The Nation’s Hope

Psalm 125:3   (KJV)   3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.

God’s supreme governance over the affairs of humanity or the entire creation is a source of the many encouragements and comforts we as believers have. We do have differences of choices when it comes to who shall lead a nation. The choice becomes hard when you have psalm-125-3-the-nations-hopeto choose between two godly candidates. But it becomes an easy decision when choosing between one that stands for more evil and one that stands for more good.

There comes a seeming threat when the majority favors the ungodly choice. That’s why we rejoice in God’s sovereignty. He makes the determination as to who to set up as the head of a nation. Another very reassuring reason to rejoice is the basis—at least one of them—as to who God chooses. He bases it on the people, more specifically, His people. When the land is identified more as of the righteous, God makes sure the wicked’s rod won’t hold sway.

He cares for the righteous—His people. He leads us not into temptation. He knows our frame; He remember that we are dust with much frailties. He’d rather not get us close to the mouths of roaring lions looking to devour us. That’s why we pray that we get our acts together. We as His people humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways—sincerely, truly. As He promises, He hears, forgives us, and heals our land.

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God’s Prerogative

Matthew 20:15   (KJV)   15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

God is sovereign, meaning, He is absolutely powerful, absolutely free, and is absolutely in control of all situations. He can do whatever He wants to do. Although we’re free to question Him—how he does things, why He does things; our questioning only helps matthew-20-15-divine-prerogativeperhaps in letting out our steam; but it doesn’t really hold ground because He knows best. And even when He reveals His motivations and actions to us, there’s really no guarantee that our finite minds understand.

God has full prerogative, authority, and right to do things His way. Praise God. He doesn’t need to consult anyone or ask permission from anyone. He owns everything; He does whatever He wants to do with His possessions. That’s comforting because contributions from us won’t help perfect what’s already perfect; we can’t improve on Him. Yet, you know what’s interesting? If we would humbly admit: we have questioned God so many times—directly and/or indirectly.

There are many situations when we would have done things very differently. Would we really forgive others 70 x 7? Would we really love our enemies? Would we really turn our other cheek—not for another kiss but another slap? Would we really not exact vengeance? Would we really rather serve than be served?—Most probably not. Isn’t it true that even now when we already know our wise God’s instructions for best and most blessed living, we still find ourselves many times wanting to do the opposite?

Thank You Lord for doing what you do. There’s no other way. Everything you do stems from your love, grace, kindness, goodness, mercy, justice, patience, wisdom, and beauty—always the best, from the Best, for our best. We prefer no other way.

Have Faith

Matthew 14:31   (KJV)   31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

It’s our sincere prayer and deep desire for us to be men and women of faith—not just any faith, but a big, strong faith. That’s the kind of faith we as God’s growing children ought to have. A mustard seed-sized kind of faith is enough, just not any smaller. A mustard seed-matthew-14-31-have-faithsized faith in our Lord is enough to move mountains. We live by faith, not by sight, not in doubt. It doesn’t matter how bad situations are, we know that we know: our God handles them with no problem.

That’s it, for God no situation is a problem situation; situations are only problems to us—the limited us. But our trust is in the Lord. He created the entire universe. That’s why it’s easy for us to believe He can part the mighty seas; He can bring the dead back from the grave; He can heal the sick; He can walk on water; He can deliver us from any and every bondage; He can save us from and through any situation.

Doubt is a natural result of no faith or little faith. It indirectly magnifies the problem and assaults God’s ability. It is doubt in God Himself. But why doubt the Almighty, All-wise and All-present? God can make us walk on water; He can make us fly above the most trying and most adverse of situations. He can make us overcome and rise above whatever problem or difficulty we’re facing even now. We don’t doubt Him. There’s no need to look at the bigness of our problems because we’re focused on the bigness of our God.  Is there really anything, any situation, any enemy, any hardship, any trouble that God is unable to safely carry us through? We all know the answer. That’s why despite all the scorching heat of trials coming from unbelieving people and fallen world, despite the winds and waves brought by powerful storms of life, we live in untouchable and immovable inner peace.

Hidden from the “Wise”

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Matthew 11:25   (KJV)   25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

The ways of Lord surprise us many times. How can we be thankful when people don’t understand, when people don’t believe? Why would God hide indispensable truths to some; isn’t it best if everyone believes? If it was up to us, we would rather have everyone convinced as we are. But our Lord knows the futility of feeding pearls to swine, and He warns of the worse condition of those who understand and still obstinately refuse to believe.

The world considers many of the unbelieving world as wise; sadly, many of the intellectually gifted are blinded by the same gift. Many of them have bloated minds but malnourished hearts.  We pray for them so they would see that even in their wisest state, their wisdom still fails pathetically short when compared to God’s wisdom. Remember, the highest heights of our wisdom only touch the lowest lows of God’s foolishness.

God’s inscrutable and often unpredictable approaches to situations result in our grateful praises to Him. Repeatedly, He surprises us with ways and strategies that cause us to be even more awed when we see how successfully and wonderfully things turn out. And as always, as difficult as they may be to understand in the beginning, God always does things for His children’s best. Even in the area of understanding and wisdom, what others fail to see, we see; when others disbelieve, we believe; when others can’t see convincing proofs, we see enough and we’re convinced. We see black and white as black and white; we also see gray as gray. We have God’s essential revelations covered, and we graciously agree to disagree in areas where we as brothers and sisters differ. God has deep secrets, but we are humbly satisfied with life-changing and life-guiding truths that He graciously shares to us.

Conscientious Choices

Matthew 1:25   25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Joseph wasn’t instructed not to have any sexual relations with Mary after he took her as his wife. He had all the spiritual and legal freedom to “touch” her without violating anything. By his own volition, he did not. His act factored in affirming a major prophecy mark-6-3-conscientious-choicesabout a virgin being with child, a prophecy which could be interpreted in many different ways. And it was not an act that he needed to “sacrifice” for a day; he patiently held off for nine months or so.

There’s no indication of any doubt or mistrust left in Joseph. After an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and shared to him very pertinent information regarding the pregnancy and the Child, his conviction was solid. He trusted her, so the reason for him holding off was not in any way negative at all. The Word is silent about it; all we could do is surmise, but whatever his reasons were, it definitely looked more positively and suitably in relation to the prophecy.

True, he didn’t hold off from any sexual relationship with Mary forever. Nine months is a long time, but we know it wasn’t forever. True, Mary had other children; Jesus had brothers and sisters: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him” (Mark 6:3). Clearly, Joseph and Mary engaged in procreative activities after the birth of their first born.  Our precious Lord Jesus’ birth alone was of a miraculous kind; the rest of them were natural, biological birth, but God’s Word remained true in all of Joseph’s actions and turn of events.

Our sensitivity to situation and our conscientiousness has a big role in living wisely and more efficiently for God and in His Kingdom. There are good choices and bad choices; we choose the good. There are good choices, better choices, and best choices; we choose the best. We care for the welfare of our King and His Kingdom. Praise God for His Word and Holy Spirit Who guides us in navigating through the often complex twists and turns in our world.

Conquered Thoughts

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2 Corinthians 10:5   (KJV)   Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Even in the church, there’s always an ongoing threat of contra-biblical teachers and teachings. There are good-intentioned people who are very opinionated too. There are those who aren’t aware of their biases. They end up with adulterated beliefs that they try to convince other people with. Instead of leading others to a stronger, deeper, and closer relationship with the Lord, their doctrines and practice become sacrilegious.

With love and care, with wisdom, gentleness, and boldness, with restoration as our goal, we show them their errors. Our correction isn’t based on our own opinions; God’s Word is our authoritative basis. The most important and cardinal teachings are laid out plainly and clearly in it; there’s no confusion about them. There, we cast down and take captive erroneous positions and lead them to a place of surrender to the Truth.

There’s no compromise as to this. We’ve been given effective spiritual weapons. They are mighty; they do what they’re supposed to do. God’s Words themselves will accomplish the purposes for which they are sent—not one word will fall to the ground wasted. We take our weapons and use them. Love doesn’t stop us from correcting, rebuking, reproving, and disciplining, it urges us. True love speaks truth, even when it hurts. We who love God also welcome the truth, even when it hurts. Missing the Truth is more serious than many people reckon. Jesus is the Truth: we love Jesus; we love the truth; we prefer Him over everything and anything that goes against Him, no matter how wise-sounding or spiritual-appearing they are. We pursue the truly sacred, not just the sacred looking, and we have the assurance of God’s smile upon us because our basis is His revealed will.

Victory!

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1 Corinthians 15:57   (KJV)   57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The honor and glory for our victorious lives as believers belong to God. He’s the reason and the One Who gives us victory. He gives us victory over forces and enemies no one else has any effective weapon against: sin and death. This victory is generously bestowed and shared to us through our victorious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He defeated sin, death, and the grave: living a perfect life, dying a sacrificial death, and rising again on the third day.

We as His people live in victory. That’s why we are more than conquerors—not through our own power but through the power of the Holy Spirit—the power that gloriously raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead—the power that was actively involved in the creation of the entire universe—the awesome power continually residing inside of us. Left to ourselves, we’re pathetically powerless against the tandem forces of sin and death, but with God, we triumphantly rise above both.

That’s why we have transformed lives; we’re new creations; old stinking things have passed away, all things have become beautifully new. There are obvious changes in our beliefs, our love, and our choices. There is no question that we know our Father, that we have surrendered to our Lord Jesus, and that the Holy Spirit is working in us. From glory to glory, we claim one victory after another— journeying progressively on to the very image of our precious lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have no shame; we have no fear; we’re gratefully and humbly sure about our saving relationship with Him, and we excitedly wait for the Lord’s coming and our ultimate victory over death—our bodily resurrection.

Praise to You Lord—our victorious Lord and King! Maranatha.