Like the Call of Abraham

usa map.pngI am sitting here somewhere in the deserts of California getting ready to gather my things in order to move halfway across the country to Oklahoma in just a couple days time. I have no idea what God truly has in store for me despite all of my plans when I get there, but I’ve been in prayer about the decisions I’m making and so far He has been willing them to happen. As the day is approaching rapidly, it is getting a little hard for me to believe that this is actually happening. If the Lord blesses me to see these unpromised days ahead of me, I will be away from what I’ve always known. I’ve been feeling like father Abraham lately when God spoke to him saying, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1).

Granted, in context this was the preparation for the coming of the blessed Lord and Savior (Galatians 3:8). However, what I also took from this is that God will call out people to use for His purpose and may send them somewhere they never in a million years expected to go. Such is the case with me.

I’m moving to Oklahoma by myself. I’m leaving my mom and dad, my siblings, my relatives, and my spiritual family behind to go to a state I never expected I’d ever go to in my life. Before I became a Christian, I selfishly made plans for myself and certainly never consulted God about them. But the Scripture rings true: “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is Jehovah’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). Now that I am in His Son my life did an absolute turnaround, and His purpose is prevailing. I’m quite nervous and sad, but I’m also pretty excited.

No matter what and no matter where I am, I just pray that I will always be faithful to Christ and found blameless. Wherever my Lord sends me and commands, I just want to be obedient to it like Abraham was so that, like him, I too will be called “the friend of God” (James 2:23).

The Tender Mercy of God

goodfridayMain scripture reading: Ephesians 2:1-7; Romans 2:4

He died the most humiliating, excruciating death. He hung there suffocating and in agony on the wooden cross with nails driven through His wrists and feet. He was forsaken by all and mocked, being appointed with the criminals. But none of that meant nothing to the innocent, sinless Lamb. It meant absolutely nothing compared to the real and utter loneliness He felt when the dirty filth of our sins were upon Him as He died for them. The loneliness that struck Him when the Father had to turn His eyes away from His only beloved Son for a moment because of them. How tender was this grace and mercy of God for us undeserving humans, how tender indeed!

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Tolerance of Sin

universal-no-sign-ayj6wf-clipartThe number of times statements have been made for the tolerance of sin by some Christians cannot be counted. One of the reasons used for sin justification is “Christ hung out and ate with sinners,” as if by this line of reasoning we can tolerate transgressions against God’s law without righteously making evident of the wrong that’s being (or has been) committed.

Admittedly, Christ did eat with sinners (Luke 5:29,30). However, He was not dining with them for the purpose of showing tolerance to their sins and excusing them. When questioned about it He stated a few verses later, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick… I have come to call the sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31,32).

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Hosanna in the Highest!

be8c377d5bdf6a7763c9224d3b154f3bMain background scripture reading: Luke 19:28-40

Cross references: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; John 12:12-15

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!'” (Luke 19:39, 40). I’ve read this passage many, many times and have never understood it until today. The Lord Jesus Christ made a rather magnificent, humble entry while going up to Jerusalem. The disciples glorified and praised Him, calling Him the promised King who will reign forever. Such an entry of the blessed Lord received remarks from the Pharisees. They commanded Jesus to stop His disciples from proclaiming such praise, and He simply said, “If they cease, the stones will cry out.” 

How powerful. Continue reading “Hosanna in the Highest!”

The Operation of God

stepstopeace_3The Plan

How great was the sin of Adam and Eve, the father and mother of all mankind. Their choice of disobeying the word of God caused the great separation between God and man. But when the fullness of time came to reveal the only way of reconciliation back to Himself, He sent word to His servant Zachariah by an angel, saying:

“…your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John…he will be great in the sight of the Lord… and he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him [the Messiah]… so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:13,15-17).

When the promised child was born, his father rejoiced with gladness, and prophesied saying:

“You, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to give His people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:76,77, emp. added).

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Life in Abundance

abundant-lifeOne of the most misused passages in God’s word is John 10:10, where the Lord Jesus Christ speaks to the people saying, “The thief only comes to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” What’s being taught is that Christ will bless us with wealth and prosperity in this life, and that all of our struggles would vanish when we allow Him to rule in our lives and become Christians. So when people come to Christ with all of their turmoil, they believe all of their troubles will immediately be over to live in prosperity. But such is far from the truth, and, unfortunately, when one comes into Christ with this mindset and see that it doesn’t happen, they forsake Him and leave His church to go back into the world.

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Biblical Perspective on the Life in Pompeii

pompeiiOn August 24, 79 AD the people of Pompeii lived their day to day lives as usual. The day begun at sunrise like any other day; the bell-tower struck and the town’s population of free-people and slaves went to work. Merchants carried their valuable items to the main trading sea port, slaves taught the wealthy to read and write, marketers shouted their wares, friends met at public bath houses to chat, and the women weaved and sold fresh produce. The paved Roman roads were bustling, the people were noisy, but just nearby was Mount Vesuvius–the once-quiet volcano that began to groan and release its magma. The Romans were completely unaware of this as they continued to do their daily routines; it was by the end of August 25 that the volcano covered the town in ashes and molten rock. The people of Pompeii were no more.

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