Genesis 1: 3 “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

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  • The story of creation is a reminder of how God created a world where He could dwell with His creatures and have fellowship with us.
  • On day 1, before anything else, God made sure that there was light.
  • John  1:9 tells us that the light of the world is Jesus. (“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”)
  • In order for us to shine this light, we must have Jesus in us:
    • We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
    • We are able to serve because Jesus says that we are to offer our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3:16)
    • We are able to do good because God has designed us for that very purpose. (Ephesians 2:10)
  • Jesus tells us, “14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
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All things work for good

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All things work for good Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This is the source of our hope – because we know God is good and He is in control, we can trust that all things will work out for good in His time. God has a plan and this plan has been unfolding throughout all the ages. Though we may not understand what is happening, and though there is suffering and pain; though there are those who continue to hurt us and steal and kill, and though we hear of wars and disasters and plagues, we do not lose hope. We know God will reward each of us according to what we deserve; and for those who trust Him and do good, a heavenly home awaits. And for those who choose to do evil and reject God, they too will get what they deserve. We walk by faith. We live by faith. Because we know that God is in control. Romans 8:28 is a promise for those who LOVE GOD, not for those who reject Him.

  • How do we know we love God?In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.” – 1 John 5:3
  • And what are these commandments? “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39.

Pretty cool, huh? It’s amazing how God allows us to understand His truths as we read His Word. Truly, our God is faithful. And because He is faithful, we can live by faith in the God who loves us. And we can declare with faith for all to hear; “GOD IS GOOD! ALL THE TIME!” Bible Lesson:

  1. The authority of God’s Word: The Bible in many parts is like a giant history book and tells us about how God is faithful even when man is not. It is an account of how God is faithful to do as He promised; how God fulfills His covenants and stays true to His Word no matter what. For most of us, we believe it because of the testimony of people whose lives have been changed when they heard the message about Christ and they put their trust in Jesus. Seeing how the Scripture changes lives, both of those whose lives where written in the bible and the fellowship of believers we have now, and more importantly, how it speaks to us personally and changes our lives as well – this is our reason for believing in the authority of the Bible.
  2. Trusting God through the “ages”:– In Hebrews 11:3, it is said, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (KJV) We know that the English version of the New Testament was primarily translated from Greek, and in many cases such as in this verse, a careful analysis of the Greek terms used will help us understand the meaning more fully. There are three words we have to take a look at.
  • worlds” – This is the Greek word “aion” which means “periods of time” or “ages”.
  • framed” – This comes from “katartizo” and means “to prepare” or “to arrange”
  • word” – This is the Greek word “rhema” and it refers to the “revealed word” or “spoken word,” as opposed to “logos” which is the “written Word of God.”

With this, we can therefore paraphrase Hebrews 11:3 as thus; “Through faith, we understand that that the ages were prepared by the spoken word of God.” This tells us that God is in control of all the different periods of times than man has lived in. From the time of the fall of Adam and Eve, the flood during the time of Noah, the exodus from Egypt during the time of Moses, including all the events leading down to the time of Jesus and the New Testament church, and even until now; God is in control. He has a plan. He has prepared or arranged all things to work out His plan. 3. God is in control: Daniel 2:21 says,“He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Faith is based on the truth about God. It is not based on our wishful thinking that somehow, somewhere, there is a divine hand who would probably or most likely make things work out for the best. No! Our faith is based on the one true God who is in control! “He changes times and seasons” – God is aware of all these extreme weather conditions and super storms and climate change. He is in control. He can calm the wind and waves anytime He wants to. “He deposes kings and raises up others” – no one who is any position of authority or leadership can claim they did it all on their own without God. That is simply not true. God allowed for them to be in charge, whether they are good or bad. God is in control. Job 12:10 says, “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” We may not understand why things are the way they are, but God does. And we put our trust not on what we see, hear, or feel, but on what God says. 3. Living by faith:When we see evil around us, when we are surrounded by pain and suffering, wars and greed, we wonder where is God in all of this? But the Word of God plainly tells us, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” – Colossians 1:17 In 2 Corinthians Chapter 5, the apostle Paul talks about how we know that our life here on earth is just temporary, and how we eagerly await our eternal dwelling in heaven – the promised eternal home for all who believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Believing this truth allows us to “walk” or “live” by faith, and not by sight, because although we have not seen heaven, we trust God’s Word that it is real. And more importantly, because we have faith that God is in control, it encourages us to make it our life’s goal to please God, because we will all have to appear before Christ one day when it is time to reap in heaven the fruits of whatever we have sown here on earth. God is just and will give us what we deserve. If we have planted much good, then we will harvest much good as well. We do not have faith because of what we see happening around us – we have faith because God’s Word says so. That is how we live by faith, and not by sight. 

Parables of Jesus – notes from the DVD

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Here are my notes from the Parables of Jesus DVD. Some were directly transcribed from the narration.

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The Good Samaritan – Luke 10

A certain man had to make a journey from Jerusalem to Jericho

  • There was only one way – thru the wilderness.
  • Jericho was the lowest place on earth, deep in the Dead Sea
  • The way was a dangerous path, frequented by robbers

1st person – Priest

  • Man had no identification and looked dead – touching would make him unclean

2nd person – Levite

  • Man was possible a sinner and this was his punishment

3rd person – Samaritan

  • Eating the bread of a Samaritan was like eating the food of pigs

It must have seemed like an insult for an expert of the law of Moses to be told to follow the example of a Samaritan. Of course this story could be told using different races and beliefs.

Will I show the love of God in my actions or not? There’s another twist to the story.

Who is the object of my love? = Who is my neighbor?

Jesus turned the question on its head, for the story is not about who is qualified to receive love, but who is capable of giving love.

Parable of the Unmerciful Servant – Matthew 18

(Forgiveness – not just 7 times, but 70 times 7)

Servant owed 10,000 (16 Million times the daily wage = more than what an entire province could afford). He was a corrupt official. The King canceled the entire debt. An act of mercy beyond believe; a royal pardon. The King had the power to punish and the power to forgive. He had chosen to forgive.

Servant had a fellow servant who owed him about 3 months wages. Servant sent the man who owed him to prison.

Servants of the King struggled to tell what happened because they might insult the King because it may seem that he had done the wrong thing. The king’s act of mercy had been intended to be an example of compassion, but the man who had been forgiven looked at it at a sign of weakness.

My heavenly Father will do the same to you, unless you forgive your brother from your heart (Matthew 6). God is not just interested in seeing us beg for mercy, He wants us to change. And if we’re not ready to do that, there is no forgiveness from God. So what should we do. First, we should ask God for forgiveness which we genuinely need, then we should be ready to give genuine forgiveness to other people.

Repentance should lead to a generous and forgiving attitude towards other people.

The Treasure and the Pearl

Matthew 13

Many centuries ago, many people were taken as prisoners, and so a rich man would bury his treasure in a piece of land, hoping to return to it later.

Many years later, a field worker found the treasure, but he knew that legally, the treasure belonged to whoever owned the land.

Only 1 choice: to buy the land. Sell everything he owned to buy the field. The land was his and legally, so was the treasure. Now people would know why he literally sold everything just to buy the piece of land.

Jesus made a point: Some things are just so important their value outweighs everything else.

PEARL

There was a merchant who buys pearls for a living. He has traveled the world and has built a network of contacts in conducting his business.

Gold was easy to find because there were a lot of craftsmen who could make fine gold jewelry, but a truly magnificent pearl was much harder to find.

The merchant has been trading pearls and it was his life’s dream to find the perfect pearl – a pearl whose value was more than anything he had ever seen before.

Merchant found a pearl that was the most precious in the whole world, but the price was beyond anything he had ever encountered. It would cost him all he had. He knew the value of his things but he also knew the value of the pearl, and he knew it was worth it. And he was glad to sell everything he had because he knew it worth everything he had and more.

Jesus said that the buried treasure and the pearl was like the kingdom of heaven – it was beyond comparison and is worth everything we have, and more. On one aspect, the farmer and the merchant cost them all they had to get that which is what they want, and they were glad to do it.

More than anything else, it was the sovereign rule of God, both now and in the future, in this life and in the life to come. For the person who is a follower of Jesus Christ, the sheer joy of being in the will of God and experiencing the control of God is far more important than anything else. After all, what’s the alternative? As Jesus said, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?

The Midnight Visitor

Some of the stories told by Jesus Christ were about everyday life as he had seen it happen, and he used these happenings to illustrate our relationship with God. But not always. Sometimes, they were the very opposite.

Luke 11

The village was the kind of place were nothing much appeared to happen. But one day something unusual happened: a friend arrived unexpectedly one midnight, and for him to have arrived safely so late was something to thank God for. The rules of hospitality demanded that he be treated with great respect. It didn’t matter that it was midnight; first the guest must have his feet washed. Indeed, the proper treatment of a visitor was a matter of honor not only for the family but for the whole village.

But since the host did not have any bread left, he knocked on a neighbor’s house to ask for some bread, and though the neighbor was reluctant to get up at first, because of his persistence, the neighbor gave hi bread. Thus, the guest was fed and well-taken cared of, and the village was able to save its reputation as a place of hospitality.

Does using the word “love” so casually make it somehow not seem so precious and pure? Does using love for common things like food or fashion make it less pure and holy?

Jesus finished his story with saying, “Keep on asking, and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”

For some people God is like the neighbor in the story: He will help us out, but only after a lot of ‘s persuading and is very inconvenient. Think about this: what was the neighbor’s motive: was it out of friendship, or was it a sense of duty? Perhaps the fear of losing face in the community? Jesus was saying, “Do you really think God is like this? Of course not! God does not give grudgingly, but generously, because God is good, all the time.”

The Dinner

Luke 14 – Middle eastern stories talk about honor and generosity

A certain man held a dinner and invited many people. Preparation was done many days before the meal. A servant was sent out to remind the guests it was time to come. It was the custom to hang a piece of cloth outside the house. While the cloth was there, it means that the guests who were invited were welcome. After it was removed, the door would be closed.

The first guest the servant spoke to said he bought a land and was going to take a look at it and so he asked to be excused from the banquet. Strange, for surely the man would have already looked at it before he bought it.

The next guest also made excuses – he said he just bought oxen and he said he was going to test them. This could not be true! Nobody buys cattle without first inspecting them!

The next guest did not even apologize, he just made a statement. “I have married a wife, therefore, I cannot come.” Did he not know he would be married by this day?

Gradually it became clear. It was a deliberate insult to the generosity of the master – the whole community had rejected him.

The master was very upset, but he must show the true meaning of hospitality. He asked his servant to go out again to invite the lame, the blind, the poor – people who would be thankful to have a place of honor in the banquet. The servant was asked to come out a second time. Some people might not believe the good news immediately but they knew what it would mean.

By accepting his invitation they would associate themselves with the name of the man who provided the dinner and from now on they were on his side and they were expected to be loyal. The master not ask them to bring gifts, but they could not change the date; they were to come as they were, right away.

So the dinner was not canceled and the people who ate the food were people who appreciated it and were glad to have it. But for the men who were invited first, there was no second chance.

Jesus invited people into the kingdom of God but the Pharisees just criticized him. Mostly it was people who knew they were sinners and needed him who became his disciples.

Jesus wanted all kinds of people to know him, but some of the rich were so involved with their businesses and pleasures that they failed to respond to the invitation – and so very foolishly, they excluded themselves from the kingdom of God. While some who were strictly religious preferred to criticize him for accepting and welcoming those they call sinners. It didn’t have to be like that. God is generous! The invitation to be in His kingdom is for everyone. The meal is served. But God will not force us, we can say “Yes”, or we can refuse the invitation and miss the party. Today is the day of invitation. Tomorrow? Who can say?

The Manager

Luke 16 – The manager who lost his job

During the time of Jesus, the olive trees in Judea produced abundant olive oil. But the farmers faced a problem: crop of olives could not be sold and turned into cash until after the harvest. And in the meantime there were bills to be paid.

The story was about a manager whose business it was to lend the farmers money. He was employed by a rich man who wanted to lend money and make a profit by doing so. But the law of Moses would not allow them to take interest from a loan for a fellow Jew, so the farmer had to sign a note promising a share of the harvest to the lender equal to the principal plus interest. It was not quite respectable, and that’s why the rich man employed a manager who would take care of the contracts.

But today he was angry. He found out that the manager had mishandled his money and so he fired him. The manager faced a hopeless situation. He was old and not strong enough to work as a laborer, and with his situation nobody would employ him again as manager. He was too proud to beg, so somehow, he must find a way out.

He still had a few hours that he had control of the business so he had to act quickly. He could not rob his master, but he could make some changes that would be perfectly legal before he turned the accounts in. The answer was so simple and so obvious, he must ask quietly and quickly.

He sent for the farmers one by one. The olive grower came first. The manager asked him to change the amount due from 100 to 50 – it was a free loan! The interest had been removed! The olive grower was so grateful to the manager and would be willing to do anything to show his appreciation to the manager.

The wheat farmer also had his loan changed from 100 to 80 – all for the benefit of the farmer. The loan still had to be repayed on time, but with no interest. Both of the farmers were now in debt to the manager, and he would always be welcome to eat dinner at both their homes.

And so it went on. By the end of the day, there were a lot of very happy customers and one very popular manager. What could the master do? The law of Moses said no interest at all. The manager did his dirty work for him charging high interest rates. But the master himself told the manager to put the accounts in order and that was precisely what he did – not in the way the master expected but according to the law of Moses. Now the whole community was singing praises to the man who charged no interest calling him a true son of Abraham. The master may not like what the manager had done but he could only admire his quick thinking.

The master only got what he deserved and the manager made many new useful friends. Very clever. The disciples were still chuckling when Jesus turned it on them. Men of the world were more clever. Make friends for yourself with worldly wealth, so that when it is gone, you will be received in heaven.

Jesus does not comment on the ethics of the master or his manager. They were men of the world. He says nothing about the rights and wrongs of charging interest. What he does say is this. The manager was clever. He lost his job, but for a limited time he had control of a lot of money. So he used it to buy himself friends.

Now we are here on earth for a limited time with a limited amount of wealth, and so we should also use it wisely. Our opportunity to do good on this earth is very short, but we can use what we have to be a blessing to other people. In the future, that blessing would come back to us. Obeying God and doing what we can to help others is beyond value. Well that’s obvious. And yet some of us seem to be ignoring this fact. If we behaved in business what we behave towards God, some of us may be bankrupt tomorrow morning.

Some of Jesus’ stories are disturbing and that is what Jesus intended. How do we respond to them will determine what we will become.

Prayer for sending off with the Armor of God

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Dear Kuya Jun and Ate Shee,

We thank the Lord for God’s goodness which He has shown you all these years and for how much you both have blessed our hearts and shown us God’s love is indeed alive and true. As you embark on this new journey, we want to send you armed with the armor of God, so that you may be able to stand firm and “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10), “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6)

As you fasten the belt of truth around you, may the “Spirit of truth guide you into all the truth;” (John 16:13), “the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD.” (Isaiah 11:2) May the Lord “Sanctify you by the truth; for His Word is truth” (John 17:17).

As you put on the breastplate of the “righteousness that is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22), may your “love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:9-10).

May you bring the gospel of peace wherever you may go, for it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15). As “Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20) compelled by the love of God who has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation through Christ, may your “message and preaching not be filled with wise and persuasive words, but may it be a demonstration of the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4).

As you take up your shield of faith, may you always “walk in faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). May your eyes always be “fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). May you be rich in good works prompted by love and abound in generous deeds, that your faith be made complete (James 2:22).

As you wear the helmet of salvation, may you have “eyes to see and ears to hear all the wondrous things that God has prepared for you that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). May you be transformed from glory to glory by the “renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). And we pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

As you take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, may “this Book of the Law not depart from your mouth, but meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.“(Joshua 1:8).

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 5:24-26 )

In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

A-One… A-Two… A-Three… A-CCOUNTING!

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“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

We recently discussed the topic of how to handle money biblically in our couples’ bible study. Some of the points made were the following:

  1. Putting God first in our life includes putting HIM in charge of our finances.
  2. Tithing — It is not 10% for God and 90% for us. Instead. ALL of it is God’s. When you offer the 10%, ask God for wisdom for the 90%.
  3. Tithing is not the same as offering. The verse “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” from 2 Corinthian 9:6 was referring to “offerings.” Tithes were a given in the New Testament; there was no question about it’s validity or anything like that.
  4. We are blessed to be a blessing. “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”- 2 Corinthians 9:8
  5. “One FLESH” = “One WALLET.” Husband and wife must talk and agree on financial goals, decisions and budget. We are to help each other and support one another in this area.

One of the suggestions made to help in financial management was to make a family budget and follow it with a clear and detailed accounting of one’s expenses. This is one point that I agree is a good idea, but I personally don’t do because I find it is too much work for somebody like me who doesn’t like numbers very much.  But this morning, I felt God give me a clarification on this matter.

Making a detailed budget and accounting ledger will only be helpful if it allows you to GIVE MORE for the kingdom of God and with much more cheerfulness in your heart as you do so. But if writing it down makes you realize how much you plan to give away and how little you have left  and it takes away the joy of giving, then something is not right. If you tend to look at your balance sheet as a means to make yourself feel justified that you can’t afford to tithe regularly… hmmm… that doesn’t seem very balanced at all. If seeing all those numbers on paper (or on your computer) makes you look at the amount you’ve already decided to give and wish you could use it for your own needs and wants; then it might breed the wrong kind of spirit (a covetous spirit) within you. In other words, if counting your money all the time makes you GIVE LESS, or give with a HEAVY HEART, then it might be time to do a “heart check.”

BUT, if putting down all your expenses neatly and in an organized manner gives you more freedom to GIVE MORE, then good for you! If after comparing your budget and the current month’s expenses, you find yourself excited because you realize you can actually allot a bigger amount for charity, then that’s great! If your balance sheet complete with bar graphs show you God’s faithfulness in providing all your needs and giving you with even more to share, then that’s wonderful! And if seeing all those numbers and counting all your blessings allows you to GIVE MORE with MORE JOY in your heart, then by all means, count it all!

Our family does it this way; we’ve decided on our financial faith goals and vision and with that in mind, we have a budget for all the major stuff (tithes, rent, housing loan, monthly internet fee, etc) and a working budget for our groceries and other expenses. As soon as the salary comes in, we settle all the major stuff, then just spend the rest according to our means (making decisions based on past experience as to what we can actually afford). What works for us may not work for you, but I’m just sharing just in case it does help you.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, it all boils down to how “ACCOUNTING” affects your heart. That is what really matters. For where you put your treasure in (whether you like to count it or not), there your heart will be. 🙂

“As in the days of Noah…” Rapture, anyone?

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“For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark.” – Matthew 24:38

The upcoming epic movie of biblical proportions has gotten many people excited, whether they believe in the bible or not.

Watch the trailer here:

Remember the Ten Commandments 1956 movie starring Charlton Heston? Not biblical. Hollywood’s version is less fact and more fiction.

A careful reading of the biblical account would lead one to understand that the movie has explored the artistic freedom so much so that if you think you know what happened because you’ve watched the movie, the truth is, you don’t. From the characters of Ramses,  Queen Nefertiri, Moses’ adoptive mom (pharaoh’s daughter), to even the role of Joshua and Dathan, the movie is just one big epic fictional love story set on a factual event, much like how the movie Titanic was.

The upcoming movie NOAH appears to be following the same path. It is not the biblical account. One blog post has even made it in the news because in the script, Noah is allegedly portayed like an “environmentalist whacko.”

“Stand up for the truth” has more information here on how much “artistic liberty” the director has actually done to tweak this bible story: 12 REASONS NOT TO FALL FOR THE NOAH MOVIE HYPE

With all the recent catastrophic events apparently prophesied

and upcoming celestial signs,

it has been in the forefront of my mind that we may indeed be living in the end times.

With that thought, this verse suddenly came to mind. “For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark.” – Matthew 24:38

I began to think what if maybe there might be a relationship between the movie and the signs of the times? I did a bit of research and this is what I came up with:

  1. The movie is not expected to be faithful to the biblical account.  Fox news reports: “A source tells FOX411 that Paramount is determined to make a movie that is as biblically accurate as possible and appeals to those who go to church each Sunday, while Aronofsky – an independent filmmaker making his first big studio film – has a very different creative vision less in the line with scripture.”
  2. The movie is set to hit the big screens on March 28, 2014.
  3. The biblical account of Noah points to the 17th of Nisan as the day Noah’s ark rests on the earth for the first time after the flood. (Genesis 8)
  4. The 17th of Nisan is also said to be the date of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Other significant events that are said to occur on this date can be found here: The Mystery of the 17th
  5. In our modern calendar, this 17th of Nisan from the Hebrew Calendar translates to April 17, 2014.
  6. Nisan 1 is also considered as the  “Biblical New Year” : theSeason for our Liberation.
  7. The first of the blood moon tetrad of 2014-2015 will occur in April 15, 2014. This is also the 15th of Nisan in the Hebrew Calendar or PASSOVER. (Article on the Coming Four Blood Moons)
  8. The Feast of First Fruits occurs in April 20, 2014, just 5 days after the blood moon. (This date is according to this calendar: 2013-2014 Biblical and Jewish Holidays)
  9. The Feast of the First Fruits has also been said as the possible date of rapture. For as Jesus was the first fruit and he resurrected on the the said feast, so will the elect also possibly be gathered up on such a day.“‘Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Read: “The Rapture and the Feast of First Fruits”)
  10. ALL THESE DATES ARE MAKING ME DIZZY. But somehow, there seems to me that there is something very significant to watch out for this coming spring between March-April 2014; and it is NOT the movie “Noah,” but something much more biblical in proportion.

I am not a bible scholar nor a preacher or anything like that. I am an ordinary person who believes in an extraordinary God. I believe the Bible and am merely trying to follow what Jesus said which is to “watch and pray”, to “look up” and to “be ready” for we don’t know the time nor the hour. But Jesus also said we would know WHEN THE TIME IS NEAR. I am not researching this with dreaded fear or anxiety, but with a great awe and anticipation of what is to come.

Because for those who put their trust in Jesus, we are called “children of the light.”

1 Thessalonians 5

“1Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate,and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

SHALOM!

(Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a prophecy.)

The Bible in 90 Days Journal: 2Chronicles (Foolish Wisdom)

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Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said, “My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel, because the places the ark of the Lord has entered are holy.” (2 Chronicles 8:11 NIV)

Solomon was clearly disobeying God’s instructions (which is not to intermarry with foreign women) when he married Pharaoh’s daughter and yet was careful not to let her live in a “holy place” lest he offend God. Hmmm…

God is not pleased with such half-hearted obedience and it eventually led to Solomon’s downfall. He put all those laws in place for a reason — He even said why (because the foreign women would lead them to worship the pagan gods), but we still see the wisest person who ever lived ignore God’s voice and still commit a very foolish mistake.

How many times have we also chosen to obey God’s Words that seem acceptable to us while at the same time consciously ignoring other commands that would cause us inconvenience?

“Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.” – Proverbs 28:26

We cannot choose for ourselves what are the things that would be acceptable to God or not. To trust our own wisdom would be very foolish. Deliberately choosing to obey one aspect of God’s instructions thinking it is more important, while at the same time knowingly disregarding another is a recipe for failure. God has set up a standard of holiness and we need to know His heart if we are to understand how to follow Him correctly. True wisdom comes from listening and obeying God’s voice, whether it seems convenient or not.

“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” – Job 12:13

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