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.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:28 AM
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.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:38 AM
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.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:41 AM
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.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:34 AM
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.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:07 AM
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.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:31 AM
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.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:14 AM
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.
Posted by Christian New Yorker at 7:24 AM