Friday, January 30, 2015

Scripture Of The Week - Colossians 2:6-7

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Give Us Our Daily Bread

Luke 11: 1-11
Teaching about Prayer

1 Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As He finished, one of His disciples came to Him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught His disciples.”

2 Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:

“Father, may Your Name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
3 Give us each day the food we need,
4 and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

5 Then, teaching them more about prayer, He used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ 8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV

9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Luke 12:13-34 NKJV

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Do Not Worry

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:24-34 NLT

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

We thank God for each new day. Every day He gives us new mercy, grace, and favors. New opportunities, ideas, chances, and options. New hope, love, friendships, relationships, and thanksgiving. New strength, protection, challenges, and solutions. New growth, and knowledge. God gives each day a new start.

He also gives us new bread everyday – Physical or Spiritual (Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3). Though sometimes we may eat the same food as a left over, but the very same food when we eat next day, it always tastes different; few times better than yesterday, but most of the time, because it has already started to go bad and decay, so it becomes sour. Therefore, there is a need for new bread.

Jesus said, we should not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries (John 6:34). Instead of worrying, have faith that God cares for you enough to take care of your needs. Do not let your thoughts be dominated by the worries of tomorrow; what are you going to eat, drink, wear, and et cetera. Our Father God knows we need all these things (Matthew 6:31-32; Luke 12:29-30).

And I don’t think the Lord meant that we should not work. Because the Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “If anyone isn't willing to work, he should not eat.” Even Jesus Himself said, "My Father has been working until now, and I, too, am working (John 5:17)."

As you continue to live your life and do the things you can do, things like working, taking care of your family, and serving, and enjoying the blessings of God; the word of God says, seek God and His Kingdom above all else; make God your first priority, and seek His way of doing things, and all these things you need and want will be added to you (Luke 12:31; Matthew 6:33). For one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses (Luke 12:15). In other Bible translation it says, “Life is not measured by how much you own.”

Don’t worship the things or possessions, but worship God who gives you the things or possessions (Matthew 6:24). Work as if you work for God and when you get the things thank God for them, and also for giving you strength, the job, and intelligence to get the things.

Do not let your needs and wants become the center focus of your thoughts and life, and ignore your God and other more important things in the sight of God, like living righteously. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing (Matthew 6:25; Luke 12:23)?

I have seen people living worrying about tomorrow, and life just pass them by, they can’t even hold a smile or say hello to a neighbor. And why is that? Because they worry about their tomorrow and the things they cannot control. In Luke 12:25-26 Jesus said, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?”

I have also seen people living a materialistic lifestyle of worshipping things. They work so that they could keep up with the latest trends of clothes and shoes, cars, and the new technology. Their lives are empty with no meaningful purpose. And I believe there is a need to keep up with new trends and technology and become up to date, but let’s not make them be the reasons of our existence on earth, the reasons for us being alive, or living. Do you know that one of the main reasons for our existence is to know our God (John 17:3)?

I also don’t think when Jesus said do not worry about tomorrow, He meant that we should not be proactive. I truly believe Jesus wants us to save and invest for our future and our tomorrow. But don’t be like a rich fool. From the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21) Jesus warned us to be careful to focus mainly on storing treasure for ourselves and not rich towards God. In another translation (NLT) it says, “A person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” He also said in Luke 12:33-34 (New Living Translation) “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. In other words, if your desires are for the things of this world, your will store up and invest more on earthly wealth. But if your desires are for the things of God, you will store up treasure for you in heaven. And one of the ways for you to store treasure in heaven that He mentioned on this Bible passage is to give and help those in need,. He also said our treausures in heaven are safe, and permanent; but our treasures on earth are temporary, can easily be stolen, and be destroyed.

You may worry about tomorrow, but only God knows our tomorrow. What if He shows today you that your tomorrow is better than your today? Will you stop worrying? For us believers, God wants us to have faith and trust that He cares for us, and He is a good God (Luke 11:11-13). Because think about it; one touch of God’s blessings could change your entire life. He may give you an idea that will give you million times more money than you could ever imagine, and end up saving more than your entire life saving plan you had planned before. But do you know that when God blesses you, He expects you to bless others too? The blessings will be enough to take care of your needs and other people needs too.

It’s good to plan for future. But the Bible says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives (Psalm 37:23 NLT).”I don’t know about you, but I had so much plans; I planned where I will be living by now, how many children I would have, what I will be doing, and et cetera. But can I tell you that most of my plans have not happened according to what I had planned? Do you know six years ago, I never thought I will be preaching the Gospel international through writing? I had totally different plans, but it was The Lord Who led me to this direction. During these years, The Lord has taught me to live by faith and trust Him every day, for my needs, wants, and basically everything that concerns me and my well-being. And I have learned to cast my fears and worries of tomorrow (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22 ). I have also learned that wherever I make a plan, I better make sure I commit it to The Lord ( Proverbs 16:3), and be willing to accept any changes from Him. Because sometimes some of the plans may not be His will for my life, and He may have even better things in store for me. The point is that I should not worry if tomorrow things will work out. I need to do what I need and have to do today and make use of the bread His gives me today, and trusting that God cares enough for me, as long as He is with me and He is my first priority in my life, He will provide and make a way for me for the troubles of tomorrow.

If God gives your tomorrow-the blessings or challenges-today, will you be able to handle them? Will you continue to worship Him and put Him first priority in your life or will the blessings over take you and make you prideful or change your good character? Will you continue to work hard, or will you stop working? Will you share and help others with it, or will you spend it all on yourself? If given, it is uncommon to see a ten year old handling the challenges or blessings successful of a 60 year old who has lived longer, has been through a lot, and has already been prepared for them. The blessings, solutions, and challenges of today most of the time prepare you for tomorrow. That’s why you do not to need to worry much of tomorrow. For tomorrow may be more challenging or more blessing than your today.

Just like the steps we take when we walk or run, we take one step at a time. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring. As He prepares us for our tomorrow, one thing I know, God gives us solutions for what we may be facing today. Sometimes uncertainty has its reasons in life. So do not worry about tomorrow, let us have faith in God that He will provide and catch us so that we will not fall, or pick up us when we fall as we take each step every day.

We need to pray to God to give us each day our daily bread and help us to trust Him so that we may not be controlled by the worries of our tomorrow.

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3 NKJV

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 NLT 

Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55:22 NLT

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3 NIV

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Scripture of The Week - Hebrews 12:1-2

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Be Willing To Pay The Price

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 NIV

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

Matthew 26:36-56 NKJV
The Prayer in the Garden

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.

44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?”

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. 51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. 56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

Luke 22:39-53 NKJV
The Prayer in the Garden

39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

When the hour had come to go to the cross, even Lord Jesus was tempted, not to quit, but to find another way for Him to accomplish His assignment. As recorded and written in Matthew 26:36-45, Jesus asked God The Father three times, "Is there anyway if He can achieve this mission without Him going through this process of being betrayed, and of severe pain, and shame?" Is there any other way for Him to die for our sins without going to the cross? Is there any other way for this cup of God's wrath for all of our sins to be kept away from Him? Is there any other way for Him to pay for our debt or the price for our sins without Him shed His blood? Is there any other way He can be our Savior, save and redeem our souls, and conquer death without Him going all these processes that have been set before Him. All these pain and shame He had to go through, were they really necessary? For Jesus knew ahead of time what was before Him (Matthew 26:56). Jesus would not asked The Father three times if He did not see a good reason for it. And I believe Jesus was willing to pay for the price, but I think He thought some few things were not really necessary for Him to go through to accomplish and achieve the mission.

Luke 22: 41- 41-45 says, "And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

When an angel appeared to Him from heaven to strengthen Him, Lord Jesus knew, He had to take the cup just like it was prophesied and written in the scriptures (Psalm 22; Isaian 53:4-5) . For His sweat to become like great drops of blood falling down the ground, He knew it He had to go according to the plans. He had to shed His blood to redeem us and set us free from the kingdom of darkness. For He alone, our Messiah, could only do it. And it was going to be serious pain and shame. And I think there is more into it  for Jesus to sweat great drops of blood. He alone, and God The Father, and The Holy Spirit, know how much it cost Lord Jesus. And so He went through it because to do The Father's Will was more important than to do His Will. Jesus mentioned more than once that He did not come to do His will but the Will of Him Who sent Him (John 4:34; John 6:38).

Just like a woman before she gives birth to a child or children, she has to go through changes for nine months for each pregnancy. During this period she will experience pain, and discomfort. And it does not end there; when the time or the hour of delivery comes for her to give birth, she goes through labor pain, which is also a painful experience. And though the labor pain will be gone after she has delivered her baby, but she still has to take care and raise the child. And so the really responsibility starts after giving birth.

Same as our dreams and goals in life, our God's given assignments and purposes - they also come with a price. The price could be the time you need to set aside every day to invest in whatever you need to do to see your dreams and goals come true. It could also be the persecution that you have to go through to do what God has assigned and asked you to do (John 15:18-25; John 16:31-33).

For instance; for those who want to loose weight, they need to exercise regularly, and eat healthy, and the prices they have to pay are their time, money, energy, and commitment not to go back to their old habits, to make sure they reach their goals.

Therefore; pain, discouragement, opposition, discomfort, difficulty, all of these are indication that you are making a change and a step forward, you are growing toward your dreams and goals. So do not give up just keep going, do not be tempted to quit because of all you have got to do or go through. And if you are like me that the dream you have is not yours, but God's dream, do not worry much about it. Just like an angel strengthened Jesus, The Holy Spirit will strengthen you too. He is our helper, Counselor (John 14:16-17; John 14:26; John 15:26). So ask God for help. Ask God for strength when you feel like this is too much.  When I feel like men, this is too much persecution and opposition. All I want to do Lord is to be with You, worship You, serve You, and tell people about You. Do I really need to go through these other uncomfortable stuff that show up during the process? And when I feel down and sorrowful, The Holy Spirit always encourages and strengthens me; He will give me His Word, in the form of a scripture or song to encourage me. It will be like a scripture or song that will come out of me and I will start singing or saying it. He will fill me with joy and strength, and give me the feeling of hope again. That's what The Holy Spirit does; He makes impossible things possible, hard things easy, and frustrating things peaceful. In Christ Jesus our Lord, we will always find the power to overcome as well as the strength to persevere. The Bible says, "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6). What a good thing to know!

Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins! But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole.He was whipped so we could be healed. Isaiah 53:4-5 NLT

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. John 4:34 NKJV

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 6:38 NKJV

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, Who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, Who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you. John 14:16-17 NLT

But when the Father sends the Advocate as My representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26 NLT

But when the Helper comes, Whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth Who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. John 15:26 NKJ

Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16: 31-33 NKJV

John 15:18-25 NLT
The World’s Hatred

18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated Me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted Me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to Me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of Me, for they have rejected the One who sent Me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates Me also hates My Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate Me and My Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated Me without cause.’

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ephesians 1:17