Monday, November 10, 2014

Bible Blessing-150

But the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy, and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in public custody. But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out, and said, "Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life." (Acts 5:17-20)

By the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people after Pentecost. More believers were added to the Lord. They even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mattresses, so that as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some of them. Great multitudes also came together from the cities around Jerusalem, bringing sick people, and those who were tormented by unclean spirits: and they were all healed. The rulers were unable to control the works of the Apostles, so they put them in prison. But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out, and said, "Go stand and speak in the temple to the people........"

Despite oppositions, the work on the kingdom of God has progressed from Pentecost until today. Many have become martyrs for the Lord; others have labored and have entered in to glory after their work and time on earth were over.

The baton has been passed on to our generation by them who have preceded us. Despite sufferings, persecutions and hindrances, the Word of God has gone to most corners of the world. The Holy Spirit of God is guiding believers in to the work that needs to be yet done. God is using his chosen vessels and large numbers are being added to God's family each day.

Are we fulfilling our calling? is a question that we should ask ourselves.
At the end of our earthly journey, will we be able to hear the sweet voice of the master say.....
'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' (Matthew 25:23)

Blessed are they who know even now, that they will hear this from their wonderful Savior when the time comes.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bible Blessing-149

Then this Daniel was distinguished above the presidents and the satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find occasion against Daniel as touching the kingdom; but they could find no occasion nor fault, because he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. (Daniel 6:3-5)

Daniel's enemies examined his life to find some fault, so that they could bring accusations against him to the king, but they could find nothing. They found that he was faithful and without error. Yet, they did not stop there. They knew that Daniel was a true Israelite and worshiped his God faithfully, so they devised a plan to trap him in that aspect. They made the king sign a royal statute that whoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, except the king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

Daniel did not swerve from his devotion to Almighty God and prayed and worshiped him, as was his routine; as a consequence, he was thrown in to the lion's den. His enemies were happy and thought that, that would be the last they saw of Daniel, but God Almighty had other plans; plans of not only rescuing Daniel and destroying his enemies, but more importantly, making his power and glory known to a gentile king.

Daniel had a testimony; the king had a decree to proclaim....

Daniel said......My God has sent his angel, and has shut the lions' mouths, and they have not hurt me; because as before him innocence was found in me; and also before you, O king, have I done no hurt.(Daniel 6:22)

The king all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel; for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed; and his dominion shall be even to the end. (Daniel 6:26)

End of story......Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (Daniel 6:28)

If God has blessed and exalted you, know that the enemy is jealous of you and would want to put you down, as he did in the life of Daniel, but be assured that the plans of the enemy will not materialize for you have found favor with God. Another blessing awaits you.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bible Blessing-148

The Lord watches over you; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.... (Psalm 121:5)

When Abraham stayed in Gerar, he said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." So Abimelech, king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her. But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, "You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman." Abimelech had no bodily relations with her, so he said, "Lord, I am innocent. The man told me she was his sister and she said, 'he is my brother', 'I have done this with a clear conscience'." Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die."

Abimelech and his men were very afraid. When Abimelech confronted Abraham as to why he had lied to him, Abraham replied, "I said to myself, 'I see no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. Moreover, she is my sister as we have the same father."

"Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. And Abimelech said, "My land is before you; live wherever you like." To Sarah he (with some sarcasm) said, "I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated."

Abraham and Sarah had their limitations and short comings. They harbored fears. They tried to rely on half truths to protect themselves. Yet God was watching over them for their good. Things could have gone wrong very easily, but God was in control of the situation here, for Abraham. As he told Abimelech, "I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her."

God is watching over us too,...and at all times. He is there to intervene on our behalf in all situations of our lives. The one who has called us in to the fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ is faithful. Let us look to him each day and sing what the Psalmist sang, "My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.(Psalm 121:2)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bible Blessing-147

But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. (Nehemiah 9:31)

What a great privilege it is to serve a merciful God! 
Nehemiah writes about God's "great mercy" towards his chosen ones. Despite their unfaithfulness and stubbornness, God did not put an end to them or abandon them.
He did punish them for their rebellion, but did not put an end to them or abandon them. 

His promise to "never leave nor forsake" remains true even for us. No doubt, as believers in Jesus Christ, he disciplines us for our sins, yet he shows mercy.

Do not fear that the Lord will abandon you, even if you have strayed from him. He is the one who leaves the 99 faithful sheep in the open country and goes searching for the one lost.

Luke, the Physician writes,
"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' (Luke 15:4-6)

O lost sheep, your Shepherd seeks you. And when he finds you, he intends to joyfully put you on his shoulder and rejoice; so great is his mercy.

Good Shepherd Jesus, we love you, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bible Blessing-146

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing... (Ezra 1:1)
Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites; everyone whose heart God had moved, prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. (Ezra 1:5)

It's very evident from these two verses, that God, in his sovereignty, moves the hearts of people, whether they be of royal lineage or commoners. A fine proverb concerning this goes in this manner....
The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. (Proverbs 21:1)
How wonderful!

The KJV version says, "the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia.."

God moves the hearts of people or stirs up their spirits, so that his divine purposes are accomplished. God's people were in captivity in Babylon for 70 years and it was time for their deliverance. The prophesy that they would return to their homeland was to be fulfilled and God began moving hearts; first the heart of Cyrus, the Persian king, to make a proclamation (he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah; anyone of his people among you; may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel ) and then the hearts of his people to build the temple.

God can choose anyone to fulfill his purposes in your life too. Your prayers will be answered according to his ways. You may wish that God answered your prayer in a certain way, but he is Almighty and he will do it his way.

Many blind came to Jesus for healing, but he healed them in several some he spoke healing, some he touched, he spat in to one man's eyes, to another he applied dirt and asked him to wash it in the pool of Siloam. They all received their sight, but as he choose.

Remember this day, that he can move the hearts of people in your favor, answering your prayers and fulfilling his purposes in your life.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bible Blessing-145

I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. (Leviticus 26:9)

How blessed it is when God looks on us with favor and it is so for all who have been chosen by him to be a part of his heavenly kingdom.

Here God promises the Israelites who were in the wilderness that he was going to make them fruitful and increase their numbers and also that he was going to keep his covenant with them.

We too need favor of God in these difficult times that the world is going through. At the present moment there are more than 50 million people living in refugee camps and some without even these kinds of shelter. 
Amidst all the chaos around us, God is still able to make us fruitful and will maintain his love and faithfulness with those who have placed their trust in Jesus.

In a godless generation in the ancient past, we read of one man finding favor with God. The Bible says,
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. (Genesis 6:8, 9)

Are you walking with God? If so, you will find favor in his eyes and he will make you fruitful.

An exhortation from the writer of Proverbs tells us exactly how we can find favor with God and with men....
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:3, 4)

Let's take this exhortation to heart and find divine favor and be fruitful always.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bible Blessing-144

Leviticus 23:42-43 NIV Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’ ”

What we read above are the instructions given by God Almighty to the Israelites regarding the Feast of Tabernacles.
Leviticus 23:39-41 NIV “So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees-from palms, willows and other leafy trees-and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month."

In this context, all Christian believers must remember that they also are living in temporary shelters here on earth. Perhaps in our lifetime we may move in to different houses at several junctures of our life, but we must always look forward to our permanent home which is Heaven.

Regarding Abraham, the author of Hebrews writes, Hebrews 11:9-10 NIV "By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."

O, what a day that will be when each one of us for the first time beholds that city whose architect and builder is God!
Revelation 21:1-3 NIV
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."

O believer in Christ, you have a future in heaven for sure, there in those mansions sublime. So, be strengthened this day and praise God.