How are you? I’m well.
Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” And he went on to say to children, “Obey your parents” and to bondservants, “Be obedient to those who are your masters in sincerity of heart.”
Would these commands apply only to wives, children and bondservants (subordinates)? I don’t think so. Before Paul said this, he said to the saints in Ephesus, “Submit to one another in the fear of God.” So Paul encouraged each one of us in the Body of Christ to submit to one another in the fear of God.
Earlier this year, I read the gospel of John and I was very surprised to read below:
Then Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”
They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. (John 18:1~5)
I’ve never read this incident carefully before and it was my first time to realize how powerful His name is. When Jesus simply said, “I am He”, these men drew back and fell to the ground! He has all the power and even by His breath, He could have smashed everyone. I often imagined what if He overturned the situation, showing His mighty power, before He was crucified. Despite all the power and authority He has, He chose to submit Himself to the will of the Father, for you and me. Interestingly enough, when I was in Sister Margaret’s class recently, she mentioned this story and told the students to look up these verses in person.
I wanted to write on submission long ago, as I think it’s what our Father wants us to do. Then, I happened to see Pastor John Fenn’s teaching, “Submission and Obedience Not the Same.” He explained submission is quality of the heart or the attitude a person has and obedience is physical act. And he went on to say we can be obedient but not submissive. Likewise we can be submissive but not obedient. I found his teachings very enlightening and interesting and want to share the link of YouTube. He shared a testimony of Smith Wigglesworth and his wife. Before Smith Wigglesworth accepted Jesus, he forbid his wife from going the church in one evening. But she prepared for his dinner, saying to him that she would go to church. And she went to church. So, Smith locked her out in the outside and she had to sleep on the stood in the cold outside. The next morning, when Smith opened the door of his house, his wife jumped up, not grudgingly at all and said, “Good morning, I will prepare for your coffee and breakfast!” Her attitude was such that he got convicted and he accepted the Lord. I think it is the example of his wife’s disobedience by act, but submission in her heart and attitude. And I believe our Lord, Jesus showed us both submission in His heart and obedience by His act.
It’s my prayer that we obey the Lord and submit ourselves to Him. And we submit to one another in the fear of the Lord. We live out the Words in our home, our workplace, our church and our community. We gaze upon Jesus and we become alike.
Have a bliss! Good Friday!
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
How are you? I’m well.
Have you ever watched the show, The Chosen? If you’re interested, you can download the free application, The Chosen. There is no ID nor Password needed. I loved watching the show and look forward to a new season. I read CBN news reported on the show often time, including the news that it was on air in France public TV channel. My Singapore pastor couples also mentioned the show so that I thought I would try to watch an episode. And I completed watching the first two seasons. I like the show a lot, as it helps me understand the Gospels and realize how compassionate Jesus is. I found a split second of vision or a dream speaks volume. So do the scenes from this show. The show actually added some imaginations, not 100% coming from the Scriptures. Yet, even the imaginations really spoke to me and I’d like to share one of them.
I think it was after Matthew, the tax collector joined other disciples, when Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.” I can’t remember the exact scene, but it was after dinner and the disciples started to argue with one another. I think it started from someone who was against Matthew, the tax collector. They kept quarreling in front of Mary, the mother of Jesus and another Mary who was set free from the evil spirits. But Jesus wasn’t there. Of course, they wouldn’t fight in front of Him. In the middle of the fight, they heard Jesus walking back to His tent, but His way of walking was a bit different from normal. And they found Him wounded all over, being kind of lame. Immediately, I realized how hurt our Father is, when His children bicker, slander or gossip against one another. It simply wounds Him.
Sister Margaret Seaward shared her testimony. I don’t recall it all exactly so that I would paraphrase it. Long time ago when she was cooking, she wanted to taste the food in the middle. She used her finger to get a little bit of it in the pot, as her finger was able to tolerate the heat. When she tried to taste it, she somehow missed her tongue, but she put the hot food on the skin inside her lip. She felt it so hot and painful. At that moment, she heard the Lord speaking to her, “Why don’t you bite your finger?” She said that she had another two episodes related to her finger earlier on that day. So, she said to Him, “Lord, how can I bite my finger? It will hurt.” And He said, “That’s what My children (The body of Christ) do to one another!” You wouldn’t bite your finger, as it’s the precious part of your body, would you?
Pastor Rick Joyner also shared one of his dreams. In the dream, he saw his own son fallen into a sewage. But people were just mocking his son and laughing at him, not trying to help and save him from the sewage. Pastor Rick was watching the scene and it broke his heart. And the Lord taught him it is what His children do to one another, and He shared His pains when the churches criticized a pastor who went to prison long ago for his mistake to misappropriate the fund of his ministry. Friend, I’m not saying misappropriation of the fund is ok, but I’m trying to say that we, as His children, should love another child of God, even when he or she made a mistake. If he or she keeps on sinning, we should talk to him or her in person with two or three witnesses, yet with love for his or her soul. But these days, we see Christians slander pastors, worship leaders and so on, openly through social media and so forth.
Last year, I had a chance to talk to a missionary whose daughter left her small workplace a few months ago. I actually had a dream on her daughter, and she didn’t look happy in the dream. When I called the missionary, I asked her how her daughter is. And she said that her daughter had been very upset, due to her previous employer, who is one of the elders in her church. When she left the employer, she was eligible for some kind of retirement pension. But the elder didn’t pay it to her, saying his business wasn’t good enough to pay it to her now. Legally, she had every right to report and claim it to the ministry of Labor, which would result in the penalty to the employer, the elder. So, the missionary mother said to her, “Babe, please don’t claim it. If you do, it’s putting shame on our Father.” I agreed with her. She understood what the Lord’s will is and she trusted He is the Provider.
I think it’s not difficult to find those who left their church or even left the Lord, saying they were offended in their church. But I would like to remind us that nobody is perfect, and we are in the learning curve and in the middle of being transformed. If you are a parent and your kids fight against one another, your heart would be broken. We should be His mature sons and daughters. Friend, it’s my prayer that we don’t fight, backbite or gossip against one another, but ask our Father to give us His love, even when we are offended. Bringing joy to Him is our strength.
Have a bliss!
These six things the Lord hates,
How are you? I’m well.
On January 20th this year, I read Proverbs chapter 20 and read the verse 10:
“Diverse weights and diverse measures,
They are both alike, an abomination to the Lord.”
Then, I thought to myself that there are a few other verses in Proverbs that talk about diverse weights and diverse measures. And I’ve been thinking that there should be no cheating in business. I didn’t really meditate on that verse much, as I think I would never cheat others by diverse weights and measures, if I would be in some kind of business. Then, I highlighted the verses that speak about the importance of our words from our lips or mouth.
Then, I think it was the very next night when I had a dream, hearing the Lord speaking to me. I didn’t see any in the dream, but I heard His voice only and it was so clear. He was actually teaching me with the verses I read from Proverbs 20, saying “The verse on diverse weights and diverse measures you read is more on a double standard than cheating others in business. Just like you highlighted the words on lying lips, it is also talking about “truth” that you’ve been meditating on.” When I woke up in the middle of the night, I still remembered what He said. Though I felt it was His voice, I wanted to make sure whether it was really Him and whether I understood Him correctly. So, in the morning, I grabbed my Bible in The Passion Translation version. I usually read New King James Version, and now refer The Passion Translation often, as it is not word for word translation from the original languages, but the meanings in the cultural contexts are translated into easy English. So, I looked up Proverbs 20:10 and stood amazed, reading “God hates it when you demonstrate a double standard – one for “them” and one for “you.” I already read through the book of Proverbs in The Passion Translation long ago, but as I didn’t compare each verse from each different translation, I would have not known the expression of a double standard was the verse on diverse weights and measures in New King James translation. And the Lord wants me to understand the meanings correctly, as He intended. Now, I got to realize this verse on a double standard is indeed talking about truth. I thought I would never sin by cheating others in business, but when it comes to a double standard, I’m not good at it and I really need His grace. I believe if we criticize others in our hearts or in our words, there is a high risk of having a double standard. I don’t know about you, but for me, I realized that I focused on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet failed to notice the glaring flaw of my own. And most of the time, it was out of pride, out of self-righteousness or out of religious spirit.
I don’t like the selfish, but recently while I was cooking, the Lord shed light on my selfish motive in praying for someone. He made me realize that I prayed for him, not to bring joy to Him but to make myself comfortable. I know that my initial prayer for him was out of a pure heart, but I lost it and then prayed out of selfishness. I repented, being thankful to the Lord for letting me know. While I don’t like the selfish and sometimes even look down on them in my heart, I was being so selfish. It’s merely one example.
I believe that one of the best ways not to have double standards would be not to judge others. It includes judging others both in our hearts and in our words. I believe we have One and Only True Judge, Who searches our hearts. I recall the late Pastor Neville Johnson said that we are not smart enough to judge others. We don’t know their upbringings, their circumstances and their hearts. I think we don’t even know our own hearts, unless God shows us our motives. The Scripture says,
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
While I read the book of Proverbs, I realized it talks about truth quite often.
“Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3~4)
Friend, it’s my prayer that you and I write mercy and truth on the tablet of our hearts. And we don’t judge others and we don’t have a double standard. The Truth shall make us free.
Have a bliss!
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1~5)
How are you? Hope you had or are having a good day, today?
Last week, I wrote that I would share what Pastor Rick Joyner said on how we become sons of God. Actually, the answer is already known in the Bible: Love your God and love your neighbors. Yes, this is simple yet true. Pastor Rick said that these sons of God don’t even realize they are the sons, as their focus is not on them, but on the Lord. And they help others reach the goal before they do. When we love Him, we would only think of brining joy to Him and loving our neighbors as ourselves is bringing joy to Him. Through our mundane life and menial works in our daily life, we learn to become like Him.
I’m in the middle of reading a Richard Foster’s book, “Streams of Living Water” and his message on Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels echoed what I learned and believed on our lifestyle:
Where did he learn all these things and so much more? I will tell you where. He learned them in his carpentry work and at home with his parents and his brothers and sisters. Jesus did not all of a sudden one day start spouting nice sayings about God. No, when he began his public ministry, he was speaking out of a life that had been tested and tried. He had proven the teachings to be true over and over again as he sawed wood and assembled chairs and built cabinets. It is critical that we understand the significance of this. Today we tend to confine Jesus and his work to stained glass and high altars and silent retreats, or perhaps to intercessory prayer work and revival meetings. And clearly there was a specifically religious or liturgical dimension to Jesus’ incarnational living. He went to synagogue “as was his custom” (Luke 4:16). As a faithful Jew he recited the Shema twice a day: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD one” (Deut. 6:4, NIV). In addition, he observed the three hours of prayer that were part and parcel of Jewish practice: morning, afternoon, and evening. But as good and essential as these things were (and are), we must recognize that the majority of Jesus’ life — and of ours — is found in our families and homes, in our work and play, among our neighbors and in our everyday surroundings. This tangible world is the place we most fully express the meaning of incarnational living. This is where we experience the outflow of love, joy, peace, and all the fruit of the Spirit. Here and nowhere else. It was true for Jesus; it is true for us. This is the Incarnational Tradition.
Foster, Richard J.. Streams of Living Water (pp. 20-21). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
This year, somehow, the word, “truth” was being highlighted again and again in my Bible reading. Jesus is the Truth, and He said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)” And He also said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)” What would be worshipping in truth? I believe it’s our walking in love, obeying His Words. I love to worship Him, singing praises. Whenever I take a walk, I sing praises. When I wash dishes, I sing praises. After dinner, I sit on the sofa and sing praises. I love to sing praises and worship our Father. And I keep it in mind that if I don’t obey Him and don’t love my family, friends, neighbors and others, I don’t worship Him in truth. If I have an unforgiving heart or bitterness toward someone, I don’t worship Him in truth. If I am selfish and self-centered, I don’t worship Him in truth. I would dread hearing Him say that I’m a hypocrite or my worship was in vain.
It’s my desire and prayer that you and I bring joy to Him, by walking in love and worshipping Him in truth. He doesn’t see what we do, but what we become. Friend, do you think it’s impossible that we would become like Him? I recently reread Pastor Rick Joyner’s book, “Overcoming the Religious Spirit.” He wrote ten things we can do to get free of the religious spirit and one of them really refreshed me:
Pray that the same love with which the Father loved the Son would be in us. The Lord Jesus Himself prayed for the same love with which the Father loved Him to be in us (see John 17). We know that this prayer of the Son of God, who was in perfect harmony with the Father, will be answered. We have not because we ask not. When this love replaces religious duty, our good works will greatly exceed what they would be otherwise.
Joyner, Rick. Overcoming the Religious Spirit (Combatting Spiritual Strongholds Series) (p. 25). MorningStar Publications, a division of MorningStar Fellowship Church. Kindle Edition.
How powerful this prayer is, as Jesus already prayed for us! It would be answered, if we prayed in agreement with Him. Friend, would you like to join me in praying this prayer for you and me?
Have a bliss!
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. (1 John 2:4~5)”
How are you? I’m well.
Today I would like to write about sons of God that Pastor Rick Joyner mentioned on the Lord’s visitation. He quoted what Jesus spoke to him: Labors are cheap; Friends are expensive; Sons are priceless.
You might think “Aren’t we all children of God as we believe in Jesus?” Yes, we become a child of God, when each one of us believes in Jesus. Then, who are the sons of God? I’d like to share what the late Pastor Neville Johnson wrote in his book, Secrets of the Kingdom volume II:
HEBREWS 2:10 10. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
It has been said many times that “life is not easy.” Well, it wasn’t meant to be, and the conditions here on earth are perfect for the making of sons of God. Even Jesus had to suffer as part of His sojourn here.
HEBREWS 5:8-9 8. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Jesus suffered much anguish during His days in the flesh in this world; heartache was a part of His life here. You cannot escape suffering and some heartache while here on this earth; it is part of the deal. Life on this planet is hard enough to give us the opportunity of becoming sons of God. You may say, “I became a son of God when I was born again! Not so – you became a child of God.
1 JOHN 3:2 2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
The word son here in this verse is the Greek word teknon G5043: a child. The Jewish custom of the placing of a son was a very important event in Jewish life. When a child came of age, usually around thirty years of age, he went through a ceremony that initiated him into sonship. The father would call together friends and relatives to this ceremony in which the boy became a son. Up until that time, this boy had never been referred to as a son, but at the end of this ceremony the father would say, “THIS IS MY SON,” and from that time on this SON had rights and privileges that he had never had before. This son could now transact business in his father’s name; he could, as it were, sign checks and generally represent his father. This is what was happening to Jesus in Matthew 3:16-17.
MATTHEW 3:16-17 16. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Every Jew who was there at that time and heard this voice from heaven knew exactly what it meant. Jesus was being placed as a Son by His Father.
God’s major purpose for us
God’s first and foremost purpose for us is that we become Sons of God while still in the flesh in this life. God’s foremost purpose for you is that you become like Him, conformed to His image and likeness. God made man in His own image and likeness, but this was lost through the fall of Adam (see Gen 1:27).
ROMANS 8:29 29. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
This is God’s prime purpose for you being here During all the work we do for the Lord here, the prime purpose is not in what we do for Him, but in what we are becoming. We fail in our reason for being here if we do not become like Him. To become like Him is what our destiny here on Planet Earth is all about; anything else is secondary to this. The real gain, the real merit is not in what we do for the Lord, important as that is, but in who we are becoming.
Planet Earth – a school-house for the sons of God
Many attend universities for four or five years, gaining knowledge that will hopefully be useful in their vocation in this life. However, very few have the understanding that God has placed us in His university, His school-house having given us a limited time in which to graduate with the required spiritual knowledge and understanding coupled with the required changes in us that this earthly course is designed to achieve – namely, to become like Him. We are in God’s school-house and, even as Christians, we can die without having graduated. Sure, we will go to heaven, but the main purpose of coming here to earth is not achieved and this affects our ongoing role in eternity.
Imagine that you are a father with a son at age of 5. You would love him so much, but you would not give him a blank check. God loves us as His children, when we come to Him through Jesus. But He wants us to grow and be mature enough to be co-heirs of His Son, Jesus.
When I was young, I used to think that there are so many do’s and don’ts in Christianity. It was mainly because of legalism in Korea church. So, I once thought that it would be better for us to get saved just right before our death or on our sick bed, after doing what we want, only if we would know our time to die. Now, I’m grateful that the Lord opened my eyes and helped me understand it’s not about religion, but about relationship. And He gave me mercy and made me pursue the high calling and long for being like Him. I don’t want to be saved only. Being saved is great, but I want to fulfill my eternal destiny, by growing and being conformed to the character of Jesus.
One day, my friend said to me, “I don’t care about reigning in 1,000 years. I’ll be simply satisfied with being in Heaven.” I still pray that the Lord may open her eyes. I think not only she, but many Christians would think they are simply fine with being saved only, but don’t want to go further into the likeness of His character. The Lord said, “Yet Jacob I have loved; But Esau I have hated.” (Malachi 1:2~3b) He hated Esau’s taking his birthright lightly and sold it for a bowl of soup.
Friend, He wants us to turn our eyes upon Him and His Kingdom in eternity, not on this world, just like Esau. It’s my prayer that you are encouraged to become His sons, too. I heard many preachers say or write about metamorphosis, likening our character to Jesus’. I believe He loves both caterpillars and butterflies. Yet again, I believe He wants caterpillars to be transformed into butterflies, as they are meant to be.
Pastor Rick Joyner shared how we become sons of God. Would you want to know? I think I would write what he shared, next week. :)
Have a bliss!
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14)