Monday, December 28, 2009
2 Praise GOD for every thread He weaves in my Life 101 tapestry. It's all part of His creative design and ultimate purpose of making me CHRIST-like. For GOD created my inmost being; He knit me together in my mother's womb. i praise Him because i am fearfully and wonderfully made; His works are wonderful, i know that full well. My frame was not hidden from Him when i was made in the secret place. When i was woven together in the depths of the earth, His eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in His book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16)
3 Respect and love all children...every single child is a gift from GOD.
4 Remain in the VINE... for every branch that does not bear fruit is cut down and gathered for the fire. GOD prunes the fruit bearing branch so that it may produce even more... so be glad for the pruning, even if hurts! (John 15)
5 Don't judge -- everyone ripens in due season, according to GOD's process. Only GOD can rightfully judge for He is the only One Who is able to see the whole picture and all the inner motives. For with what judgment i judge, i will be judged; and with the measure i use, it will be measured back to me. (Matthew 7:2)
6 Be a ready vessel ... to be placed anywhere, anytime ... to be used anyhow by the Master Potter, as He so desires. As the clay in the Potter's hand, so am i in His hand. (Jeremiah 18:6b) Don't criticize or complain about the work He wants to do through me -- He Who has started a good work in me will finish it! Just keep cooperating, gladly waving the white flag of surrender daily.
7 Rejoice...be thankful for all things -- for every thing, every event, is by GOD's perfect design and under His ultimate control.
i know that GOD causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) NO thing is beyond His almighty righteous right arm Nothing is impossible with GOD. i know that GOD can do all things; no plan of His can be thwarted. (Job 42:2) My peace is knowing that GOD truly is in control.
i know for certain that these reSOLUTIONs will become my Actuality for it's already my Reality that i am a child of GOD, indwelled and filled by SPIRIT. i myself cannot do anything of lasting value, nor can i continually do the good things GOD wants me to do. It is by the power of the Holy SPIRIT abiding within Who does the good works through me. Not by might nor by power, but by My SPIRIT, says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6) i am confident that these reSOLUTIONs are "done deals" for these are within the will of GOD, are Scriptural, and because JESUS has promised to His followers that anything we ask in His name, believing that we will receive -- will receive what we ask of Him, when these desires are aligned to His will and ultimate purpose -- to conform us to His likeness. CHRIST is Faithful and True -- whatever He sets His mind on, it will be done -- just like He finished His sacrificial work on the cross at Calvary, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16b)
2010 is but the continuance of the above Life 101 Solutions -- hence the reSOLUTIONs. GOD is not finished with me yet!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Those who believe and follow the writings of the Bible, the Torah, the Qur'an (where all three books include the Pentateuch, the Five Books of Moses) -- understand that GOD, as a holy and righteous Judge, hates sin, cannot and will not tolerate sin; and therefore, must judge the doer of sin. Because of man's gift of free will, sin abounds today as it has throughout history. Sin created enmity between GOD, the Creator, and His creation, man.
GOD, the ultimate Judge, in His holiness and righteousness, requires justice for sin. JESUS, the GOD-Man, GOD's own only Son, was the ultimate payment that satisfied the Holy One's wrathful vengeance against sin. JESUS took upon Himself all of mankind's sins -- past, present and future -- and incurred the full brunt of GOD's unfathomable wrath against sin.
Can i even grasp this thought: the excruciating agony at the cross -- yet physical torture was "less painful" compared to the emotional, mental, soulful, spiritual anguish of total separation from the fellowship of One-ness which the Father and Son shared before time began. That moment when the Father executed His own Son at the cross -- venting His holy anger at the sinless One who became sin -- could that moment have been like a thousand years to JESUS? (With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8)
This is why believers in CHRIST throughout history have died for their faith and others have left all to do GOD's will -- their faithful allegiance to JESUS as the crucified CHRIST who took on Himself the sin of the world and as the risen Savior who has promised eternal life to those who trust in Him.
No other leader in all the world's major religions (Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese and African traditional religions), has died and risen -- yes, risen!
Secular scholars and researchers who have diligently investigated JESUS' history and the Bible's accuracy have concluded to the veracity of the Bible and it's sacred writings about JESUS. (i.e., Simon Greenleaf, Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University, considered by many to be the greatest authority on legal evidences; Josh McDowell, who wrote Evidence That Demands a Verdict to disprove the resurrection of CHRIST believed the evidence he found and converted; Frank Morrison, a British lawyer who went to Palestine to disprove the resurrection ended up writing the book, Who Moved the Stone? to prove the resurrection; Lew Wallace, wrote Ben Hur, to prove the reality of the resurrection of CHRIST -- from Faith Bible Institute workbook; C. S. Lewis, author, who questioned his own religious roots, re-embraced CHRISTianity after fully examining and taking it apart.)
No other Person has fulfilled GOD's Word as prophesied in the Holy Scriptures. No other Man has performed the countless (witnessed and documented) miracles that confirmed His deity... and the most outright visible sign from GOD to authenticate JESUS as His Son -- was the empty tomb... the fact of the resurrection.
CHRIST JESUS is the only way to receive GOD's forgiveness of sin -- to make peace with GOD -- to be justified before the holy Judge's blinding purity.
JESUS Himself said plainly, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
Only JESUS' own pure righteousness can withstand GOD's laser beam scrutiny. Only the CHRIST can stand between GOD's holy wrath against a sinner on Judgment Day. JESUS is the reason for the confidence of peace before GOD's holy and righteous judgment -- He is the believer's personal Defender -- the holy Advocate.
No religious leader, teacher or prophet -- past or present -- no man, can survive GOD's righteous and holy and perfect judgment. Only the totally pure and perfect, holy and righteous GOD-Man, CHRIST JESUS, has accomplished what no mortal ever could -- victory over death... salvation... redemption... atonement for the sinner -- so that all who believe in Him may receive His gift of eternal life and peace with GOD, the Almighty Creator.
GOD so loved the world, His creation, that He sent His only Son to be killed, as the Lamb to the slaughter -- and all that GOD asks of each sinner is acceptance of His most precious gift -- His very own Son.
GOD's promise is this: whosoever believes in CHRIST JESUS will be saved. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him. (John 3:36)
Here is the $1,000,000 question: Will you go to Heaven when you die? Your fate is in your own hands. It's not your sin that closes up the gates of Heaven for you, but your rejection of the GOOD News -- the Gospel of GOD, which is the Revelation of CHRIST JESUS.
i have claimed the promise of the GOOD News from the GOD who cannot lie, who never ever breaks promises, who is ever faithful and true to His Word. i am saved...Hallelujah!
Have you claimed GOD's promise of the GOOD News of JESUS CHRIST?
Please donate. ALL donations will benefit the Naselesele Village school children in Taveuni, Fiji. VINAKA VAKA LEVU!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Here in San Diego, winter clouds have rolled in...all beautiful -- whether dark greys or puffy whites, golden yellows or fiery oranges, blushing pinks or soft lavenders. Oswald Chambers wrote a fitting commentary about clouds in the July 29 entry of his classic devotional, My Utmost For His Highest.
In the Bible clouds are always connected with GOD. Clouds are those sorrows or sufferings or providences, within or without our personal lives, which seem to dispute the rule of GOD. It is by those very clouds that the SPIRIT of GOD is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were no clouds, we should have no faith. "The clouds are but the dust of our Father's feet." The clouds are a sign that He is there. What a revelation it is to know that sorrow and bereavement and suffering are the clouds that come along with GOD! GOD cannot come near without clouds, He does not come in clear shining.
It is not true to say that GOD wants to teach us something in our trials: through every cloud He brings, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our relationship to Him is exactly that of a child -- GOD and my own soul -- other people are shadows. Until other people become shadows, clouds and darkness will be mine every now and again. Is the relationship between myself and GOD getting simpler than ever it has been?
There is a connection between the strange providences of GOD and what we know of Him, and we have to learn to interpret the mysteries of life in the light of our knowledge of GOD. Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging GOD's character, we do not yet know Him.
Is there anyone "save JESUS only" in your cloud? If so, it will get darker; you must get to the place where there is "no one any more save JESUS only."
Below is my journal entry on the same date for 2009:
"Rejoice indeed when i encounter a cloudy day -- for JESUS is with me, to reveal Himself to me in a deeper, more intimate way. Clouds are the means with which He makes me one with Him. All trials in my life are designed by my Father to make me see JESUS only!"
i was able to own this Reality at last, after a prolonged travail in the Valley of the Shadow of Death -- to thank GOD for everything, no matter the circumstance, good or ill, disturbing or pleasant, joyous or mournful.
i believe that GOD will remove every thing which competes with JESUS in my affections. If i don't willingly surrender these idols which vie for a higher priority in my life, GOD will get my attention with a whisper of His still small voice through His indwelling SPIRIT. And if i turn a deaf ear to His voice, He may resort to something louder and stronger, like a thunderous whirlwind with ominous clouds in tow. But if i truly trust in GOD as Omniscient Love -- truly knowing what's best for me and only allowing what i can bear, and that He will cause all things to work together for my good because i love Him (Romans 8:28), and that He will use even this tumult for His purpose of drawing me closer to Him -- then i can indeed rejoice as these clouds engulf me -- but not overwhelm me...for i have received (by faith) the privilege of walking with CHRIST, hand in Hand, through it all.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
For GOD so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NLT)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
So on the days i get impatient and antsy, i ask Him to enable me, to empower me, by His abiding SPIRIT so that i may continue to worship Him wholeheartedly, no matter what -- to wait for His return, standing firm on the Rock of Ages, immovable and steadfast in the palm of His almighty righteous hand; and to watch for His directives -- to be alert and ready to follow His lead...to be unattached to the things that grab at my heart...to be at all times holding on very loosely to the stuff of the world...to be vigilant of my heart so that nothing may separate me from my fellowship with GOD as i walk in step with Him.
Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For GOD has said, "I will never fail you. I will never forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
Sunday, November 29, 2009
In my opinion, the most important Mary in all human history is the virgin Mary, the mother of JESUS, the CHRIST. She was the vessel blessed indeed by GOD and chosen by Him to supernaturally bring into the world the Word -- to manifest His only begotten Son into human flesh. And there could only be one such Mary for one such ultimate miracle of bringing the infinite One into the finite body of a tiny vulnerable baby...and young Mary was one that had such great faith that though she couldn't understand the how of it, she believed that with GOD, anything was possible.
This Mary was quite young, a virgin betrothed to Joseph -- she knew what great consequence would befall her when she was found pregnant outside of wedlock, and with a baby not even Joseph's. Yet her answer to the angel's announcement was, "i am the LORD's servant, may it be to me as You have said." (Luke 1:38) Her faith was such that she received the honor of being chosen to be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah with a fully trusting heart --obeying GOD and trusting that GOD will deal with all the consequences.
Can i follow Mary's example of being this trusting...of saying Yes! to anything and everything that GOD wants to accomplish through my life, no matter the havoc it may wreak to my own plans? Can i say, like Mary did, "My soul glorifies the LORD and my spirit rejoices in GOD my SAVIOR" (Luke 1:46-47) when GOD tells me to let go my agenda and instead get in step with His own -- never mind where or when or how He wants me to follow Him...to just go for GOD no matter the cost? Do i have the inner strength, the great faith, and glad obedience that Mary exemplified? Only GOD knows...the time will come when He will clearly show me the direction He wants me to take. And that's when i'll know if my faith is such that i will say Yes! -- no matter what His directive may be.
Can i stand...just stand, in the midst of life's turmoil, waiting patiently on the LORD, steadfast and determined to keep my focus on JESUS and not the circumstance which is trying to cloud Him from my vision? Will my faith cave in, making me run away to escape from the pain of GOD's process? Or will i allow the Holy SPIRIT to fight my battles, trusting that with Him, "i can do all things through CHRIST Who strengthens me"? (Philippians 4:13)
And during this busy time of family get-togethers, shopping for unique gifts at The ShoppE at Rose's, tying loose ends with Bible studies, painting projects -- can i just sit still, like Mary, at the feet of my LORD JESUS? Or will i be like Martha, frustrated with all the busyness of the season's festivities -- being overwhelmed with too many good works for CHRIST that i neglect to make time for one-on-one fellowship with the most important, utterly precious Person of my life?
JESUS knew what was best -- not just the good enough -- for the household of Lazarus, Martha and Mary. Martha did good things for JESUS -- she made Him comfortable and feel welcomed in their house (which i think was probably very clean and organized), served him good meals, and ran around Him in circles -- busily doing good works for Him.
"But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, "LORD, don't You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" (Luke 10:40) For she saw her sister Mary just sitting at JESUS' feet, listening to Him, in rapt attention. And JESUS said (and i wonder what tone He used when He said her name twice) --
"Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
During the busyness of my everyday life, will i choose to sit at JESUS' feet -- being nourished by His Word, being at one with Him through unceasing prayers and steadfast focus on His Person, being led by Him to do what He desires to have me do rather what i am expected to do as a CHRISTian?
Will i choose to be a Mary or a Martha?
CHRIST JESUS is my bottom-line reason for living every day. He is The ROCK, the sure and only Foundation of my season on earth. \o/
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The Church is the body of CHRIST, which He is the Head and Owner, and i (and all born again believers -- no matter the denomination, nationality or country) as His follower, is a member of the whole body. The Holy SPIRIT Who abides within, in His still small voice, asked me: rln, how is your "church"? Are you SPIRIT filled? Are you a beacon of light to those around you, to the community in which you live? Are you zealous for CHRIST as He was (and is) for the Father? Does His SPIRIT control you...does His Presence enliven your "church"?
In Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, there were seven churches with certain characteristics which i could apply to my own "church" today -- a checklist, so to speak, to gauge my own inner spiritual condition. Which of these churches describe the inner me today?
The church at Ephesus -- the loveless church.
JESUS commended this church as hard working (evangelistic), patient (longsuffering and enduring all for Him without quitting), separated from the world (discerning of the truth, not tolerating evil people or wickedness, agreeing with Him in repudiating the deeds of the immoral Nicolaitans), persistent in their faith though persecuted. Yet He condemned this church for leaving its first love -- love for CHRIST Himself and fellow believers. This church had many good works, yet it neglected its first love -- communion with GOD and fellowship with His family. His counsel -- repent!
The church at Smyrna -- the persecuted church.
JESUS commended this church for suffering persecution (and slander from the synagogue of satan) and poverty for His sake (GOD saw this church as spiritually rich). He had no condemnation for this church. His counsel -- be fearless, remain faithful -- even when facing death, for those who are victorious will receive the crown of life and will not be hurt by the second death.
The church at Pergamos -- the compromising church.
JESUS commended this church for holding fast to their faith in Him amidst satanic influence (the city's populace worshipped many idols and objects) and martyrdom. He condemned this church because some members practiced the doctrine of Balaam (sexual immorality and idolatry); and some practiced the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (sexual immorality, perversions, self-indulgence). His counsel -- repent!
The church at Thyatira -- the corrupt church.
JESUS commended this church for their good works -- their constant improvement in love, service, faithfulness, patience and endurance. Yet He condemned them for allowing Jezebel to corrupt the church, to teach and seduce the members to commit sexual immorality, heresy and idolatry. His counsel to those who remained undefiled by Jezebel's corruption -- hold fast to their faith in Him until His return.
The church at Sardis -- the dead church.
JESUS commended this church for having a few who were not defiled, who were still a GODly remnant of the true faith in CHRIST. He condemned this church for being dead though it had a reputation for being alive -- for going through the motions like a walking zombie, but actually spiritually dead, for their deeds were far from right in the sight of GOD. His counsel -- watch, strengthen (that which remains and is about to die); remember what they have received (salvation, the Gospel), hold fast and repent!
The church at Philadelphia -- the faithful church.
JESUS commended this church that though it had little strength, it obeyed His Word and not denied His name...it obeyed His command to persevere. This church openly confessed to the inspiration of the Word of GOD, and openly confessed to the incarnation of JESUS, the Son of GOD. He had no condemnation for this church. His counsel -- hold fast to what they have so that no one may take their crown.
The church at Laodicea -- the lukewarm church.
JESUS had no commendations for this church! He had nothing good to say whatsoever. He condemned this church for its arrogance and pride -- for saying, "I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing." He condemned them for their ignorance of their true state -- "wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked." His counsel -- replace their material riches (wealth derived from the city's commercial industries -- banking, wool, medicine...eye salve, in particular) with the true spiritual riches which lead to genuine salvation: faith (gold purified by fire), works blessed by GOD (white raiment for their nakedness), forgiveness (spiritual eye salve, that they may see).
His counsel -- repent! Be diligent and turn from indifference. He is at the door, knocking -- calling (the Son of GOD asking to be allowed in!!!)...open the door of your heart.
(The above are basically from John Yates' commentary of the seven churches, as derived from Willmington's Guide to the Bible.)
So which church do i most resemble today? What will JESUS commend me for, and what will He find in me to rebuke? Do i do good works for self-aggrandisement rather than simply out of love for Him? Do i compromise His Word by not standing firm to His Truth? Do i obey GOD's commands or do i still conform myself to the world? Do i worship Him by rote rather than with passionate gratefulness? Do i still value the riches of this world rather than setting my sights on the true riches of His heavenly Kingdom? What is the condition of my inner church today?