Love is universal language. Without love, there is no point in life.
Grace is God’s initiative to form the circle of our salvation. Without grace, there won’t be a life.
Truth is the One that will set us free. Without the Truth, there won’t be a freedom in life.
As Christians, we need to ask ourselves this question: have we truly been freed yet? I think that this one simple question is very important for us all.
In my experience, I’ve seen a lot of Christians who are subconsciously struggling to break free from their bondage of sin and bad behavior. Notice the word ‘subconsciously’, which means that the chains that are binding us are sometimes invisible to the naked eyes. The chains will continue to bind us without us noticing and strangling us from within, like a cancer would do to our body.
This kind of problem has occurred since thousands of years ago.
Isaiah 1:1 = in this verse it is said that Isaiah served the Lord as a prophet during the reign of King Uzziah. Now, Uzziah was a good king, and he reigned in the Kingdom of Judah for around 52 years, which was one of the longest in the history. During his reign, Judah (South Israel Kingdom) grew to be such a wealthy nation, with one of the strongest military force in the entire vast land. Other nations feared and respected Uzziah and his strong kingdom.
The people of Judah were also rich. Almost no poor people could be found during Uzziah’s reign. And more importantly, the people were even more diligent in their prayers. They went to the temple everyday and bring fine cattle and lambs as sacrifices to the Lord. And since they were all richer than before, their sacrifices have been doubled than the previous amount. People were so happy and wealthy. All of them felt good because of the wealth as well as their sacrifices in the temple of the Lord. They thought that the Lord must have been so very happy with what they did, and thus, the Lord blessed them all as a nation. But, during this very moment, the Lord Almighty sent Isaiah the Prophet to rebuke the nation.
All of us need to know that our God does not see the natural world (appearance from the outside). He sees straight to our spiritual world. How are our hearts and minds react, our integrity when no one else sees, and et cetera. And as for the Israelites, it grew to a point where the Lord said through Isaiah that He grew tired of all the fat lambs as the offering. God demanded that obedience is more important than sacrifices. And obedience here refers to our hearts and minds. Whenever we want to give sacrifices and pray to God, He demand a pure and sincere hearts! There are many people who give sacrifices to church or other people with a heavy heart, complaining all the way when no one else sees. But this is not what the Lord wants!
What should drive us from within then? God sees the inside of our hearts and not the outside appearance. One thing I realize here is that we must stop living a lack-driven life, and start a fullness-driven life. We need to realize that whatever things that we have right now is not because of what we did, but because God has more grace and mercy than we could ever imagine. And no matter how small our treasure is, we must receive it and believe that the small amount of treasure is the one thing that the Lord has entrusted to us, and we must make it count with a grateful heart. It’s easier to be grateful when our treasure is a lot, I know. But, it’s not always like that. Lots of rich people are also having such a hard time to feel grateful. When they don’t have that much of treasure, they could still learn to be grateful. But when God entrusted a lot more treasure to them, greed took control of them, even without them noticing.
These kind of things may have happened in our lives without us even noticing! So, how do we deal with it? Love, Grace, and Truth is the very essence of God’s Word, and these things will be the filter of our lives if we understand them correctly.
1). Start to acknowledge your fear and problems. Don’t run away from it, because you never could. It lives within you. And you need to counter it with strong faith in Christ. Say it out loud to yourselves and God. When you embrace your weakness, you’re ready to embrace the grace of God. And from that point on, you won’t ever take God’s grace for granted. Grace is not a free ticket to do sin, but it is God’s initiative to form a circle of salvation for us. As long as we are within grace, we are saved, not because of our work, but because of God’s initiative. He made the impossible to be possible. And how do we see our fear and problems? It is by reading the Word of God in the bible. God’s Word in the bible will be able to make you see a lot better. The bible said that God’s Word is like a lamp for our feet. The Word lights our ways in this world. And if we don’t read our bible, we would easily be lost in our journey.
2). The Holy Spirit lives within you. The moment you receive Jesus Christ as your personal savior, the Holy Spirit lives within you. He is the One that God sent to help us get through our rough days on this earth. And we can consult the Spirit within us. Sometimes, we might feel or sense something. Sometimes, we might hear our hearts talk to us. We thought that they were just thoughts. It maybe true, but in most cases, those are the voices of the Holy Spirit within you. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, use your body wisely. So, in order for us to avoid the same mistake that the Israelites as well as Christians made thousands of years ago until now, we need to always consult the Holy Spirit within us by communicating with Him in our prayers and daily lives.
3). The third way to deal with such “invisible” problem in our christian lives is to have a good, empowering community. Good community would be able to remind you when you started to set off course. Good community will not judge one another, but will talk and remind each other with love.
So, our inner drive must be derived from the fullness of Christ in our lives. Whatever things that God has entrusted to us, no matter how small the number is, be grateful and do the best that you can for God. And the way to detect and avoid the “invisible” problem is by implementing the three ways above and by understanding the real meaning of love, grace, truth, as I have mentioned above too.
Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very Truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
People usually say “seeing is believing”. This goes way back to the people of Israel. They were the people that needed prove before they could believe in something. Quite contrast with Abraham, but his offsprings turned out to be like Thomas and Nathanael. No wonder Jesus called Nathanael to be the “true Israelite”.
When Nathanael first came to Jesus, he was full of hope as well as reluctance; whether this Man is truly the Messiah or not. And after Nathanael got the prove he needed, he believed. Of course this is natural for most of the people on this earth. But the Lord will be happy if we transcend the laws and customs of men, and start believing without seeing.
This is called Faith. It is something that we cannot see it now, and yet, we can hold on to it and believe in it; hoping that one day, it will be realized. It contains our believe that even though something has not been done yet, and we cannot see the result yet, we believe that it will be so, putting all of our hope in Jesus Christ the Lord.
Faith is when everything falls apart in our world, when our mothers or fathers are taken away, when our businesses and accomplishments vanish into thin air, and when all seems lost like a diamond seeping into tar, and yet we keep on believing that there is still good left in this world that is in store for us, that the Lord will never abandon His children and that help will come at the right moment, that is Faith.
Faith is also when everything is safe and all seems to be good, but we do not forget about God and the greater things that run in this world and beyond.
Faith is when we, in all circumstances of our lives, keep on believing and hoping in Christ Jesus the Lord for each and every aspect of our lives even though we haven’t seen Him or the end result yet.
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. -Martin Luther King Jr.
Let us learn to start believing that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior, even though we haven’t seen Him in person. Start believing that our future is bright with Jesus Christ, in this life and the life after, even though we haven’t seen it yet. Start believing that everything that happen is for the better good of our lives, even if we are in a desperate condition right now. Start to believe without seeing, that, even when we do not feel it ourselves, we are precious in God’s sight; no matter what our pasts were like, no matter how evil we were back in the old days, no matter how struggling we are to forgive ourselves, Jesus will eventually reach out to us over and over again. And when He does that, open up your heart and let condemnation out of yourselves.
Remember what Jesus said, you will see even greater things to occur. When Jesus comes again, we will see even greater things. Let us also focus on the greater and eternal things. Amen.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
When we want to buy something handmade and branded, it will surely be very expensive and precious.
We are the handiwork of Christ, and we are branded by His Name. We are precious in His sight, for we are His precious handiwork. You are precious, more than you ever know it. And you are precious for the world, more than the world will ever know.
You are specifically made for God’s good work. Embrace that calling that comes from within your heart; your dreams, your good desire, and the urge from within to do the right thing and help other people.
Embrace the call of Grace from God, to keep on believing in God every day for the rest of our lives; even though we may not see Him now. When something is invisible, it does not mean that there is nothing. Air is invisible, but we cannot live without the oxygen in the air. The same principle is applied here.
We cannot see God right now, and that is the reason for most people to stop believing in God and consider it as a fairytale that our parents told before we went to bed. But, even though we cannot see God now, it does not mean that He does not exist. God is real. Heaven is real. Miracle is real. There are a thousand ways that human can die every day, but the fact that many people lived until 70 years old is a miracle. Remember, every day is a miracle. Every day is a gift, no matter how harsh your condition or situation is. Your life is a gift. And it will get better as time passes by.
When God created you, He has a purpose in His mind, and I believe that He has put that very purpose inside your heart. So think about it, pray to God, and accept the calling of God that you have in your heart. Remember, God has prepared in advance the things that He wants us to do in this life.
15). Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
16). See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me.
Even though the whole world could not be bothered to look at you and just ignored every hard work that you ever done, there is One that never looks away from you.
Even though your boss or friends or partners underestimated you, with no respect or appreciation, do not be sad or feel that you are rejected.
Rely on Christ. Depend on Him. And He will give you the strength and joy that you need.
We probably think that we won’t prevail when the hardship comes or when the betrayal occurs. But when you are willing to open up your heart and mind, and let Christ have His way, you will find the joy and strength to surge out from within you, enough for you to stand and walk again to finish your day.
And even though your own mother or father or both have abandoned you since you were a child, there is One that will never forsaken you. His name is Jesus Christ. He is the Lord, and He is very real. He wants to reach out to you, and as long as you are willing to open up your heart and mind to believe in Christ, you will not regret it. Besides, you got nothing to lose.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Hi there people. Today I’d like to talk about the core meaning of being a disciple of Jesus. Many people nowadays are so confident and call themselves the disciples of Christ without really knowing the core of being His disciple. And so now, I really wish that the food that I am about to give can refresh your mind with the truth from the Bible.
Most of the times, we often thought that the best school and also the most expensive school is better for our children or loved ones. They would guarantee their success. But the truth was not like that. Those expensive education and the amount of money that we have doesn’t guarantee the success of our lives. I’m not talking about rich-success here. I’m talking about Godly-success. We may be successful in our career, studies, or even in our ministries. But does that mean we are successful before the Lord Almighty? The Bible said:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Furthermore, the moral of this world is also declining. This disease is affecting the world even worse now, and it quickly affect the Christianity as well. And so, as the disciples of Christ, we should have looked into the bible and set our standard there so that we won’t be carried by the waves.
Jesus said that if any man would come after Him, he or she must deny him/herself and take up the cross. This means that we must give our whole life to live for Christ and not follow what we want or we will; but it should be what the Lord wants and what He wills. And so in our career, studies, or ministries, do we do the will of the Lord? Or do we do our own will? What’s the will of the Lord?
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
These things I command you, that ye love one another.
In everything that we do, we should do it with love for our brothers and sisters at work or at ministries. And in everything that we do, we should do it with our best effort as if we do it for the Lord Himself because He has chosen us so that we may bring forth fruit, and with that fruit, we will glorify the Lord and proclaim his goodness to the entire world. Since the beginning of time, our purpose in this world are to minister, to be His disciples, and to proclaim the glory and goodness of Him to the world. It doesn’t matter whether you are a businessmen, or a student, or a preacher. Do whatever your works are so that you may glorify Him. But also remember to have love in whatever you do because nothing is for good when we do anything without love.
One example of a disciple that didn’t submit to His Lord’s will was Peter.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Peter was probably just trying to help, and this would mean he was lack of understanding. But I say that Peter was trying to show himself off that he is capable of saving Jesus from the elders of Jerusalem; and thus, rebuking the will of his Lord. I can say this because in verse 23, Jesus called Peter a Satan, and He told Peter to get behind Him. This shows us that to be a disciple of the Lord, we need to stay behind our Master and not in front of Him. Let Jesus be the captain of our ship. Let Jesus be the problem-solver in our lives. Let Jesus be the main head in the house. Let Jesus be the boss in our works or businesses. Let Jesus be our main teacher in our studies, Let Jesus decides for our decisions in our lives. Let Jesus have all our lives. Let Jesus rule every aspects of our lives. We should apply this because our lives are not ours anymore, but our lives are His. He has redeemed us at the cross, replacing us in a beautiful exchange at the cross.
And learning from Peter’s mistake, we know that to be the disciple of the Lord, we also need to convert our mind concept and the way we think, and sync them with the mind and the way Christ think (Metanoia). Just as Jesus was behind the Father, we also should stay behind Jesus Christ. This also means that as the disciples of Christ, we should listen to Him, which is harder than it sounds (take Abraham’s case as an example of how difficult it can be sometimes) be obedient and loyal to Him in every circumstances no matter how harsh it will be, be responsible for our work He gave us in this world and also to be the salt and light of the world that can affect our surroundings so that people can see Christ in ourselves, and last but not least, we must be ready and stay close behind the Lord in every tests the world throws toward us.
I hope this can enlighten your mind and refresh your soul people 🙂
By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Now we live in the world of the New Testament. It is different with the Old Testament. Way back then before Jesus Christ came on earth to redeem us, mankind must offer sacrifices for a period of time so that their sins can be forgiven, but only until a certain period of time. After the period is over, mankind must offer sacrifices again. Sacrifices here can be a sheep, a cattle, a bird, etc. The sins mankind have committed would determine the size of the living sacrifice. The heavier the sin is, the bigger or the more expensive the sacrifice would be.
However, Jesus Christ has come to the world and He became the Living Sacrifice. The difference is that this type of sacrifice is only once for all, which means that our sins are being forgiven for ever. The Lord has forgiven all our sins because Jesus has taken our place up there at the cross. It should be us back then at the cross. But Jesus replaced us and became a Living Sacrifice for the Lord. The blood of Jesus has sanctified us forever. However, a lot of people only remember about the blood, but not about the Water.
But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
The Blood came out first, then the Water came along. The key to everything that I’m talking about is in this Water. To understand about this, let us read first.
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”
From verse 7, Jesus said that what He did at that time the disciples will know about it later on. This means that what Jesus did here was symbolic, and therefore, have meanings. From these verses, let us focus on some words such as “laid aside His garments”, “towel with which He was girded”, “poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet”, and “wipe them with the towel”.
He laid aside His garments as a symbol that Jesus arose from the dead. in this context, Jesus rose from supper in the Passover feast, and in every table at the Passover feast, there will always be a roasted lamb. This lamb represented Jesus when He was burned by the wrath of God at the Cross because Jesus has replaced us at the cross. And when He laid His garments, it means that He will rose from the dead.
The towel girded to Him means that Jesus is the High Priest, and He came to this world to minister.
He poured water and washed the disciples’ feet with it means that we all will be cleaned again and again, but not with blood anymore because blood of Jesus has sanctified us forever. But by Water.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Water by the Word. So people, we need to be cleansed not by blood anymore because blood of Jesus has cleansed us once and for all, but by the Word of God. By the Water. Don’t forget to read your Bible everyday because this will cleanse your feet. We need not to clean our whole body with Water because we have been bathed by the Blood of Jesus and we are clean forever. But our journey in life will involve our feet, and sometimes dust and dirt may come to stick at our feet. This represents all our mistakes we may have committed in this life. But believe that we have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus forever and He has forgiven all our sins and mistakes. Do not be tricked by the devil. Devil may tricked you and condemned you for your mistakes. That’s why you need to be strengthened by the Word of God. By the Water.
And after Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He wipe the feet with the towel. Just imagine if our feet were wet and we walk outside again. There will be more dirt and dust on our feet. This means that after we receive or hear His Word through this Bible for example, we must realize the truth that we have been forgiven through the sacrifice of Lord Jesus once and for all! We must also realize that our lives cannot be apart from the Word of God. Everyday we need His Word.
So, don’t be condemned by the devil. I don’t know how hard your lives are or what kind of problems you are having. But learn the truth, and let your feet be washed by His Water daily. Let His Word cleanses you daily, and you will enjoy living your Christian lives with Jesus (“If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”). Be refreshed my friends 🙂