The Real Deal

Luke 24:44   (KJV)   44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

The omniscience of God is noticeably alluded to. He can predict the end from the beginning. That’s what clearly sets Him apart as God. Yes, there’s a spirit of divination working behind many people making correct predictions, but most of their predictions are no more than just calculated and educated guesses. What makes our God awesomely luke-24-44-the-real-dealunique is His 100% accuracy in His predictions and prophecies. No one ever comes close. In His love, He shares to us slices of His knowledge and foreknowledge. He wants our paths lit well; He doesn’t want us groping lost in the dark. He reveals His will and ways to us—not all of them, but all we need to know.

The most perfect revelation of God is our precious Lord Jesus. He’s God’s perfect representation. Whoever sees Him sees the Father; that’s as perfect of a representation as perfect can be. He was God’s mouthpiece in preparing His disciples for what awaited them. He revealed His genuineness and the truths about Him to His followers. He showed them that He was the fulfillment of God’s revelations found in the Scriptures—all over the Scriptures. The affirmations, proofs, and supports aren’t from one witness; it’s from Moses, the prophets, the Psalmists, the apostles, and a lot more—many of them were eyewitnesses, their words accurately backed by a great deal of experiences.

We are extremely blessed and privileged as His people; we are helped tremendously by our infinitely more than able God. We are very limited in our perception; we operate within the limits of temporal time, matter, and space. To navigate through life, we do better when we see things from “bird’s eye view,” and more. Praise God; we have God who sees way well than birds do. Hahaha. We don’t see beyond the natural; He does. We don’t see the future, but He does. We’re limited, but He isn’t. That’s why we trust Him. That’s why we trust His Son. They’re the real deal. Case closed. We believe.

Rest

Luke 23:56   (KJV)   56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

Rest is needed; it’s not negotiable; it’s a must. Even if our work has to do with the Kingdom of God, there comes a time when we need to pack-up, drop what we do and wait. luke-23-56-resRest is obedience to God. Some of us feel guilty when we’re not doing anything, but giving our bodies and mind a break is godly. God want us to work; He also wants us to rest. He sees wisdom in ceasing from our daily routine and having some kind of recharging. His invitation still stands: “Come to Me, those of you who are tired and weary and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” He commands us to rest; His arms are extended; it’s there we go and let go.

There are people who take extended rest periods; this is not right either; laziness is never condoned by God. But there are people who are just overworked; some of them are workaholics—they seem to really love and enjoy working; they seem to get energized when they work; some of them just work out of “necessity.” Truth be told, many work more hours than needed to provide for excesses and live up to the standard of success defined by society.

Yes, there are hardships in life, but many of them may be self-inflicted. There are those who work so hard to enjoy life, but they don’t really get to enjoy it as much because they spend so much time working. They’re missing out on way more important things in life. There is a time to stop, to unwind, to re-energize. There is a time to be repeatedly and regularly reminded of the pre-eminence of God and His faithfulness to us. He provides all our needs according to His riches in glory. He doesn’t need us to over-extend ourselves for Him to fulfill His promise. Yes, we have projects to finish, but there’s always another day; we don’t push it when we don’t need to. Yes, we have deadlines, but instead of violating our much needed “rest-recovery-recoup-refocus-dedicated to honoring God” day, we kick back, relax, and enjoy our day with the Lord.

Incredible Image

luke-20-24-incredible-imageLuke 20:24   (KJV)   24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.

This is the passage preceding the Lord Jesus’ often quoted response: “25…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” It’s interesting how He added a statement in His answer—one that doesn’t address the question, but it was very telling. But first, notice where He took His audience’s attention to: the image and superscription on the coin.

The penny bearing the image and inscription of Caesar belonged to Caesar and was given to Caesar. We bear God’s image. We were created in God’s image. Among the faithful, this is universally known; this is usually the emphasis in quoting this particular Scripture. And that’s an extremely awesome truth in itself. Warped and distorted visage as it may be because of sin, but being transformed and renewed day by day from glory to glory. That’s our predestination: the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Image and inscription—we know the image, what about the inscription. This is often a title. So, what’s ours as God’s children? Here’s just a few: chosen people, royal priesthood, holy nation, God’s special possession, redeemed, sanctified, justified, saved, holy, blood-bought, beloved, blessed, family of God, light of the world, salt of the earth, disciples, bond-servant, saints, faithful, bride of Christ…We get the point. More than our clothes, our shoes, our hairstyle, our make up, our degrees, medals, and trophies, we possess the most incredible image and most awesome descriptions and titles man can have.

As the coin bearing the image and inscription of Caesar was given back to Caesar, we who bear God’s image and inscription ought to give ourselves and all our wonderful titles, blessings, and benefits to Him as well. We offer God all of who we are and all of what we are, and yes, all we have.

Of Prayer, Persistence, and Justice

Luke 18:7   (KJV)   7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

Praise God; He is just and He loves His people. He listens to His children when they pray, and He responds to their prayers. He answers right away, and His answers vary. There are times when He says yes, right now; there are times when He says yes, wait; there are times luke-18-7-of-prayer-persistence-and-justice-2when He says yes, but you need to keep knocking; there are times when He says no, point blank; there are times when He says no, I’ll give you something better. Whatever His response is; we’re sure it’s the best, and it’s for our best.

Clearly, when it comes to justice, our precious Lord Jesus is very clear that it’s our Father’s desire that we’ll be vindicated against those who treat us unjustly. We may have many and different reasons why He designed it in such a way that we ought to pray. God sovereignly pours out innumerable blessings we don’t pray for; we’re not even aware about many of them. But there are some things we pray for; there are some things we pray for—persistently. Interestingly, God sees and values our persistence; God responds favorably when we don’t give up; He grants us justice, and He does it quickly.

This is easy to understand because our God—the One true God—is just; He can’t act inconsistent to that. Our Lord Jesus pointed out that even judges who don’t fear God take action as a response to a person who persistently bugs them. How much more Him? He assures us; He will avenge us. The condition: we cry day and night to Him. When we do; justice comes fast. Obviously, praying for justice is a godly thing to do. This is a call to us as believers. Our life is about faith. We live by faith; not by sight, or feeling, or situations. When He comes, He will be pleased to see His children’s life of faith. And one of faith-life’s greatest expressions is persistence in prayer, especially regarding justice. Yes, we are at times treated unjustly; yes, we don’t take vengeance, but yes, we pray for justice—persistently.

Godly Money

luke-16-9-godly-moneyLuke 16:9   (KJV)   And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

Some people say, “Money is the root of all evil,” but it’s a well-known truth among believers that that saying is inaccurate. The Bible’s rendition is, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Clearly there are many people who use money in very ungodly ways, but equally true is that there are very godly uses for them as well. In fact, our precious Lord Jesus encourages us to do that: use them extremely wisely; use them in a manner that they will yield eternal benefits.

Heaven—eternal life can never be bought, and that’s really good; not one of us can afford it. This doesn’t preclude our handling of finances from good stewardship and accountability; we’re going to answer for how wisely or unwisely we manage them. The tone of the passage seems very serious. Surface reading may suggest loss of eternal dwelling—heaven—as a result of failure to make friends through them. But this isn’t so. Our full dependence and surrender to Jesus as our Lord and Savior is the only basis whether or not we are welcomed into the eternal presence of our Father.

This is a call to believers. True believers use their hard-earned income for God and His Kingdom; doing so is a joy and wisdom for us. We know: one of their greatest uses is as instruments in building relationships. No, we don’t pay for friendship, but we need to spend for gas, food, phone, and a lot of other stuff for us to bond with others. Our intention to be a friend is sincere, at the same time, we deeply desire that all of our friends be saved. This is one of the ways finances matter eternally. Yes, we invest this often-seen-as-devil’s-instrument for heavenly purposes.

The Flock and the Kingdom

luke-12-32-the-flock-and-the-kingdomLuke 12:32   (KJV)   32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Little flock, Kingdom of God—the picture shows a striking opposite. We are so small; God’s Kingdom is so huge—so grand. But God saw it fit to give it to us. And He didn’t do it begrudgingly; He did it with loving delight. That’s the wonder of it all. How can an eternal, unchanging, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present God accommodate such as us? It’s purely because of His love and the generosity of His grace.

It’s not that we are nothing, no; it’s completely the opposite. Of all God’s creation, we are the crowning glory. Humbly, we recognize that we are the one of the most important entities, if not the most important entity of all God’s creation. He values us more than everything else. That’s the reason why we find assurance in His command for us not to fear. That’s based on the obvious reality of His care. He cares for His other creation—small as they are, as insignificant as they may seem; He cares for the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees. He cares for them so much that we see them sufficiently provided for. None of them seem to show any sign of worry.

Let me clarify: we are “big” compared to other creation, but we are infinitely “small” compared to God and His Kingdom—infinitesimal, that is.  This is not an offense to us. Of course, there are those who don’t like the idea of worshiping someone other than themselves, but we fully see the appropriateness, in fact, the wisdom in kneeling before Someone Who’s enormously mighty, Who is in control of all things, and Who cares for us so much more than we can ever imagine.

We have needs—true, but we’re assured of more than sufficient provision. He withheld not His Son—His greatest “Treasure” so that our greatest need is taken care of. Every other need we have is insignificantly little compared to that. It’s exceedingly evident: He freely gives us everything we need for life, godliness, and enjoyment…—His Kingdom for His flock. That’s why we don’t worry; we’re not troubled; we don’t fear.

Well Rested

Psalm 127:2   (KJV)   2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

How many people lack sleep because they’re trying their best to earn more so that they have more security for their future and their family’s future? We probably know not just some, but many. This ought to not be so. God wants us to have enough sleep. He wants us to rest. Our provision and prosperity comes from Him. He’s the One Who gives us the power to get wealth. The fruitfulness of our labor is ultimately ordered by Him.

psalm-127-2-well-rested

God wants us to have rest. Let me clarify: He doesn’t want us lazy, complacent, or mediocre; He wants us to live excellently, committed, devoted, loyal, diligent, and industrious, but He doesn’t want us killing ourselves with work. Those who do are doing more than God intends them to. He wants us to enjoy life. But some may say, “I enjoy my work;” that may be true, but God also loves His people; He loves His body; He loves His temple, and we are His temple. He’s a good God; He’s a good Father; He invites us to come to Him—all of us who are tired and are heavily burdened, and He gives us rest. Yes, of all the kinds of rest, our spiritual rest is of utmost importance, but His invitation does cover our entire being.

There is a time for everything, meaning: there’s a time to work, and a time to rest; there’s a time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. And enjoying it, we do, not just for a very short time between two or three jobs, but sufficient time to rest. We’re not consumed by worry and anxiety thinking about possibility of lack. No…The Lord is our Shepherd; we have everything we need. We work hard; we get enough sleep, enjoying time and fellowship with our heavenly Dad before we finally retire for the day. We wake up—with praises in our hearts, mind, and lips. And we start our day spending wonderful time of fellowship with Dad again. We work; we play; we pray; we retire—always with peace, knowing that as we faithfully take care of Dad’s gifts to us: eternal and temporal, our Dad sees to it that everything’s well with us.