Saturday, January 30, 2016

Jeremiah 8

The land of Judah was sick and in trouble because of the sin of its people, but Jeremiah believed that whatever befalls them here, they must humble themselves before God and seek His mercy. God accused His people of negligence saying, "the stork knows her appointed times, and the turtledove observe the time of their coming, but His people do not know the judgment of the Lord" (v7). To be God's people is an honor with great responsibility. Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is not the end of our journey but only the beginning. Those who will continue to walk and follow the way of the Good Shepherd will find the green pasture, otherwise "they shall fall among those who fall" (v12). The true Christians shall be rewarded for their sincerity and honesty, but those who would not attend to the written word will look for peace but no good will come. Our hope is in God, for there is no medicine that can cure for a sick and dying kingdom like Israel except the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ... Reading: Jeremiah 8, God bless.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Jeremiah 7

The Israelites thought that because the temple was standing firmly, it would be their protection from the enemies. But the Lord said that those who continue in sin, though deeply religious, should receive  just punishment. Religiosity does not matter to God, but listening and obedience to His word. In fact, the Israelites took pride in showing zeal for their idols, and even offered cakes to the queen of heaven which didn't exist (v18). The Lord had promised that those who would listen diligently shall dwell in the land, otherwise they shall be casted out from the sight of God (v15). In application, though a Christian had been serving God for many years, but those years cannot be used as "passport" to engage in sin and serve God at the same time. Many Christians are no longer in the ministry because of arrogance, disobedience and stubbornness.  Always remember that God does not look at the ministry, but the heart is the place in which God has chosen to put His holy name... Reading: Isaiah 7, God bless.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jeremiah 6

God said to Benjamin, "Flee from the midst of Jerusalem" (v1), because the days are coming when the careless, stubborn, hypocrites and pretending followers of God will be visited. God will fulfill His plan, and will use even the nonbelievers, the Chaldeans to complete it. Jeremiah said that those who say "we will not listen" (v17) shall find place for their own destruction. This is similar message of the New Testament (2Cor 6); "Come out from them, and be separate" from the worldly, lazy, and carnal Christians. Looking at our modern world where sin and religion go together, it is really hard for the true believers to maintain faith and purity of the heart. We have to be thankful always for the grace of God, and for the faithful and obedient Christians God has given us, because if God will mark our failures and unfaithfulness, who can stand on the day of reckoning. Let us ask God always to lead us in the old paths where we find the good way, so we can find the end of our long journey in Christ... Reading: Jeremiah 6, God bless.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jeremiah 5

When the evil men rule and the people obey them, its only because they are all living in total darkness. The rich were arrogant, and the abuse of God's favors made their sin worse, but the poor were not excuse, because they refused to know the way of the Lord and the judgment of God (v4). Many people had been deceived by believing to false teachers that God is not strict as His word say He is. Satan's device is to lead people away from God by telling them to ignore God's commands, but swear to false gods and invented teachings (v7). Unhumbled hearts will always blame God and other people for the  mistakes and erroneous decisions they have made. Jeremiah said that they have no fear of God, but have defiant and rebellious heart. And if they heard about sins and the need of repentance, they will justify their wicked ways and show  their accomplishments. Truly, God does not look at our achievements, but He looks are the attitude of our hearts... Reading: Jeremiah 5, God bless.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jeremiah 4

The uncircumcised heart is like an untilled ground; rocky and thorny. They are unwilling to learn new things about God, and unprepared to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. They are wise to do evil, but ignorant of doing the right way (v22). The Israelites were very religious, yet God said that even though they cloth themselves with crimson, and adorn themselves with gold (v30), their religiosity has no bearing to God. The Lord's voice declares that misery is approaching, especially against wicked teachers of the word of God. The fruits of evil doing is bitter, and the end is fatal. Indeed, it is not easy to deliver the message of doom, yet, a message of comfort reveals that God will not cast off His chosen people. In our time, we have heard about the collapse of economy, natural calamities and the war between many nations, yet many people ignore the warning of the gospels. How wretched the condition of those who are not concern about the salvation of their own souls! Therefore, let us continue to be faithful in serving our Living Christ... Reading: Jeremiah 4, God bless.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Jeremiah 3

Worshipping idols and images is spiritual adultery. The Israelites (north and south) was God's spouse, and the Lord had accused the divided nations for playing harlotry and idolatry. The north (Israel) was worshipping idols under every green tree (v6), and even enticing the south (Judah) to bow down to the stones, and serve Yahweh in pretense and hypocrisy (v10). As a result, God being the Husband (v14), had stopped supplying their provisions and depending them from their enemies. But God who is forgiving and merciful, is always ready to forgive sin, heal their backsliding, and bring them back to their own land. Restoration is God's desire for His people, so that He can teach them again to be faithful and be secured in His presence. Jeremiah declared that only in God is the salvation of Israel (v23). But when Jesus Christ came and went to the cross, only in His name is the salvation of both the  Jewish and the Gentile world. Jesus is the Lord, and He alone can save... Jeremiah 3, God bless.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jeremiah 2

Israel was the Lord's firstfruits, holy kingdom, and the increase of God's work in this world. They were God's instrument to spread the good news of salvation, that the whole world may know that there is true God in Israel. Unfortunately they had been unfaithful to the God of their forefathers. God had lamented that no one was seeking Him, all had forsaken the fountain of living waters (v13). They sought help from men instead of God by going to Egypt and Assyria to find waters to satisfy their needs. They worshipped the trees and bowed down to stone, yet in time of troubles, they went to the temple to seek God's help. And on top of this, the Israelites had refused to believe that they have sinned against God. This is the worst thing to happen when someone has began to harden his or her heart, unable to see the sinfulness of it. Heart is the most deceitful of all, that's why we have to be careful always with the attitude of our heart. Lord help us to humble our hearts... Reading: Jeremiah 2, God bess.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jeremiah 1

Jeremiah was ordained by God to be prophet to the nations and servant of His people even before he was born. He was so afraid to do the task because be was still young, but God put forth His hand and touched his mouth so that He could do the things God wanted him to do. God's purpose for calling Him was to root out and pull down, to build and to plant. Also, God gave him the eyes that can see darkness and light, and the coming danger, and to distinguish what is right from wrong. Similar to our case as Christians, we have been called by God for a purpose; to destroy the evil ways of the nonbelievers and to build up new spirit in their lives. The danger is real so that God wants the people to repent from their sins, and if God will not call someone who will proclaim His message, no one will volunteer for the job. Thank God for the people who became God's instruments in our lives so that we can see what is right in the eyes of the Lord... Reading: Jeremiah 1, God bless.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Isaiah 66

Material offerings are good for God, but He is more interested in the purity of our hearts. He regards our talents and skills, but much more when we tremble at His word. The Lord declares that the prayers and offerings of disobedient people are not only unacceptable, but abomination to Him. Many people are deceived and will always be deceived if their confidence is in false religion and idolatrous practices. However, anyone who repents shall be welcome and no one shall be denied, because the Comforter from Zion should come to set up His kingdom with solemn worship before the God of heaven. At the end, the nonbelievers will be separated with an everlasting misery and torment, while the redeemed will be with Jesus in His kingdom forever. As we conclude this book, may the Lord of heaven grant us favor and strength, for Christ's sake, to finish the race and find us faithful till the end of our lives... Reading: Isaiah 66, God bless.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Isaiah 65

The sin of unbelief is one of the most dangerous sins in the entire Bible. The Lord hates those that pretend to know God's word but ignore the application, living according to their own thoughts. Isaiah said that these people think that they are more holy than others, 'holier than thou' attitude (v5). That's why if the sins of a person shall not be forgiven, even the sins of the parents shall be put on their head (v7). Isaiah encourages the people to trust God's word and obey them, because the glorious days are coming where the former shall not be remembered, including our sins, and only the redeemed and faithful people shall be there. In this place, people can see the wolf, lamb, lion and ox eating together, without hurting each other. People shall plant vineyard and eat its fruits, and enjoy the works of their hands. It means to us today that the most anticipated second coming of Jesus should not be ignored because God is true and faithful to His promises... Reading: Isaiah 65, God bless.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Isaiah 64

The prophet prayed that God would manifest Himself visibly with signs and wonders, so that people may see and experience His great power. Today in our time, all religions claim that they are the true faith, but we can't see real changes around us. Other religions even use the name of their God to kill, destroy and deceive many. Isaiah said that no religion is true and none can save, because all men are unclean and their religious works are comparable only to filthy rags (v6). In the midst of darkness and unclean generation, Isaiah cried out that even though evil and wickedness can be seen everywhere, God is still our Father. He said that we should only put our lives under His Hand that He may do what is right for us, so that He can fulfill His desires in our lives. The sign that we are still God's people is our heart's yearning to live a holy and sanctified life... Isaiah 64, God bless.

Isaiah 63

When God judged the nation of Israel, it is because of their unfaithfulness to the covenant. This chapter tells that God in His holy anger, had trodden the winepress and trampled the people, His own vineyard. By His own power, without any human help, He had crushed those who opposed His plans and schemes. But when they began to acknowledge their sins and cried out for mercies, God always looked back to the day of old. Yahweh led Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness, to experience His power and to make an everlasting name in their midst. Similar to our experiences, we may fail God because of our stubbornness, we may disappoint Him because of our self righteousness, nevertheless, if we acknowledge our weaknesses and believe that we are nothing without Him, then He will hear our prayers and deliver us from those who oppress and abuse us... Reading: Isaiah 63, God bless.

Isaiah 62

If Israel had failed the Lord to introduce their God to the whole world during their time, it is the Christians' role to do evangelism, introducing Jesus to the world in our time. We should not stop and take rest for the sake of the King of Zion. Gentiles were once forsaken by God, but through Jesus Christ, they are being taken care of. Jesus' promise to bless His followers will always be true, that is His nature. He is faithful, sincere and reliable. For this reason I myself will not hold my peace, will not stop bringing the good news of Christ to many, and will not stop serving His holy name, till the name of Jesus be glorified in me all the days of my life. Come now Lord Jesus... Reading: Isaiah 62, God bless.

Isaiah 61

By the dominion of sin in us, we are bound under the power of Satan; but the Son is ready to make us free. Sin and Satan were to be destroyed; and Christ triumphed over them on His cross. He will do this for His people, that they may abound in the fruits of righteousness, as the branches of God's planting. Neither the mercy of God, the atonement of Christ, nor the gospel of grace, profit the self-sufficient and proud people. They must be humbled, and led to know their own character and wants, by the Holy Spirit. Those whom He sets at liberty, He sets to work. His service is perfect freedom; it is the greatest honor. These blessings shall spring forth for ages to come, as the fruits of the earth, for the glory of God our Father... Reading: Isaiah 61, God bless.

Isaiah 60

The light has come to us when the gospel of Christ began to proclaim in our homes and we heard about it. Thus begin the conversion of our soul, as Jesus is always ready to receive all who come to Him, because the gate of mercy is always open, night and day. Isaiah declared that nations and their kings shall lay themselves out for the good of God's kingdom. But those who will not be subject to Christ's golden rule shall be broken in pieces by His iron rod. Such a salvation and redemption shall be wrought out for all, as discovers itself to be the work of the Lord in men's lives. Every thing shall be changed for the better. Those that make God their only light shall have Him their all-sufficient light, and the joy and happiness shall be great. Let this truth cheer us under all difficulties, and stir us up to all diligence, that we may have an abundant entrance into this everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ... Reading: Isaiah 60, God bless.

Isaiah 59

God's hand is reachable, and His ears are always open for prayer, but because of iniquities, God has hidden His face from people, so that He will not year" (v2). And if our prayers are not answered, and the salvation we wait for is not wrought for us, it is not because God is weary of hearing prayer, but because we are weak in praying. We need to continue praying and interceding, because if we shut our eyes against the light of Divine truth, it is just for God to hide from our eyes the things that belong to our salvation and peace. Therefore, never stop seeking God's truth because the word of Christ will always continue in the mouths of the faithful. In our time, we can see the progress of infidelity and impiety, however the plan of Christ shall gain a complete victory, and the believers will be more than conqueror when the Lord receives them to His glory in heaven... Reading: Isaiah 59, God bless.

Isaiah 58

A fast is a day to afflict the soul; if it does not express true sorrow for sin, and does not promote the putting away of sin, it is not a fast. To be liberal and merciful is more acceptable to God than mere fasting, which, without them, is vain and hypocritical. Yet many people still show repentance and sorrow for sin, by keeping a fast sincerely, and, from right motives, and doing good works. As sin and sorrow dry the bones and weaken the strongest human faculty; so the duties of kindness and love strengthen and refresh both body and mind. Those who do justly and love mercy, shall have the comfort, even in this world. Good works will bring the blessing of God, provided they are done from love to God and man, and wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit.... Reading: Isaiah 58, God bless.

Isaiah 57

When a righteous person dies, he/she enters into peace and rest with God. We are righteous by the virtue of the finished work of Jesus at the cross. God hates idol worship and He never dwells on these images. His dwellings are His throne in heaven and the hearts of faithful believers in Christ. Men that are inclined to their tradition and religion inflame their unholy passions. They are led to do evil things in God's eyes, and never will come to a right end. Those who forsake the only right way, wander in the paths of unrighteousness. That's why the wicked would not be healed by God's grace and comforts. Their lusts and passions made them like the troubled sea, without peace. Praise God for sending Jesus who brought the grace and mercy to all His followers... Reading: Isaiah 57, God bless.

Isaiah 56

The Lord tells His expectations of duty from us. Be honest and righteous in all dealings. Obey His commands and the sabbath day, a complete rest in the Lord's hand. Have nothing to do with sin because a person is blessed if he or she keeps their hands out from all things displeasing and hurtful to God. Spiritual blessings are better than all material things that we can acquire in this world. Those who love the Lord will serve Him faithfully, and then His commandments are not burdened. Never say "God doesn't love me", because He already declared that He had loved His people with an everlasting love... Reading: Isaiah 56, God bless.

Isaiah 55

People are spending their money on things that cannot satisfy their needs. That's why God asked: "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? (v2a). All the wealth and pleasure in the world could not solid comfort to the soul. They do not satisfy even the appetites of the body; for all is vanity and vexation. "Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance" (v2b). We don't know how to find the way to the food, water and comfort, but Christ came to be our Leader and Commander, to show us what to do, and enable us to do it. Our job is to listen first to His voice and follow Him. His way is different from our way, His way is heavenly, ours is earthly. Let us seek the Lord and call upon His name, for His word shall not return to Him void, but shall accomplish His plan and purpose in our lives.... Reading: Isaiah 55, God bless.

Isaiah 54

The Maker of the entire universe is Israel's husband, while Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world is the Christians' bridegroom. God's desire for His people is to enlarge the place of their tent, and stretch out the curtains of their dwelling (v2). It shows that He is calling His people to go and increase the territory, expand the vision, produce more fruits, evangelise and double the production. Why? Because the devil our adversary is doing his job double time. Though many are not doing their assignments to God faithfully, yet God is slow to anger, so He is swift to show mercy. “For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed" (v10). It is true that God will rebuke and correct His people for sins; but He will not cast them off. Therefore, let this message encourage us to be more faithful to Him, and do not abuse the kindness of God.... Reading: Isaiah 54, God bless.

Isaiah 53

The Old Testament is clear that Christ ought to suffer, and then to enter into His glory. This excellent report about salvation for sinners was disregard by many, because of failure to discern the divine wisdom which goes with the word. The works that this Messiah did, and the appearance that He projected in the world did not agree to the ideas the Jews & Gentiles had formed in their mind. Instead of palace and great places, the Messiah grew up as a simple, silent, and lowly place. He had nothing of the glory which might have thought to meet with Him. His life is humble and sorrowful, being made sin for us. Truly, the carnal people see nothing in the Lord Jesus to desire an interest in Him. The sinners love their sin and their own evil way. Our sins deserve all griefs and sorrows, even the most severe. And by the suffering of Jesus at the cross, He purchased for us the grace of God and gave His Spirit in us.... Reading: Isaiah 53 God bless.

Isaiah 52

Those who will follow the footstep of Jesus will find favor and protection from the Lord. Their feet are beautiful in God's eyes as they bring the good news of peace and happiness to the hills, mountains and plains (v7). The Lord will be their rear guard, for He shall walk before and behind them. Indeed, the Messiah will bring back the joy of Zion to His people. Do you seek victory over your life and ministry? Remember that the victory and glory of God requires holiness in every follower of Christ. The good news is, that the Lord Jesus reigns. Christ himself brought these good news first. His ministers proclaim this good news later, keeping themselves clean from the pollutions of the world. So, those in the way of duty, are under God's special supervision and protection; and those that believe these words will not be afraid because God is always with them.... Reading: Isaiah 52, God bless.

Isaiah 51

There is great responsibility when we become people of God. The Lord said: "Listen to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation" (v4). He calls upon His people to mind the things that belong to their everlasting peace, not on short enjoyment of this world. However, Jerusalem had provoked God, and was made to taste the bitter fruits. The Lord who should have been their comforters, became their own tormentors. It shows that the secret of God's peace and comfort is very simple, obey His words and we shall find the thing that we look for. If you need consolation, seek it from God. If you need protection, He will not only do it, but He will also defend you from your enemies and persecutors. If you are indeed sincere to have new life in Christ, God will lead you and direct your steps. The Bible said: if you love this world, you will lose Him. But if you hate this world, you will find God's righteousness.... Reading: Isaiah 51, God bless.

Isaiah 50

When Jesus came down on earth, He was rejected and persecuted, "giving My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting" (6). This psalm is a messianic prophecy that Jesus fulfilled when He was on trial. He endured the suffering at the cross till the end. But this psalm is also for His followers. "Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God" (10). Do you fear the Lord? Do you obey His voice? Do you walk in darkness and has no light? Don't you have sure direction? Or are you afraid of your future? Are you disappointed in your life and on your expectations? The prophet said that we should trust in the Lord. Jesus is alive, and we can face tomorrow with power and strength. Do not be afraid because our God is reigning everywhere and forever... Reading: Isaiah 50, God bless.

Isaiah 49

Though Israel rejected their Messiah, still Christ will be glorious. This promise is in part fulfilled in the calling of the Gentiles who were living in darkness. Christ enlightens those who believe, making them holy and acceptable. Though there are difficulties in the way to heaven, yet the grace of God will carry us over them, and make even the mountains a way, because nothing is impossible to God. However, Israel will be restored, they are not forgotten, inscribed in the palms of God's hand. While Christians have Jesus Christ, washed by the blood and sealed by the Holy Spirit. And so, God expects that the two groups of people will be faithful till the end, as God's witnesses on this earth. May the year 2016 be a year of growth, evangelism, and witnessing to our church; WIN-NY, so that our place "become too small for me" (v20)... Reading: Isaiah 49, God bless & Happy New Year to all.

Isaiah 48

Let it be known that our God is the Creator of all things; even the hidden things that we don't know. He created everything, like our families, our job, our church, our ministries, and every situation that affects our whole being. But most of the time, we don't understand them. As God's chosen servants, Israel and the Christians have great responsibilities to God spiritually, and physically. That's why God has to say to His people, "Behold, I have refined you but not as silver, I have tested you in the furnace of afflictions" (v10). It means that God's intent to accomplish His purpose is transformation of His people. It is true that God will restore His creation, but He is more concern on human being's inward change. What is God's plan in your life this year? Our prayer for 2016 is that, may God's transforming power be realized in this world and in our lives...Reading: Isaiah 48, God bless & Happy New Year to all.

Isaiah 47

Babylon was to be degraded and endure sufferings; and is represented sitting on the ground, grinding at the hand mill, the lowest and most laborious service. God was righteous in His vengeance, and none should interpose. The prophet was overwhelmed in the Lord of hosts, as the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel. God often permits wicked men to prevail against his people; but those who cruelly oppress them will be punished. Our authority comes from the Lord, and never abuse and misuse it. That's why loving others is one of the most important things in God, and the highest goal of all believers. Let's love one another with truth and sincerity. Reading: Isaiah 47... God bless

Isaiah 46

In this passage the Lord was not only insulting the gods of the Babylonians, Abel and Nebo, but also those that worship these images. Because the eyes of idolaters were so blind, both the idols and the idolaters are gone into captivity. When men put their trust in images, they will be found unable to save people from death and hell. But the true God will never fail His worshippers. God has promised that He will bear us up; carry us on in our way, and carry us home in the final days. If we learn to trust in God and love Him, we need not be anxious about our remaining days; God will still provide for us and watch over us, both as the creatures of His power, and as new-created by his Spirit... Reading: Isaiah 46, God bless.

Isaiah 45

Even a Gentile person can be called God's chosen or anointed like Cyrus. God chose him with a purpose, and the Lord went before him, giving entrance to the cities he besieged. Though the true God was unknown to Cyrus, yet God foreknew him, and He called him by his name. Cyrus understood that it was for the sake of the Israelites that he had been prospered by the Lord. Our personal experience can be compared with Cyrus, that God had chosen us for a purpose, for the sake of Jesus Christ; that God has blessed each of us because of Jesus. There is no other God beside Him, and there is nothing done without Him. Our God is the Author of all things, and all things happen with His holy permission. That's why the prophet said that God is the Potter, we are the clay on His hand... Reading: Isaiah 45, God bless