Tuesday, July 26, 2016
The vision shall come to pass and it has to be written plainly on clay tablets (v2). It may takes years to have it fulfilled, and there may be many violence and sufferings to come, but we must wait in faith, because the just shall live by faith (v4). When we poured out our requests before God, we must observe the answers God gives by His words and through the Holy Spirit. The Lord will not disappoint His children who wait to hear what He will say unto them. But Habakkuk also wrote that all proud and oppressive powers that bring hardship to God's people shall be doomed. Those who covet evil gain for his house, and build a town with bloodshed shall find their rightful place, now and in eternity. The hope of all believers shall not be declined, because this earth that is full of suffering will soon be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God, as the waters covers the sea (v14). The Lord Jesus Christ is in His holy throne in heaven, and we have access to Him in the way He has appointed for us... Reading: Habakkuk 2, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:33 AM
Monday, July 25, 2016
Prophet Habakkuk was afflicted by seeing ungodliness and violence in Judah, especially among those who profess the truth about religion. The law is powerless, justice never goes forth but perverted, and wicked men surround the righteous (v4). But God said that the days are coming when the cry for sin will be heard against those that do evil. God would use more evil men, the Chaldeans, to punish the pretentious people of God. They are a bitter and hasty nation, cruel, terrible and dreadful, destroying all men that oppose them. Today, there are so many wickedness in most of the religious institutions, and the only thing that God can do is to shake and punish these religious groups (Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant) by a more wicked men, the ISIS. Though wickedness may prosper a while, but God is in His throne, pure, holy and righteous, and cannot look on wickedness (v13). As we read and study these biblical precepts, let us remember that whatever advantages we posses, we must give the glory to God always... Reading: Habakkuk 1, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:41 AM
Saturday, July 23, 2016
God brought down the nation of Assyria for pride and arrogance. It was a bloody city, full of lies and robbery (v1). So many seductive harlots, sorcerers, wicked leaders, idolaters, and evil merchants were found in Nineveh, and God had no choice but to punish them all. The fall of this great city should be a lesson to all leaders and individual person, who increase wealth by fraud and oppression. Everyone who seeks for his/her own prosperity and safety should not only be in an upright manner but with kindness to all. "Are we better than them?" (v8) Of course not! All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). But by His mercies, God the Father has saved us through faith in Christ our Lord, that we may testify that God is good and compassionate to all who are willing to obey His will... Reading: Nahum 3, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:22 AM
Friday, July 22, 2016
No power, wisdom, counsel, strength nor weapon can stand in the presence of the holy God. The Lord looks down upon proud cities, like Nineveh, and brings them down with judgment. Nineveh has full of gold, and there is no end of treasure, but God destroyed them, and all men's faces are drained of color (v10). How many are now in hell because of the love of money? Jesus said, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). The kings of Assyria had long been terrible and cruel to their neighbors, but the Lord would destroy their power. Today, there is no country called Assyria, because their land and people are divided to various nations. Indeed, God will fulfill His words! Let us then come to God upon His mercy that having peace with Him through our Lord Jesus Christ, we may know that He is for us and not against us, for our everlasting good... Reading: Nahum 2, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:33 AM
Thursday, July 21, 2016
The people of Nineveh had repented from their sin when God sent Jonah on 830 BC. Then, 200 years later, another prophet was being sent, Nahum, but the message was rejected, the Ninevites became worse ever. God reserves His wrath and shall not acquit the wicked one (v2). The anger of the Lord is contrasted with His goodness to obedient people. "Who can stand before His indignation and who can endure the fierceness of His anger?"(v6). Indeed, the Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble. Nahum said that there is a great agreement conspired against the Lord and His kingdom by the wicked and evil counselor, but it will be proven in vain (v9). Though they are quiet, wealthy and many, they shall be devoured like grass fully dried. And God will work great deliverance and redemption to those who trust in Him. In the end, those who brings peace and good news to remote areas will be protected and rewarded (v15), because the Lord will never leave them not forsake them... Reading: Nahum 1, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:07 AM
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
As we close this prophetic book, Micah summarized his message by lamenting that he lives among a people ready for destruction, in which many faithful men and women would suffer (v1). He declared that men have no satisfaction in their own lives, "prince asks for gifts, judge seeks a bribe, and great man utters his evil desire" (v3). There is no safety place and comfort in this world, except to look and wait on God, that we may have strength to trust in Him (v7). He said that by acknowledging our sins against God, He is ready to consider our case and execute justice for us. We must depend on God to work out for our complete salvation in due time. Though enemies and false believers may seem to succeed and rejoice against us, they shall be silenced and put to shame (v10). At the end, Micah said that there is forgiveness in the Lord, and He does not retain His anger forever. When God forgives, He takes care that it never shall be remembered any more against the sinner.... Reading: Micah 7, God bless.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
God complained and reasoned out why did He choose Israel and send Moses and the prophets with them; "that they may know the righteousness of the Lord" (v5). God told them that burnt offerings with thousands of rams and ten thousands rivers of oil were unpleasant to Him, unless they abide on what is good, just, merciful, and humble before God. It means that God wants His people, Jews and Christians, to remember the many favors He had done for us and for our forefathers, and compare them with our unworthy and ungrateful conduct toward Him. He wants every thought within us to be brought down into obedience to Him. The voice of God is to be heard in the "rod of God"(v9). Those who are dishonest, with wicked scales, abominable treasures, deceitful tongue, and all form of corruptions shall be stricken with desolation and hunger (v10-14). Sin is the root of bitterness and controversy, and only God can pluck them out from people's lives... Reading: Micah 6, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:15 AM
Monday, July 18, 2016
Bethlehem was a little town, but famous for many great personalities in ancient biblical history, such as Naomi, Boaz, Ruth, Jesse, David and Jabez. The prophet declared that the Ruler in Israel shall be born here, yet, His existence is from eternity, similar to the nature of eternal God. But this Messiah shall give them up (Israelites) because of their disobedience, until the time of their sufferings had finished like a woman "who is in labor has given birth" (v3). Then the remnant shall return to Him with repentant hearts, willing to listen and obey His words. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and the Magi from the east came to pay homage to the newly born king, the Scribes and Pharisees told Herod that the Ruler shall be born in Bethlehem. They knew the prophecy! Unfortunately, they knew it only in their minds but not in their hearts; similar to many people in our time. Micah said that the Lord will cause the reformation of the Jews and the purification of the Christians in the last days that we may be united in faith and belief for God's eternal plan and glory... Reading: Micah 5, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:39 AM
There shall be a glorious day for Zion, and the house of God shall be exalted above all the mountains of the world. The Gentile nations shall acknowledge the God of Israel, and cleave to the Lord with full purpose in heart to do the message of His words. "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore" (v3). Obviously, we're still struggling with this prophecy, but time will come that this will be realized upon the 2nd coming of Christ. However, many people in our time had already fulfilled some: “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths" (v2). Let us continue to serve God faithfully that we may be ready on His glorious return... Reading: Micah 4, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:13 AM
Friday, July 15, 2016
God declares the cruelties of the rulers of the house of Jacob and falsehood of the prophets. These men hate good and love evil, by "skinning God's people alive and tear the flesh from their bones" (v2). God promised that they shall see no vision anymore, prayers shall be denied, and His face shall be hidden when they pray, because they are just after money and bribe (v11). The most awful thing to happen to people is when God's favor is remove from them. This may happen when they do their sins repeatedly and willfully, and are resistant to accept any advice and counsel. Therefore, Zion shall be plowed like a field and Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins (v12). This was exactly fulfilled at the Babylonian invasion. Our lesson is this, if sacred places are polluted by sin, like our body, house and ministries, they will be wasted and ruined by the judgments of God. Let us humble ourselves before God and seek His favor and blessing everyday... Reading: Micah 3, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:47 AM
Thursday, July 14, 2016
God hates people that devise evil during the night and execute it early in the morning. If covetousness reigns in the hearts of men, compassion banished, so oppression and violence occupies their lives (v2). God said that He shall device calamities against them, and cut them off from the congregations of the Lord, in order not to enjoy their spiritual privileges (v5). The people of Israel walk in false spirit and speak lies, therefore God should remove them from their inheritance. Today, this world is full of lying spirits and corrupted minds, and there is no 'spiritual' resting place in here except the kingdom of Christ. Remember that earth is only temporary space for people whose citizenship is in heaven. Don't walk with erroneous spirit, and don't be deceived by your own earthly passion, because a time of restoration shall take place to gather the remnant as one flock of Christ... Reading: Micah 2, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:06 AM
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Micah was a fellow of Isaiah during the reign of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and he invited both Judah and Samaria for repentance. The earth is called upon, including the mountains and hills to listen to the voice of the Lord. It means that all types of men and women, with high or low degree are not exempt from this call, because no place can secure themselves from the judgment of God. The high mountain or the highest leaders in the land, like king, priest or ministers are the most exposed to spiritual sickness. God had promised that because their wounds are incurable, He will make this land "a house of dust" (v10). When God judges His people, it brings them to the dust under His mighty Hand. People began to repent from their sins, thereby awakening their hearts to a holy fear of Divine wrath. Jesus was judged because of our sins. Christ, who never sinned became an offering for our sinfulness, so that we could be made right with God through Him... Reading: Micah 1, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:03 AM
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, filled with unfailing love, and willing to turn back from destroying people (v2), but Jonah's spirit remains unforgiving, and he wishes for death. He overlooked the good thing which he had been an instrument for God's Divine purpose and mercy. The people of Nineveh were very wicked, and for Jonah, destruction is the only solution, not repentance. But God's way is different from man's way. Using plant, worm and wind as illustrations to tell Jonah about God's attribute, one soul is of more value than the riches and enjoyment of this world. The book of Jonah is a great encouragement to understand the meaning of grace, that God is ready to show mercy even to the most wicked person in this world. When Christ went at the cross to die willingly, that was the time when we were yet sinners, in the spirit of Nineveh. As we end this prophetic book, let us study our own hearts, even our stubbornness, and let us be astonished at God's patience towards our ways... Reading: Jonah 4, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:51 AM
Monday, July 11, 2016
After the fish vomited Jonah onto the dry land, the Lord spoke again to him, saying the same message; to go and preach the word of repentance. "Yet forty days, Nineveh shall be overthrown!" Upon hearing this, the king and the entire population believed God, proclaiming a fast and putting on sackcloth. Repentance is a change of mind and ways for the better. Religion without progress for character and attitude is not pleasing unto the Lord, only a personal gratification and self-righteousness. Also, all God's servants must go where God sends them, come when God calls them, and do what God bids them. Though Jonah failed the first time, but he did it faithfully the second time. God did not condemn him for disobedience, but gave him another chance. Let us remember that our services to God is only by His grace, without it, Christians shall all fall one by one. Thanks be to God for sending Christ in our lives that we may be able to do our ministry through His Son our Redeemer... Reading: Jonah 3, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:04 AM
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Inside the fish's belly, Jonah kept alive by miracle, and he prayed to God. It tells that no place is amiss for prayer, because men may stop the believers from public prayer, or school prayers, or communion with one another like what is happening in some countries, but not in communion with God's presence. In the case of Jonah, it means that if we forsake our duty to God, we forsake His grace and mercy; and if we run away from the assigned task, we run away from God's favor and approval. Jonah's experience encourages us to trust in God, that He is indeed a loving Father who loves to save His children. Amidst all our personal struggles and experiences, we should look to Jesus by faith, and fix our emotion and everything in us to Him who is risen from the grave but alive forever. He too suffered in the belly of the earth, not because of His own sin, but of the sin of us. May the Lord bless you today and forever... Reading: Jonah 2, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:09 AM
Friday, July 8, 2016
Prophet Jonah was commissioned by God to visit Nineveh to proclaim the word of the Lord. God's intent was to convince the Ninevites to repent from their sins and be saved from the impending judgment of the wicked city. But Jonah was unwilling to go, he fled God's presence instead and went to the opposite direction. But there is consequence when a person rejected God's plan in his life; he would encounter wave of troubles and storms in life. Jonah had tried to hide everything even from men, but he couldn't, because even the people around him were affected by his disobedience. The sailors concluded that the storm was a messenger of Divine justice sent to someone in their ship (v7-9). In reality, our disobedience has negative effect not only in our lives but also the entire family and the people around us. But when Jonah told them the truth with humility and repentant heart, the storm ceased and God continued his original plan to Jonah. God commanded a great fish, and even all creatures, to make any of them serve His design of mercy to His people. So obey your assignment now, don't wait for the storm to come... Reading: Jonah 1, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:58 AM
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Obadiah's prophetic utterance is an anti-Edomite sentiments, because of the injuries they inflicted against the Israelites when the Babylonian carried them into captivity. Edom shall be spoiled, reduced to a small nation, and brought down their pride. God was angry with Israel if they disobeyed His words, but God would protect Israel if they were at war with the surrounding nations. The God of covenant will never ignore His promise to their forefathers. All the enemies of God's people shall be disappointed in the things they stay themselves on. Carnal security ripens men for ruin, and those that make treasures on earth their trust, arm it against themselves. And God had promised that there shall be deliverance and restoration at Jerusalem, and the house of Jacob would again occupy their land. These had been fulfilled during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, however the final restoration of God's people unto Himself shall be fulfilled when the King of glory returns to Mount Zion to judge the living and dead... Reading: Obadiah 1, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:16 AM
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
At this last chapter, Amos saw the Lord in a vision standing at the altar of Bethel to pronounce His judgment to the sinners. No one can escape and nobody can hide especially those whose confidence is in their own strength and knowledge. The Lord would scatter the Israelites and visit them with calamities, as the grain is shaken in a sieve. But God has a remnant for Himself, a small group of people to save them from among many. The Lord had promised to restore the 'tabernacle of David' which was broken down (v11), to repair its damages, and rebuild it in the last days. This promised was fulfilled by Jesus when He died at the cross and rose from the grave, to gather together the children of God that were scatted abroad, those who were called by His name. And for centuries, God in is a process to repair and rebuild this 'tabernacle' which is the church, to prepare them for the grant return of the King. So be ready... Reading: Amos 9, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 6:48 AM
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Amos saw a basket of summer fruits ready to be eaten, signifying that the kingdom of Israel were ripe for destruction. The rich and the powerful were most guilty of oppression, including the sin of idolatry. They were weary of new moon and Sabbaths, and wished them over (v5-6). This is similar to the attitude of many Christians, when the Lord's Day and ministries became burden to them, instead of counting them as God's blessings. They were tired of holy duties, they were critical when given new assignments. God shows that the punishment to them that are ungrateful and unappreciative is "a famine of the word of God" (v11). They will wander from one place to another to look for spiritual food that will satisfy their spiritual needs, but shall not find it (v12). Today, let us value our advantages for having a community that seek the word of God, and be a blessings to other people who are weary and spiritually bankrupt... Reading: Amos 8, God bless.
Monday, July 4, 2016
The Lord has many ways of humbling a sinful nation. In the case of Israel, God sent locusts and fire that they may repent from their sins. Then Amos prayed, and the Lord relented from this plan, saying. “I will not do that either” (v6). Here shows that there is power in prayer! God is ready to show mercy when His people began to pray. After Amos proclaimed that King Jeroboam shall die (v11), Amaziah the priest told Amos to hide himself and stop prophesying, for his life would be in trouble. But Amos said that he was not a prophet, meaning not a 'for-hire prophet.' He was just an ordinary sheep-breeder, but God called him to speak the word of truth. If God had not strengthened Amos and gave him the power from the Holy Spirit, he could not have stand in the midst of his opponent. Indeed, the Lord often chooses the weak things of this world in order to confound the wise and mighty... Reading: Amos 7, Happy 4th of July.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 5:01 PM
Saturday, July 2, 2016
The people of Judah had put so much trust in Zion, while the people of Israel in the north, to Samaria (v1). They were so confident that the walls that surround their cities could protect them from their enemies. They didn't know that when they remove their trust in God, they were in the greatest danger. The truth is, careless sinners are every where in danger, because there is no safe place in this world except in the mighty Hand of the Lord, the kingdom of God. In modern time, we are witnessing the rise of wickedness and evil forces; bombing everywhere, mass killing in all places, and don't forget the increase of natural calamities like earthquakes, cyclone, hurricane, twisters, etc. Indeed, this is just the beginning! How dreadful are the cases of those who ignored and rejected the warning of God, for God himself will execute His purpose, and none can alter it... Reading: Amos 6, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:32 AM
Friday, July 1, 2016
Israel is falling because they didn't seek God; instead they seek men and the places of worship. They look for idols and people that will satisfy their spiritual needs. "Seek Me and live; do not seek Bethel, nor Gilgal, nor Beersheba, but seek the Lord, lest He judge you" (v5-6). The convincing and awakening words of God must be heard and applied in their lives, because the word of God shall take effect. Those who will seek and love that which is good may help to save their lives from ruin and destruction. The Lord is ready to be gracious to the souls that seek Him; but as for sinful and stubborn men and women, judgments had often passed on them. Then, Prophet Amos gave us a glimpse of the Day of the Lord. It will be a dark, dismal, and gloomy day to all impenitent sinners. It means no one in this world that can make this day bright. Only Jesus can bring light literally on that Day... Reading: Amos 5, God bless.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 8:25 AM