Words, Thoughts, Prayers, Bible Apps, Visions, Images. Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness
The Blessed State of the Righteous
Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who delights greatly in His commandments.
2 His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
4 Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
5 A good man deals graciously and lends;
He will guide his affairs with discretion.
6 Surely he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.
7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is established;
He will not be afraid,
Until he sees his desire upon his enemies.
9 He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever;
His horn will be exalted with honor.
10 The wicked will see it and be grieved;
He will gnash his teeth and melt away;
The desire of the wicked shall perish.
(Psalm 112 NKJV)
Romans 3:22[Full Chapter]
even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
2 Corinthians 5:20-21
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 9:8-10
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now may[b] He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,
2 Corinthians 9:9 Psalm 112:9
2 Corinthians 9:10 NU-Text reads Now He who supplies . . . will supply . . . .
But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]. [Isa. 64:4; 65:17.]
1 Corinthians 2:9 AMPC
Matthew 25:31-46 The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations on how they have treated His brethren (Israel).
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Who are the brethren of the King? The Jews.
Romans 9:3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,
Romans 10:1 [ Israel Needs the Gospel ] Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
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:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 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, 4 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.
This is how Jesus instructed His disciples when He sent them out to minister to people in need: (Bible verses quoted from Matthew 10 in parts. Please read the whole chapter)
THE GREAT COMMISSION: PREACHING THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HEALING THE SICK
7 Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
HOW THEY SHOULD BE ALERT OF THE REALITY/ENEMIES LURKING OUT THERE
16 “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.
THREAT WILL COME WHEN THEY TELL THE TRUTH, BUT TELL THE TRUTH AS JESUS HAS TAUGHT THEM ANYWAY
26 “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. 27 What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!
THEY NEED NOT FEAR THE ENEMY BECAUSE GOD WILL PROTECT THEM
28 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
WHAT EVERYONE DOES ON EARTH HAS RECIPROCATION IN HEAVEN
32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
DISCIPLESHIP REQUIRES RIGHT PRIORITY AND IT COMES WITH EVEN GREATER GAINS
37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
GOD’S EXPECTS RECEPTION AND HOSPITALITY FOR HIS MESSENGERS/REPRESENTATIVES, AND ASSURES REWARDS WHICH ARE FAR GREATER THAN WHAT ANYONE CAN PAY OUT
40 “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. 41 If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. 42 And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”
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.
THE WORD TODAY IS “SHALL BE ADDED”. GOD’S WAY IS TO ADD AND NOT SUBTRACT GOODNESS AND BLESSINGS FOR HIS PEOPLE
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (NKJV)
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. (The Message)
But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. (AMP)
Matthew 6:32-34 Expanded Bible (EXB)
32 The ·people who don’t know God [Gentiles; pagans; unbelievers] ·keep trying to get [eagerly seek; run after] these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. 33 ·Seek first [Be concerned above all else with] God’s kingdom and ·what God wants [his righteousness]. Then all ·your other needs will be met as well [these things will be given to you]. 34 So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will ·have its own worries [or worry about/take care of itself]. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
MORE ABOUT WHAT GOD ADDED
Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Acts 2:47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Acts 5:14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,
Acts 11:24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
Proverbs 9:9-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.
IT ALSO MEANS TO MULTIPLY BLESSINGS IN TANGIBLE WAY
Proverbs 8:18 Riches and honor are mine to give. So are lasting wealth and ·success [or righteousness].
Proverbs 8:21 I ·give wealth to those who love me [cause those who love me to inherit substance], filling their houses with treasures.
Proverbs 10:22 The Lord’s blessing brings wealth, and no ·sorrow [trouble] comes with it.
Proverbs 22:4 ·Respecting [Fearing] the Lord [1:7] and ·not being proud [humility] will bring you wealth, honor, and life.
Deuteronomy 7:13 He will love and bless you. He will ·make the number of your people grow; he will bless you with children [multiply the fruit of your womb]. ·He will bless your fields with good crops and will give you grain, new wine, and oil […and the fruit of your land, your grain, new wine, and oil]. ·He will bless your herds with calves and your flocks with lambs […the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flocks] in the land he promised your ·ancestors [fathers] he would give you.
Deuteronomy 8:1-3 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Remember the Lord
8 Carefully obey every command I give you today. Then you will live and ·grow in number [multiply], and you will enter and ·take [possess] the land the Lord promised your ·ancestors [fathers; Gen. 12:1–3; 15:17–20]. 2 Remember ·how the Lord your God has led [all the way the Lord brought] you in the ·desert [wilderness] for these forty years, ·taking away your pride [humbling you] and testing you, because he wanted to know what was in your heart. He wanted to know if you would obey his commands. 3 He ·took away your pride [humbled you] when he let you get hungry, and then he fed you with manna [Ex. 16:31–36], which neither you nor your ·ancestors [fathers] had ever seen. This was to teach you that a person does not live on bread alone, but by everything the Lord says [Matt. 4:4].
AN OBSERVATION ON SLEEPLESSNESS AND WEALTH FROM THE RICHEST MAN IN HISTORY
Ecclesiastes 5:12 ·Those who work hard sleep in peace [Sweet is the sleep of the laborer]; it is not important if they eat little or much. But ·rich people worry about their wealth and cannot [the abundance of the wealthy does not let them] sleep.
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].
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! 16 Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.
In Exodus 14:14-16; 19-20; 15:1-2; 6-7, God gave Moses a sure win weapon. All Moses had to do was to tell the people to go forward. Nothing would happen if they stood still. By faith, they went forward and of course they won the battle against the adverse forces: the enemy, the sea and their own fear and doubt.
“The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and…
Today’s key issue: how to make your adversary go away and leave you alone?There are many petty hassles that are trying their best to distract you from the really important issues like nation or church building. Daily hassles are stressors and their intention is to drive you to the point of being dysfunctional. Today the watchman is led in the spirit to give this following 100% effective strategy. It has worked perfectly when Jesus initiated it and it is still working effectively today. The arch-enemy the devil tried to pester Jesus when Jesus started his ministry. But Jesus was well prepared as the Son of God. What happened in the end? “Then the devil went away, and the angels came and took care of Jesus.”
My notes are in brackets in italics.
Matthew 4:1-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Temptation of Jesus
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.
(There are times of tiredness as you assume your new office of great responsibilities. And that is the time to be alert against the wiles of the enemy. The more important your job is the higher rank devil will be assigned to tempt you.)
3 During that time the devil[a] came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
(Of course, the first trick is to make you eat unnecessarily and not at the right time and proportion. Many important people failed and fell because they made their belly/PHYSICAL PART their god. They suffer from a fear of lack. lack of physical comfort, popularity, security, esteem and friendship from others etc.)
4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”
(WHAT DID JESUS SAY? THE SPIRITUAL IS MORE IMPORTANT AND POTENT THAN THE PHYSICAL! WHERE DOES HIS SPIRITUAL SUSTENANCE COME FROM? THE WORD OF GOD.)
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’[c]”
(the devil then tried this seemingly equally spiritual and ‘godly’ temptation. He challenged Jesus in the matter of faith. “If you really have faith in God, you jump to your death!”)
7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’[d]” (WHAT DID JESUS SAY? HOW DARE YOU CHALLENGE GOD!” JESUS IS INDEED THE SON OF GOD AND HE DOESN’T HAVE TO PROVE HIS CREDENTIAL.)
8 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
(lastly, the devil tried a seemingly fail-proof offer, power and wealth, fame and fortune.)
10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’[e]”
(JESUS FINALLY COMMANDED THE DEVIL TO GET OUT OF HIS SIGHT. IT WORKED! THE DEVIL HAD TO OBEY. WHY? BECAUSE JESUS IS TRULY THE SON OF GOD AND HE KNOWS HOW TO USE HIS AUTHORITY AGAINS HIS ENEMY.)
11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.
GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY’S CHRISTIANS
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,
and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.
Don’t touch their filthy things,
and I will welcome you.[a]
18 And I will be your Father,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.[b]”
6:17 Isa 52:11; Ezek 20:34 (Greek version).
6:18 2 Sam 7:14.
WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD.WE HAVE THE SAME AUTHORITY AND POWER JESUS HAS TO COMMAND THE ADVERSARY TO LEAVE.
Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Romans 8:15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.
Romans 8:17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.