Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On Thanksgiving

Bible reference: Genesis chapters 37 and 39 through 50.

It is a matter of perspective. Which will you choose?

Poor Joseph. He was betrayed by his brothers and sold to be a slave. He became a slave to Potiphar. Latter’s wife eyed Joseph and pursued him. When she didn’t get what she wanted, she accused him of wrongdoing. It wasn’t bad enough being a slave, but to be an imprisoned slave! And for what? For doing right?! Years pass by and it felt like Joseph was forgotten by God. Whatever happened to his dreams? Did God give him those dreams? Or … these were substances of his imagination? Two of the king’s officials get imprisoned with him. They dream very worrisome dreams since they do not understand them. Joseph interpreted the dreams and they waited for them to take place. And they did, three days later. One was restored to his position and Joseph thought, “Great! This is my opportunity.” Joseph requested from the official to talk to the king on his behalf.  The other forgot. Poor Joseph. Another person forgot about him. He filled his days with work as an addiction to forget his pain. And he was faithful, even in prison. Two years passed and the king dreamt a disturbing dream. God closed up all of his magicians’ minds to the meaning. Was all of this pure luck?

Or …

Joseph kept a close eye on his father Jacob’s business and reported everything to him faithfully; even if he had to offend his brothers. His father favored him and his brothers were jealous. There was no promotion in that business. However, God chose to promote him. He allowed his brothers to betray him and sold him as a slave. He was sold to Potiphar. He kept close watch on Potiphar’s business until Potiphar trusted him wholeheartedly. Since there was no other promotion in Potiphar’s house, God had to move him elsewhere to promote him. He allowed that he be imprisoned.  He earned the trust of the prison keeper and he was trusted with everything there. It was just a matter of time before another promotion would take place. It was a waiting period. And he was faithful; even in prison. God was glorified.

Perhaps, dear Reader, you would interpret the story a different way. But the ending reveals the purpose. No, sometimes we will not see the end during the fire. So we have to trust; to have faith in God who walked with us in the past. Jesus Christ showed Himself faithful to me in the past. I have no reason to doubt him now for He never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” ~ Hebrews 13:8. He is so good. He is so sweet. He is so compassionate. He is so patient. He is love. He is the beginning and the end. He is the alpha and the omega. He is life. He is light. He is the door. He is just. He is wonderful. He is The Counselor. He is Great. He is Great at everything He does. For He is. And He is the reason I am thankful.  

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Are you ready?


In reference to the video above and Matthew 24.

Maybe the exact date of Jesus’ return is unknown because no one knows the exact hour or date as He stated in Matthew 24:36. So it can be September 23 or 24 or the following week or the following month or the following year. One thing is sure: He will come back as He stated in Matthew 24:22-35 and Revelations 22:20. The question is: Are you ready? It would be wise to be ready at anytime as advised by Jesus in Matthew 24: 42-51.

For all who claim that there is no God or believe in Jesus Christ or second coming: what if you are wrong? Are you willing to take that risk? It is for eternity. Just because you don’t believe in something or someone, it does not cease to exist. Gravity exists whether we believe in it or not. Seek the truth and you shall find it.

For all who await His return patiently: Maranatha! “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus,” Revelations 22:20 latter.  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

How is your heart?

Biblical reference: Exodus chapters 1-12

During the famine of Joseph’s time, the Israelite clan moved to Egypt; Genesis 46. They thrived there. That generation died and Joseph with all he did was forgotten. The Israelites were enslaved by the new Egyptian king / Pharaoh. They needed a savior. Moses was sent. But Pharaoh wasn’t going to give up easily especially since he didn’t believe in God. He thought of himself a god. He believed the Israelites were being lazy and didn’t want to work. He employed magicians who can imitate some of the signs and wonders performed by Moses and Aaron (his brother) by the power of the true God. So Pharaoh’s heart became hard. God informed Moses of Pharaoh’s heart hardening ahead of time as an encouragement to stay in the bitter, long battle. After all, why would a king let a people go who are doing his country a great service at a fraction of the cost? It would be a terrible business decision. He was obsessed with their service regardless of the capacity of Egypt’s destruction caused by the plagues. The first two plagues were reproduced by the magicians. They could not replicate the rest and proclaimed to Pharaoh that it was the finger of God. He was unmoved. By the eighth plague, his officials attempted to persuade him to let them go for Egypt was ruined. Pharaoh did not regard their cry. All throughout the plagues, the Israelite communities were not affected. After the tenth and final plague, Pharaoh relented. He ordered them out of the country for his firstborn was dead. In fact, every first born son was killed whose house was not covered by the blood of the lamb. After letting them go, Pharaoh pursued them in the desert and into the Red Sea where he died with all of his fighting men. With this, the Israelites gained their freedom from Pharaoh once and for all.

There are many lessons to be learned in this story. 1) Pride comes before the fall; Proverbs 11:2, 16:18, 29:23. The fall or destruction not only affects the prideful person, but also those associated with him / her. In the story above, all of Egypt was affected. 2) God can and does protect those who take shelter in Him no matter how awful the storm is. He was able to protect the Israelites from all plagues. 3) God wants to set His people free from the bondage of Satan. All of us are born with a sinful nature that we inherited from Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God.  Pharaoh symbolize Satan. He won’t let people in his grip go unless they seek a stronger opponent; Jesus Christ. 4) The lamb sacrificed to protect the firstborn is symbolic to what Jesus Christ did in the New Testament. He died so we do not have to. He suffered to pay for our healing. He resurrected to resurrect us with Him. And in the process, He took the victory over Satan and death. He bestows this victory on whoever cleaves to Him.  

Dear Reader, please do not harden your heart and cause your downfall and of those around you. Stop believing Satan’s lies. He does not love you. He wants you to spend all of eternity with him in hell. He is a cruel master. If you give him an inch, he thinks he’s a Ruler. Why follow him when you can choose another who loves you very much? His name is Jesus Christ.   

Monday, August 31, 2015

To choose or not to choose?

Biblical reference is Genesis chapters 13 through 19.

Abram and Lot were traveling together. Both have been prosperous. The land could not support their livestock which caused their quarreling. Abram suggested they’d separate to opposite directions. Abram yielded and allowed his nephew Lot to choose which direction he preferred. 13:10 mentions that Lot looked up at the land. It looked good to him which was the basis for his decision. They parted company. Then God told Abram to look up at the land in verse 14. God promised the whole land to Abram.

Lot chose based upon appearance and he reaped. He chose to be associated with Sodom and Gomorrah. He chose to be part of an established city with walls as protection. The very next chapter a war breaks out against Sodom and Gomorrah because they rebelled against the king they were subjects to. Lot and everything of his were carried off. Abram rescues him, all of his household, and belongings. Six chapters later Sodom and Gomorrah are burned to the ground. Lot and his two daughters are rescued. His wife turned into a pillar of salt for looking back and longing for Sodom and Gomorrah. There was no mention of his possessions which were the subject of contention back in chapter 13. He lost everything. So Lot and his daughters were taken out of Sodom, but Sodom was not taken out of his daughters. They each bore a child by Lot when he was drunk because of a thought the eldest had; Genesis 19:30-38.

Abram chose passively and he reaped. He chose to be associated with God. He lived in tents. Yet no harm came to him. He was not subject to any king or land. He rescued Lot from the hands of four kings and their armies by a mere 318 trained men born in his household; Genesis 14:14. He didn’t need to rent out an army. God made a covenant with him that still lives on today. He is the father of all Israelites / Jews through his son Isaac. He is the father of all Muslims through his son Ishmael. He is the father of all believers / Christians through his faith in God and His promises; Romans 4:16-17. God visited Abram and told him what he planned to do in Sodom and Gomorrah. Fearing for his nephew Lot, Abram pleaded for the righteous. God answered his prayer by rescuing Lot.      

What can we learn from their choices and consequences? There are many lessons; only a few will be mentioned. First: to make an actual choice is the same as letting another choose for you. They both reap consequences and not making a choice is a choice in itself. Although Abram did not choose, a choice was made for him. And he reaped the consequences. Second: choosing based upon appearance alone will have a negative impact on self and those associated with the choice. Lot found himself in a lot of trouble. Abram was troubled as well for he had to rescue Lot more than once. Third: associations have the potential of being a blessing or a curse. When Lot was with Abram, he thrived. When he associated with Sodom and Gomorrah, he lost everything.

Why did Sodom and Gomorrah reap war and fire? They rebelled against the king they were subjects to. They also adhered to a different lifestyle. God created Adam and Eve. He does not make mistakes. He did not change his mind after creating them. A man and a woman were created in God’s image. One without the other cannot bear children. When a thought is dwelt upon in a person’s mind whether truth or otherwise, it takes root. From this root, behaviors arise. I can believe myself to be a goat. Then I will start to act like a goat. I may even start to look like a goat. Am I a goat? Did God create me to be a goat? When I walk away from God, I am susceptible to many lies. Lot walked away from God and Abram. He did not succumb to the lies of the towns he lived in. But his daughters did.

Dear Reader, life is full of choice making. Some are easy and require no second thoughts. Some require much thought. One of these is eternity. Some claim there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no satan. Some claim all of them exist in one form or another. If people want to have a better future, they go back to college and earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and / or a doctorate’s degrees. All of this just so they can have a better future which may last 40, 50, or 60 years. What about eternity? There is no time limit for it. It goes on and on and on. Isn’t it worth the effort to know the truth? Seek the truth and it will be found by you. Think for yourself. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Abundant Life

I get beaten every day. But that is okay. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ that I have another day. The following day is always full of surprises. Does this mean I am always smiling or happy? Not in the least. But I have to do what I have to do.

You see, the battle is not with the disease. The enemy / thief wants my mind and choices to be his. I refuse to succumb to his tactics. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  Some say that the full starts in the eternal. I disagree and this is just an opinion. 

As human beings, we have three facets: spirit, soul, and body. The spirit lies dormant until rebirth. Only spirit gives birth to spirit. There has to be a higher power / spirit to give birth to another spirit. Jesus Christ is the only one who has authority to give rebirth. God is spirit. (John 4:24) Jesus and God are one. (John 14:10; John 8:58) How does this rebirth start? A simple prayer which includes thanking Jesus for his redemptive work at crucifixion, requesting that he’d forgive past sins, and requesting to be accepted into his family. The soul contains our emotions and thoughts. The soul is very sensitive and can be affected by either the spirit or the body or both. It can feel like a battle because, it is. The enemy is vying for the emotions and thoughts; the soul. If he can control the mind; another name for the soul; he controls the person. The way for the enemy to win is through lies. It is stated in latter John 8:44: for he is a liar and the father of lies. For example: you’d get a thought that God does not love you. If you dwell on the thought and agree that God does not love you, enemy won this battle. But if you refuse to dwell on the thought and refuse to believe it, enemy loses. So our choices are very important for our well being. We can choose to be more like Jesus. How? By spending more time with him in prayer, reading of the Bible, attending church. True Christianity is about relationship and not religion. It is the relationship between God / Jesus Christ and the born again Christian. There is also the physical body which all of us are aware of.

God wants to heal on all levels. He heals the spirit through rebirth. How can you describe the color sky blue to a man born blind? Where would you begin? What if this same man was to have his eyes opened and he sees the sky for the very first time? Can you imagine the awe? Yes … it is like that. You have to experience it. This rebirth shifts one from one kingdom to another. With it, one becomes a son or daughter of God. With it, one becomes a new creation. With it, one has a new eternal dwelling where it’ll be spent with Jesus Christ. I never regretted this decision no matter how difficult life has been. Every born again Christian I know never regretted it either. God heals on the soul level. He is the wonderful Counselor stated in Isaiah 9. He wants to heal the pains and hurts of the past and the residue these leave on our personalities. He paid the price of our healings when he suffered and was crucified. So why should we? He wants to heal the body. I know he does. When Jesus walked the earth in human form, he healed everyone who approached him for healing. He approached very few to heal them. For complete reference, check out the previous post, “Who were healed?”  I also know he has a specific will for each of his children’s lives. Sometimes he has a purpose behind the illness. Once the purpose is finished, he may heal the body in earthly form or he may perform the complete healing.

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” I Corinthians 15:55. For the born again Christian, there is no sting of death. It is taken away. There is hope for eternity. He is Jesus Christ. It is no longer death, but a passover from one life to a much, much better one. The fear of death is taken away as well. No need to fear death. The limitations of the physical body are temporal. We ought to be faithful with our physical health for it will serve us as long as we occupy earth.

Life to the full starts with the rebirth. We have resources to guide and help us when we need such as the Bible and other believers. We have a constant companion in Jesus Christ. We are not in it alone. And the choice is ours. I hope and pray we all choose wisely.

So knowing what I know about the battle I am in, I chose life whether here or there depending upon God’s will for me. With this in mind, what do I have to lose? And you, my friend, what will you choose?