Saturday, December 31, 2016
Paul was an honest man, and according to the best of his knowledge he kept away from whatever is evil, and adhere to what is pleasing to God. He is conscientious in all his words and conduct, respecting those in authority. The Pharisees were correct in faith, only that they rejected Christ's interpretation of the law. But the Sadducees were not obedient to Divine revelation, and they denied a future state, rejected even eternal judgment. They were divided not because of religion, but they were influenced by different motives. Christ spoke to Paul on that night, and told him not to fear those that are against him. It shows that Christ's servants should not be afraid, because the Lord stand with them. Christ told Paul that he will testify in Rome, and his desire to go there is only for the honor of Christ. Forty men had conspired against Paul not to eat nor drink, till they had killed him. This is a false religious principles by evil men, whose intent is to destroy people, but God is always ready to disappoint the best schemes of iniquity. All hearts are in God's hand, and those with good conscience and put their trust in Him will always be protected. God bless.
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Friday, December 30, 2016
Paul relates the story of his early life, believing that his conversion was an act of God in his personal life. He was brought up under the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of the Old Testament law, and was zealous to destroy and eliminate the followers of Jesus Christ. But God in His sovereign power called him from heaven when he heard a voice on his way to Damascus. After this incident, his life had totally changed. Paul declared that the believers were chosen by the Father that they should know His will; that through Christ God has made known His plans to them. Believers were forgiven, cleansed through the blood of Christ, and appointed to be fellow-laborers in the kingdom of God. Paul said that he was assigned by God to the Gentiles, that they too should know the will of God. Being born Roman citizen, Paul had all the freedom to move from one state to another, and declare the gospel of the kingdom of God without hindrance. Today, let us value the freedom that we have, because the gospel can be preached freely and we can exercise our faith in Him without fear, who will save us in all eternity. God bless.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Paul continued his mission journey back to Jerusalem, and he taught the believers by example to be humble, obey the Lord faithfully, and pray without ceasing. When Agabus told him that trouble is coming, he replied that he is ready not only to be bound but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus (v13). It is honorable to be a follower of Christ, to fulfill the duty by His grace, to grow in the knowledge of Him, and to experience the privilege of doing church mission everywhere in this world. Only few had an honor to do such wonderful works, a service being set up by the Lord to His trustworthy followers. Though Paul had many opponents, yet he had many Christian friends in all parts of the world. In his report to the elders of Jerusalem church, Paul ascribed all his success to God alone, and to God they gave the praise and honor (v20). The teaching of Paul is not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it; similar to the teaching of Christ (Matt 5:17). But people often misunderstood it! For this reason, Christians should never stop seeking God's righteousness, because God is eternal and His kingdom is never-ending. God bless.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Paul knew that there were many wicked people that would oppose his plans in various places of the world, but his works and passion for God will be the same wherever he goes. Like Paul, we must know how to redeem the time, and to make it turn so some good account. Here, he declares that he was not self-seeking person, serving only the Lord with humility, with many tears and trials, a plain preacher, a true servant of God (v19). He set himself an example that those who want to serve the Lord in any position or ministry must do it with truthfulness and humility. A true servant of God is willing to sacrifice for the sake of the Lord, willing to be chained and imprisoned, and eyes focused at the finish line of the race (v24). With the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit, the love of Christ constrains a true believer to proceed to his duty, even in time of trials and persecutions. Remember that the church is not ours, it is His, purchased by His own blood (v28). Christ gave His life, and He expects that we will surrender our lives to Him who redeemed us from our former master, the devil. May the Lord bless us always as we serve Him forevermore. God bless.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016
The baptism of the Holy Spirit was a major issue for Paul. "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believe?" (v2). The Holy Spirit is important because He gives power to the Christians in order to sustain the relationship with the Lord and His followers in this chaotic world. The Holy Spirit gives us guidance in daily living, in time of trials and difficulties, and in decision making. The Holy Spirit sanctifies our lives to the sincerity of our faith, and we must be conscious about it. In Ephesus, people rejected Paul's message not because it was a new to their ears, but their business was in danger of falling into shame and disgrace (v27). Here we can see that many people are combining business and religion to earn more money. Jesus said: "they have received all the reward they will ever get" (Matt 6:2). The shouting and attitude of people in Ephesus is similar to modern day religious group, having the zeal of religiosity, but the true honor of God is far from their hearts. Let us not be dismayed in the ways of nonbelievers, the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many voices, and He can quiet the rage of the people. God bless.
Monday, December 26, 2016
In Corinth, Paul had found Aquila and his wife Priscilla, who were tentmakers. As Paul continued to testify about Jesus, the Jews would not believe themselves, and did all they could to keep others from believing in Paul's message. But, when some oppose the gospel, Paul turned to others. The Lord knows those that are His, and those that shall be His, for it is by the work of the Holy Spirit upon them that they become God's people. The accusation of the Jews to Paul was that, he teaches men to worship God contrary to law. But in what manner God is to be worshipped? The Jews worshipped God according to the traditional teachings of the rabbis. The Christians worshipped God according to the teachings of Jesus using His name. Then Apollos appeared to Ephesus to preach the word, only that his message was not 'full-gospel', for he knew only the baptism of John the Baptist. Yet he was humble, so that when Aquila and Priscilla explained to him the way of God through Jesus Christ, he didn't resist but accept the fullness of the gospel. Let us follow the spirit of Apollos, though he knew many things, yet willing to learn new things. God bless.
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Thessalonica and Berea were Greek cities, located in northern part of modern Greece. The Bible said that the Bereans were more receptive and fair-minded, because they applied seriously to the study of the word preached unto them. As Paul walked in Athens, he encountered various types of people, men of learning, philosophers who spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new things (v21). They worshiped false gods, the true God was unknown to them, and they heard new and different doctrine contrary to their belief; Christ and resurrection. As Paul preached, he said that the Unknown God whom they worshipped, is the One he is telling them about (v23). God is giving all men a chance to repent for their sins; idolatry and immorality, because He has appointed a day on which God will judge the world in righteousness (v31). All people are guilty, but God's forgiveness has appeared to all. Like Paul, the way of preaching, whatever matter is used, all discourses must lead to Christ and the salvation He has offered. Jesus is always the reason for all seasons. God bless.
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Friday, December 23, 2016
Timothy became part of the mission team, and Paul delivered to the church in Lystra and Iconium the four decrees to keep which were determined by the leaders at the Council of Jerusalem. Obeying this decree and the rules of God in the Bible set up a spiritual way of serving God, as suited to the nature both of God and man. Thus the church increased in numbers daily. In doing mission, missionaries must be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit if the place is open for mission, and the people's heart are receptive; in this case, God had forbidden them to enter Bithynia and Mysia. Instead God gave them a vision to go to Macedonia, the first European mission work. Here, they met a business woman, Lydia, who later became their contact in planting a church. Again, opposition arose, and put Paul and Silas into prison to stop the work of God. But who can hinder the work of God? When He opens the door, no one can close; and what He closes, no one can open. While in prison, God had shaken the foundation of the cell, and as a result, the guard and his family had accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. Indeed, in everything there is a reason! Jesus is always the reason for all seasons. God bless.
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Thursday, December 22, 2016
The Jerusalem Council gave us story that in the early period of Christianity, some Pharisees had believed in the Lord, however, their belief was different from the apostles' teaching; "Unless they are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, they cannot be saved" (v1). Peter, Paul, Barnabas, and James the brother of the Lord and head of the church were all in one accord that salvation is not by obeying the law of Moses but by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. Both Jews and Gentiles received the Holy Spirit after believing in Christ, not by obeying the custom of Moses (v8-9). But four things should be considered by all believers; avoid idolatry, sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood (v20, 29). If the believers keep this things, they will do well. Also in this chapter, we saw the separation in the mission field of Paul and Barnabas, because Barnabas wanted his nephew John Mark to go with them again, which Paul rejected. Some thought that it was a painful separation, but others believed that it was an expansion of God's kingdom in other areas. Many years later, we can discover that they were still united in the same ministry. God bless.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016
When Paul proclaimed the word of God in Iconium, people are divided; part sided with the Jews and part with the apostles (v4), yet those who believed and accepted Christ were united with the fellow believers. Today, the world is divided, and if the church's enemies had joined to destroy it, the church's true followers shall be united for its preservation. God has a shelter for His people in time of storm, and He will be our Hiding Place forever. When Barnabas and Paul proclaimed the gospel in Lystra and confirmed by God with miracles, people began to wonder that gods have come down in the likeness of men. This shows that all men believed that there is God who created the whole world, only that they had found a false god, like this story. And for that reason, God has chosen a group of people that will proclaim about Him, for He did not leave Himself without witness (v17). Though it is not simple to live a holy life in this wicked world, and we must count upon more tribulation, but it is encouragement that we shall not be lost and perish in our sufferings. God bless.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
This story tells us the reality in mission. Barnabas and Paul were appointed by God to do missionary works in other parts of Mediterranean world; Cyprus and the modern day Turkey. Mission work is appointment from the Holy Spirit, not men's initiative, but with prayers and fasting. They took John Mark, to assist them in the works of the ministry. As they preached the word, they encountered different kinds of people, rich and poor, including those that opposed God's message, but the hand of the Lord was upon them. In the middle of the mission works, John Mark had decided to leave them for some reasons and return to Jerusalem (v13). But Barnabas and Paul continued to invade many places. Paul was firm in his message; from Abraham to Moses, from Judges to David, he explained that God's promise of redemption has been realized when Jesus, who came from the line of David, was taken to the tree, put to death, and laid in the tomb (v29). The real thing was, people were divided, some agreed others rejected. The Bible declares that those who believe had been appointed by God to eternal life. Let us continue to pray for our transformation and commitment not into this world, but in the world to come. God bless.
Monday, December 19, 2016
James the brother of John was killed by Herod, thus finishing his course, and the opponents of Christianity were happy about this. Then he took Peter next on line and put him in prison. But constant prayer by the church were offered to God for him (v5). Thank God for our prayer warriors and intercessors who offered prayers to God for our protection and provision. While in prison, the angel of the Lord appeared to Peter, and released him from imprisonment. When God works for salvation of His people, all difficulties in their way will be overcome, even gates of iron can be opened of their own accord. This is a picture of our personal and spiritual salvation in Christ; liberty from spiritual chain of Satan, and release out of the prison-house of darkness. Christianity is indeed a religion of miracles, for without such we are still in bondage of old self; independent, inconsistent, self-righteous, and rebellious spirit. Persecutions shall come and go, and the Herod families were enemies of baby Jesus and the infant church, but they are now in hell. Let us remind ourselves that life on earth is temporary, God is not interested in our knowledge and ability, but in the attitude of our hearts. God bless.
In those days, Jews didn't want to mingle with the non-Jews, so that when Peter went to Cornelius' house, a Gentile by blood, and preached the gospel there, the Jews reacted negatively. However, when he explained that salvation is not exclusive to the Israelites, and that the Gentiles even received the Holy Spirit as they did in the past, all church members were amazed and praised the Lord. "If God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?" (V17). Afterward, the church sent Barnabas to Antioch to encourage the fellow believers. Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul, in order to disciple and bring him in on the ministry. Barnabas was a good brother, full of the Holy Spirt and sincere man of God who always encouraged his fellow-believer in the service of God. May we be men and women of encouragement to our church, ministries and community. God bless.
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Friday, December 16, 2016
God shows no partiality; Jews and Gentiles are welcome to His kingdom if they are true and sincere. If a person fears God's rule in the heart, it will appear both in works and in words, neither will excuse from the other. Cornelius had true faith in God's word, as far as he understood it, though not as yet clear faith in Christ. This was the work of the Spirit of God, through the mediation of Jesus, even before Cornelius knew him, as is the case with us all when we, who before were dead in sin, are made alive. Through Christ also his prayers and alms were accepted, which otherwise would have been rejected. Without dispute or delay Cornelius was obedient to the heavenly vision. In the affairs of our souls, let us not lose time. Peter was God's instrument to convey His message to Cornelius.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 5:42 AM
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Saul had decided to do all he could against the name of Christ, thinking that he did it for the service of God. He was faithful to his own belief and tradition, a belief that is erroneous and dangerous to his own salvation. On the way to Damascus, a light from heaven appeared to him, and the voice of the Lord called his name. Saul submitted to Christ without reservation, desirous to know what would have Him to do. For three days he was blind, and Ananias came to pray over and get him baptized. Literally and spiritually, Saul saw the kingdom of God for the first time, and became member of the family of God. Indeed, it requires miracle for a person to be born in God's kingdom, for without such, a man shall be blind and lost forever. Then he began to preach Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, but oppositions plotted to kill him; a normal device of satan against new plan of God. As he moved back to Jerusalem, Barnabas welcomed him and took him to the brethren. Miracle is the main plot of this chapter, as Saul, the paralyzed man and Dorcas had all received God's miraculous work in their lives. We too are recipients of this miracle from the Lord. God sent His Holy Spirit in our lives that we may know Jesus and receive His everlasting life. God bless.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Because of persecution, the disciples were scattered in many places, and they took this situation as opportunity to preach the gospel. Philip went to Samaria to preach the name of Christ with signs and wonders, and the people believed in his message, including Simon the sorcerer. Samaria was known for magic and divination at the time, so that when Jesus performed miracles in Judea, the Pharisees accused Him of being a Samaritan with demon (John 8:48). So the people in Samaria were convinced that it was God, and not men, who gave them the Holy Spirit by believing in Christ, and this power can not be bought for a price. Today, many people and churches (fake Christians of course), used the Bible to gain more wealth and worldly power. Then the Lord led Philip to share the message to an Ethiopian eunuch who was hungry for the word. Upon hearing the gospel, the eunuch believed and got baptized. Immediately, the Spirit of God took Philip, so that he saw him no more. Tradition said that this eunuch had started Christianity in Ethiopia. We too can be God's instrument to begin Christian faith in the heart of people. God bless.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Stephen had a chance to preach at the presence of the council of Israel, and he started his message from Abraham's calling, then Joseph's famine in Egypt, and Moses' deliverance of the Israelites. He also said that Joseph made himself known to this brethren on their second meeting, which could be similar to the second appearance of Jesus in this world. For Stephen, the Israelites had a nature of rejecting God's prophets in the past, and their rejection of Jesus is not surprising. He also declared that God does not dwell in temples made with hands because His throne in heaven is incomparable to anything in this world, therefore don't focus so much on earthly things. Finally, he said that the Jews on his time were stubborn, stiff-necked people and uncircumcised in heart and ears (v51), similar to many people in our time. The consequence of his preaching was deadly, but Stephen saw Jesus standing in heaven looking at his works on earth. It shows that as we serve God, the Lord knows what is happening in our ministries, and nothing shall be overlooked. God bless.
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Monday, December 12, 2016
As the church of Jesus Christ grew in numbers, the leaders began to encounter problems in some areas of care ministries. The leaders and the entire church had decided to appoint deacons (servants) who will serve church members in food distribution, however, the senior leaders should never neglect the importance of prayers and teaching of the word of God. The deacons and all workers of the church must be filled with gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, necessary to rightly managing this trust, men of truth, and hating covetousness. This shows that church workers ought to be of good reputation, obedient, and full of Holy Spirit and wisdom. Stephen, who was one of the deacons did great wonders and signs among the people, preaching and teaching the name of the Lord. As expected, oppositions arose to twist the teachings of God. Yet the true servants of the Lord shall never be moved, shall always be faithful in the midst of danger and death. May the Lord grant us the boldness to share the word of God faithfully. God bless.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
In the previous story, the works of the enemies came from the outside, but in this chapter we can see that the work of the enemies was from within. Satan could use even the faithful members of the church to distort the truth and confuse people, like what happened to the couple Ananias and Sapphira. They sold their land with good profit, donated the money to the church, but they took up kickback. It shows that some Christians fell because of money, and nothing can be hidden in the eyes of the Holy Spirit. As a result of their dishonesty, God took their lives right away so that the evil inside the church should be stamped out. Fear came upon the church, but Peter and the apostles continued to preach the word in the temple, in the streets, in houses, and in all places, so that no one can stop the spread of the word. People may stop serving God, but there are faithful Christian that will continue to do their assignments. As Gamaliel said, "if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it, you will only find yourself fighting against God" (v39). Let us not stop doing God's work, He is always faithful, even some are not. God bless.
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Friday, December 9, 2016
When the apostles began to preach the resurrection of Christ, and many were converted in His name (5,000), oppositions began to emerge. This pattern can be seen in all godly ministries, that the enemies of the Lord's kingdom will do their best to stop God's plan right there from the beginning. If we are not be aware of this, we shall be one of the victims of the spiritual power of darkness. Peter and John were forbidden to speak the word of Christ, however, they told the religious leaders that they rather obey God than men. In the midst of antagonism, all believers in Christ prayed together and lifted up their voices unto God to give them more grace and boldness to speak and spread the word of God. Indeed no one can stop the works of the Living God! The early believers loved one another, with evident fruits of grace in all they said and did. They were dead in this world, but alive in the kingdom of God. Then God gave them a new brother, Barnabas, whose intent was to bless and encourage the fellow believers in Christ. Thanks God for giving us more brethren in our church who always comfort us with the comfort that we need. God bless.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
The apostles continued their gathering in houses with small groups, but never neglected the importance of temple worship with a larger group. And being led by Divine direction, Peter and John used the name of Jesus not only to spread the Word, but to continue the healing ministry through His name. The crippled man was healed upon hearing the name of the Jesus, and Peter used this opportunity to speak and invite people to repent and accept Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. Peter boldly declared that they denied and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead. Nevertheless, it was done out of ignorance by the people including their rulers, as foretold by the prophets. The Messiah must be in heaven for a certain period, then He will return until the time of restoration of all things (v21). The importance of repentance is that their sins may be blotted out, and that they may share in the refreshment of the souls through the loving kindness of Christ. Anyone who shall ignore the message of Christ shall reap the consequence of disobedience, but those who will believe in His name shall be forgiven and be with Him forever. God bless.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
In the gospels, we can see the strifes among the disciples of Jesus who would be the greatest. But after the baptism of the Holy Spirit, all these strifes were at an end. The true followers of Christ has no intention to be great in the eyes of men, but their intention is to do what God intends them to do. They experienced the coming of the mighty wind with great force, signifying the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. They were filled with the gifts of the Spirit, for the furtherance of the gospel. They spoke a new language, as the Spirit gave them utterance. This is the authority that God gave them in this world. Indeed the kingdom of God had inaugurated with spiritual power that started from within. Some people mocked them, but Peter stood and proclaimed that this is the fulfillment of ancient prophetic book of Joel, urging them to repent and believe in Christ Jesus. As a result, the members of the newly established church continued steadfastly in five most important things; apostles doctrines, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayers, and witnessing. Since we are members of the kingdom, let us not neglect these five basic ingredients of the kingdom of God. God bless.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
The book of Acts is the link between the gospels and the epistles. Without knowing this book, we will not understand what really happened to the disciples after the ascension of the Lord to heaven, and what are those epistles written to the churches. At the beginning, the disciples asked Jesus about the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, yet the Lord did not answer them clearly, but told them the work they were to do. And in order to accomplish this work, they shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon them, and they shall be witnesses of Christ's work from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. After Jesus ascended to heaven, two men in white robe spoke to them saying that someday Jesus will return from heaven in the same way they saw Him go (v11). It means Jesus will return again bodily, and we must always be ready. Since then, the followers of Jesus continued to speak the word and the greatest things they had attested was the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the proof that He was indeed the Messiah, and the foundation of our hope in this world and in the world to come. Glory to God.
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Monday, December 5, 2016
We exist because of the Lord, Peter was able to return to the ministry because of the Lord, the church grew because of the Lord, and in all and all, it is only because of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this passage, it shows that it is good for the followers of Christ to be together in common conversation and common goal. Jesus had provision ready to them, and we may be comforted at His care and words. Peter humbly appealed to Christ because of the past sins, and the Lord, as knowing all things even the secrets of his heart, graciously bless and encourage him to go back and feed His lamb. The sincerity of our love to God will be brought to the test, to examine and prove us (all believers, young and old in Christ), whether we are able to stand this test. From Adam to present, God continued to change His people's way by means of testing. And praised be to God, we belong to that small group in our generation. At the end of Peter and the Lord's conversation, they spoke about death in order to prepare the hearts of men for their eternity with Christ. May the Lord bless us and enlarge our faith for all of His plans even today and forevermore. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:18 AM
The resurrection of the Lord is the greatest miracle that ever happened in the entire Bible, changing the evil system of the whole world. There were holy witnesses in this momentous event, that resulted to the spread of this good news from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. Today, we are the beneficiaries of Christ's resurrection when God gave us new life and Spirit with the forgiveness of our sins. Though some doubted this truth like Thomas, nevertheless, hope will be here as long as we live. We praise God for allowing this gospel to be written so that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing we may have life in His name. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:07 AM
The religious leaders had crucified Jesus because of their law that anyone who should make himself equal with God must die. Facing Pilate, Jesus told him that all authority in this world comes from God alone, and nothing could be done unless it was allowed by God, even His own death. Therefore, the death of Christ was orchestrated by God for the salvation of all humanity. Pilate put a piece of wood on top of the cross, JESUS OF NAZARETH KING OF THE JEWS; this is the crime that had been committed by the criminal. When Jesus said, "It is finished," it means the works of Satan is over. Then He said, "I thirst!" It means he is thirsty for the souls of men. May the Lord empower us to know and obey His will for His glory. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:06 AM
Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested by Roman soldiers as ordered by the Religious Leaders. In the synoptic gospels, only Peter followed Jesus, but here, the other disciple whose name was concealed was also with Peter. However, Peter also fled later after denying Jesus three times. Jesus stood first with Annas the high priest, then to Caiaphas, finally to Pilate. Here, the Lord revealed to Pilate that His kingdom is not in this world, but a kingdom far better. He has no desire to set up a literal kingdom, but His goal is to reign in the hearts of men. Let us allow Jesus to control our lives and be the Lord of our souls. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:05 AM
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
The Lord Jesus prayed as a man and as Mediator of His people to the Father, yet He also spoke with majesty and authority, as One equal with the Father. "O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was" (v5). Jesus prayed for all believers "whom You have given Me out of the world" (v6). It tells that we became Christians because the Father gave us to Jesus, and not of our own initiative. "All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine" (v10). This speaks the Father and Son to be one, and the Son owns none for His, that are not devoted to the service of the Father. Jesus did not pray that Christians might be rich and great in this world, but they might be kept from sin, strengthened for their ministry, kept from evil, from being corrupted by the world, and brought safe to heaven. It is the Lord's prayer that all Christians may be holy, "by Your word, for Your word is truth" (v17). He also prayed that all believers might be as one body under one head, by their union with Christ and the Father. May we all be faithful to Him who lives forever, who rose from the grave, and who will come very soon for our final salvation. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:51 AM
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
The Holy Spirit is given by Christ to His faithful followers, and when He spoke about this, Judas had already gone, and he didn't hear anything about the Holy Spirit. The fake-Christians like Judas will not be interested in Christ's message. Jesus knew that Judas will leave the ministry, so He did not give him the Spirit of God. The works of the Holy Spirit is 3-fold: to convict the people about their sin, to speak about the righteousness of God, and to warn on the coming judgment (v8). Those with Holy Spirit will not be misled by the worldly desires and passion, but will be guided into all truth and holy life. The Holy Spirit will speak about the things to come, and guide the believers to glorify the Lord and the Father with their actions and decisions (v12-15). It is true that we have sorrows, trials and problems in this world, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome and live victoriously in this wicked and evil world. The Holy Spirit will turn our sorrows into joy. Right now, we are all living by faith in Christ, but time will come that faith shall disappear, because we will see Him face to face, a life in reality with Christ in heaven. Don't give up your faith, and don't follow the way of the Judases in the kingdom. God bless.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Jesus is the Vine and the believers are the branches, the root is unseen, and our life is hidden with Christ. The root bears the tree, spreading the water into all parts with all supports and supplies. It shows that apart from Christ, Christians can accomplish nothing. Christian without CHRIST means, I Am, Nothing. Only the Word of God can clean a person spiritually and physically (v3). The believers are weak like the branches, unable to stand alone. The Father is the Husbandman, watching all that happens in His vineyard. As the owner of the vineyard looks for the grapes, the Lord looks for fruits of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that if we remain in the Vine and be faithful to Him, it shall cause us to bear fruits, and whatever we desire for His glory shall be granted by the Father. Because Jesus loves His friends, He gave up His life for us, a demonstration of a greater love. By experience, the true Christians can do the same by surrendering their lives to Christ. We dedicated our lives to Jesus because we indeed love Him, ignoring all hatred, insults, and bashers from the people of the world. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:56 AM
Saturday, November 26, 2016
The Father's mansion in heaven is our eternal home, and only Jesus can lead us to that place, no other way except through Him. If we saw Jesus, we've seen the Father; for the Father is in Christ and Christ is in the Father. We need to believe that God's final revelation is in Christ, and by believing as the Mediator between God and man, we gain comfort and favor. He is the Resurrection, the Life, and the Author of all things. As we believe, He will send the Holy Spirit as our Helper, so we can abide with Him to maintain our holiness, obedience, and happiness in this world despite many undesired circumstances. "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word" (v23). Obedience to His Word is our demonstration of love, and in the absence of obedience is only religious act, not genuine relationship with Christ. The works of the Holy Spirit is to remind us in everything, particularly in obeying our duties and responsibilities in the kingdom of God. As we obey, we have peace inside of us, a feeling that is beyond our comprehension. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:35 AM
Friday, November 25, 2016
Jesus' hour had come, and He is ready to depart from this world to the Father. After the passover dinner, He began to wash the feet of the disciples, and Peter refused to be washed for some reasons. But Jesus said: "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me" (v8). Washing of the feet is a symbol for cleansing, anointing, and vision for future ministry. Only Jesus can wash our sins away so that we may be ready for our righteous assignment from God. Those who are unwilling are not part of this movement. Also, Jesus said that this symbolic gesture is a demonstration of His humility that ought to be followed by all Christians. At that night, the disciple whom Jesus loved had been mentioned for the first time, leaning on Jesus' bosom (v23). Finally, Jesus told them a new commandment that they should love one another as "I have loved you" (34). It is new in a sense that Christians should love one another the way Jesus loved them in eternity. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:48 AM
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Mary's oil of spikenard, pouring at the feet of Jesus, was a token of love to her Savior. God had put on her the spirit of gladness so that she may serve and worship her Master. On the other hand, Judas criticized her for "wasting" such an expensive fragrance oil at the feet of Judas, saying that it should have been sold and give the money to the poor. Judas looked at the money for the poor, while Mary looked at the service for the Lord. After this, Jesus went to Jerusalem with Lazarus, and many people followed them, not only because of Jesus but also of Lazarus whom He had raised from the dead. The people praised the Lord for the miracle He had done to Lazarus, but the Pharisees where not happy for the great works of Jesus in their midst, so they decided to kill both of them. Jesus was not afraid to die, He was willing to face death in the hour appointed by the Father. "If I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself" (v32). He was lifted up at the cross literally, crucified for the salvation of many, and the world has never been the same. We are different from Judas and Pharisees, so give thanks to the Lord always, for His mercy endures forever. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:22 AM
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Lazarus whom Jesus love was sick, a good disciple and brother of Mary and Martha. Here is another incident where Jesus always work at the right time, for a great reason. We can only understand the perfect will of God if we walk not according to the course of this world, but according to the will of God. If we walk in the way of our hearts, we may fall into temptations and snares, because there is no light in us. Christ's word is our light for every moral action that gives light to our natural actions. Martha thought that if Jesus had come earlier, Lazarus would not have died. But for Jesus, all things are possible; He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and can give new life to a dead person, both spiritual and physical, like Lazarus. Jesus claimed that He is the life and the resurrection, and whoever believes in Him shall never die (v25-26). When He called Lazarus' name, he received new life from Christ and became alive again. This is similar to our own stories, that we were once dead in Christ, but when He called our names, He gave us new life and we became children of God. May the Lord increase our wisdom as we continue in our love relationship with Him. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:20 AM
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
The Good Shepherd is Jesus Christ and there is no other way to enter the sheepfold. Those who listened and followed His words are His sheep, the true Christians, and the Lord knows them one by one. The sheep shall not listen to the words of the false shepherds because their message are not based on the Bible, but only from traditions and unwritten law. The Lord came to give us life, a life full of physical and spiritual blessings. But the devil is also here, deceiving and tricking people who are ignorant of God's word. Jesus had clarified that the reason why people do not listen to Him is because they are not His sheep (v26). Are you one the sheep of Christ? The sheep of Christ will observe their Shepherd (Jesus Christ), and followed Him even in the rough road. Here shows again the division of people; one group for Christ and one group against Christ; one group believed that He is from God, other group said that He has a demon. Indeed, if we belong to Christ, He will give us spirit of understanding that we may learn by heart that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father. May the Lord grant us wisdom and revelation that we know and obey His words for us. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:52 AM
Jesus cured many who were blind by disease, and here He cured one born blind. In this world there are two kinds of blindness; physical & spiritual. They can't see Him but He can see them. And if they can see Christ now, it is only because of God's grace and miracles, otherwise they shall be blind and living in darkness forever. Similar to our salvation, that if Christ will not save us, we can never save ourselves. Indeed, only the Word of God had the power to transform our lives. Jesus said: "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (v5). This world is full of darkness, and we shall always fall as we walk or run in every direction. But if we will walk side by side with Christ, we are protected because He is our guide and our light. We might be misunderstood by many people around us, but we must understand that they can't lead us in the right path, only Jesus can do that for us. Therefore, let us continue walking with Christ, though there are rough roads, but in the end it will be smooth and glorious forever. God bless.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Those who judge others but doing the same thing are self-condemned. For this reason, Jesus told the religious people to throw the stone at her if they are without sin (v8). But Jesus didn't tolerate sin, we need only to acknowledge that only God can judge men's sins. To the sinners, we need to admit our own sins, ask God's forgiveness, and avoid doing it again. Jesus is the Light of the world, the Source of all light, and He alone can give the right judgment. If we will abide in His word, we shall know the truth, we shall be delivered from all ignorance in life, and the truth of God's Word shall make us free (v32). From where and what? From satanic influence and control. If we listen to the Word of God, obey its command, then we can say that we are God's children (v47). If we reject and ignore the word of God and say we know them already, it means we are self-righteous, children of the devil, and the Holy Spirit is not in us. This is the difference between child of God and child of the devil. Jesus is the only reason why we became children of God. He is the Great I Am, even before Abraham and the creation of the whole world. God bless.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Timing is important to Jesus, and when he said "my time has not yet come," (vv6, 8, 30), it means the fulness of His ministry (His death) has not yet come, but "your time is always ready." Our death can come anytime, so let us be ready to face our death like what Jesus did at the Cross. As usual, there was a division among the people when they heard the teachings of Jesus, and even in our modern time, the whole world is divided in faith. Christianity is also divided, because many people read the Bible, but more rejected and ignored this holy book of God, because they don't really belong to Jesus Christ. To which group do your belong? Time will come that the people will seek Him, but they will not find Him (v34), and they can't come to heaven, the abode of Christ. Now is the time to search His words, to worship Him, to serve Him, and God's Spirit is available at this time. Those who accepted Christ will find favor from God, and the Holy Spirit will guide them until they reach their final time in this world. We are God's people, redeemed by Christ Himself, so don't stop serving Him till the time of our departure from this world. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:02 AM
Thursday, November 17, 2016
When Jesus feeds the 5,000 with loaves and fish, the people believed that He is the "Prophets like Moses" who is to come into the world, as written in Deuteronomy 18:15. Moses fed the Israelites with manna, Jesus fed them with bread and fish. Consequently, the people wanted to make Him king (v15), but Jesus refused and departed to the mountain, because He knew that His kingdom is not in this world. Feeding the people literally has spiritual meaning to the ministry of the Lord. Jesus said, "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life" (v27). Jesus is the Bread of Life, and whoever who comes to Him shall never hunger and never cast out, because we are secured in His hand as long as we follow Him. Though many rejected this teaching, but the Lord continued that no one can come to Him unless it has been granted to him/her by the Father in heaven. The people will never understand the mystery of the gospel unless the Father grant them the spirit of understanding. They will not be born in God's kingdom unless the Father allow them to be born. May the Lord grant us more wisdom and strength to obey, as we study the Word of God. God bless.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
We are all by nature impotent in spiritual things but with full of provision in Christ. In Bethesda, if an angel went down and troubled the water, and whatsoever disease it was, this water cured the disease, but only the person that first stepped in had the benefit. But in Christ Jesus, anyone can come and can be healed. The fact that we can see the light of God, can walk in the kingdom of God, can claim all the benefits and provisions from God are signs that we have been healed from our spiritual sicknesses. Like the religious leaders, many people continue to reject these provisions. They dishonor God and therefore dishonor the Son. The Father works everyday even on Sabbath day; gives life and takes away life, so as the Son. Jesus declares His authority and character as the Messiah, however, when the hearts of men are full of pride, ambition, and the love of the world, there is no room for the word of God to abide in them. All men shall stand in the day of judgment, while the Jews will stand with Moses as their accusers (v45), because they did not believe both in the teaching of Moses and Christ. May the Lord give us strength that we may continue to abide in Him until the end. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:26 AM
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
The Jews hate the Samaritans, but Jesus embraces them. The woman at the well was surprised because Jesus did not show the anger of His own people against the Samaritans. Jesus told her that whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again, but whoever partakes of the living water that He offers (meaning the Word of God), shall satisfy the thirsting soul of a human being. Upon hearing this message, the woman acknowledged Christ to be a prophet. It shows that the power of the Word in searching the heart and convincing the conscience, is a proof of Divine authority. Only the Word of God (Bible) can change the life, even of the most wicked person in this world. God is not interested in our religion, in fact, He is looking for people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (v23-24). Are you one of them? As a result of this conversation, the woman began to share her little knowledge to her fellow Samaritans about Christ, and people came to listen to Jesus, and they accepted Him as their Lord and Savor. Let us remember that we were once "Samaritans," outside the kingdom of God, but now followers of Jesus Christ. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:00 AM
Monday, November 14, 2016
Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, and Jesus welcome him. Though he was a ruler of the Jews, he did not talk about politics or economic issues but spirituality and God. Like many other Jews, Nicodemus thought he was already in the kingdom of God by the virtue of God's covenant with Abraham. But Jesus told him that he must be born again if he wanted to enter the kingdom of God. It is not by race nor by blood nor by religion, but by the spirit of God. All have sinned so all must be born again. He didn't understand it at first, and even argued how can a man be born when he is old. This is similar to our experience about being born again because of our ignorance in the Word of God. New birth is the beginning of new life, and new birth in Christ is the beginning of new life in heaven. God loves us and He sent Jesus in our hearts, but many people are self-righteous, so they don't want to receive the word of God. They preferred to remain in their old ways, sinful way and tradition. They didn't realize that Jesus came not condemn them, but to save them from the coming judgment. Let us be thankful always for sending Jesus in our homes. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:37 AM
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Turning water into wine was the beginning of the signs that Jesus did in His ministry. In the time of the writing of John, many people were looking for SIGNS that should prove that Jesus was the promised Messiah. And for that reason the word "miracle" cannot be found in the King James Version, while the word "sign/s" had been mentioned many times. In the same way, all Christians are the signs of the Lord that there is hope and new beginning in Christ our Lord. And the cleansing of the temple is is similar to the cleansing our our lives, that we were once in darkness, unclean, fifty rag, but because of Christ's power to clean all those who shall follow Him, we had been forgiven, washed by His own blood. However, Jesus shall not commit Himself to all because He knew all men, and He kew what was in them. Let us continue to humble ourselves to Jesus and serve Him till the end of our lives. God bless.
Friday, November 11, 2016
The Word of God is a person, the Word of God is a speech of God, the Word of God was committed in writing, the Word of God became the Law of God, the Word of God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ. The Word of God was God, He was in the beginning with God (v2), He was the Creator (v3), the Life giver (v4), the light (v5), Became flesh (v14), begotten Son (v18), Lamb of God (v29,34), Anointed by the Holy Spirit (v33), Messiah (v41), the Prophet according to the Law (v45), the way to heaven (v51), so that the children of men may become children of God. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 4:00 PM
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Jesus is risen from the grave, and the women saw the empty tomb and testified this truth to the eleven and all the rest (v9). Many of them doubted their testimonies, but Peter arose and ran to the tomb and saw only the linen cloths lying by themselves. As two of them traveled to return to a village called Emmaus, suddenly Jesus appeared in their midst and began asking questions, but they didn't recognize His voice that it was Jesus. This story tells that unless the Lord open the eyes of men, they will remain blind and lost forever. We don't discover God, we don't seek for God, God reveals Himself to us. So be thankful to God for giving us spiritual eyes that can see spiritual things. How did the Lord do that? By narrating to them the Scriptures, by quoting Bible verses, by telling them the stories in Law, Prophets and Psalms (OT). In others words, the spiritual eyes of men will only be opened when they began to hear the Word of God. This was the same thing that happened to all of us. That's why the Lord told them that repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all in His name. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:56 AM
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
"I find no fault in this Man,"Pilate declared after talking with Jesus. Herod also send Jesus back to Pilate because he didn't know what to do with this innocent Man from Galilee. But the religious leaders, instead of being softened by Pilate's declaration of his innocence, were the more fierce against Jesus (v5). At the end, Pilate allowed Jesus to be crucified at the Calvary. When Jesus saw the women weeping for Him, he said to them, "Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children." It tells us that Jesus knew the purpose of His existence on earth, but how about them, and us, are we sure of our goal in life? Jesus' main goal in life is the Cross, that He may save His people from their sins. He knew that the Cross is not the end of all things, but He will rise again the third day to sit at the throne of God forever. Like us, let us look beyond this world, Christianity is not the end, because there is a better place expecting for us in eternity, the mansions of the Father. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:16 AM
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Judas betrayed Jesus, Peter denied Jesus, Satan entered Judas, Satan had asked for Peter, the soldier arrested Jesus in their hour, at night with the power of darkness (v53). Christ knew all men, and had wise reason in taking Judas and Peter to be His disciples. It is hard to say whether more mischief are done to Christ even in our time, but without the Lord's approval, the enemies of God could not do so much evil as they do. At the Lord's supper, Jesus is at the center, a memorial of His victory and redemption for humanity. The breaking of bread and wine in the cup brought to our remembrance as the symbol of His body at the cross and the shedding of His own blood for the forgiveness of sin. But the world is divided for this great sacrifice. Some mocked Him, while others adorned Him, and those who judged Jesus for blasphemy at the court shall also stand on the day of judgment, to give account on everything they had done during their days. But as for us, let us continue to be more obedient in our mission to spread the good news that He may find us faithful in doing our assignment. God bless.
Monday, November 7, 2016
From the offering of this poor widow, we must learn that our offerings are given for the support of the Lord's worship and mission, and they are given unto God. The two mites was given out of her poverty, putting in all the livelihood that she had, which of course, has spiritual meaning to all believers. Afterward, the Lord tells them what hard thing they should suffer for His name sake. The temple shall be destroyed, there shall be wars and commotions, oppositions shall rise, but God will stand with the believers to assist them. Like the poor widow, we must surrender every precious things that we have in our hearts unto the Lord. There is nothing wrong to follow the increase of our possessions, but we must diligently follow the events in this world and look for the signs of the time, and of the second coming of Christ. The watching is so important because that momentous Day shall come to this world unexpectedly (v34). Let us join together so that we can stand in His presence without fear, and be counted worthy to escape the horrible judgment of the nonbelievers. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:13 AM
Saturday, November 5, 2016
The religious leaders were questioning Jesus about the source of His authority in teachings, preaching and miracles. They were so blind not to see that all authority in heaven and in earth belong to Christ. Then the Lord spoke a parable of vineyard that concerns the history of Israel; that in time past God sent His prophets and servants to collect fruits from this nation. However, instead of paying their accounts, they killed God's messengers and even crucified the Son. As a result, God declared that He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others (v16). "Others" does not mean other nations, but other groups of Israelites, the followers of Jesus of Nazareth from Galilee. These religious leaders from Jerusalem thought that they were the best expert and the wisest men that could handle the case of Jesus. In fact, they became ignorant in many issues about law, resurrection, second life, and the Son of David when Jesus began to speak. Jesus said that those who pretend to know all things and refuse to learn new things shall receive greater damnation in the last days. God bless.
Friday, November 4, 2016
Zacchaeus was a tax collector, collaborator with the Roman empire, hated by most of the people in Jericho, and received Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He humbled himself and come down from the sycamore tree and promised to give half of his goods to the poor. He was accepted by Jesus but reviled by many. Zacchaeus gave proofs publicly that he was become a true convert to Christ. Then Jesus spoke about the parable of Minas that each one of us shall give account to God on the day of judgment for all the things that He had entrusted to us, whether they are wealth, spiritual gifts, skills, education, talents, etc. As He drew near to Mount of Olive, the people began to praise His name, but the Pharisees opposed them and asked Jesus to stop His disciples. Everywhere there are oppositions to the followers of Jesus Christ, until today we can see them in our surrounding. But the response of Jesus was noteworthy. He wept for Jerusalem because the people here didn't know and understand the things that make for their peace (v42), for they were hidden in their eyes. Let us always pray that God will give us eyes that can see, and mind that can understand His plan. God bless.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Jesus taught His disciple to be persistent in prayer and should not give up. God listens to the prayers of His people, particularly to the sincere and genuine prayers. In our prayers, avoid self-righteousness as the Pharisee in this parable who trusted to himself that he was righteous. Beware of presenting proud devotions, and despising others. But the tax collector went up to God with full humility and of repentance for sin. His prayer was short, but with good intention, "God be merciful to me a sinner." Like little children, we must receive God's kingdom as they do, not by purchase, and must call it our Father's gift. Many people, like the rich young ruler in the next story thought that it is enough for them to have eternal life by obeying the Ten Commandments. Jesus required total surrender of everything to Him if they want to have eternity in heaven. It was indeed hard for rich men and women to enter the kingdom of God, unless they are willing to give up their lives to Jesus. Like Peter and other disciples, those who followed Jesus will receive more in this present age and in the age to come. God bless.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
In ancient time, slaves and servants had no right of anything. They must serve their masters from morning till evening without rest, no salary, no off, except food provisions so they could gain their strength for another day's work. The masters never give thank to their slaves, but expecting to hear words from them like, "We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!" (v10). Jesus wanted to tell His followers that only by grace that we can serve God, that without it, we are worthless and useless person. We have nothing to be proud of, because God is holy and we are sinners. Yet, out of ten lepers that had been healed, only one was grateful to Jesus. Indeed, only few people in this world are thankful and appreciative on what the Lord had done for their lives. When people asked Him about the kingdom of God, He reminds them that it is here among us, and within some of them. But it will still be revealed physically with vengeance and sudden destruction similar to Noah and Lot's experience in the past. In the same manner, we must be ready for we don't know the exact time of the fullness of revelation. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:35 AM
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
The parable is about stewardship, that whatever we have, they belong to the Lord, and we are caretakers only. Here, the caretaker wasted his master's properties, and all men in this world are doing the same, so that they are liable to the same charge. The wicked steward is not set before us to be example in cheating his master, but rather to point out the ways of worldly men. It is better if the people of God can learn wisdom from the men of the world, and apply that principle in more godly ways in the kingdom of God without dishonoring our master. The riches of this world are deceitful and uncertain, so let us be convinced that the rich person in God are those rich in faith. Let us not follow the ways of the Pharisees who were lovers of money (v14), and desires popularity among people. Like the rich man and Lazarus, all human beings will leave this world, for best or for worst, in the second life. The rich in this world might be the poorest in the second life, while the poor in this world are the rich men in heaven. May the Lord continue to comfort us with the comforts that we need as we serve His holy name. God bless.
Monday, October 31, 2016
The parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son are very applicable to the great work of man's redemption. The lost represents the sinner as departed from God, and exposed to certain destruction if not brought back to God. Jesus Christ came to bring sinners home, using various means and methods to bring lost souls unto Himself, with "more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents" (vv7, 10). God is very much ready to welcome and bless all who return to Him with repentance. The unrepentant person is dead in trespasses and sins, destitute of spiritual life, lost, separated from God, that if God's mercy would not be shown, will be lost forever. If sincere wholeheartedly, the Lord shall open their eyes and convince them on their sins, so that they view themselves and every object in a different light from what they did before. This was exactly what happened to us, that God had opened our eyes so that we may the see the true condition of our lives, and that forgiveness and mercy can be obtained through Christ our Savior. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:41 AM
Saturday, October 29, 2016
The Lord teaches that pride will bring a person to a lowest statute. Our works to do good with the poor and the needy should be motivated out of love to Jesus not work of show. Salvation is a gift of God, by grace through faith in Christ, not by doing good works. We shall be rewarded not because we have done a lot of good works, but because we love the Lord. The parable of the great supper tells that invitation to enter into God's presence originates from God Himself. Salvation belongs to our God, not from ourselves nor from our own desire. Those who refused to come because of busyness in life will face the consequence on the day of reckoning. And those who come in though they considered themselves unworthy, poor and lowly in the world, shall be rewarded and exalted. Indeed the house of the Lord shall be filled with people with spirit of understanding, and it will be so when the number of the elect by God is completed. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:23 AM
Friday, October 28, 2016
Eighteen workers had perished at the pool of Siloam when the towers collapsed while under construction. Jesus said that this tragic event does not mean those who perished were great sinners. In fact all have sinned against God, and all need repentance. We can't judge others because we are all equal in the sight of God. And if the fig tree that does not bear fruits shall be cut off from its root, so as the people that does not bear fruits on itself. The religious leaders were indignant with Jesus because He healed on the Sabbath, wherein He can perform healing after the Sabbath. But Jesus wanted people to be healed on the Sabbath, on the day where they are together in the synagogue, studying the Bible and worshipping the Lord. He wanted the Sabbath day to be a day of liberation and not day of imprisonment, a day of healing and not sickness. As we gather together on Sunday and Bible Study, may we receive healing and liberation from all pains, sicknesses, and worries, in the mighty name of Jesus. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:56 AM
Thursday, October 27, 2016
The fear of God is the opposite of hypocrisy. If we revere the Lord, we will obey Him with all our hearts, mind and strength, without any personal interest. To God, no hidden thing that will not be known, because all things are naked before His eyes. The true Christians are not ashamed of their faith and beliefs. In fact, they shared it with others with confidence, in season and out of season. Their focus is heavenly than earthly. Many people in this world are similar to the man in this parable that spent most of his time in doing business, job and money, only to find out that there is a due time to leave this world. It is foolishness to neglect our obligation to God that one day in our lives, we shall stand inHis presence for judgment. Therefore, as we serve God, don't be anxious of many things, but stay focus on Jesus, live a simple life, and always serve Him with the best that we can, for He knows all things. Be watchful always in our surrounding for God gave us the spirit to discern the sign of the times. God bless.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
"Lord, teach us to pray," is a good prayer, and a very needful one, for Jesus Christ alone can teach us, by his word and Spirit, how to pray. Let us in our requests, both for others and for ourselves, come to our heavenly Father, confiding in His power and goodness. Through the influence of the Holy Spirit, we are brought to know God and ourselves, to repent for our sins, to believe God, and to love Christ. As Jesus casting out evil spirit, we were told that He has all the power over darkness and wickedness. The conversion of our souls unto Christ is His victory over the power of Satan; that our house is washed by His blood, and is now clean and holy. While the Pharisees despised the discourses of our Lord, He promised that there should be one sign given, it is the resurrection of the Lord. It means that we should not desire for more evidence in order to believe Him. The Lord's teachings are enough for us to be saved to the uttermost, if we are willing to understand them and obey. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:53 AM
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
After sending the twelve, Jesus sent this time the seventy other disciples to preach the good news of the kingdom. "I send you out as lambs among wolves" (v3). Unfortunately, some cities had rejected Him as the Messiah; Chorazin, Betsaida, and Capernaum. As the disciples returned to Jesus, He told them to rejoice not only because of their opportunity to preach the gospel, but also their names are written in heaven. Our names were also written in heaven because we accepted Jesus as Messiah and we preach His gospel to other people. So be careful with your name and your spiritual being, it is special to our God. The parable of the Samaritan is a lesson of loving our neighbors and friends, which is the very heart of the message of God. Jesus came to save all men and women regardless of nationality, race, education and past. Those who can show mercy to others are the ones that demonstrate the attitude of the Good Samaritan. Pray that we can also do the same with people that are in need. God bless.
When Jesus sent the twelve, He told them not to worry about their physical and financial needs, for God is the Provider. The feeding of 5000 is a demonstration of God's power that He is able to perform miracles for His glory. However, as they go, be sure about the message that Jesus is not only a prophet of Israel, but He is the Christ of God. The true Christ must suffer for the sins of many, He shall be killed and be raised the third day. And those who are willing to follow Him must take up their own cross, and know that the soul is more important than the wealth of this world. The transfiguration is a foretaste of His glory that is to come, and only the redeemed of God shall see the glory and power of God. Believers from Jewish, Samaritans and Gentiles should not curse each other for they are one in Christ Jesus. God bless. (October 24, Monday)
Jesus was so impressed with the faith of the centurion's servant. "I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! (V9). Faith matters to Jesus. Small but strong can move mountain, can heal the sick, can raise the dead, can forgive our sins, can build ministry, and can make all things possible, because nothing is impossible with our God. How's your faith? Is it increasing or increasing, ascending or descending, growing or shrinking? Let your faith in Christ grow, because He will look for faith on His second coming. God bless. (Friday, Oct. 21)
It is lawful to good on the Sabbath because God wants us to be good to all kinds of people on daily basis. Erroneous understanding of God's word may lead us to do one thing that will not glorify the Lord's holy name. Jesus came into our lives in order to teach us the right way. The foundation of our faith should be based of His teachings. Jesus said that the poor are blessed for theirs is the kingdom of God, but the rich shall receive their consolation. By hearing and obeying Christ's teaching, we are building our own strong foundation, so that when the winds comes and floods come up, we are ready to face all the trials in life. Though many will fall when calamity comes, others will remain standing with the help of the Lord. God bless. (Thursday, Oct. 20)
Jesus called Peter to be His follower, and exercise his faith and obedience. "Lay down your net," said Jesus to him in which he did. Like Peter and other disciples we must be willing to lay down the most important thing in our lives, whether it is career, business, ambition, and wealth, for the sake of Christ. As we lay them down at the feet of Jesus, we shall receive abundance and full satisfaction in life. More fishes (rewards and blessings) will be caught, lepers (sin) will be healed, paralyzed (nonbelievers) will be delivered from demonic bondages, and the authority (key in God's kingdom) shall be given to us to preach the gospel to all people. What else do we want, we have Jesus, the fulness of our reward. God bless. (Wednesday Oct. 19)
Man shall not live by bread alone because human being is spiritual being. The real person is the soul that needs to be fed by the word of God. The body is the material being, and its food is material food that don't last long. These foods can't satisfy man's hunger, while the material water can't gratify the thirst to the full. Only the word of God can guarantee our hunger and thirst for eternity. The Lord Jesus knows it and He wants to share this wisdom to His followers. So that when He was tempted by the devil, He had successfully passed all the temptations thrown by His enemies. When Jesus began His ministry, He declared in the synagogue that He was indeed the long awaited Messiah. He proclaimed that He came to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the broken-hearted, set people free, and open God's door to all. We are so privileged to be part of Christ's plan in His kingdom. Therefore so let us continue to be loyal to follow His word because only few people are given of this opportunity. God bless from Jerusalem. (Tuesday, Oct. 18)
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:25 AM
Monday, October 17, 2016
John the Baptist was sent by God for a mission. He claimed that he was "the one crying in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord," but he was not the Christ. His preached his message that there is no way to flee from the wrath to come, expect by repentance. Today, the message of the gospel is still the same. He gave instructions to several kinds of people, such as, tax collectors, soldiers, ordinary people, and religious leaders. He warned them against the temptations of money, jobs, ministries, and all kinds of sins. Sincerity and turning away from sins are the evidences and effects of true repentance that being marked out. In all his exhortations, he directed people to Christ, not to himself, and had them baptized. He declared that the Christ is mightier than himself, whose sandal strap he was not worthy to loose (v16). He was a fearless preacher to the point of criticizing even the sins of the Herod family. When Christ came to be baptized, John assisted Him, and he saw the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like to dove upon Jesus. Indeed, Jesus Christ is our Savior, the beloved Son of God. Blessing.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 5:58 AM
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Christ was born in Bethlehem in the fullness of time, to teach us to be become sons and daughters of God. Humans are outcast from God's presence, helpless, hopeless and miserable. But when we view the Son of God being made man and lying in the manger by faith, we were given new hope and new life. Multiple of angels heralded His birth, but only few poor and humble shepherds saw this big event. On His second coming, the angels will blow their trumpets to announce the return of the King for final redemption. His birth had been revealed also to people like Simon and Anna who were filled with the Holy Spirit. It had been revealed to them that this Baby Jesus is the Savior of the world, a light to the Gentiles and the glory of Israel (v26). Without the Holy Spirit, the people will never recognize who is this Jesus, and what is the meaning of the message of the gospel. Thanks be to God that we have been born again through God's Spirit. At twelve years old, Jesus was very much aware of His calling, but still obedient to his parent as a demonstration of respect to the basic unit of society, the family. God bless.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Theopilus was a man of learning and had been instructed of Christian faith. He commissioned Luke, who had a perfect understanding, to make an intense research on the truth about Jesus in order to supersede many erroneous narratives in circulation during those days. Luke tells that the Lord heard and answered the prayers of Zacharias after many years of waiting. His wife Elizabeth shall bear a son who shall be called John, and "he shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways" (v76). Then the angel of the Lord was sent by God to Mary of Nazareth announcing that she had found favor with God. She would become the mother of a son whose name she should call Jesus, and He will sit at the throne of David forever. Though she was single, but the power of God will overshadow her, so that the son to be born will be called Son of God (v35). In all conflicts and questions in life, let us always remember that with God nothing is impossible. So Mary said that she is a willing servant of the Lord. With Mary's song and Zechariah's prayers, let us seek peace with God and in our own conscience, as we seek to grow strong in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:05 AM
Thursday, October 13, 2016
The women in the ministry were the first witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, while the other eleven disciples had deserted the Lord. The faithful women saw the angel of God in white robe sitting in the right side. It shows that only those who are actively serving the Lord shall witness miracles and supernatural thing in their lives, but others shall always miss them. Though Mary Magdalene had been delivered from seven demons, the Lord did not consider her past. God will not disqualified us for service because of our dark experience. He is a forgiving God, a loving Savior who is willing to embrace our weaknesses, and give us strength. Some people may reject our witness like what the other disciples did to the women (v13), nevertheless God will always believe in us if we are truthful and sincere followers of Christ. At the end, Jesus told His disciples to go and preach the gospel to all creatures, but He also rebuked their unbelief, because it will hinder the growth and expansion of the kingdom. He has called us because Jesus knew that we can do it for His glory. God bless.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
God was in control, not Pilate nor the Sanhedrin at the crucifixion of Jesus. The release of Barabbas was an exchange of life, that He who is without sin became the Victim, while the sinner was being forgiven. Barabbas was a representation of all people in the world that can be declared innocent if they are willing to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Simon a Cyrenian who bear the cross of Jesus is also a metaphor that the true followers of Christ should bear their own cross, deny their selves and follow Christ. The two crucified robbers in between Christ is a symbol that all people are prisoners of pain and sufferings, but one group will accept Jesus and be forgiven, while other group will reject Him but condemned forever. As Jesus breathed His last breath, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, showing that the door of God is now open to enter His presence through Christ. Today, God has millions of men and women everywhere like Mary Magdalene, Salome, and Joseph of Arimathea that are willing to serve Jesus and His people in whatever capacity that they could. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:59 AM
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
The feast of passover and unleavened bread is the first feast to be celebrated in a year, a redemptive act of God to the people of Israel that begins from Egyptian bondage. A lamb sacrifice should be offered as a propitiation for the sins of God's people. Jesus, being the sacrificial Lamb, was betrayed by His friend Judas, denied by His faithful disciple Peter, judged and rejected by His own people the Israelites beginning from the High Priest and other religious leaders. He then prayed to the Father to "take this cup away from Me, not what I will, but what You will" ((v36). When the Sanhedrin asked if He was the Christ, He answered them claiming that He was, and they would see Him sitting at the right hand of the power, and coming with the clouds of heaven. Indeed, the promise of Jesus is true and eternal, it will never be changed, and no one can alter God's plan. Like Peter, we denied Him several times, but don't give up, He is willing to forgive our sins and cleanse us from our unrighteousness because He is our loving Savior. God bless.
Monday, October 10, 2016
The signs of the times can be seen and felt everywhere and in all aspects of life; family, academia, politics, entertainment, social media, church, and gospel proclamation. Jesus will return in the clouds with power and glory, together with His angels to gather the elect Christians from four corners of the earth, to be with Him forever and ever. Let us be reminded how needful it is for us to have a more lasting place in heaven, and to be prepared by the influence of the Holy Spirit in this present world. As Jesus explained the things to happen, He also told His followers the roles they were about to play. We need to preach the gospel, endure persecutions and tribulations, do not allow deceptions from false teachers and lazy believers, be fruitful and productive, be watchful on our surrounding, and focus on relevant things until all things transpire. By doing these, we will always be ready to meet our Redeemer in our permanent home. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:27 AM
Saturday, October 8, 2016
The parable of Vinedressers is God's judgment to the religious leaders of Israel that had been entrusted to care for the nation. They received all the blessings and privileges from the Lord, but have not brought forth the expected fruits. God sent His Son, but instead of honoring Him because He was the Son and heir, they abused and killed Him. But this rejection that led to exaltation was the Lord's doing, and it was marvelous in His eyes. Our lesson is that God shall demand fruits from all Christians in due time. As we continue our journey in this world, let us obey the rules of the land and those that are in authority, without compromising our faith in Christ. In the end, God will reward us with new life, a resurrected body fit for God's eternal kingdom. To love Christ should be our first and foremost goal in life, followed by our neighbors, especially those who belong to Christ. The widow's offering is a sample of complete surrender of life and everything in Christ. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:54 AM
Friday, October 7, 2016
The triumphal entry of Jesus in Jerusalem shows that He was not afraid of the authority and of His death. This would encourage His disciples who were afraid to face people, sufferings and the reality of life. They welcomed Him with a shout saying, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" (v9). Jesus Christ must be our best affections, because He is in the highest heavens, and the blessed One forever. As He looked for some fruits from the fig tree and found none, He made it withered as example to the men of that generation. It was a figure upon the Jewish nation, to which He came to seek fruit but found none. Those who will reject Christ will become unfruitful, unproductive and useless vessels in the kingdom of God. And they shall find their right and eternal place in the world to come. The authority of Christ came not from men but from God, so as the believers' in proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. We need not afraid and embarrassed to share the truth, pray for the sick, and encourage people to accept Jesus. We are His representative in this world. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:10 AM
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Divorce was not in God's original plan. But because of the fall of Adam and the hardness of men's heart, Moses wrote this precept to do something for man and woman's relationship. But in Christ Jesus, God Himself joined man and wife together, to comfort and help each other; God is in the midst of them. As parents and guardians, it is our job to bring the children closer to God. And we must receive the kingdom of God as little children, and stand affected to Christ and His grace. Unlike this young ruler who was trying to be righteous in the eyes of Jesus, but unwilling to bear his own cross and follow Him, let us follow the words of Peter saying: ""See we have left all and followed You" (v25). The reward is enormous in this age and especially in the age to come, because the greatness in serving God is not in the size of ministry but in the size of our obedience. That "he who wants to be great should be the servant of all" (v44). In Jericho, Jesus met the blind man Bartimaeus and gave him brand new eyes, showing that when the gospel in preach, people got healed, received wholeness in Christ our Lord. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:12 AM
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
In tranfiguration, Jesus was presented as the Son of God who is higher and above all God's creation. Therefore we must allow Him to be our beloved Savior, and must surrender ourselves to be ruled by Him. In the next section, the father of the suffering boy complained that the disciples couldn't drive the demons away from his son. Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes" (v23). Those that grumbled of unbelief must look up to Christ for grace to help them against doubt and unbelief. Though the disciples were unable to do some ministries, yet they disputed among themselves who is the greatest (v34). For Christ, the true great man and woman of God are those that can tame their rebellious hearts, act like a little one in humility and obedience, and be the servant of all. The followers of Christ must not think quickly that the works in the kingdom is easy and undemanding. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, all things are possible to him who believes. To be the salt of the earth is to be with the Lord and His people till the end of their lives. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:01 AM
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
In the feeding of 4000, there were seven large baskets of leftover representing the seven continents in ancient time. While in the feeding of 5000, twelve baskets remain representing the twelve tribes of Israel, showing that Jesus can feed the hungry and supply the needs of all people in the world. Indeed, God will supply our needs according to His riches and glory! Unfortunately, the miraculous works of Jesus didn't sink in the hearts of His disciples during that time, and probably in our time too. "How is it that you do not understand?" (v21). When we forget the miraculous works of God and distrust Him, we should rebuke ourselves, ask God's forgiveness, and continue to believe in His promises. The blind man in this section (v22-25), is a reminder that some of His disciples are still blind spiritually, and they need to receive spiritual eyes from Jesus. Unlike the people of Caesarea Philippi, let us be sure of ourselves that Jesus is our Messiah, and He is not just an ordinary good prophet. By total obedience and self-denial, we can show to the Father that Jesus will be our Lord and Savior forever. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:47 AM
Monday, October 3, 2016
Jesus rejected the ceremonial laws that can't make a person clean and righteous before God. They are only traditional and outward form of worship that nullify the Word of God. However, if a person conformed to the traditions of the elders during the time of Jesus, he found a strategy to free him from the claim of his duty to family and community. For Jesus, the Word of God is supreme, above our own belief and personal understanding. A spiritual knowledge of the word of God will cause a person to seek for the grace of the Holy Spirit, and to keep down the evil thoughts that work within. Christ's goal is to seek and save the lost including Gentiles. He never put aside the non-Jews in His program, only that it has to be sequential and in order. While Jesus rebuke the proud people like the Pharisees, He manifest His compassion to the poor and humble sinners who look to Him as Savior and Provider. Let us continue to bring new souls to Christ, like this man with speech problem, for this is the very purpose of our existence. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 9:55 AM
Saturday, October 1, 2016
A prophet is treated with honors everywhere, but most of the time not in his own country. Jesus did not make many miracles in Nazareth because of unbelief of the people. They saw him as ordinary person, and not as the Man of God. When He sent the twelve two by two, He empowered them and gave instruction not to be affected by the rejection and persecution, but shake of the dust under their feet as a testimony against those who rejected the name of Jesus. John the baptist, who had been beheaded by the Herodians was another example that persecution and suffering shall be experienced by the people of righteousness. However, those who shall follow the Christ shall see the power and majesty of God. The feeding of 5000 is a demonstration that Jesus can provide the needs of His people. When He walked onto the sea, it shows that He can handle every situation in our lives miraculously. If a man shall believe in the name of Jesus, God shall touch him and he shall be healed and saved. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 1:35 PM
Friday, September 30, 2016
Deliverance and healing continued when the Lord met a man who was living in the tomb and had been "demon-possessed." Men's strength is not equal to compare with the power of demons and evil spirits, but in the name of Jesus, and in the power of His might, we shall be able to stand against them, though there are legions of them. The man got delivered and declared the great thing Jesus had done for him. But when the people found that their swine were lost, they had a dislike to Christ because they were afraid that their business might be affected by the declaration of the gospel. Today, many people removed Christ and faith from their business, for fear that many will not patronize their products. As Jesus moved to the other side of the lake, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years got healed, by just touching the garment of Jesus. Then another twelve year old girl was raised from the dead by one touch of the Lord. Jesus is able to bring back the departed soul because He is the Lord of all. Indeed nothing is impossible to our great Lord! God bless.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
The parable of sower is the first among the teachings of the Lord, and He said that if we don't understand it, how do we understand all other parables (v13). For Jesus, Satan is real and he can take the word of God away from the hearts of the hearers. There are four kinds of heart, only one is approved to the Lord, those that bear fruits. Fruits are our characters as a brand new person. It is not the outward works of the flesh but the inner result of your works in the kingdom of God. Like a lamp that should put on the lampstand, people shall see the fruits, the real you, the light in you. And they shall be attracted to you so that you can influence them to follow the way of the Lord, like a mustard seed that grows and becomes greater and shoot out large branches (v32). When the Bible says that Jesus "explained to them the meaning of the parables," this is the meaning of discipleship training. He spoke to many people, but he sat down and explained its meaning only to the few disciples. If the wind and wave obeyed the words of Jesus, and why not the Christians to obey Him fully. God bless.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Jesus healed the man with a withered hand on Sabbath when the people are worshipping the Lord together, studying the Scripture, and fellowshipping one with another. But the Pharisee opposed this! For Jesus, the great healing day now is the sabbath, and the healing place is the house of worship, but the healing power is of Christ. If we can't extend our arms to the needy brethren, and don't help the church in time of need, we have a withered hand too. So let us ask Jesus for the healing of our inner being, because the only solution is through the holy blood of Christ. Jesus had chosen the twelve and empowered them that He might send them out to preach the gospel (v15). This is the very reason why Jesus continued to call people even in our generation. Are you one of them? He warned the people to be careful to judge the works of God, and ascribe them as works of evil. He called it blasphemy, an unpardonable sin that can't be forgiven in this world and in the world to come. Let us continue to grow in the knowledge of God that we may know Him more in our lives. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:02 AM
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Four men brought their paralytic friend to Jesus expecting that He would heal him. When the Lord saw their faith, He forgave his sins first, then healed him. Sin is the cause of all pains and sicknesses, and the only way to remove the effect of sin is to take away the cause. Forgiveness of sin is the answer, and it strikes at the root of all diseases that begins from inner being. Most people think themselves whole, and don't need physician, so they despise or ignore Christ and His gospel. Jesus came to heal only those that need healing and forgiveness. If the world is righteous, there is no point for Jesus to come and be crucified. Fasting, ceremonial activities on Sabbath, and trying to look good to others are irrelevant unless it had been flavored by faith at the blood of Christ. Jesus is the Lord of all, even of the Sabbath, and He can't be controlled by any person or any law of the land because He is the Creator of all things. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:58 AM
Monday, September 26, 2016
The gospel of Mark was the first to be written, so that we can observe the simplicity of its presentation. No introduction, no genealogy, no Christmas story, but started from the preaching of John the Baptist in the wilderness. It was then followed by the baptism of Jesus, then the temptation in the wilderness, and immediately His Galilean ministry in one chapter. Here, He called Simon, Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee, proclaiming the coming of the kingdom of God, and urging people to repent and believe in the gospel (v15). He healed the sick, including Peter's mother-in-law, cleansed a leper, casted out demons, and all were subject to His marvelous power. He also moved to many towns that He may preach there, "because for this purpose I have come forth" (v38). Then He became known to all, and they came to Him from every direction. Christ started the purpose of God in the world, and there is no reason why Christians should hesitate to spread the praises of Christ. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:31 AM
Saturday, September 24, 2016
The resurrection of Christ is the continuation of the salvation history written in the Bible, beginning from Abraham, Moses, David, Ezra, and Jesus. The risen Christ is the Light of the world, shine out of the darkness of the grave. This very day was the turning point of the new era by which Christians observed in solemn assemblies to honor their Lord and Redeemer. On that day, a great earthquake occurred, an angel rolled the stone, the guards shook for fear, the women saw the risen Christ, and the Lord spoke saying, "Rejoice! Do not be afraid." Indeed there are substantial reasons to celebrate. Despite the negative news that the body was stolen by the disciples while the guards were sleeping, the good news that Jesus was resurrected was spread out by His followers, started by the Maria's. When the disciples saw Christ in His heavenly body, they worshipped Him, and listened to His final words saying, "Go and make disciples of all nations." For this reason, we will not stop sharing the gospel to the people, until His return from His throne in heaven. God bless.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Judas acknowledged to the chief priests that he had sinned, and betrayed an innocent person. This was full testimony to the character of Christ; but the rulers were hardened. Pilate had no malice against Jesus, and he washed his hand as a testimony that Jesus is innocent. Even the wife, who had a nightmare, urged him to be away from this just Man. Yet it was vain for Pilate to free himself from the guilt of the innocent blood, because his office was supposed to protect all righteous people. At the end, Barabbas was freed while Jesus was crucified, a symbol of life-exchange. The sinner was forgiven, but the the righteous was condemned. Barabbas, means son of the father, is the emblem for all the people in the world, a sinner that can be forgiven if they shall put their faith to Christ. Jesus Christ died at the Cross to save His people from their sins. Unfortunately, many remained doubtful and hesitant to get rid of their false religion and traditions. May the Lord open the eyes of more people in this world. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:21 AM
Thursday, September 22, 2016
The betrayal of Judas and the conspiracy of the religious leaders against Jesus can be considered a downfall of the enemies, but victory of God's plan. Jesus, the true passover Lamb, was to be sacrificed for us at that very time, and His death and resurrection rendered public. He was anointed with expensive oil by a woman who came with Him in preparation for His death. Jesus commended her for that small but great work, and we too can do the same. As they celebrated the passover meal, He instituted the new covenant (v28), to fulfill what was written in the prophets. At that night, Peter and the disciples made a promise that they shall not deny Him. Though they failed at that night, they proved to be faithful in the long run. While praying at the Gethsemane, Judas came with multitudes and a kiss to his Rabbi. Facing the religious leaders, Jesus declared that He is the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God. His teaching was misunderstood by many, but embraced and worshipped by others. May the Lord bless us as we continue walking, even in the valley of the shadow of death. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:45 AM
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
The parables of the ten virgins, the talents, and judgment of the nations are end-time parables that all Christians should give special attention. Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is the first step in our journey, followed by service to God and good works to men. In the day of judgment, only the wise men and women shall be honored by the Lord. First, they are wise because they waited patiently for the return of the Groom with readiness. Second, they smartly exercised their skills and talents that God gave them after accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. Third, they diligently obeyed the command of Jesus to go and preach the gospel, visit the sick, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, help the needy, and other good works that are commendable to God. As Christians, we have high and special calling from heaven to continue all that Jesus began both to do and teach after He ascended to heaven. Thus life and death, good and evil, blessing and cursing, are set before us, that we may choose not the way of the world, but of the Lord. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:55 AM
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
The signs of the Lord's return can be seen and felt in our generation; war and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, deceptions, false teachers, lawlessness, and worldwide gospel proclamation. "Take heed that no one deceives you,"the Lord reminded. He foretold that people shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory. The Christians are scattered abroad, but on that Day of gathering, there shall not one of them be missing. Are we ready to meet Him? Can we stand before His presence? Are we excited? To watch and wait for Christ's coming, we must allow ourselves to follow the ways of the faithful and wise servant. They don't stop serving their master, maintaining the attitude of willingness to wait till the day that the master should find them in. When the Lord Jesus returns, may He find us faithful and pronounce us blessed, sincerely serving Him day and night. God bless.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Jesus said that the scribes and Pharisees explained the law of Moses and enforced obedience to it, yet they themselves disobey what they say. It is clear that some measure of anti-Christian spirit of the past still prevails in our modern society today. Jesus declared that some the religious leaders were enemies of the gospel, rejecting the message of kingdom of God, and worse, keeping others to come closer to Christ. They appeared to be clean and holy in the outside, but the inside is filthy. The only solution for this is the heart and spirit be made new with the newness of life, where people can begin anew. Apart from it, the good Lord said: "How can you escape the condemnation of hell?" (v33). As He cried out for the miseries that were about to bring upon Jerusalem and her inhabitants, He calls the people to take refuge under the mighty protection of their Messiah. The true blessedness is for anyone who comes in the name of the Lord. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:03 AM
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Marriage of the Lamb is the most anticipated event for all the believers in all generations. God had sent His messengers to invite people to attend this event, however, only those who had accepted the invitation and made themselves ready shall be allowed to enter the pavilion. This event shall happen on the day of resurrection, when God's people will rise from the grave to receive their new body, similar with that of Christ's. It is a body that was forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Christ; willing to sacrifice all things, deny all things, and obey the two great commandment of all, to love God and neighbors as themselves. Jesus said that the Pharisees and Sadducees were erroneous in doctrines because they neither know God nor the power of the Scriptures. For this reason, they tumbled from their own religiosity when the Messiah came to save us from eternal damnation. May we be made more like to Him, and more devoted to His service.God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 4:23 PM
The triumphant entry of Jesus begins the passion week, where the Lamb sacrifice is to be presented to people and priest. Afterward, He cleansed the temple and cursed the unfruitful fig tree, signifying the removal of the religious leader of Israel from the eyes of God. The parable about the two sons, one obeyed and other disobeyed tells that this world is divided, some are sided for God while others are not, though they pretend to be spiritual. The parable of vineyard had sealed the fate of the Pharisees and Sadducees that the kingdom of God was taken away from them, and given to a group of people bearing the fruits of it. After few days, Jesus was crucified, died, but rose again. Forty years later, the temple was destroyed by Rome, and the nation of Israel had ceased to exist. But the followers of Christ began to flourish worldwide, bearing the fruits of the kingdom of God. Are you bearing the fruits of the kingdom? God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 3:41 PM
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Grace of God is the main point of this parable. We cannot earn our salvation, whether we worked for long or short hour, 5 years or 25 years, we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord. Our response to God's grace may be varied, for some may be jealous while others may be angry. The lesson of this parable is to know the ways of the Lord and to know your own personal way. If you can differentiate His way and your own way, it means you are on the right way, otherwise you will only be frustrated in life. Greatness in the kingdom of God cannot be obtained by using mediator like what John and James did as they use their mother. The Father knows all, and the position in the kingdom of heaven is for those for whom it is prepared by God. The absurd thing here is that, in the previous passage, Jesus was talking about his death and departure, but here the disciples are thinking of a position in His kingdom, and quarreling with each other because they were displeased with the two. May the Lord open the eyes of men's blindness as He did to the two blind men in Jericho. God bless.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Originally God hates divorce, but because of men's hardness of heart, it had been permitted; but only for a ground of sexual immorality. To God, heart is still the most important thing of all. There are many good couples that will not make it to heaven when they die, because they don't have Jesus in their hearts. Salvation is not what men do, but a gift that flows from heaven through Christ. Like the rich young ruler who came to Jesus, eternal life can't be obtain by doing good thing, and obeying the ten commandment. Jesus tells this man that he has to submit to the Lord, sell his possessions, give them to the poor, and follow Him. The meaning of this passage is submitting our personal will to the perfect will of God. If a man or a woman who called themselves Christians but unwilling to do this, they are similar to this man who was pretentious, fancy, and artificial. Let us continue to struggle in obeying God's will that we may obtain the promised eternity in heaven. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 12:20 PM
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Our Lord set a little child before His disciple that unless they were converted and made like little children, they could not enter his kingdom. Children were young, do not desire authority, do not regard outward distinctions, free from malice, teachable, and willingly dependent on their parents. On the same way, Christians are expected to be like them, simple, humble, and with pure motive as little children. Such is great in God's kingdom. Jesus expects that Christians should seek reconciliation with one another. If we obeyed this command, and whether they agreed or disagreed, we've done our part. Jesus looks at the totality of our character, inner motive, and attitude of the heart. Unforgiving is dreadful, God has forgiven us, so let us forgive those who sinned against us; our family members, former love ones, those who used and abused us, and even those that we used and abused in former times, and release them from our hearts. Continue to do the works of God, ignore any criticism because they can't help us to enter the kingdom of heaven anyway. God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:54 AM