This week is called by many names, Easter, Passover, but some prefer to call it Resurrection. I have no idea what Easter means, the dictionary called it a Pagan festival , another definition call it a Christian Festival. Let me make educated guesses. Pagan festival ? let us see, we can not help but think of the cross, which originated as punishment by what used to be pagan Rome but God used it to sacrifice His Son Jesus Christ. The cross became a symbol of our salvation or means to salvation.
Passover which is Jewish festival, which basically the sacrifice of animal(lamb) and marking the blood on the door posts and when the angel of death during Moses time sees the blood , he will spare the first born of the Jews.In Christian belief , Jesus is that lamb that was sacrificed, that when we identify with Jesus, His blood is placed on us, that God will "passover" us or be spared of death which is supposed to be the wages of our sins.
Resurrection or coming back from the dead is what Jesus showed giving us a promise that we too will live. Some people will argue that where is the proof. The proof is in our faith though we did not see Jesus with our physical eye. Our faith tells us that Jesus really existed and the Bible account about Him is true.
One more question who killed Jesus ? I used to believe the Jews and the Romans killed Him but what really killed Him is my sins and yours. He was crucified for our sins.
For these Jesus deserved to be worshipped and adored and we say Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Glory to God !!!
Most Christian churches I know have been trying to win non Christians to the Christian faith. Other ways we call it are sharing the faith , evangelizing etc . We even try to convert fellow Christians and our fellow Christians try to convert us. Convert may not be the best word to use but you may use your own if you like.
On one book I am reading about sharing the faith, the author mentioned that some or many people are waiting to be invited to go to church while some Christians are shy about sharing the faith.
But I believe time is short so those who are waiting to be invited and those who are shy about sharing their faith, I will encourage them/us to make their/our move. To pray that God will lead them/us to people who need or know the Lord Jesusand for us to use our time wisely because time is short.
The title of this blog could also be walking with Jesus and coming to God. I hope this does not come to you as arrogance because as Christians we have to walk in the light or walk with Jesus.
I got somewhat troubled today because when I read Matthew chapter 23 of the Bible which talked about scribes and PhariseesI thought some verses describe me. I asked myself am I going to hell ?Is my Christianity in vain, am I a hypocrite ? Once again I had my soul searching and silently prayed Lord cleanse me .
I heard a preacher said before that when we get closer to God, the more we will see our unworthiness. But is it not Romans 8:1 says there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.But is seeing our unworthiness a form of condemnation ? I believe the answer is no, seeing our unworthiness is seeing reality but not meant to condemn but for us to ask for help.
Another explanation is just like when we see a beautiful product at first glance but when we take a closer look or examine it we start noticing some flaws, just like our life. Just us we overcome some sins through the help of the Holy Spirit and as we journey in this life we see some more sins or imperfections or hidden aspects in our life.
My journey is not over yet but the Lord Jesus will walk with us and teach us and carry us along the way.How about you ? I hope this blog encourages you not to give up because Jesus will help us in our walk and pick us up when we fall.
In today's world where Churches want or continue to save the lost for Jesus Christ, in these last one or two decades saw the appearance of Rick Warren of Purpose driven church (Saddleback church), Joel Osteen of Lakewood church probably two main examples of American mega churches, the worldwide television network of Trinity Broadcasting Network which started in 1974 (?). With this came also Paul Washer of Heartcry Ministries disagreeing with the ways of Warren and Osteen.
But let us make an independent look at our churches today and what is being preached in the pulpit today and religious broadcast today. Do we hear the teachings of Jesus , Paul, John about heaven , righteousness, faith, sin, grace, reward, judgment, hell ?
Are we altering God's message to attract unbelievers or unchurched by emphasizing love, prosperity, favor and be less threatening to people ? Are we altering God's message to retain regular church attenders ?
The Bible teach that we should remove the plank or the beam that is in our eyes before we can remove the mote in our brother's eyes. Looking at myself I can see my own unworthiness, so i can not cast stone but I can suggest to examine ourselves.
Are the churches being soft or our ears itching for those messages ?
One of the hardest choices of a Christian is to decide which one to believe, whether the Lord Jesus' coming is very soon or His coming is not in our lifetime. Why is it hard ? When we believe His coming is very soon, we have a tendency to just make short term plans and when we think His coming is not in our lifetime, then our tendency is to focus on long term plans and not have the urgency to do God's will for our lives.
Another choice is to make short and long term goals and plans. But then if we don't watch it we will end up worrying about the future as we see some present discouraging news.
So let us see what our Lord Jesus says " Take no thought of tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient unto today all the evil thereof.The Bible also says Today is the day of salvation.
With that in mind shall we think Jesus is coming today or maybe tomorrow ? Some say when we expect Jesus to come everyday we get discouraged when he does not come but when we think He may come tomorrow we might think of sinning one last time.
It could also be a guessing game,but which one is safer ? How about this one? Cultivate the presence of Jesus daily in our life for even He said " Lo I will be with you always even unto the end of the age.
This question usually arises when Christians talk about salvation. Some says in order to be saved one needs faith and works. Some likes to quote Paul who wrote Ephesians 2:8, 9 which says For by grace you are saved through faith it is a gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast. Everyone agrees that we need faith but where does work comes in ? In James 2:20 the verse says faith without works is dead.
How do we reconcile Paul who wrote Ephesians 2:8,9 as inspired by the Holy Spirit and James who wrote James 2:20 also inspired by the Holy Spirit ?
One way to settle this is by using symbols or legend:
Let F= faith
0 W= zero works or no works
so the equation will look like this F+W= S let this be equation one which looks like James is saying.
Paul seems to say F +0 W= S (0 stands for zero) let this be equation two.
Looks like equation one does not agree with equation two. Did the Bible contradicted itself ?
As was explained to me by my pastor, the equation below will settle this.
F--->S----->W or Faith will lead to Salvation which will lead to Works.
This equation reconciles Paul and James , would you agree ?
In summary we do not need works to be saved but we need works to show that we are saved. Or works is not prerequisite for salvation but is a proof or fruit of our salvation.
I was hoping for a miracle and healing in my life when I sensed I am not getting it yesterday, so I silently asked why ? Maybe God does not want to answer all our prayers . I thought getting all our wishes will eliminate faith or make us shallow. Unanswered prayer could lead us to two things: to lose faith or trust or for us to seek deeper in our relationship with God.
Sure enough I believe God revealed that I have a deep seated desire to be number one , to be the best at something. I resisted and tried to justify that there is nothing wrong with that desire.As I meditated further that desire to be no. 1 did not come from God . Being number 1 belongs to God, it belongs to Him because He is our Creator. Jesus who is God in the flesh or human form came not to be number one but to be in His Father's business and He said in Luke " the Spirit of the LORD is upon Him. He humbled Himself to be baptized by John and allowed Himself to be led by the Holy Spirit. And He came to minister and serve.
For us humans, I suggest that a better desire than to be number one is to follow Jesus and be happy and contented with what God assigns to us. How we do this will and is part of our journey. There is nothing wrong in being the best for God but it is different from being the best for ourselves.
Short Blog # 2 Our personal relationship with God.
Aside from our corporate or group relationship with God through our church of our choice, let us be reminded of our personal relationship with God. Whether we are new or old believer in Jesus Christ, we are encouraged to have a daily one on One relationship with our Creator , our Lord and Savior.
For those who are new to this, this consist of daily Bible reading, journalling helps , prayer, confession etc. Since this is personal we need to tailor it with respect with our stage in our Christian walk, time, our work, our responsibilities but with God as our First. We need to cut down on our activities that are not pleasing to God.
So brothers and sisters in the Lord, God bless in our personal relationship with our God.
Matthew 25:1-5 Says " Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
Question : Are you interested to know the meaning of these verses ? Are you interested enough to get a hold of your Bible and see what is the meaning or ending of this parable ?
The Bible says nobody knows the day or the hour of Jesus Christ's return. So you may ask , what is this March 16, 2013 ? This day keeps coming up in my awareness for weeks and days now. It started when I found a tract in the park about microchipping humans on March 23, 2013, which could be the mark of the beast as described in the book of Revelation.You may ask, who am I ?A believer in Jesus Christ, who has been expecting the rapture since 1985. Many believers predicted the rapture and was mistaken, so I could be next to be mistaken. That is why I am not doing anything drastic negatively but I am drawing closer to the Lord.
So my readers do not quit your job, do not sell your house or dispose your belongings but draw closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. Make sure you start making plans to be more obedient to the Lord.
What if nothing happen on March 16,2013 ? Well maybe God is still calling men to repentance or He is waiting for the others to come to Him before the great tribulation or judgment.
Meanwhile, I have been intensifying my awareness for the Holy Spirit and been examining myself and being as obedient as I can to the Lord. So my readers thanks for your time, I hope you will take my advice to be closer to the Lord.
My comment: March 16, 2013 came and went and the rapture did not happen. However I also commented on my blog and I quote: What if nothing happen on March 16,2013 ? Well maybe God is still calling men to repentance or He is waiting for the others to come to Him before the great tribulation or judgment.
Plainly as promised I will continue to love and serve the Lord and will keep sharing the good news of the salvation of mankind through Jesus Christ.