”For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His Name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace .“ – Isaiah 9:6
Many go into great lengths to search the Divine, going to far flung areas and getting into many strange practices. The story of Christmas should negate such false notion. The Creator of heaven and earth came to our world born in a little body. His first guests in an ordinary manger were common shepherds. God did not choose a luxurious place but an available place.
The economists say that the perfect financial storm is brewing with the compound effect of the China zero lockdown policy and the Ukraine conflict. As children of God, we should not live in fear. Yes we are to live responsibly but we must reject the spirit of anxiety and intimidation. Let us arise in a new level of faith knowing that “the government is upon His shoulder”. Just as the not so sanitised manger was overshadowed by the glory of the Lord, let our circumstances be encapsulated by the very presence of the Messiah.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.’” – Romans 5:19
In this individualistic culture, sometimes we fail to see that the action of one has an effect on the whole body, whether positive or negative. The Bible tells us of two stories that reinforce this truth.
Achan took a forbidden Babylonian garment and hid it in his tent (Joshua 7:1). As a result of his disobedience, the army of Israel lost a battle against a small nation called “Ai”. The blessing of God lifted due to the sin of one man and the whole nation fled in defeat with thirty-six fatalities.
In 1 Samuel 14:12-16, it narrates how Jonathan and his armour bearer attacked the Philistines and they were able to kill twenty men. Due to their action, fear struck in the hearts of the enemy while boosting the moral of the Israelites who rose and routed the enemy.
Although each one will give an account to the Lord, we must not forget that we are part of the body of Christ. Our individual actions affect the whole. Hence, let us reject the arrogant attitude that says: “I don’t care, it’s my life.” Such reasoning is selfish and narrow-minded. Our personal testimony eventually reflects on the credibility of the witness of the whole church. We must not forget that we bear the name of the Lord as Ambassadors of Christ. Whether we like it or not, our individual actions are being watched and interpreted as representative of the King and kingdom we represent.
We are all one in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:9— “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
It was really a blessed prayer and fasting week for me personally and I believe for all of those participated. Too bad not all were present. Nevertheless, each one of was prayed for. Every day the Lord was speaking to us but the last night was very special. The words of God pierced into our hearts. It was such a holy and significant moment for us as church.
The Lord is calling us back to Him. It is no longer enough to talk about Him but to talk to Him. God has many houses but it seems that He is homeless. We repented from drifting away from being lovers of God and of His presence. It is His presence that sets us apart and without it, we are empty. We have been distracted and too concerned with many things that really do not have eternal value and we have neglected His longing for fellowship. We allowed to be ruled by fear instead of the love of God. It is high time we truly build Him a place of rest in us. No longer will we treat the Ark of the Covenant (His holy presence) as something common and put it in a mechanical cart instead of carrying it on our shoulders. It is time for all of us to return to our first love.
Dear CFFAN, let’s truly be “Lovers of God and let us bring His Presence to others”.
Acts 1:8— “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in
Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The testimony of an eye witness is admissible in court. A case becomes stronger especially if there are many corroborating testimonies given by persons under oath who have personal
knowledge of the fact. Scriptures declare that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matthew 18:16).
Jesus ordained us to be witnesses. We are to testify of the goodness of God declaring the message of the Risen Savior to the lost and dying world. What purpose does a witness serve if he/she remains silent? How can the truth be known and justice served if those who have personal knowledge do not testify?
Born again children of God have experienced the reality of Christ’s love. We have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, being recipients of the amazing and abundant grace. The miracle of our
spiritual rebirth and healing of our souls is only the beginning of a long list of testimonies we can and ought to share.
If others are unashamedly “coming out of their closet” and propagating their beliefs and lifestyle, there is absolutely no reason for the children of light to be intimidated into silence. We have called to declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.
Arise you Witnesses of God and declare that Jesus is Alive!
Ephesians 4:3-4— “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling.”
We’ve heard it many times, “I love Jesus but I don’t like church.”, “I pray in private so I don’t need to go church.”, “I have a personal relationship with Jesus. I don’t need to be part of a church.”
Such statements sound spiritual except that they are not biblical. Christianity is not a solo-flight but a communal experience. Although one ought to make the first step of making a personal decision in surrendering his/her life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the succeeding steps to the walk of faith and spiritual growth can only be realised by being part of the community of believers.
Water Baptism is a basic sacrament that each disciple of Christ undergoes where one publicly identifies with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. However, baptism also makes one part of the body of Christ whether he/she likes it or not (1 Corinthians 12:13). The body is made up of many parts that is interconnected. If one part is cut-off from the whole, it will wither and die. The same thing with a Christian, he/ she can only grow if he/she is part of the life of the Church.
Jesus told us to go to our room and pray in secret. However, He taught us to say OUR FATHER, not my Father. In other words, we must not forget that we are part of a spiritual family. We must not allow the West’s individualistic culture dilute nor distort the culture of the Kingdom of God. Over and over we read in the Scriptures the phrase “one another”. It is God’s will for us to do life together. The world will know that we are His disciples if we have love for one another (John 13:35).
In this “cancel culture”, let us not abandon our brotherly bonds. Let us pray for one another and may we truly have a heart connection with God and with one another.
2 Corinthians 11:28- “besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.”
Leaders are taught that people do not care how much you know but they want to know how much you care. When it comes to dealing with people, one has to remember that people have feelings. It is evident if one is just doing a job or one really cares.
The apostle Paul lists the trials and hardships that he has gone through for the sake of the gospel. He has often been beaten, incarcerated, and once stoned. He has gone through the dangers of traveling such as being robbed, being involved in a shipwreck, and having to fast unintentionally. All because he was preaching the Gospel.
I guess only very few of us, if there be any at all, who can reach even half of what Paul experienced. Yet, Paul declares that the price he pays on a daily basis is the “deep concern for al the churches”. He really cared for the people of God. He had a father’s heart. He wasn’t a paid hireling who would run away when the wolf comes. He was a genuine shepherd who was willing to lay down his life for those put under his care.
Discipleship is relationship intensive. Everything that has got to do with the kingdom of God are matters of the heart. We cannot fulfil the “golden rule” if we are not willing to connect with God and with people. If one’s heart is truly filled with the love of Christ, one cannot help but feel for the Body of Christ. How can we not be bothered when we see a brother/sister in the Christ going astray.
Prayers for one another will not be mechanical but will be passionate and heartfelt. May we truly have a heart connection with God and with one another.
Pentecost marked a new era. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was hovering and would inspire a prophet for a certain period of time to speak the oracles of God. How-ever, HE did not stay permanently.
On Pentecost, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit entered 120 disciples. He did not just inspire the believers for a limited period of time but He came to live inside of them. From then on, the Holy Spirit was no longer a ”hovering Spirit“ but He became an ”indwelling Spirit“.
For children of God like you and me who have been filled and baptized in the Holy Spirit, we are hosting the presence, power, and person of the Spirit of the Living God 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days in a year. He has taken His abode in us. We are truly blessed to be living in these exciting and significant time. We are not just experiencing a seasonal divine touch like in the Old Testament but we have the permanent abiding presence of the Living God.
The same exact Holy Spirit that was in Jesus is in us. The Holy Spirit we have is not a second rate spirit. He is not even a duplicate or copy. We have the 100% original Holy Spirit. He who raised Jesus back to life is living inside of us. Hence, we are to live victorious lives for the Spirit of victory is living in us. Let the reality of Pentecost manifest in our days. All the Spirit needs is a willing obedient physical body. Thus we say: ”Holy Spirit live Your life in and through us.“
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…” – John 16:13
In May fans of the well-known Star Wars franchise celebrate May the 4th be with you (May the Force be with you). The Force in the Star Wars movies is a mysterious force/energy that binds all life. Harnessing the energy gives the Jedi and others extraordinary abilities such as knowing things before they happen and others.
As born-again Christians we don’t have to look to a movie to find the true source/ force that enables us beyond our human capacities and abilities: The Holy Spirit. In Acts we read that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. But unlike the force in Star Wars, the Holy Spirit is a Person, the Third Person of the Trinity. He is our helper, comforter, and counselor (Parakletos), the Spirit of truth. The truth that is found in Jesus. By him we are gifted. Through him each is given a manifestation of the spirit for the profit of all (1 Corinthians 12). Through the Holy Spirit we are baptised into one body with the head being Jesus.
In a world that seems more chaotic than ever, a world in which seemingly the dark force is taking lead we know that through our faith in Christ we have the victory already. And while we walk this earth let’s always remember that the true force, the Holy Spirit is always at our side. If we have a question, we can ask freely, if we need a comforter, he is always there, if we need wisdom, the spirit of wisdom longs to be our closest friend and if we need power to fight the darkness, he is our true source. The word of God is sharper than any light sabre, our faith the strongest shield and the name of Jesus our sure victory.
In this upcoming May, may you experience the true force, the Holy Spirit, with you in every situation as he counsels, empowers, and equips you. May the Holy Spirit be with you!
“But the hour is coming, ad now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” – John 4:23
Father God is not seeking worship, rather He is seeking the worshiper. More than the gift, He is interested in the person presenting the offering. He is not impressed with the length of prayer or the number of songs if the heart is
cold and far from Him. He is annoyed by meaningless chants and repeated words coming from the mouth but not from the heart. God is a Person and takes pleasure in an intimate relationship with His people.
Religiosity never impressed God. What gets His attention is a humble, broken, and passionate heart. He is not fooled by the form for He sees the substance. To reiterate, more than the worship, He wants the worshiper.
Thank God He is looking at our hearts as He is really interested in you and me.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
In spite of the continuous warning of the Western governments, it seemed that nobody really believed that President Putin would order a full scale invasion of Ukraine. Others thought the mobilisation of Russian troops was just a scare tactic or if ever the threat was real, they would only march into the contested Donbas region but not the entire geographical area of the 2nd largest country in Europe. It was only after the bombs thundered in multiple cities that Ukraine’s government called for a conscription of its male population from ages 18 to 60 years old.
Sadly, the Bible is full of stories of unheeded prophetic warnings of impending danger and judgment: from the great flood in Noah’s time to the plagues in Egypt; from the conquering Assyrian army to the Babylonian captors; from the teachings of Jesus to the early apostles’ preaching, human nature tends to brush off the seriousness of the matter at hand. Even to this date, with the plethora of hard hitting messages heralding the coming of the Lord Jesus and the end of the age, many continue in their business-as-usual hypnotic state oblivious of the gravity of what is at stake in eternity.
I posted on January 1 a prophecy regarding the current events. Prophecy is given not to scare us but to prepare us. We are to believe and heed the warnings and instructions so as to be in a secure place, which is none other than to be in the will of God.
The signs of the times are loud and clear: Jesus is coming. Let us prepare by repenting from our sinful ways and dedicating our lives to His Lordship anew. Let the spiritual revival begin in us. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!