Luk 7:38…And she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
There are circumstances that reveal the true conditions of the heart. The 36th verse reads “one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him”. Did the Pharisee need to be close to Jesus or did he think it would help his reputation to have such a great guest at his table? Remember the centurion, he declared his unworthiness to have Christ’s company in his own house. Did this Pharisee imagine he was worthy of Jesus’ attention? He calls Mary a sinner but not himself. According to him, if Jesus was a true prophet, he would not let such a woman tend to Him. We always grapple with our purpose for coming to Christ. Was He worthy of our worship or did we come of our own merit? Do we think we deserved His attention or feel that we are better than others?
Simon, the Pharisee, represents the unloving and self-righteous. He represents those who are ignorant of God. Those are the people God has a heart for. They may be respectable in life but rigid in morality. He despised the woman, and now, Jesus, who received the woman. He was quick to judge others than himself. “A Pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself.”, A.W. Tozer.
Psalm 39:1, “I said, “I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me.”
Our tongues are great, God made them to be used for His glory. It becomes lethal if untamed. It’s a very small thing but has such great power. This makes me wonder whether the Lord gave us two ears and one mouth so that we will be inclined to hear more and speak less. I know the power of the tongue because I’ve said things I wished I did not, they cut deep like a sharp knife. It’s like a gun, once fired; it’s gone and cannot be retrieved. I hear people say, “Take back what you just said” as a figure of speech. I also hear some say, “speak your mind”, very dangerous request. Proverbs 18:21, tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,…”. This verse is often used by prosperity preachers to tell their listeners that they can create their reality by how they speak, that you are what you speak. This is not correct, all the verse is saying is that a man may do a great deal of good, or a great deal of hurt, both to others and to himself, according to the use he makes of his tongue. Continue reading
Jude 1:3 “…contend earnestly for THE faith which was ONCE for ALL delivered to the saints”.
In the last couple of years, there have been stories about people from the middle east getting saved through dreams without hearing the gospel or the name of Jesus. While I may not limit anything the God of creation can do, I believe when I read scripture that He has chosen to limit the means by which He will save His people. I do not find anywhere in scripture where God saves by dreams and even visions and I will by scripture present a case.
The natural revelation helps men see that God has created everything. David heralds this in Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork”. And Paul in Romans 1:20 echoes the same “20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”. God never chose the natural revelation to be the means to save men but prepare men for the supernatural or special revelation. The natural revelation can create a desire for special revelation, however the natural has no power of its own. Continue reading
2Kings 6:8-23, “21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?” 22 “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.”23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.
The world is hostile. We have enemies in every corner and greater enemies against believers. Other religions are more tolerated than Christians in dealing with challenges that face Christians. While the fierce battle against Christians is to wipe them out of the map, the strategy God has often given believers is not to engage the enemy with the same battle plan as they do but fight God’s battles God’s way. God’s given strategies are many times unconventional in our judgment, they don’t make sense but they are mighty through God and we must learn by the word of God how best to fight. Continue reading
Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…”
David wrote Psalm 23 toward the end of his life, and therefore it is his reflection of God’s work in the life of David. David had the following experiences: tending sheep, defeating Goliath, being chased by King Saul, anointed King of Israel, committing adultery, repenting of his sin, etc…. To say that David had a full life of vast experiences would be an understatement. Many of us are familiar with this most popular Psalm but what snapshot of David’s life was he thinking of when he wrote, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…?” Was Goliath on his mind, or one of his many battles that he led? I believe that David reflected on the time his sheep were hunted by a lion or a bear that could easily devour and carry them away. However David was the sheep, and he was not being hunted by a foreign army, or even any such enemy of Israel, he was being hunted by an enemy lion, with the attributes of Satan who seeks to steal kill and destroy, that was supposed to be on his side. Continue reading
Psalm 102:1-28, “1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly……. 17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.”
I usually like to share the word from my experiences, I find it easy to share with people what I have already gone through just to encourage and give them energy to keep going because sometimes we feel like we are going through a lot but someone else went through worse and they survived, and so if you hear their story it gives you the oomph to push on. So my devotion today kind of ties up with what my husband shared on “God can” message sometime bac. I am sure we have all prayed a similar prayer like the one above in Psalm 102 and there are times it did feels like God never answered. Have you ever prayed for something for years and years and then you prayed with someone about the same thing for God to open those doors for that someone and it happened within hours or a couple of days or weeks or just months? And here you are, been praying for years and years and nothing? Continue reading
Galatians 1:8-9, “8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
It is believed by some that there are about 20 – 30 gospels that have been written. When Christians think about the gospel what comes to mind? Perhaps some words like four, good news, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, etc…. However there are writings that some non-gospel writings that some claim have been cleverly left out of the Bible because of contradictions with the four books of the gospel. The Gospel of Thomas, Judas, and Mary are three to name a few. Unfortunately many Christians don’t know there Bible that well and are unfamiliar with church history. A few years back the famous book fad that came out was called the Bible Code. Now the Da Vinci Code and the Gospel of Judas are the latest fads. Continue reading
Numbers 21:8-9, “8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”
The book of Hebrews opens up with God’s supreme revelation, and throughout the book it establishes that Jesus and His message is above the prophets, angels, priests etc. It begins with “1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; “, Hebrews 11:1-2. There were some signs either through dreams, acts, audible voices that were for a time and a season. They addressed specific things in history however they were not rolled out by the Lord as normative for us to look to. God has spoken to us consistently by His sufficient trusted word. Jesus said as recorded in Hebrews 10:7, “… ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’” Continue reading
1Corinthians 9:25-27,“All those who compete in a race use self-control so they can win a crown. That crown is an earthly thing that lasts only a short time, but our crown will never be destroyed. So, I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something-not just the air. I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that I myself will not be disqualified after I have preached to others”
Are you a winner or are you a loser in the race of life? You can’t be both.
Christian life is a lot like running a race or playing a game. It requires discipline, training, caching, determination and sheer hard work. There is a goal to be reached and reward to be won at the end of the race for those who win the race.
Just as the goal of any team or individual playing a game or running a race is to win in order to receive a crown, trophy or a reward, so should be the goal of a Christian. We are called to run our race diligently here on earth so we can live victorious life and finally receive the crown that Jesus our master and chief coach has prepared for those who will win the race. There is a wonderful party planned in heaven for the winners. That is why you and I must run and fight persistently against all odds and ends, obstacles, limitations and intimidations of the devil. In our race, the enemy of our soul and a body is the Satan. Continue reading