Who to Depend?


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Luke 16:19-31

“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.

But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,

desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.

And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

“Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’

But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.

And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

“Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,

for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’

Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’

And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ “

Here, Jesus told a story where a rich man went to hell whilst the beggar went to heaven. Sometimes when people read this, they tend to misunderstood something. People tend to think that being rich means that the gate of hell is close, and being poor means heaven is close. People tend to think this because of verse 25 of this chapter. However, I want to tell you that it doesn’t work like that.

The beggar has a name while the rich doesn’t. This means something you know. Lazarus means “Depend on God”. The one thing that saved Lazarus from entering hell when he died is not because he was poor and suffer on this earth. The one thing that saved Lazarus is because he always depend on God. He didn’t depend on the rich man or anyone else. He depended on God alone.

The rich man doesn’t have any name, which means that he wasn’t like Lazarus who always depend on God. From verse 27 and 28, we know that this rich man was a good and caring man. Even though he was suffering in hell, he still remembered his family and wished so that they wouldn’t enter the same place as he did. This tells us that being kind or good on this earth doesn’t gives us guarantee to be saved from eternal damnation. Only God alone can save us, and so we depend on God to be saved. Check this:

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

and,

Matthew 8:28,29

When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.

And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

We are saved because we believe in the Son of God, and from the above verses we know that the Son of God is Jesus Christ. At first, the one who proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God weren’t men, but spirits of demon. In the world or realm of spirit, we will know each other even if we haven’t met before. The example is in here:

Matthew 17:4

Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

This happened when Jesus and the three disciples went up to the mountain. Peter had never met Moses and Elijah but he immediately knew that the two of them were Moses and Elijah.

The only begotten Son. This means that the best that God have. And the best that God have is Himself! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the LORD Himself, who came down to this earth and take the form of a Man. We believe that Jesus Christ has redeemed us by His sacrifice at the cross. His Blood has bring perfection to our lives so that our relationship with Father in Heaven, with the LORD, is right and flawless again. I hope this can help you in anyway, especially for those of you who are new to Christianity and haven’t get to know about these things. Be refreshed šŸ™‚

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Still Condemned?


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John 5:45

Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you — Moses, in whom you trust.

Today I want to talk about Father’s Love. He really loves us you know. If earthly fathers know how to give the best for their children, isn’t our Father in Heaven more than that? If animals know how to treat their offspring with care, isn’t our Dad in Heaven knows better than that? He’s deeply in love with us that He willingly gave Jesus Christ for us. Check this out:

 

 

John 3:16,18

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The words ‘only begotten’ here can indicate that God gave His best for us. And the best that God has is Himself through Jesus Christ. He will never accuses us for our mistakes if we believe in Him. He has redeemed us and forgave all of our sins with the power of His blood. He has sacrificed Himself at the painful cross, only thinking of our salvation and welfare. So that we won’t be condemned anymore by the devil, and by the law.

From all of the above verses, I can also say that we should not be lukewarm with this matter. It’s either we do all the Commandments (which is impossible for us) or we totally believe in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. We can’t believe in Jesus Christ but at the same time we are condemned by the law. Remember, the impossible-to-fulfill law of Moses has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. So, we are not under condemnation anymore. We live under His grace and mercy. This is the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. Remember this verse:

Revelation 3:16

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

So, if you already believe and accepts Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, and yet you still do something that break His heart, don’t be condemned. It’s not sins anymore, but it’s trespasses or mistakes. I’m not saying that we are free to do whatever wrong things we like. I’m saying that whenever you make mistakes, don’t be condemned! Ask Jesus Christ to forgive your trespassing, and ask Him for His help to guide you so that you may not repeat the same mistakes anymore. Just ask Him; because He is your Greatest Dad Ever!

Through the law, we must obey everything without any breathing space. This makes it even harder for people to obey it. But with Christ’s Love and mercy, we can feel His hand support us when we fall. We can feel how He loves us, and that we are ashamed of all the things that break His heart because He is very good and He is a forgiving God. This can keep us from trespassing against Him and to break His heart ever again. You see. It’s a process. A whole big process so that we can be His ambassadors in this world and so that we can be transformed to be more like Christ in conduct and also in our ways of thinking.

Because He loves us, He will teach us and even slap us a bit when we wrong. But that’s for our own good. Just like a father that teaches his child. Our Father in Heaven is more than that. His plan for us is a plan to prosper and to give us future filled with hope. Be refreshed šŸ™‚

Your deeds count? Uh oh…


Ephesians 2:8,9

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For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Eternal life that God has offered is a gift from God. We cannot get or buy that with our deeds or money. But, not everyone can have that gift. This happens because sin is in the way. Mankind have all sinned. With our own power, we cannot save ourselves; because God is perfect, and he requires perfection. That’s why, there must be a solution.

Most people have a wrong understanding about who God really is. Some thought that God is full of love, but no justice at all. But then, some also thought that God is a just God, but no love. The truth about God is that He is both love and just. But then, if God is full of love, surely he doesn’t want to punish the sinful people. However, God must also be just. This dilemma is solved when God shows his love and justness through the sacrifice of Himself in Jesus Christ.

Jesus is God who became Human. He was pierced, hung, and died at the cross for all our sins. Then he raised at the third day, and then, after He showed Himself to the disciples and others, went up to the heaven. He offers an everlasting life to us because He has defeated death, and He has ransomed all of us. And we can receive this gift by faith.

Faith means to know and depend on Jesus as our God and personal Savior to receive an eternal life. And to have faith really just means to respond to His call, to His teachings, to His love, to His grace. Hebrews 4:16 said, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.Ā  I also believe that the simplest way to come to God is by worshiping Him. Worship Him, not only with our voices and singing, but also with our lives.

Sure we need to do good stuff and all, but not to buy our own way to heaven. Remember, salvation is a gift from our God Jesus Christ. And so, you can all share this food with relatives or friends and be refreshed šŸ™‚

 

The I AM?


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Exodus 3:14

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

This verse is really wonderful! The God I AM is really The Alpha and The Omega. God revealed himself here as The Great I AM. And, notice a few verses from The Book of John.

John 6:51

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

John 8:23

And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

John 8:58

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

John 10:9

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:11

“IĀ  am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

John 11:25

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

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.

John 15:1

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

Now, notice the words I am from all those verses. The Great I AM God really is Jesus Himself. He wants to tell us that the answer to our problems is Jesus. No matter how insurmountable the odds are, no matter what disease you have, no matter the circumstances are, Jesus is whatever you need Him to be! He is The Great I AM. I AM everything you need!

The key to your trust is not who you are or the attempt to improve yourself. But it’s who He really is; and who Jesus really is is everything you need Him to be. He is your redemption, He is your salvation, He is your answer to everything, He is your partner, He is your Life, He is your dad, He is your mother, He is your brother, He is your best friend, He is your Healer, He is your comforter, He is Immanuel – God who lives within us! So, whenever you are confused and all worked up with all your problems and odds, you can apply this I AM principle and be refreshed šŸ™‚

PS: Inspiration for this post is from Pastor Judah Smith’s sermon (Risky Business). He’s really a cool and an inspiring preacher of God šŸ™‚