November 2016

The Choice

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Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21 NKJV)


When I was a child, I witnessed how my mother being treated unfairly and yet she was able to remain calm and taught us her children not to exercise revenge but to love those who persecuted us. "Stay focus on what you do and finish it", she reminded us. Isn't it what Jesus demonstrated on the cross when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34 NKJV) ? Jesus stayed focus on the mission He was sent on, and that mission was to die on the cross to pay the penalty for the sin of those who believed in Him. Jesus could call a legion of angels to destroy those who hated Him but if He did it, He would not accomplish His calling.

Giving Thanks

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4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you (1 Corinthians 1:4-6 NKJV).


Have you noticed that there is not a day that we do not say "thank you" to one another? What is it that we thank for? Do we say thank you to the very source of blessing? Do we really mean it when we say thank you? Or is "thank you" merely a word that is said without having any meaning? What is "thank you" all about? Do we really appreciate what we have or do we murmur because we do not like what we have despite the thank you that we say? Are we grateful for the blessing we receive?

 

 

No Condemnation

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There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1 NKJV)


This is truly a good news because it is more than a pardon or clemency because no record of the crime will ever be found as stated in Hebrews 8:12 (our sins He will remember no more) to those who are in Christ. Why? Because divine justice has been satisfied on behalf of those who are in Christ. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. How can this be one might wonder? How does this whole thing called salvation work?

Ritual Vs. Reality

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6 “Now say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “O house of Israel, let Us have no more of all your abominations. 7 When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it—My house—and when you offered My food, the fat and the blood, then they broke My covenant because of all your abominations. (Ezekiel 44:6-7 NKJV)


Watching dog whisperers gives me a thrill because I directly see the changes in the dogs he trains. Dog whisperers can tame aggressive dogs, those aggressive dogs will eventually become obedient and submissive through training. Those dogs experienced the reality of a daily ritual when they were trained. The daily ritual a dog experienced does not mean anything if it remains aggressive. The daily ritual, however, will become a symbol if the dog experienced the reality of that daily ritual training.

 

 

 

The Way Of Death

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There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12 NKJV).


Back in 1990 when I came to Los Angeles from South East Asia, the Freeway system was strange for me. When I bought a car from a friend of mine in Diamond Bar, he just told me "take 57 then I-10" going to Monterey Park (I did not know that I needed to take 57 North then I-10 West nor did I know the Exit I had to take) and this was before the invention of GPS. Though I made several stops to ask people for guidance, not everyone I was asking knew where Monterey Park was. It took us around four hours to get home when we finally got the right direction.

Examine Yourselves

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Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified. (2 Corinthians 13:5-6 NKJV)


Thirty-three years ago, I was tested by three different professors at the school of medicine I was attending in Germany and I had to pass the test to be qualified as a medical doctor. Testing others is much easier than testing ourselves. When we test ourselves, we have to use the same standard we use to test others. Will we be biased when testing ourselves? Today, the Word of God reminds us to examine or to test ourselves as to whether we are in the faith.

 

 

 

 

People Of The Day

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12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:12-14 NKJV)


When I was a child (five years old), I went to bed very early, the latest at seven O'clock in the evening. But I woke up very early too, at five in the morning and I was so ready to get out of the bed to play. My mother kept on telling me "go back to sleep, it is too early and wait for the rooster to crow then you can get up and play". Her advice did not work because I knew exactly what a difference it made once I was on my feet. Once I was on my feet, there was a lot of things I could do.

 

The Day Jesus Put The Power Of Sin Away

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6 "knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin". (Romans 6:6 NKJV)


Now, nothing can be clearer than this that our old way of life was crucified (nailed to the cross) with Christ. The crucifixion of our old life was the ending of sin reigning in our lives as our master - sin has no more power over us. How can we say that sin has no more power over us who believe in Christ? Knowing that the sting of sin is death and the strength of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56) and Christ has already come to fulfill the demand of the law, which is the strength of sin, to the fullest (Matthew 5:17)  and He is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes (Romans 10:4).

 

The Power Of Confession

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32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33 NKJV).


The word "therefore" is a conclusion of the thought prior to the current statement made by Christ. Five verses before Christ was talking about the fear of God and He concluded His thought in verse thirty-two by saying, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven." This is a promise made by Christ Himself that He will not cast out anyone who confesses Him before men but rather him He will also confess before His Father who is in heaven. Christ did not give any promise that was based on deeds but rather about confession that was based on faith.