VIDEO You Don’t Believe In Miracle? Watch This!

Apr 30, 2015

April 22nd, 2015. Reverend Lee Stoneking addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City, and he gave his testimony how Jesus raise him from the dead. Thanks you Jesus for all miracles you do

I am not own this music, all credit goes to the owner
Music: Southland Tales – Score Live Forever
Moby composed the score for the film Southland Tales.

Just Like Dad

The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19

Isn’t it endearing to see a child mimicking his parents? How often we’ve seen the young boy in a car seat, gripping his imaginary steering wheel intently while keeping a close eye on the driver to see what Daddy does next.

I remember doing the same thing when I was young. Nothing gave me greater pleasure than doing exactly what my dad did—and I’m sure he got an even bigger kick watching me copy his actions.

Jesus, thank You for showing us the way to the Father.

I would like to think God felt the same way when He saw His dearest Son doing exactly what the Father did—reaching out to the lost, helping the needy, and healing the sick. Jesus said, “the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).

We too are called to do the same—to “follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love” (Eph. 5:1–2). As we continue growing to be more like Jesus, may we seek to love like the Father loves, forgive like He forgives, care like He cares, and live in ways that please Him. It is a delight to copy His actions, in the power of the Spirit, knowing that our reward is the affectionate, tender smile of a loving Father.

Jesus, thank You for showing us the way to the Father. Help us to be more and more like You and the Father each day.

The Father gave us the Spirit to make us like the Son.

By Leslie Koh

INSIGHT:The theme of following God appears throughout all of Scripture. In the Old Testament, Moses warned the Israelites not to live like the Canaanites when they entered the Promised Land: “Do not follow their practices” (Lev. 18:3) or “imitate the detestable ways of the nations there” (Deut. 18:9). Instead they were to obey and follow God’s laws (Lev. 18:4, 26–30). They were His chosen people. “The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples . . . to be his people, his treasured possession” (Deut. 7:6–7; 14:2; 26:18).

In the New Testament, the apostle Peter says that believers in Christ are also “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (1 Peter 2:9). Therefore, we are to imitate God: “Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1:15). We are to live radically different from the world, to “be perfect, as [our] heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48), to “be merciful, just as [our] Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36), to love as God loves (Eph. 5:1–2).

As we reflect on the challenge to imitate God, we can ask, If I am not following God’s example, who am I imitating? Sim Kay Tee

Certainty About Salvation

1 John 5:13

One of the main reasons many Christians fail to serve God joyfully is their uncertainty about where they stand with Him. They don’t understand the basic nature of their relationship with the Lord and, as a result, hold back from dedicating themselves fully to His service.

You probably have seen similar types of hesitancy played out in day-to-day life. For example, perhaps you’re acquainted with a man and a woman who are known as the “on again, off again” couple—the pair who seem to dance around the idea of relationship but somehow never quite seem able to commit. It’s difficult to make that life-changing decision when you’re not sure how the other person feels about you, isn’t it?

The same thing holds true in your life of faith. No one wants a spouse—or a Savior—who might leave at any time, for any reason. No, we want certainty. And when that is missing, the whole context of the relationship is out of balance.

The apostle John was surely thinking about this as the Holy Spirit inspired him to write the beautiful word of encouragement we find in 1 John 5:13. What was his purpose in writing? “That you may know that you have eternal life” (emphasis added).

John was writing to bring certainty to uncertain believers. He wanted them to know that there was no “off again” time for anyone who had engaged in a relationship with the Father. Because God is your constant companion, you can trust that He is faithful—eternally.

Lord Our Maker

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.” (Psalm 95:6)

In the first chapter of Genesis we are told that God was to “make man in our image,” and also that He “created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:26-27). Similarly, on the seventh day God “rested from all his work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:3).

God is, therefore, both Creator and Maker of all things, including the image of God in man. These two terms are not synonymous, though they sometimes seem to be used interchangeably. “Creation” is calling into existence entities that previously had no existence. No one except God is ever the subject of the verb “create.” The work of making, on the other hand, is that of organizing created entities into complex systems.

It is interesting that God is called “Creator” five times in the Bible, whereas He is called “Maker” 16 times. God created His image in men and women, but He also made them in that image. That is, He called into existence the spiritual component of man’s nature, not shared in any degree by the animals. He also organized the basic material elements into complex human bodies, the most highly organized systems in the universe, and these were made in that image that God Himself would one day assume when He became an incarnate human being. In this way, He is both Creator and Maker of His image in each person.

That image has been marred because of sin, but through the work of Christ we have been “renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10), and our bodies will “be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). Created and newly created, made and remade, let us humbly kneel before the Lord, our Maker and Creator. HMM

“Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him.”

Judges 16:21-31

Judges 16:21

But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, according to the Arabic Version, they applied fire to them

the strongest they could find, and the most painful to the wearer;

The great champion was degraded to do a woman’s work, work which when performed for others was considered to be the meanest servitude. Milton pictures the fallen hero as describing himself thus—

 

“Made of my enemies the scorn and gaze

To grind in brazen fetters under task

With this Heaven-gifted strength. O glorious strength

Put to the labour of a beast, debased

 

Lower than bond slave! Promise was that I

Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver

Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him

Eyeless in Gaza at the mill with slaves.”)

 

Judges 16:22

God’s grace casts not off his servants: grace though reduced to the lowest ebb returns again, even as Samson’s hair grew, and his strength returned. It is one of the wonders of divine love that it holds on to its object even when he proves unworthy of it.

Judges 16:24

Thus they blasphemed Jehovah by magnifying Baal. They do, however, teach us one lesson, too often forgotten, namely, to ascribe all our victories to God.

Judges 16:26

The poor blind prisoner made rare mirth for the assembled lords, and they could do no other than let him rest a while, while they refilled their cups, and meditated fresh insults.

Judges 16:28

How touching is that sweetest of prayers, “Remember me,” whether it be Samson or the dying thief who uses it. The Lord indeed did remember him.

Milton shall again expound for us—

 

“Those two massy pillars

With horrible convulsion to and fro

He tugg’d, he shook, till down they came and drew

The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder

 

Upon the heads of all who sat beneath

Lords, ladies, captains, counsellers, or priests

Their choice nobility and flower, not only

Of this but each Philistian city round.

 

O dearly-bought revenge, yet glorious!

Living or dying thou hast fulfill’d

The work for which thou wast foretold

To Israel, and now ly’st victorious

 

Among thy slain, self-killed

Not willingly, but tangled in the fold

Of dire necessity, whose law in death conjoin’d

Thee with thy slaughter’d foes.”

 

Thus the Lord God of Israel silenced the boastings of his enemies, as he will do in the last great day.

 

Hatred, Variance, Emulations, Wrath

Galatians 5:19, 20

I once heard our six-year-old son tell his nine-year-old brother, “I hate you!”

I quickly went to my son and asked him, “What did you say to your brother?”

He firmly told me, “I hate him!”

I didn’t know what my older son had done to provoke this reaction, but I knew I had a responsibility to teach our sons this type of language was not acceptable in our home. I took our six-year-old into the bathroom, pulled out a bar of soap, and said, “Son, in our house, we don’t use language like you just spoke to your brother. Your mouth has said some pretty ugly words, so it’s time to give your mouth a bath! We’re going to wash out your mouth with soap!”

Taking a bar of soap, I inserted it into his mouth, pushed it this way and that, until I knew his mouth was full of a soapy taste. Then I pulled it out and told him to spit into the sink.

My son exclaimed, “Daddy, that soap tastes so bad!”

I answered, “Yes, it tastes just as awful as those ugly words you spoke to your brother!”

Our two other sons stood outside the bathroom watching as their middle brother spit bubbles out of his mouth. I could visibly see they were inwardly resolving that they would never say the words “I hate you!” As far as I can determine, that was the last time those words were ever spoken in our home!

Hatred:

When Paul wrote Galatians 5:19-21, he included “hate” in his villainous list of the works of the flesh. In Greek, this word “hate” is from the word echthra. This word expresses the idea of an intense hostility that one feels toward someone else. It is often used to picture enemies in a military conflict. In the New Testament, it primarily denotes a personal enemy.

This is the very word used in Luke 23:12 to depict the animosity, hostility, and hatred that existed between Herod Antipas and Pilate before they became friends at the time of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Prior to that moment, they hated each other. To say they were enemies is not even sufficient to express the deep animosity they felt for each other. They were bitter, sour, hardened enemies who despised one another—and all of this is expressed in the Greek word echthra.

This word echthra pictures people who cannot get along with each other. They have deep issues with each other, holding resentments, grievances, complaints, and grudges that go way back in time and have very deep roots. Something occurred along the way that caused one or both of them to be offended. Instead of letting go of the offense, they became divided, hostile, and fiercely opposed to each other. Now they are antagonistic, aggressive, and harsh. They hate each other. They have a grudge and are determined to hold on to it. Doesn’t that sound just like the flesh?

If you have hatred in your heart, the Spirit of God wants you to forgive and release your offender. I realize your flesh wants your offender to feel bad, to emotionally suffer, to be paid back for his actions. Even if your flesh does finally rally around to offer a very weak version of forgiveness, it will probably still try to inflict a little punishment on your offender. You see, that is what the flesh produces! That is why it must be crucified! If you will pull the plug on the flesh and walk in the Spirit, it won’t be long until that hostility and animosity is replaced with love, joy, peace, and longsuffering!

Variance:

Paul next lists “variance” as one of the works of the flesh. This old English word is the Greek word eris, which was used in a political context to describe political parties that had different platforms or agendas. For this reason, some newer translations of the New Testament translate it as a party spirit.

In a democratic system, people tend to align themselves politically with people of like opinions. Once they congregate, discuss the issues, and concur about their political views, they then proceed to build a platform from which they can promote their own political agenda. Once the agenda is decided upon and the competition has begun, the fighting can be fierce.

As you are well aware, political races can become very ugly. Often nasty words are spoken. False representations are sometimes publicized by opponents who wish to discredit their contenders. Lies are often told and repeated as facts. As unfortunate as this behavior is for people who are running for public office, it has been this way since ancient Greek and Roman times, and it will continue to be this way because this is the nature of the flesh!

When Paul writes to us, he uses this word eris to depict how flesh erupts to divide families, destroy relationships, ruin churches, and pull apart people who once stood side by side. Those who have been offended are drawn like a magnet to others who have been offended or who feel hurt. Once they discuss their feelings and realize they have similar stories or opinions, it isn’t too long before they start thinking they are right and everyone else is wrong! That’s when they begin the process of building their own platform from which they can divide and promote their own agenda!

The apartment where my family lives in Moscow was vacant for a very long time because the family who owned it got into a terrible family fight about how the apartment should be rented, how much they should charge for rent, what should be done with the rent money, and so on. The family members who were once so close to each other all took sides in the bitter fight, and the quarrel finally divided the family in half! Both sides had their own view and were not willing to compromise. This horrible attitude is exactly what Paul was talking about when he used the word eris in Galatians 5:20.

This case may sound extreme, but it happens all the time in families, churches, and businesses. The word eris (“variance”) depicts a bitterly mean spirit that is so consumed with its own self-interests and self-ambitions that it would rather split and divide than to admit it is wrong or give an inch to an opponent! This is exactly why church splits occur and families frequently dissolve. Most of the issues that bring such division aren’t even that important. But the flesh simply hates to surrender or compromise—to admit it is wrong or to let someone else be right. The flesh would rather blow issues all out of proportion and wreak havoc than to let someone else have his way! Don’t allow this work of the flesh to operate in you!

Emulations:

Paul goes on to state that “emulations” is also a work of the flesh. This word “emulations” is not used much in our contemporary world, so what does it mean?

The word “emulations” comes from the Greek word zelos, which often denotes enthusiasm, fervor, passion, devotion, or an eagerness to achieve something. It is where we get the word zeal. In a negative sense, it depicts a person who is upset because someone else achieved more or received more. This person is therefore jealous, envious, resentful, and filled with ill will for that other person who got what he wanted. As a result of not getting what he desired, he is irritated, infuriated, irate, annoyed, provoked, and fuming that the other person did get it! In short, you could say that this person is really incensed and ticked off! He can’t rejoice with the other person because he is so jealous.

A perfect example of the negative aspect of the word zelos is found in Acts 7:9, where it depicts the jealousy that Joseph’s brothers felt for him. It says, “And the patriarchs, [Joseph’s brothers] moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt….” The words “moved with envy” are from the word zelos. This indicates that the brothers were incensed with Joseph. After seeing him richly rewarded over and over again by his father, they couldn’t bear it any longer. Rather than rejoice that their younger brother was so loved, they cringed every time Joseph received a blessing. Eventually, they were filled with so much ill will toward Joseph and were so overcome by their jealousy that they sold him into slavery.

It is very important to note that Act 7:9 says they were “moved with envy.” This word zelos—envy or jealousy—is such a strong force that it will move you to action when it starts to operate in you. Unfortunately, it will usually move you to do things that are hurtful or that you will later regret. So don’t allow “emulations” or jealousy to work inside you! It is a work of the flesh that brings great hurt and destruction.

Wrath:

Next, Paul lists “wrath” as a work of the flesh. The word “wrath” is the Greek word thumos, which is used throughout the New Testament to picture a person who is literally boiling with anger about something. Although the person tries to restrain this anger by shoving it down deeper into his soul, it intermittently flares up. When it does, it is like a volcano that suddenly blows its top—scorching everything within its reach as it hurls its load of deadly molten lava onto the entire surrounding landscape. Have you ever seen someone blow his top like I’m describing to you right now?

The Greek word thumos (“wrath”) vividly paints the picture. People get hurt, offended, or upset. Rather than take the offense to the Cross and deal with it there, they choose instead to meditate on the perceived offense. The longer they think about it, the more upset they become. Soon they are inwardly boiling. They know if they don’t do something quick to restrain themselves, they are going to say or do something really ugly—so they shove it back down deep inside in an attempt to keep it under control. But if those angry emotions were never properly dealt with in the first place, one day something will happen that triggers their release.

Perhaps this has happened to you. If so, you may think those vile emotions are gone, but if you never let the Lord really deal with them or the situation that created them, they are still lying dormant inside you, just waiting for the right moment to be released. Finally, when that person who made you angry in the first place does something to make you angry again, it will be like someone opens a door on the inside of you, releasing a flood of vile and rank emotions that immediately rise to the surface! That’s when you’ll come unglued, saying things you later regret and speaking in tones you should never use!

The word thumos perfectly illustrates the way the flesh tries to deal with problems. Rather than confront the problem head-on when it happens, the flesh says, “Just shove it down deep, and keep it to yourself!” The problem is, when you shove down unresolved issues, they just keep boiling and boiling deep inside. You may think that the matter is over, but the truth is, those issues are simmering and waiting for the moment of eruption. Even though the flesh is attempting to avoid confrontation, in the end its eruption creates a confrontation more scorching and hurtful than ever. It would have been far better to deal with the issue when it first happened!

I know that confronting people and problems can be challenging, but the mature path is to take care of the problems when they first occur. It is the route of the flesh to delay issues and then to erupt in madness.

If any of the works of the flesh called hatred, variance, emulations, or wrath are trying to operate in your life, it is time for you to put an end to these strongholds right now. Go to the Lord and confess that you have allowed these fleshly works to operate in your life. Ask Him to forgive you; then ask Him to fill you with the power and fortitude you need to say no to these ungodly attitudes. With God’s help, you can allow the Holy Spirit to produce His godly fruit inside you!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I am surrendering my attitudes to You today. Hatred, variance, emulations, and wrath are so hurtful to my heart and destructive to my relationships. I don’t want them to be a part of me any longer. I turn from these attitudes, Lord. I repent for allowing them to have any place in my life. I confess that they are wrong and are grievous both in Your sight and to my spirit. I ask You to give me the strength I need to crucify these works of the flesh and to let the life of Jesus flow through me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that hatred, variance, emulations, and wrath have no place inside me. God’s Spirit dwells in me and helps me keep these fleshly attitudes out of my heart so I can stay free. I am filled with love; I am thrilled when other people get blessed; and I never give way to rave or wrath. It simply has no place in me. Every day I am becoming more filled and controlled by the Spirit of God!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Have you ever had one of those moments when you erupted and said hurtful things that you later regretted? Were you shocked that such ugly things could proceed from your mouth? What was the immediate result of this behavior? Did it help the situation or make it worse?
  2. When this occurred, what did you do to let people know you were sorry for your actions? If you did nothing to let them know you were sorry, what do you think you should have done? If someone did that to you, what would you expect that person to do or say to make it right with you?
  3. Have you ever been a part of a church split? If yes, what was the reason for the division?

 

Three Temptations For An Achiever

If you are an achiever, here are three temptations you undoubtedly face:

 

1. To be self-sufficient

 

To be the master of your fate!

 

To control your destiny!

 

To make it happen!

 

Jesus however, calls you to a life of dependence:

 

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.” (Jeremiah 17:5, 6)

 

2. To be spectacular

 

To wow ’em with your brilliance!

 

To dazzle ’em with results!

 

To break all existing records!

 

Jesus however, calls you to be “nothing:”

 

Should you then seek great things for yourself ? Seek them notDo nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Jeremiah 45:5a; Philippians 2:3)

 

3. To be powerful

 

To win at all cost!

 

To manipulate the circumstances!

 

To let ’em know who’s boss!

 

Jesus however, calls you to be His voluntary bond-servant.:

 

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 – nasb)

 

 

%d bloggers like this: