talking about some idea; I’m talking about the Son of God!

Jesus Christ of Nazareth came in the flesh and walked the shores of Galilee. When I talk about God, I’m not talking about my mind or your mind or someone else’s mind! I’m talking about a divine Personality – the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Confession: “Jesus Christ came in the flesh. He is the Son of God. And He died for me to redeem me from sin, sickness, and disease. I am free because Jesus came to this earth and died on the Cross for me. Thank You, Jesus!”

Above excerpts quoted from: Kenneth E. Hagin

a great mystery: great and abundant gain

1 Timothy 3:16
Bible verses: 1 Timothy 3:16

I asked the Lord fresh words for this blog and perceived a verse: 1 Timothy 3:16 which talks about Godliness (Christlikeness) of/from Jesus. Both the apostles Paul and Peter told us to be godly. I quote below some related verses (red letters added by me). Note that godliness is associated with other characteristics: perfection (maturity in mind and character), virtue, integrity, righteousness, reverence, seriousness, faith, love, patience, gentleness of heart, contentment (inward sufficiency), knowledge, self-control, brotherly affection and Christian love.

Paul reminded Timothy that godliness requires training like he did physical exercises! It is not difficult, based on the assurance given by apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:1-4). Godliness promises great and abundant gain for this present life and the life to come! This is certainly good news!

Summary: Godliness is of divine nature. By the faith that God has given us in Jesus, through the divine power of the Holy Spirit, we get to know God and Jesus, and partake this godly nature.

1 Timothy 3:16 And great and important and weighty, we confess, is the hidden truth (the mystic secret) of godliness. He [God] was made visible in human flesh, justified and vindicated in the [Holy] Spirit, was seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, [and] taken up in glory.

The same passage 1 Timothy 3:16 from The Message Bible:
This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are clear enough: He appeared in a human body, was proved right by the invisible Spirit, was seen by angels. He was proclaimed among all kinds of peoples, believed in all over the world, taken up into heavenly glory.

Some passages on godliness from the New Testament:
Matthew 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.

1 Timothy 2:2 For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 But refuse and avoid irreverent legends (profane and impure and godless fictions, mere grandmothers’ tales) and silly myths, and express your disapproval of them. Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit]. For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.

1 Timothy 6:6 [And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.

1 Timothy 6:11 But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart.

2 Peter 1:6-7 And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.

2 Peter 1:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Bible power for behavioral modification

power of God's words
power of God’s words to renew mind and transform heart

A parent called and lamented that her kid was rude to her in public and regretted that she did not discipline her when young. Now the kid is a young teen and perhaps too late to discipline. This is not new. We have seen many similar cases. It appears to be a social norm for kids to be rude to parents. I do not want to go into the arguments of social and psychological philosophies. Instead I share the following verses which have the supernatural power of God and can truly transform even the hardest human hearts. We are transformed by the renewal of our minds. God’s words have the power that renew minds. I have personally experienced the power of the words of God. I pray you and your children too. Note that ungodliness comes hand in hand with disobedience to parents. Power of God is needed to be godly. The power of God comes to us through His words. There is no short cut, parents.

2 Timothy 3 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Dangers of the Last Days
CHILDREN HAVE DISOBEYED PARENTS EVER SINCE 2000 YEARS AGO WHEN APOSTLE PAUL WROTE THE FOLLOWING LETTER: SEE ALL THE FAMILIAR TRAITS THEY HAD THAT STLL MANIFEST IN TODAY’S GENERATION
3 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

WORSE, THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE DEPRAVED AND EVIL
6 They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of[a] vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. 7 (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) 8 These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. 9 But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres.

WHAT SHALL PARENTS DO? THE SAME THING THAT PAUL CHARGED TIMOTHY DO
Paul’s Charge to Timothy
10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. 12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.

NOTE: THE POWER OF THE WORDS OF GOD
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Footnotes:
3:6 Greek and take captive.

MY NOTES: The Bible teaches us to honor God before God honors us. Parents should start loving and obeying the words of God before they can convince their children to honor them. There is no power in mere words and lip service. Empty word about faith without action is dead. God sees the hearts. Children are not deceived by hypocrisy. Let us be men and women of integrity, which is a rare but essential word today. I repeat, Power of God is needed to be godly. The power of God comes to us through His words. There is no short cut, parents.

power of integrity: speaking life

james 3?17.jpg
Bible verse: James 3:17

Some Christians like to know why they do not seem to receive blessing as others do. Why do we continue to praise God when we do not feel like it?

In Biblical teaching praising God is a form of worship, and is based on God’s goodness and not our feelings. IT MEANS “to bless,” AND indicates the action of pronouncing good things upon the recipient. We can read many examples in psalms of king David praising God in all sorts of circumstances, indeed often regardless of the environment and external events. He recounted lots of good deeds that the Lord has done for His people. He chose to focus on God’s goodness and greatness.

Jesus taught us to worship in spirit and in truth. This means we do not worship based on our own feelings and circumstances. We worship based on our born again spirit who aligns with the Holy Spirit and based on the truthfulness of the words of God.

Today we read the New Testament teaching of the praise requirement for a worshipper in spirit and in truth. The key word is integrity. The integrity of our heart is demonstrated in the words we utter through our mouths. One thing is sure: praise and curse do not co-exist. God is looking for praises and not curses from our mouths.

James 3 New Living Translation (NLT) (Quoted in part)

Controlling the Tongue
3 Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

5…the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire…

9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

True Wisdom Comes from God
13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom…
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

what to do when encountered rampant untruthfulness?

watch john 1:17Discussing and advising my young nephew of the current ongoing untruthfulness in the reporting and editorial realm which was once so highly regarded by the civilized world, because he asks why I no longer read or watch or listen to most main-stream news-media, I realize how limited and yet how wide a man has in terms of choices of news/information due to technology. I tell him I subscribe to and read only technical, financial, scientific discovery, medical breakthrough etc. kind of info-news these days. No mainline generalists’ ‘intellectual’ dissertation. They have nothing for us. I told this eager young man who is of the generation as yet unspoiled and on whom we hope to raise leaders of a better future. Why? He asks. I reply, “Those men are trying to be God or judges. They are not.” My generation is sick and tired of those who smear and slander just to get a higher readership/viewership or advertisement rating. I advise the young man to caution his peers not to click or visit any web sites unless they are sure there are specific verifiable positive information there. Don’t ever add a click or a view to encourage more untruths to be churned out. I advise him that if all Christians in this world start being careful and discerning in what we choose to view or click, the impact of drop in viewership would be so significant that many would hesitate and think twice before they pen/type future communication. The good news is that they can come and join us and be aligned with the God of grace and truth.

In my prayer I ask the Lord what to say today and I am again led to read and quote Matthew 23. Do read. Pray and ask the Lord what He is saying to each individual. For the young Christians, Pharisees and scribes were the intellectual elites who were academically qualified and proficient in their field of study. They spent considerable amount of time reading and writing. They were the society’s leading voice. They exercised authority commenting and judging practically all subjects that impacted the lives of the Jewish people in Jesus’ time. Because of their ability to study, read and write, they commanded respect and honor from the ordinary people in their nation. And they in turn took control of politics and everything else.

In sum, Jesus says this of them, “You say, but you do not do!”

Matthew 23
Woe: 13, 14, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29
blind guide: 16, 17, 19, 24, 26
hypocrites, hypocrisy: 13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29, 28
scribes: 2, 13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29
Pharisees: 2, 13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29
inside: 25, 26, 27, 28
outside, outward: 25, 26, 27, 28

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,[a] that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. 6 They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ 8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ,[b] and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.[c]
15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies[d] the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells[e] in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.[f] 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,
Footnotes:
a. Matthew 23:3 NU-Text omits to observe.
b. Matthew 23:8 NU-Text omits the Christ.
c. Matthew 23:14 NU-Text omits this verse.
d. Matthew 23:17 NU-Text reads sanctified.
e. Matthew 23:21 M-Text reads dwelt.
f. Matthew 23:25 M-Text reads unrighteousness.

Leaving a sustainable legacy to successors

Romans 8:14
Romans 8:14 Children of God

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.

Footnotes:
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.

the power of prophetic praises: from a king

Today we look at how a king sang praises to the King of kings. David lived in the times before Christ when the Holy Spirit was not indwelling inside the people of God. But the Spirit of God led him to prophecy even at the time when he was surrounded by his enemies. Anyone familiar with the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus Christ can see the obvious parallels, and the writers of the gospel accounts—especially Matthew—bring them out through direct quotations of this psalm.
Psalm 22
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Doe of the Dawn.”
1
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
2
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

3
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4
Our ancestors trusted in you,
and you rescued them.
5
They cried out to you and were saved.
They trusted in you and were never disgraced.

6
But I am a worm and not a man.
I am scorned and despised by all!
7
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
8
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
let the Lord rescue him!”

9
Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.
10
I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
You have been my God from the moment I was born.

11
Do not stay so far from me,
for trouble is near,
and no one else can help me.
12
My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
13
Like lions they open their jaws against me,
roaring and tearing into their prey.
14
My life is poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
melting within me.
15
My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
16
My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
an evil gang closes in on me.
They have pierced[a] my hands and feet.
17
I can count all my bones.
My enemies stare at me and gloat.
18
They divide my garments among themselves
and throw dice[b] for my clothing.

19
O Lord, do not stay far away!
You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
20
Save me from the sword;
spare my precious life from these dogs.
21
Snatch me from the lion’s jaws
and from the horns of these wild oxen.

22
I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.[c]
I will praise you among your assembled people.
23
Praise the Lord, all you who fear him!
Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
24
For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them,
but has listened to their cries for help.

25
I will praise you in the great assembly.
I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
26
The poor will eat and be satisfied.
All who seek the Lord will praise him.
Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
27
The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
28
For royal power belongs to the Lord.
He rules all the nations.

29
Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
Bow before him, all who are mortal,
all whose lives will end as dust.
30
Our children will also serve him.
Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
31
His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
They will hear about everything he has done.

Footnotes:
22:16 As in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Syriac versions; most Hebrew manuscripts read They are like a lion at.
22:18 Hebrew cast lots.
22:22 Hebrew my brothers.

Daily Word: Samuel the seer’s prayers never failed

Bible SamuelNow 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.

Footnotes:

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,

Daily Word: Word and Light (Mathew 6:22 and Hebrew 10:22)

matthew-622Today’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)

Matthew 6:22
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.

Hebrews 10:22-23
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.

Psalm 119:105
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

John 1:1-4
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.

Daily Word: Matthew 2017

1-corinthians-212
picture with Bible verses: 1 Corinthians 2:12

Today we read what happened to Jesus. Because Jesus said that the same will happen to His followers (disciples). Matthew recorded many teachings of Jesus which depicted everyday lives. They are timeless. Human heart and nature have not changed. Matthew 20:1-17 tells us the scene in the marketplace (employment agency) on one ordinary day. An employer (God) employs workers at different intervals and pays each one the same wage he has committed. But those who think that they deserve more just because they have been in employment longer become angry and indignant. They try to incite a revolt against the employer. But the employer tells them off. He is honoring his part of the employment agreement. But these protestors/revolters are not. They have forgotten or conveniently ignored the agreement. Why?

Jesus gave the reason why in His life.
13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

Jesus Again Predicts His Death
17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him. 18 “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man[b] will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romans[c] to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”

Jesus told the parable to show how jealousy and greed cannot be concealed and can ruin a person. His adversaries are driven by greed and are insanely jealous of Him. They (the religious and political leaders) have been there a long time. They have institutionalized themselves as the only authoritative governing voice for the nation (social, cultural, education, economic, religious and political). Jesus is not one of them. So how dare He now take the lead in all fields of the nation, with countless more followers from the grassroots than them (over their whole lifetime) in a mere short three years?

While Jesus is following God’s will, doing all the good deeds feeding the poor, genuinely caring loving those upon whom the society looks down, healing the sick, setting the captives/oppressed free, his adversaries are plotting to kill him.

Pilate the Roman Governor knows the motive of the adversaries of Jesus. Matthew 27:18 For Pilate knew that it was because of jealousy that the chief priests and elders had handed Jesus over to him.

The point for Christian intercessors of knowing or revising the above is to pray more effectively. Now we are reminded of the motive of the adversary of God, how shall we pray? I am led to read Mark chapter one and sixteen right now as I ask the Lord.
Here are the  verses that should spur us into the right course and action:

Mark 1:3 This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.[a] It began 2 just as the prophet Isaiah had written:

“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way.
3 He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!’”

14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

16:15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”

19 When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 20 And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.

In summary: Press on in the supernatural journey and run faithfully and consistently as we are led by the Spirit of Christ as ordained by the Almighty and not be distracted by the petty ways of man (motivated by personal agenda and not aligned with God’s plan).
1 Corinthians 2:12  And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

a word of encouragement 2 Kings 6:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.

a word for those angry with God
Genesis 4:4-7New Living Translation (NLT)

4 Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.

6 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”