Friday, March 31, 2017

2 Thessalonians 2

The hope of all believers in all generations is the coming of Jesus Christ. All Christians shall be gathered together to be happy in His presences for ever. But false doctrines will deceive many people before He returns, and they shall embrace this false teaching, and that would give an occasion to the rise of Antichrist, the man of sin. This man of sin practices wickedness, and would be able to convince many people around the world to follow his evil ways. Many would thought He is the Savior of the world, so that they will worship this man, as the Christian worship Christ. But something and someone hindered or withheld the man of sin (v6-7). The works of the man of sin or Antichrist is according to the works of Satan (9), who did not love the truth, and therefore God shall leave them to themselves, and the Lord shall destroy him and his followers with the brightness of His coming (v11). To avoid God's judgment, Christians should stand fast in the doctrines taught by the apostles found in the Bible, and reject all additions and vain traditions. God chose us for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in truth. God bless.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

2 Thessalonians 1

This second epistle was a reminder of Paul to the extreme and erroneous teaching that Jesus is coming very soon in their time. Many had began to neglect their duties to their families, started selling their properties, and stopped sharing the gospel. But Paul encouraged them to be more patient and faithful despite the persecutions they were facing. God will trouble those that trouble His people. There is a time of rest for the righteous, but the wicked and disobedient will face the everlasting judgment of God. Paul also reminded them that if people know God, they will obey the gospel; and since they rejected it, simply because they don't know God. On that Day, Jesus Christ will be glorified and admired by His followers, and for the first time, believers of all generations shall see each other in the clouds. And that Day shall be full of surprises and excitements! Therefore, remain faithful and always remember that there is a reason for every thing that happened in our lives. God bless.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

1 Thessalonians 5

Jesus did not reveal the exact date of His return to His apostles. Truly, His coming will be a great surprise to all men; a final victory for all Christians, but a terrible day to the ungodly. No one can escape the wrath of God and the punishment of this world to those who will be left behind. So, let us strive to awaken ourselves and each other, and guard against our spiritual enemies. Most of the people are not considering the things of God's kingdom because they are asleep, or have other concerns in this world. True and fervent love of God will keep us awake to be watchful and sober for Christ (v6). Be prayerful always and set a good example one before another on how to live to Him, with whom we hope to live for ever. Paul encourages all to honor and love their ministers, because their business is the Lord's enterprise and the welfare of their souls (v12-13). Stay away from unruly and sinful works of the enemies, for they are unhealthy to our spiritual growth. This epistle should not only be read to all brethren but share also to the nonbelievers for the sake of their salvation in Christ. God bless.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

1 Thessalonians 4

Paul appeals for holiness, separation from the worldly ways, but obedience to the will of God. The Lord calls the Christians into His family to walk before Him, and not to make light of the precepts of His commandments. The process of redemption begins from calling, second is regeneration, third is sanctification, finally glorification. Sanctification is the hardest part in us, and it requires total surrender to the will of God. Unfortunately, many had stopped in this level. God used the brethren in the church to change our ways; to embrace them, to love them, and to be sensitive with them. Satan is busy to trouble us; and we have in our hearts what disposes us to be unquiet; therefore let us strive to be quiet, to mind our own business, and work with our own hands (v11). Death is unknown thing and we know little about the state after death. But we know that one day, Christ will return to get us and be with Him forever. Life on earth is temporary, but life with Christ is eternity. Let us encourage one with another, and let us comfort the brethren with this words. God bless.

Monday, March 27, 2017

1 Thessalonians 3

Faith is necessary to grow in relationship with God, and He allows afflictions in our lives as we enter into His kingdom. Paul encourages the believes not to be shaken when trials and tribulations come, because they are just following the example of their Great Master and the Author of faith, Jesus Christ (v4). Our protection in time of trials is to increase our faith by hearing and hearing the word of God. The Lord uses people to encourage us, like what happened to Timothy and Paul, that by hearing good news, even Paul was being encouraged by it. For that reason, we encourage people to share their testimony and experience in God so that others may be energized and inspired to serve God. As Christians, we should not stop in prayers because this is the way of talking with God and of worshipping His holy name. And as we pray together, He will direct our paths, and help us to soften our hearts and love others through Christ our Lord. God bless.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

1 Thessalonians 2

Paul had no worldly design to preach the gospel, but through suffering and trials, he boldly proclaimed it to all men, regardless of race, gender and status in life. And as we proclaim the gospel of Christ, some people will not agree with us because they don't understand the mystery of it. They didn't know that our goal is always true and pure, with the purpose of mortifying men's corrupt affections. That's why in serving the Lord, consider our motive, because God who sees all that we do, will always test our hearts (v4). We should not only be faithful and walk worthy to our calling as Christians, but also in our relationship with all brethren in Christ. Our great gospel privilege is, that God has called us to his kingdom and glory (v12). We should regard the word of God with godly affections because it works effectively in our lives (v13). It changed our depraved and carnal old ways forever. But those who rejected the purity of the Bible, will be enemies of God and far from Christ' salvation. God bless.

Friday, March 24, 2017

1 Thessalonians 1

Thessalonica is located in the north of Corinth, Greece, the land of intellectuals in ancient time. Paul remembers them because of their faith to God and love to one another. Like Paul, we should pray always, not only for ourselves, but for others also; remembering them without ceasing. Wherever there is a true faith, it will work, and it will affect both the heart and life. Christians were elected or chosen by God when they hear the gospel of Christ. Unless the Spirit of God comes with the word in power, the proclamation will be a dead letter (v5). The Spirit will touch the hearts of men so that they  may believe and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Many Thessalonians received Christ and turned to God from idolatry, and waited for the coming of Jesus for final redemption. Let us continue to wait for Christ, to flee from the wrath to come, and seek refuge in Him and His salvation. God bless.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Colossians 4

Our God is an answering God, and no duties can be done aright, unless we persevere in fervent prayers and watch therein with thanksgiving in our hearts. Christians should always pray especially to their ministers who had been called by the Lord to serve and care for His people. Let our speeches be with grace and in Christian manner, encouraging and motivating everyone in serving God, because we are here only by His grace. Time is running out and life in this world is getting more complex, so let not stop in sharing the mystery of Christ which is salvation. Paul mentioned the names of his fellow-workers in Christ, (Tychicus, Aristarchus, Barnabas, Mark, Ephaphras, Luke) and they had been faithful to the Lord till the end of their lives. They have one Lord, though they have different ministries and spiritual gifts from God with a purpose of glorifying His name. The faithful servant will always be sincere to his words, and may expect divine favor and blessings from above. God bless.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Colossians 3

Heaven and earth are contrary to one another, both cannot be followed together, and affection to the one will weaken the affection to the other. That's why Paul encourages the believers to set their mind on the things above, not on the things on the earth (v2). Indeed, the true happiness can be found only in the second life with Christ. It is necessary to control our corrupt and sinful flesh, and if we do not stop it, sin will destroy us. As elect of God, we should live a lowly and compassionate attitude towards others, allowing the peace of God to rule our hearts (v15). Always worship the Lord, sing to God, raise your voice unto Him in your daily prayer and meditation of the word of God. We must not separate our blessings from God and duties of the gospel - love from the husband, submission of the wives, obedience from the children, mutual understanding between master and workers. Always remember that our Master knows all, He is the righteous Judge, and nothing can be hidden in His eyes. God bless.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Colossians 2

The treasures and godly wisdom are hidden in this world, but made known to the followers of Christ. Our spiritual knowledge and faith make our souls rich, but they are concealed from proud and arrogant unbelievers. We cannot grow in relationship with Christ, unless we are rooted and founded upon His words. Paul said that there is vain and deceitful philosophy that leads men away from Christ, because they are walking in the way of the world. Christ's death was the death of our sins, and His resurrection is the beginning of new life. In Christ, we have the substance of all the shadows of the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament (v17). The animal sacrifices in the Law of Moses are not the real way of salvation, but the sacrifices of Christ and the shedding of His blood at the cross are the substance of gospel blessings. The worship of angels, the worship of images, and using other names in prayer are not according to the biblical principles and should be avoided. There is only one name that can see our services and hear our prayers, Jesus Christ, our Savior. God bless.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Colossians 1

The Colossians are cautioned against the devices of carnal wisdom and human traditions, as not consistent with full reliance on Christ. Paul said that the gospel is the word of truth, and all who hear it are expected to bring forth the fruit of the gospel, obey it, and have their principles and lives formed according to it. By faith in Christ, we enjoyed our redemption, the forgiveness of sins, and all other spiritual blessings were bestowed. Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, before any creature was made. He created all things for Him, and by His power they are sustained. He is the Head of the church, and all fulness dwells in Him. Through His death at the cross, men have been reconciled, and it pleased God to reunite the fallen man to Himself. If this be true, what shall we do now for God? Be frequent in prayer, and abound in holy duties; and live no more to yourselves, but to Christ. This is a great mystery hidden from ages and generations, but now has been revealed to the believers. Christ in you, the hope of glory! God bless.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Philippians 4

As we close this epistle, be reminded that the humility of Christ is our supreme example. The Creator became a man by giving up His divine privileges, and took the humble position of a slave in obedience to God. Paul tells that the day of judgment will soon arrive with full redemption to believers, therefore be sure that our names are written in the book of life. We can do it if we will continue to meditate whatever praiseworthy that pleased the Lord. If Christ is in us, the peace of God will keep our hearts and minds calm and with inward satisfaction. In fact, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (v13). Let us pray for patient submission and hope when we are spiritually down, because humility and heavenly mind will be exalted by our God. Don't stop giving and sharing like the Philippians (v15); give you hearts, your love, forgiveness, service, possessions, and life both to God and fellowmen, because our God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory through Jesus Christ. God bless.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Philippians 3

Before receiving Christ as his Savior, Paul was a man of culture, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and a very successful person. And if he would have trusted in the flesh and in his personal qualification, he had as much cause as any man. But all of these are considered loss for Christ. Knowing Christ is the most important things that ever happened in his life. He was willing to do any thing and suffer for it, just to attain the glorious resurrection of the believers in Christ Jesus. He tried to forget the unfruitful past of his life, but continue to pursue the future showing great concern to become more like of  Christ. Eternal life is a gift of God, and it can only be obtained through faith in Christ. The way of those who mind earthly things (money, job, pleasures even on Sunday), may seem pleasant, but death and hell are at the end of it. If we choose their way, we shall share their end of eternal damnation. True Christians set their affections upon things above, the throne of Jesus, and the home of all the redeemed. Therefore let us walk in the way of the citizens of heaven, and not of the citizens of this world. God bless.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Philippians 2

Christ came to humble people that are by nature rebellious, proud, independent and disconnected with God. And if a person is without lowliness of mind, there is no inward and outward peace that he can enjoy. Jesus who is God became like us in all things except in sin. He took upon Himself the likeness of a man, but of one in a low state, not appearing in richness and luxury. His life was a life of poverty and suffering, and His lowest step was His dying at the Cross, the death of a malefactor or a criminal, exposed to public hatred and scorn. He died not because of His own sin, but in obedience to the will of the Father. Therefore, God had exalted Him that at the name of Jesus, all knees should bow down, and all tongues should confess that He is the Lord to the glory of God the Father. Now that we have been favored, let us work out our salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in us to do His will. Mind your own work, do not quarrel with others, and be at peace with all men. It is the will of God that believers should be much in rejoicing, and make our duty to God and to men becomes natural to us. God bless.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Philippians 1

Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter to the Philippians, and yet he remembered the brethren with joy. We must thank our God for giving us the grace and comforts, that despite the pains and sufferings, we are confident that He will perform and complete His good works in us, until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (6). Though some are insincere in preaching the gospel and many are unfaithful servants of God, Paul was happy that there are still few but true and honest Christians in this world that perform the works of Christ (v15-17). So, let us leave everything to Christ to make us useful to His kingdom, by labor or suffering, to honor His name, and to die with Him. Paul's difficulty was not between living in this world and living in heaven, but living in Christ while on earth and being with Christ in heaven in eternity. If God wants us to remain in this world, it only means that He has works and fruits for us to be harvested. Faith is God's gift through Christ, and this is our ability to believe that His promises will be completed in our lives. God bless.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ephesians 6

The great duty of children is to obey their parents, includes inward reverence and outward acts. The duty of parents is to bring them up well, under proper and compassionate correction in the knowledge of the duty God requires. Servants or workers are to be sincere, not pretending obedience when they mean to disobey, but serving faithfully. Masters are to act humane not to be tyrannical and overbearing, because they have also a Master to obey. Therefore, if all people will follow their duties to fellow human being and to God regardless of status in life, both society and families would be more orderly and happy. That's why spiritual strength and courage are needed for our spiritual warfare and suffering. The armor of God is our device for self-protection and defense against the enemy's attack. They are Christians wisdom and virtues such as truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, Holy Spirit, and word of God. All of them must be in our heart, including our prayers, so that we can win the battle in this evil world on daily basis. God bless.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ephesians 5

Since God has forgiven us and were given the right to become children of God, we ought to follow Christ and imitate the Father in righteousness and holiness. Those who allow themselves in filthy lifestyle, such as fornication and all uncleanness do not belong to the kingdom of grace, nor shall they come to the kingdom of glory. As children of God, let us walk in the light of God, and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (v11). Remember that sin is sin, and the true people of God are ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do. Ignorance, neglect of duty, and drunkenness are hateful and hurtful to God. Therefore, by fervent prayer let us seek to be filled with the Spirit, sing for joy always even in trials and afflictions, and God will keep us from sinning against Him. The duty of wives is submission to their own husbands in the Lord, while the duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is the supreme example of obedience to God by giving Himself for the church. God bless.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Ephesians 4

There is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God who is the Father of all believers (v4-6). If we are united with Christ and obey His words, it means God dwells in us, as in His holy temple. The believers are given gifts of grace for their mutual help. Some to be apostles, some  prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. God's purpose for giving them is to equip the saints or believers, so that they can do the work of the ministry. Not a mere head knowledge but to edify the body of Christ, to strengthen one another, and to glorify our our Lord. God's children are expected to grow and change, otherwise they shall remain burden, liability, unproductive and unfruitful followers (v14). The more a person finds himself drawn out to improve in his present situation, the better he can say that he has the grace of sincere love and charity rooted in his heart. Our hope is anchored in Christ, and we were sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption. God bless.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Ephesians 3

We are saved by grace because God's dealing with humanity, Jews and Gentiles, from the time of Christ to the second coming is through the dispensation of grace. The Holy Spirit works in the souls of all men, and it was hidden and was not so fully shown in the Old Testament prophets, that Gentiles should be fellow heirs and partakers of God's promises in Christ. God's way is mysterious and unsearchable, but He reveals it only to those with humble spirit and sacrificial heart, but the carnal mind will never appreciate it. Nevertheless, we should not be discouraged upon the trials and troubles in life, but always ask God for spiritual strength; in faith, in soul, in serving God, and in doing our duties to God. If the word of God is written in our hearts and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts. Our prayers is that, may we really experience the love of Christ in our lives, that we may be complete with all the fullness of life in Christ our Lord. God bless.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ephesians 2

Paul spoke of two different conditions of the believers, past and present. We were once following the ways of this world, evil in nature, a complete opposite of the way of God, and by nature children of wrath. When we became Christians, all things had been changed! We are now children of God, citizens of His kingdom, part of the covenant of the promise, and a temple of the Holy Spirit, not because of our own efforts but by His grace and mercies. Our nature became new, that's why we practice repentance and obey God's commands that lead to a life of holiness and righteousness. We know that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, and not by works, let us therefore continue to live by the grace of God. Living by the grace means having peace in our hearts, with fellow men and with God. Always remember that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, for the service of men and glory of God. Blessings.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ephesians 1

The Ephesian church had been blessed, chosen, predestined, adopted and accepted by God (v-1-6). In Christ, the believers had been redeemed, forgiven, and received the revelation about the mysteries of His will, so that in the fulness of time, when God will gather together all things from heaven and earth in Christ, Christians will be included. Blessings were made known to the believers on how to be saved, and the method of redemption and salvation. God dispenses all His blessings to us, according to His good pleasure. The sanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Spirit sealed all Christ's followers as the children of God, and heirs of heaven (v13-14). That's why Paul prayed that God may give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, and the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened, so that we may know the hope of our calling and our present standing before God. No one can do this full blessing in us except the Almighty God. Let us pray together that we may truly appreciate the goodness of God in our lives. God bless.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Galatians 6

As members of the body of Christ, we are to bear one another's burden, that we may fulfill the royal law of Christ, love one another. It is common to human being to look for his/her own need, and think of himself better than other men. Such a person deceives oneself by pretending to be more spiritual and prayerful. For this reason, God requires all to prove their own works. The better we know our hearts and ways, the less shall we despise others. Paul said that generosity should not be neglected by all believers, for you will always harvest what you plant (v7). Our present time is seed-time, while in the world to come reap-time. Those who live a carnal and sensual life must expect the wrath of God, but those under the influences of the Holy Spirit shall reap life everlasting in Christ Jesus. We should take care to do good in our life-time, and make this the business of our lives. Religiosity has no bearing to God and knowing the Bible is not enough; the most important is being a new creation (v15); changed life, changed attitude, new life in Christ our Lord. God bless.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Galatians 5

After four chapters of doctrinal discussion, Paul declared to the Galatians that they had been freed by the Lord Jesus Christ from the bondage of the law, and that whoever desires to be circumcised should keep the entire law of the Old Testament (v3). Christ is not the Savior of anyone who will not rely in His teachings. The true Christians with the Holy Spirit wait for final redemption and reward of righteousness, and the object of their hope is the return of Jesus Christ. But without faith working by love, all else is worthless and has no value to God. The life in Christ is a race, running till the finish line (v7). Many are hindered in their progress because of their false belief of spirituality and wrong motives. The gospel is a doctrine according to godliness and walking in the Spirit. Therefore let us avoid every work of the flesh (v19) to avoid conflict; and promote the fruit of the Spirit (v22), that we may not fulfill the evil desire of our sinful nature. Let us walk in the newness of life and be a productive servant of Christ till He comes. Looking forward for the 11th year anniversary celebration. God bless.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Galatians 4

Paul said that the Galatians were not original children of God, but slaves and beggars spiritually. When they accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, God sent the Spirit in their hearts so that they can cry out and call God "Abba Father." However, they wanted to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless principle of this world (v9). Though they stopped worshipping idols, yet they practice idolatry in their hearts and minds and become stubborn. They had forgotten that they become children of love by grace and partaker of God's nature. Paul desires that they would be of one mind and united with him in obedience to the words of Christ, until Christ is formed in their hearts (v19). The false teachers in Galatians were pretending love and affections, but were insincere and deceitful. Christians are children of the promise, free from all sinfulness and bondages of spiritual slavery. God bless.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Galatians 3

Galatians churches were composed of Jews and Gentile converts from Judaism and paganism. They received Christ as Lord and Savior, they also received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and became active in church service. Later, they wanted to go back and follow the old system when someone from other church told that circumcision and Old Testament law is necessary in order for them to be saved. Paul said that this teaching is not another type of gospel but false, and might cause them to be spiritually blind again.  The law cannot saved them, it cannot give them justification, but will only bring them back to a curse, because "curse is anyone who does not continue in all things" (v.10). Jesus came to redeem them from the curse of the law, when He took upon Himself the curse for men's wrongdoing. The law became the guide of the ancient Israelites only from the time it was given, until the birth of the Savior. The law became irrelevant for salvation when Jesus was born, crucified, died and rose from the grave. The children of Abraham by flesh do not need the law anymore, while the Gentiles need Christ in order to become children of Abraham through faith. God bless.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Galatians 2

Paul was not afraid to stand for the truth, opposing even the erring leaders like Peter and James, who did not adhere to the faithfulness of the gospel. Here we can learn that the gospel does not belong to man but to God; and that no human being, nor group, nor institution that can claim ownership of the gospel and its interpretation. Men's duty is to study, observe, and spread it to all people for the glory of God, for God has no favoritism (v6). While Peter and his group were assigned to spread it to the Jews, Paul and his group were appointed for the Gentiles world; and each one of us has his/her own assignment to God. Peter's mistake was very clear, that he tried to compel the Gentiles to follow the gospel, but he himself was not obeying it properly (v14). It shows that before we teach it to others, be sure that we are truly obeying the Lord faithfully. Indeed, we all have greater accountabilities in the Lord. The truth is that, if we allow Christ to live in us, to be crucified with Him truthfully, then we can live by faith with freedom and full dependence on Him. God bless.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Galatians 1

Paul was an apostle by Jesus Christ, appointed not by man but by God to spread the gospel and the grace of God. The teaching of the Bible is the only gospel that can save man from their sins; apart from its teaching is not assurance for the salvation of the soul. The power of the gospel is not only to redeem us from the wrath of God and the curse of the law, but also to recover us from the wicked practices and traditions that enslave people of all races and ethnicities. Paul declared that those who preach any other gospels, even angels, than what he had written in the Bible must be accursed (v8, 9). False gospels are devices of Satan, it dishonors Christ's work at the cross, and should be rejected right away. The gospel of Christ brings people to the obedience to God, and not to a man-made custom that may lead people to their own destruction. Paul also said that the gospel is a revelation from heaven, not merely human knowledge being taught by men. Therefore, our task is to study and obey the gospel, spread to others, so that Christ may be known everywhere. God bless.