Be more ready to bless the others than judge them: Isaiah 61:1-2 is a prophetic reference to Jesus being anointed with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel of deliverance to others. This is the passage of Scripture that Jesus turned to when He preached His first sermon in the synagogue in Nazareth. Notice that Jesus stopped with proclaiming “the favourable year of the Lord” and did not proclaim “the day of vengeance of God” for that day had not yet come (compare v.2 with Luke. 4:19). Notice also the proportion of God’s favour in relation to His judgment. It is a whole year of favour as opposed to just a single day of judgment. That is a proportion of 365:1 in favour of grace. God is trying to show us here that He would much rather show us favour than judge us. Our attitude to others should also be the same. We should be 365 times more ready to bless others and to be gracious to them than to judge them. God has come to take away all heaviness from our lives and to replace it with a spirit of praise (v.3). Verse 10 speaks of God clothing us with the righteousness of Christ and making us the bride of Christ. What a blessed way to live.
Month: October 2018
To build churches of a high standard, we need leaders who have a high standard. Jesus said, “Follow Me” (Luke 9:23). And Paul said “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17). In those words of the apostle Paul, we see what the Holy Spirit expects every elder to be able to say to everyone in his church.
He and She
two worlds unparalleled
but permeating each other
searching for what unites them
what might divide them
1. God Loves Us as He loved Jesus: “Thou didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me” (John 17:23). This is the greatest truth that I have discovered in the Bible. It changed me from an insecure, depressed believer to one who has become totally secure in God and full of the joy of the Lord – always. There are many verses in the Bible that tell us that God loves us, but only this one that tells us the extent of that love – AS MUCH AS HE LOVED JESUS. Since there is no partiality with our heavenly Father in the way He loves any of His sons, He will certainly be willing to do everything for us, His sons, that He did for His firstborn Son, Jesus. He will help us as He helped Jesus. He will care for us as much as He cared for Jesus. He will be as interested in planning the details of our daily life as He was in planning Jesus’ life. Nothing can ever happen to us that will take God by surprise. He has already planned for every eventuality. So we need no longer be insecure. We have been sent to earth with as definite a purpose as Jesus was. All this is true for you too – but only if you believe it. Nothing works for the one who does not believe in the Word of God.
In 1 Thess.1:3, Paul speaks first about faith, love and hope “their work of faith, labour of love and steadfastness of hope,” and in the closing verses of Chapter 1 he speaks about true repentance. Here we have one of the clearest definitions of true repentance in the New Testament: “turning to God from idols” (1 Thess.1:9).
Repentance is turning away from all our idols and facing God. When you live in sin, you face your idols and your back is toward God. Your idol could be money, your job, your ambition, some sinful pleasure, your girlfriend, or yourself. It could be visible idols too. There are many types of idols. Repentance is turning away from all those idols and turning 180 degrees around to God, so that your idols are now all behind your back. If you have not turned your back to such idols, you have not really repented.
In Malachi 2:15, we read that God made a man and his wife one in order that through them He might receive godly children. Anyone can raise children. But the disciple of Jesus raises godly children. And for this, the very first requirement is that at least one of the two parents must be a wholehearted disciple of Jesus who loves the Lord with ALL his/her heart. Half-hearted Christians will not be able to raise godly children. A second important requirement is unity between husband and wife. This may not be possible if one partner is not a disciple. Then the other partner must battle it out alone against Satan, for his/her children. But if both are wholehearted, the work is much easier. This is why the right choice of a marriage- partner is so very important. It is very difficult to bring up children in a godly way if the husband and wife are always quarrelling with each other and blaming each other. If you want to build a godly home, seek unity with your husband /wife at any cost – even if, as a result, you have to give up many of your rights.
Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9)
My dear Savior!
You have said that in Your Word only is there fullness of life.
I want this fullness!
I want the very life which You bring and pour into my heart.
You have said, o Savior, that whoever feeds on Your Word has both the Father and the Son.
Forgiveness of our past sins is our very first and our constant need. The guilt of our sins could not be removed by God by any other way than by the payment of the full penalty for our sins. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).
When Christ shed His blood on the cross of Calvary, it purchased the pardon of every sin ever committed by anyone. But that pardon becomes ours only when we receive it. Through Christ’s blood we now have the forgiveness of all our sins, if we sincerely turn from our sins (repent), trust in Him, and receive the forgiveness that he offers.
I immerse myself in Your love
That is more than knowledge and understanding
I give myself up to Your Spirit
To guide me
Into the endless depths of Your being
I wish not only to know you
But also to sense what in Yourself is
Incomprehensible and unimaginable