Not Seeing is Believing


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From: http://lifetreecounseling.com/counseling/living-by-faith/

John 1:49-51

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.”

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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.

Be refreshed 🙂

Am I Choosen by Him? Hmm…


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Galatians 4:9

But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

Now I want to talk about what it means to be chosen by God. We can receive the blessings, the knowledge, and the salvation from our Lord Jesus Christ only because He chooses us, not because of what we’ve done.

From the verse above, we can conclude that God chooses us to be saved, and the only one that can save us is through faith to the Lord Jesus. And because of this, we should be grateful for the gift from God. We should be grateful that we are chosen to be believers of Jesus Christ. You might have done something so very ugly or probably a crime that was truly unforgivable. I don’t know what that was. I don’t know how dark your past was. But one thing for certain, when men cannot forgive any mistakes you’ve done in the past, God is truly forgiving and He has forgiven you back then at the cross when He died for you. And there were probably people whose lives are so much better or cleaner in their conducts than you are. But instead of them, you are the one God chooses to save through faith. That is why I said all of us should be grateful for God’s choosing! Does this mean that God is unfair? Of course not! Let’s check this out:

Romans 9:12-16

it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.”

As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!

For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

This message is truly powerful guys. One thing you have to know and realize everyday is that God is truly merciful and loving! For One so great, so big, so powerful, He is so very humble, kind, and loving. He is also a truly faithful God. And He becomes our Father, we become His children. We already have the best thing that can ever happened in our lives. Then why should we gone back to the earthly spirits or the gods which have no authorities at all? Why should we gone back to worship the spirit of the dead, which, in fact, is the devils from hell? (look at my previous post about tradition just before this one to understand about the spirit of the dead better). No one and nothing can save you from eternal damnation except for Jesus Christ our Lord! Check this out:

Acts 4:8-12

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:

If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well,

let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.

This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

There can be no other person or deity that can save us except the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! He is the best, and why should we sell Him for any cheap believe that doesn’t even have any certainty at all? We can only found certainty in our Lord Jesus Christ. Why should we sell Him just for our job, or promotion, or even only for a partner in life? Believe that in Jesus Christ, we already have everything, including job, food, clothes, and even life partner. Believe in Him and wait for His time to bless us with all of our needs and wants. Don’t wait according to our timing, but wait according to His timing!

And so, I hope this post can bless you in any way. Stay strong and firm in our Lord Jesus Christ. The end is nearing and let’s prepare our hearts to be fetched by Him back to our real home. Be refreshed 🙂

Tradition and Philosophy? Hmm…


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Colossians 2:6 – 10

 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

 Today I want to talk about the fullness of Christ in our daily lives. Christ should be our one and most important priority in our lives. But sometimes, the reality says otherwise. We do believe in Christ Jesus. We do believe in His miraculous works. But sometimes, we also believe in other little things as well that can become our downfall without we realize it.

Let’s say that you come from a family that has a rich family tradition. This kind of family usually is an Asian family. The Asian people really have a rich family tradition like praying to the ancestors and the dead spirit, etc. And let’s say they repented and receive Christ as their Savior. But they still hold on to the family tradition to come to their parents or grandparents graveyard to pray for them or to give them burnt offerings. I myself had done this long time ago, and I felt kind of stupid after I know the truth in verse 8 about our living God Jesus. Check this out:

Job 7:9

As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, so he who goes down to the grave does not come up.

 This verse means that once people died, their spirit cannot wander on this earth again. Those ghost stories about the spirit of the dead being back from the grave and was angry was not true because the Bible told us so in Job 7:9. Those ghosts are real, but they are not the spirit of the dead. They are the devils from the underworld, coming up to this world to deceive people of God from the truth by misguiding them with earthly tradition.

Also, certain philosophies can also become our downfall if we believe in them. Around the times of Jesus, there were lots of philosophies that were based on many different doctrines such as Gnosticism, Hedonism, Asceticism, etc. Gnosticism is an understanding where all kinds of polytheistic views come together. The people who follow this understanding call themselves a Gnostic. They really praise the realm of the gods and they felt that they have a super secret understanding that can brought them to heaven. This understanding was called Gnosis. And from this understanding, many philosophies are born.

Hedonism was an understanding where humans must only follow earthly joy and happiness. The Epicureans follow this Hedonism doctrine. The opposite from this doctrine is Asceticism where humans must have a great self-denial and refrain themselves from worldly pleasures. This is good, but this does not save us from eternal damnation! Only Jesus is the way to the Heaven.

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Of course there were still a lot of those doctrines and philosophies that I had not gone into, but the point is, don’t ever be tricked by those empty philosophical views! Many were misguided by those kinds of views around the times of Jesus.

And so, let us be full in Christ even in our daily lives. Be radical in Him and believe only to Him, the Living God Jesus. Check these out:

 Revelation 3:16

 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

 And,

Matthew 6:24

 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

 From the two verses above, we know that we should not be lukewarm by believing in Christ Jesus but also believe in earthly traditions and philosophies; because we cannot serve God and mammon at the same time! Choose God because He has sacrificed Himself for us at the cross. We are complete in Him, and in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Be refreshed 🙂

What Jesus brings when He comes to us?


Matthew 11:1-6

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Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples

and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:

The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

Oh how great these verses are! Today I want to talk about what Lord Jesus wants for us in our everyday lives, and so that we may always count on Him. Because the only one who is reliable enough for us to depend on is Jesus Christ. Only Him. Check this out:

Jeremiah 17:5

Thus says the LORD: ” Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD.

Now back to the main verses from Matthew 11:1-6. Here John sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus whether He was the Messiah. However, Jesus didn’t answered them directly and said I am. He answered them by mentioning the miracles He has done. All illnesses and sicknesses that the people around Him suffered have all been healed by Him. This means that the presence or the coming of Jesus Christ in our lives will bring us a much better life than before. He is capable to heal our incurable disease. He is capable to lift all the burden and weight that we’ve been struggling with all these days. He is capable to give us the answer to every problem because He is everything we need. He is capable to give us the love that we yearn to feel all this time. Maybe you doesn’t feel any love at all from your family, from your mother or father, you feel that you’re unwanted in your family or neighborhood, and you suffered a disease that is most fatal out of any other disease, that is, an ache in your heart, which can keep on growing until you have all of the complications of sicknesses you maybe having today. But I have good news for you, that Jesus has come to this world, He has died, buried, and risen at the third day so that we can receive a cure from Him. Just one cure from Him for all our problems. The cure is His Love. He is Love, and He is the best! Blessed is he who is not offended because of Jesus because he will receive the eternal life that He has offered us!

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Again the word come is used here. I have mentioned in my older post that so much of God’s message to us is come. We just need to come to Him. Faith really is a simple thing. You just come and respond to God. And how can you come to God? I believe that the simplest way to come to God is through worship; worship Him not just in church when you have all the songs played with the full band and all, but with all your yearning heart and with your spirit praise and worship Him, and also through your conducts in everyday lives. Praise God with your studies, praise God with your work, praise God with your lives. Know that your lives have been redeemed by Jesus at the cross with His Blood, and so your lives are not yours anymore but they are His. And so, use your body to praise God because your body is the temple of God. And since our lives are His, we might as well trust Him with every aspects of our lives. Check this:

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I hope this post has blessed you, and be refreshed 🙂

 

What is Love?


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Matthew 10:37

He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

Today I want to talk about love. Now love is a very popular word, especially among the youth. But, do you understand what love really means? I hope this post will be able to give you a better understanding about love.

What I get from the verse above is that we need to place God above anything else. We need to make God the number one priority in every aspects of our lives; including in our relationships with our partners.

In my opinion, relationship is like a triangle love. It’s between you, your partner, and God. Make God to be the top of the triangle, and you and your partner to be the 2 sides below. Take a note of this. The more you and your partner move closer to God (Top of triangle) the more you and your partner closer together. If you can’t visualize this, you can try to sketch it in a paper. This means that the more you and your partner love God and make Lord Jesus the first priority in your relationship, you and your partner will have a much better relationship and intimacy. This can happen because God is the one who guide the relationship. Just admit it guys. We can’t do anything right. But with God, nothing is impossible and He always does things right.

The best meaning of love is from these verses:

1 Corinthians 13:1-7

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

What beautiful verses here. Love is unconditional! Learn about what true love really means from these verses. When we love someone, we just want to see her happy, want the best for her, we want to protect her, love her, be with her, comfort her, encourage her, motivate her, see the smiles, wipe away the tears, and we bears and endures all things. Truly, God’s love towards us is greater than all of that. We may not be able to love like God does, but at least we may have the same concept of love like Him.

Also, make God to be your number one in other areas of your life too. Love your God first in every situation and in every condition. When we do this, we are worthy of Him. Our working lives are worthy of Him. Our families are worthy of Him. Our relationships are worthy of Him. Our whole lives are worthy of Him. And when we are worthy of Him, He is there for us. For God’s plan for the worthy and for the one who loves Him is a plan to prosper, and to give you future filled with hope. Be refreshed 🙂

So You Think being Brainy is Better? Um..


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Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

I want to talk about wisdom right now. Many people think that wisdom is just a common thing and it can be obtained by reading books or studying hard. This is a wrong understanding of what wisdom really is and how to get wisdom for your life. Wisdom first, then come understanding. Now take a look at this verse:

Job 12:13

” With Him are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding.

Proverbs 2:6

For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

These verses mean that we can only obtain wisdom from God. We cannot obtain it from all those books that we’ve been reading.

For example:

There was a certain doctor who was really good at his job. He knew how to treat the sick, and what were the unhealthy things in this world that could lead to a fatal effect on human’s body. Long story short, he knew that smoking was not good for his health, and it could even cause several severe illnesses like lung disease etc. Even though he knew the consequences, he didn’t care about it and kept on smoking.

The example above shows us that that person has no wisdom at all. It also shows that wisdom cannot be obtained by studying or reading books. The person from the example above is not a stupid person. He’s a very educated man and yet, he has no wisdom at all.

And so, from Job 12:13 we know that wisdom can only be gained from God. The procedure of obtaining wisdom from God is actually very simple. We all need wisdom in this life you know. And we can get it for free! Check this out:

1 Corinthians 1:24,30

but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption —

God has given us Lord Jesus Christ as our Wisdom in this life. He isn’t just the source of it, He is the Wisdom Himself. Wisdom is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ (Wisdom) lives in us and we lives in Him (Wisdom), His Word lives in us and whatever we ask in our prayer shall be granted.

John 15:7

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

And we can abide in Him by receiving His sacrifice at the cross. By receiving His Flesh and His Blood. He said that ask whatever we desire and it shall be done for us. We can take the example of King Solomon. When God said to Him to ask any of the things he desired, Solomon only asked for wisdom so that he could be a better ruler. God really like this and He gave Solomon the great wisdom, and He also add all the things Solomon didn’t ask like power and wealth.

1 Kings 4:29,30

And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore.
Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.

Take a note of this. God gives wisdom first, and then all the things shall be added to you. When we have problems in our family, or with our job, studies etc, we are not having problems with all of those you know. The actual problem is that we lack of wisdom. We need wisdom in our daily lives. We need wisdom in our studies. We need wisdom in our marriages. We need wisdom in our relationships with our partners. So it means that we need Jesus Christ in everything we do. Do not ever forget Him, and don’t ever let your brain to be bigger than your faith. Ask Jesus for wisdom in any areas or aspects of this life that you have difficulties with, and be refreshed 🙂

Just Let Him have His Way


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John 21:1-12

After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:

Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.”

And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.

Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.
But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.

Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread.

Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”

Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.

Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?” — knowing that it was the Lord.

Sometimes, God’s way for us is kind of weird and doesn’t make any sense. Just like in this chapter; the boys were all out for that night but they came back to the shore with empty hands. A total waste of energy and time. But then there was a Stranger told them to throw the net near the shore. If we think about it, in order to catch a lot of large fish we need to go a lot further into the sea. But the Man told them to throw the net near the shore, and they caught 153 large fishes.

What I got from this chapter is that, don’t ever question God’s way for us in this life; we just need to trust in Him, and this is where faith comes along. Remember, faith means just respond to Him, coming to Him. So much of the Lord’s message to us is come and come to Him. Jesus also said ‘Come’ in verse 12. He really love it when we come to Him 🙂

Secondly, from verse 11, we know that they got 153 fishes. Before, they brought out empty net; but then after the Man asked them to throw the net near the shore, large fishes were caught. What I got from this is that God is there with them in Tiberias. God is there with the boys when they were having a tough daily life. God is there with us. He is Immanuel remember?

Thirdly, what I got from this chapter is that the first one to recognize the Stranger as Jesus Christ is the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ. And so, in order for the veil in our eyes that prevent us to see the glory of God with all the wondrous works in our lives to be opened and so that the Kingdom of God be revealed to us, we need to be intimate with God Himself. With Lord Jesus Christ. To be intimate can also mean to become one with Him. He lives in us and we lives in Him, His Word lives in us and whatever we asked in our prayers will be granted by the Lord. In order for this to happen, we need His sacrifice. We need His Flesh and Blood, for His Flesh is real food and His Blood is real drink.

Hope this can refresh your soul 🙂