Friday, September 30, 2016

Mark 5

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

Mark 4

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

Mark 3

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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mark 2

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.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mark 1

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.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Matthew 28

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

Matthew 27

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.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Matthew 26

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.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Matthew 25

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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Matthew 24

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

Matthew 23

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.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Matthew 22

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.

Matthew 21

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.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Matthew 20

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

Matthew 19

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.

 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Matthew 18

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.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Matthew 17

In transfiguration, Jesus shows His divine nature and eternity past, that He is the Lord God of all. In this story, Peter had proposed to build three tabernacles, each one for Jesus, Moses and Elijah. While he was still speaking, a cloud overshadowed them and a mysterious voice heard saying that Jesus is the beloved Son of God. Peter's desire was to stay in the mountain with the three booths, continue the ministry there, and let the people come up from the plain, which was a typical way to do ministry in ancient time; on top of the high mountain. But he was wrong! If we are in Christ, we will pass through various experiences in our way to glory. There are trials and sufferings, but there are also  healing, blessing, new birth, new revelation on the way to our eternity with Christ. As followers of Christ, let us continue doing the ministry, pray for the sick, obey the rules of the land, be faithful to Jesus, and surely, we will see Jesus in all His glory and majesty in heaven. God bless.

Matthew 16

The leaven in the Bible is a symbol of sin, and Jesus had warned His disciples to beware of the leaven (sinful ways) of the Pharisees. Today, we must be aware of false teachings and of the things that we heard from the world, especially from the carnal and self-righteous people. It's true that all have sinned and many are forgiven, but not so many are willing to change and grow in Christ. Like the natives of Caesarea Philippi, they follow Christ, but they have erroneous knowledge about who He is. They preferred to continue in their old ways; independent, insubordinate, and unruly. But those who are willing to humble like Peter shall receive clear guidance and proper revelation from the Father. The truth is, it is just a matter of self-denial. Obedience to the Lord's commands shall be our highest goal in life. God bless you WINners

Matthew 15

Tradition is unreliable, unless it is supported by the Word of God. We can't make tradition a substitute to God's command because it is only a man-made decree. That's why unclean hand can't make a person defiled, but unclean tongue and heart. Like the woman who cried out humbly before the Lord, let us confess positively that all things are possible to Jesus if we believe. And if the Lord honored us because of our faith, let us be grateful always and look at our own unworthiness. Christ will not only meet our spiritual needs, He will also provide our physical needs. In the previous feeding of 5000, there were 12 baskets remained representing the 12 tribes of Israel that can be fed by the Lord. On today's reading there are 7 baskets remained representing the 7 ancient nations or continents of the world. Jesus is indeed the God who provides. God bless.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Matthew 14

This Herod was the son of Herod the Great who attempted to kill the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem some thirty years back. The young Herod took his brother Philip's wife to be his new wife, which is against the Mosaic law. John the Baptist denounced this act, and in response, they took his head off. When Jesus heard this story, He departed and went to the other side of Galilee. This is wisdom, we should know when to talk and when to refraim from talking. But because He was very popular then, the people continued to follow Him, and at that night He fed more than 5000 people. He gave the bread and fish to the disciples, and the disciples handed them to the multitudes. It shows that the Christians can be the Lord's channel of blessing to others. As we share the gospel, we are God's instruments to bestow blessings with others. But what shall we share if we have nothing in us? When Jesus walked on the sea, it shows the whole creation and even the nature follow the Son of God. Indeed nothing is impossible to Jesus and we need healing and special touch from the Lord today. God bless.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Matthew 13

Parables are stories about life with spiritual meaning. The meaning of those stories are hidden to the nonbelievers, but revealed to us to know the mysteries of God's kingdom. The parable of sower is about the seed that is sown in different kinds of soil. The sower in Jesus, the seed is the word of God, and the soil is the heart of men. Men's heart could be compared to wayside, those who don't pay much attention, second is stony or hard heart, third is thorny heart with so much concerns on material things, and last is good heart that can bear fruits and good result of ministry. (v1-23). Also,  if we are new in God's kingdom, the word of God will be sown in our heart, then the devil will come to deceive us and to stop us from following Jesus. But at the end of life, all of us , sincere and bogus, shall be judged by the Lord (v24-30). Finally, the kingdom of heaven should be given priority like treasure and pearl, because this is the best possession that we can have in this world. Let us continue to follow the Lord, because unbelief is the great hindrance to Christ's favor and blessings. God bless.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Matthew 12

Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath? Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? Yes! For Jesus, life is more important than law, and life is more sacred than traditions. The teaching of Jesus gives liberation and hope, whereas, the doctrines of the Pharisees imprisons and enslaves. Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of sins, from unnecessary religious rituals and ceremonies, and from satanic influence. Because of Jesus, we can now see and hear spiritual things from God. We can perceive and discern what is godly and ungodly, holy and unholy, worldly and heavenly. The true enemy of Jesus and His followers is Satan, and one of the the Lord's purposes in this world is to fix and unite the broken and divided world that had been wrecked by Satan since the beginning of human history. Jesus said that by just looking at their fruits, their lifestyle, and the way they follow the Lord, we can know the people if they are followers of God or darkness. Christ's teaching is simple and plain; read the Bible, obey it daily, and share it with others, and you shall be blessed. God bless.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Matthew 11

When John sent his disciples to Jesus to inquire if He is the promised Messiah or not, Jesus points them to what they heard and saw. Jesus did not answer by saying yes or not, but He gave them opportunity to think and decide if they would believe or not. God gave men the ears, eyes, brain, heart and all parts of the body to discern and differentiate on what is godly and worldly. And Jesus said, "Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me" (v6). John's ministry was to prepare the way for the coming Savior. He preached in Chorazin, Capernaum, and other parts of land, and the people listened. However, when the Savior has come, they were unwilling to obey John's message but rejected Jesus. Today, the people are willing to listen to the message of pastors and evangelists, but in actual and in time of testing, very few are willing to sacrifice and follow God's words. The invitation of Jesus remains the same, "Come to Me..." He is willing to reveal all things to the humble and obedient, but will hide Himself to the proud and self-righteous. May the Lord bless all of us today and forever. God bless.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Matthew 10

Disciple means student, while apostle means messenger. The twelve disciples were students first of the Bible and later sent by Christ to proclaim His kingdom. He gave them power to heal all manner of sicknesses. Their names are recorded not only in the Bible but also in the book of Life in heaven. The gospel was first proclaim to the Jews, and when they refused to accept it, the disciples went to the Gentile world. They share the gospel to establish the saving faith, to tell about God's kingdom, to inspire people to love and obey God and Christ, and to lead them in a holy living. Jesus warned His followers to be ready for rejection and persecution. They should avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies all kinds of evil. The Christians should think how to do well, that fear of God is more important than the fear of men, because they are more valued than many sparrows. Let us boldly confess Christ, and always show love to Him in all things. God bless.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Matthew 9

The healing ministry of Jesus continued and many got healed. His most concern was the healing of the soul, that's why He told the paralytic man that his sins are forgiven. Healing of the soul requires a humble faith in His name, but it is also an active faith that requires obedience. The paralytic man agreed with his four friends to bring him to Jesus; the tax collectors sat down with Jesus and were restored with God; the father who came and asked Jesus to bring her daughter's life back had been answered; the woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years got healed because she touched His garment; the two blind men received their sight because they cried out to Jesus for help; the mute and demon-possessed spoke and delivered from evil power; these things happened because He saw their humble and active faith. As Jesus visited the cities and villages, He was moved with compassion because the people are scattered like sheep without a shepherd. Christ is the Lord of the harvest, and let us pray that God will raise up more laborer that will labor in bringing more souls to God's kingdom. God bless.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Matthew 8

After the preaching and sermon, Jesus began to heal the sick, the leper, Peter's mother in law, and delivered many people from demon-possession, and they got healed by His word, no hocus-pocus. Matthew said that this is a fulfillment of ancient prophecy: "He bore our sicknesses." As believers, we must take those afflictions as blessing too, for they cause us to seek help from God, and eventually, eternal salvation came upon us, the true healing. In the old days, leprosy is a disease that no one can heal but God, and in modern time, sin is a spiritual disease that only God can erase. As followers of Christ, we must be willing to follow His commands, without excuses. If He requires our service and affection for our duty, we must give way for His name's sake, and "let the dead bury their dead." The scribe wants to follow Christ, but was he willing to give up everything? How about us? If we are sincere, even in time of storms and trials, Christ will always with us, willing and able to calm those testings in life. God bless.