Spheres of Christian Existence

Luke 2:39   (KJV)   39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

We as believers live in variety of spheres: there’s the personal, the familial, the ecclesiastical, and the vocational, professional, or social. The most important is our personal relationship with God. This is our utmost priority. Next responsibility we have is luke-2-39-spheres-of-christian-existenceour family. This doesn’t take precedence over our relationship with God, but we don’t neglect this. The next is our ministry. This doesn’t take priority over our relationship with God and our family, but we serve our spiritual family and serve in the church. Next is the world around us. This doesn’t take priority over our relationship with God, etc., but we reach out to them and serve them.

There have been quite a few times when I met different people who were very vocal about their spirituality and their knowledge about the Bible. But when I asked them about their spiritual families (their local churches in particular), they told me that they don’t attend church. I’ve also met people who told me that their family is their church. I remember reaching out to a pastor friend of mine because not only has he stopped living out his calling, he and his entire family even stopped attending church. When I encouraged him to keep “pursuing” his call, he told me that he is pastoring—he’s pastoring his family. I explained to him that yes, we do “pastor” our families—they’re our responsibilities—the familial sphere, but he still had to serve in the context of being a part of the body of Christ. Sad to say, he didn’t change. By the time of this writing, it breaks my heart that his children are still lost.

Different spheres, different responsibilities, proper priorities. God gives us time for all of them. We’re not accountable for what we don’t have. We have twenty four hours a day, seven days a week; we juggle through all our complex schedules and indispensable responsibilities. We don’t neglect any of them. With the right priorities, proper balance, and good time management, we enjoy life to the fullest, yet relaxed and rested. We’re not stressed; we love life; people enjoy our presence; God’s pleased. Thank You Lord for a wonderful life.

Absolute Victory

Revelation 17:14   (KJV)   14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Our precious Lord Jesus—He Who is humble, gentle, and meek; He Who is merciful, gracious, loving, and kind—is also the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He hasn’t lost a single battle and He never will. This is a sufficiently credible reason for us to live in full revelation-17-14-absolute-victoryassurance and absolute peace, and ought to have been a more than adequate reason for those who treat God as their enemy to lay down their “arms” in unconditional surrender.

We don’t fight a losing battle. Our efforts are productive. We know that we are marching with our King towards the ultimate victory of the Kingdom. We have lots of enemies now; they’re more numerous; they’re powerful; they’re strong; they’re noisier; they’re more vocal; they’re more widely accepted and supported. In the natural eyes, they’re winning. And it’s heart-breaking to see them seeing the world only within the parameters of the natural.

All these seeming advances and victories they’re enjoying are immaterial as to how this will all end. The result is the same: The kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of God and of His Christ. Reigning with Him are the called—the chosen—the faithful—us. Praise God. With this truth before us, we march on. Although we’re fully aware that the way is broad and the gate is wide that leads to destruction, and that there are many who go there, we’re equally aware that there are still those who are sincerely in search of the straight path and narrow gate that leads to life. We’re here for them. And although we know not everyone will listen; we want those who would to hear. Us, with them, with our beloved Jesus—the Lord of lords and the King of kings, altogether, we will sail towards our absolute triumph and eternal reign.

Song of Justice

Revelation 5:9   (KJV)   9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation

What has become almost a slogan to us and the local church I go to are these words: “There’s no life better than that of a believer.” At times others may wonder: how can that be true? Believers are objects of ridicule, rejection, attacks, torture, and even death. This is true for believers—whatever part of the world we find ourselves in. We don’t deny this; in revelation-5-9-song-of-justicefact, the more real the persecutions are, the more we see the comforting truth in that slogan. Despite all the sufferings unique to being God’s people, we still wonderfully enjoy a life of love, joy, peace, power, and freedom.

Who else enjoys that kind of reality? Where else do we find that? For many others, when they suffer, they don’t see life in a good light. But we believers still surprisingly do. Sheep among wolves and being enemies of the world where we’re operating isn’t a pretty picture seen from common eyes. We’re fully aware of that, but we know that the glory that awaits us is superbly and inestimably much greater than the sufferings we’re undergoing right now.

In the natural eyes, we look weird—even crazy. We love our enemies; we bless those who curse us; we pray for those who persecute us; we don’t rejoice in the misfortunes of those who attack us. It’s not that those of God are void of any sense of justice; we are. That’s why there’s singing in the presence of God for the worthiness of our Lord Jesus to break the seals and open the scroll. These things are associated with judgments. Why the singing? Praise God; we who unjustly suffer here on earth for being a part of His redeemed are spared from these horrendous judgments. This is the time of our much awaited vindication. In fact, this is the time when the meek, gentle-hearted martyrs will pray for vengeance—and that desire and action is welcomed.

We excitedly look forward to that day. Our precious Lord Jesus will be revealed in His awesome splendor and glory. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess—even His enemies—that our Lord is Lord. They have to; it will be very obvious. Judgments will be poured out, but not to the blood-bought saints. No, we won’t be suffering then: no more sorrow, tears, sickness, pain, death; we will be rejoicing.

Jesus’ Return

Revelation 1:7   (KJV)   7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Our beloved Lord Jesus is coming back. We’re absolutely sure about this because He Himself gave us His promise, and He’s completely dependable. He never ever lies; there has not failed one word of all His promises; all His promises are yes and amen. When He comes, our faith will be vindicated. Although others don’t believe that our dear Lord Jesus revelation-1-7-jesus-returnreally died and rose again bodily, we do. Our hope and faith are anchored on His resurrection. There were more than five hundred eyewitnesses of his resurrection; they saw Him ascend above the clouds; they heard the comforting declaration that in the same way He left, He will come again.

Our heart breaks for those who still don’t believe despite all the convincing evidences of His reality and power. Our Lord Jesus is alive and He’s alive forevermore. One day soon and very soon, the clouds will break open and He will return in great splendor and glory. I don’t know what amazing miracle He will perform, but every eye from all curves of the world will see Him. This isn’t impossible for Him Who created our incomprehensible universe. What a glorious day of rejoicing it will be, but not all will be delighted. For some, it will be a day of utter horror and deepest anguish.

We continue to pray for the lost to be saved: our love ones, relatives, friends and neighbors. Anyone can be saved. Whoever wills may come and drink freely from the Living Water. We pray that none will remain lost, although truth declares otherwise. If our hearts are broken because of this fact, I can’t imagine the pain in the heart of our Father—He Who loves us most. But we’re steadfast; we keep on fighting, for ourselves, and for others. When our Lord comes, I pray that we take with us most of the people within our sphere of influence—our personal “worlds.” We get it: the road is straight, the gate is narrow, there’s only one door, only few find it and enter in, but our loving God has done everything He needed to do and is continually moving through His gentle Holy Spirit to woo people to Him. We take great joy and encouragement in this. We joyfully move with Him.

Seed of Holiness

1 John 3:9   (KJV)   Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Our heart deeply yearns that we glorify our holy God in the way we live. What a great honor to be instruments of our Master’s praise. It’s a wonderful privilege showing people that there are real believers—people who truly follow Him. Our treasured relationship with Him goes beyond cerebral; it totally involves our hearts; it plainly shows through the 1-john-3-9-seed-of-holinessindisputable way we live. Our confident confession and our visible actions are in harmony with each other. God has made us righteous; we show it well.

Others say believers are total hypocrites; that’s quite understandable, but it doesn’t mean they’re right. Hypocrites show something different without an inch of inclination to change. True followers of the Lord Jesus aren’t perfect, but changes are happening progressively; we truly desire change, we passionately pursue change. We try our best getting rid of our sinful ways and anything that displeases our beloved Savior. If we show ourselves holy, it’s because God has made us holy and we want to be holy.

It’s our deep desire to have God’s seed in us growing and manifesting increasingly more. Personally, in my humble understanding of God’s Word, a true believer’s life and lifestyle is characterized with goodness and godliness; a sinful lifestyle and true Christianity is a contradiction. Yes, we’re not perfect; we still fail, sin, and fall, but we don’t make a habit and practice of it. It breaks our hearts when we do; we don’t glory in it. Our search isn’t on how to be better in sinning without being caught or exposed, rather, our journey is a continuous quest towards our Father’s greater pleasure. Positionally, He’s always pleased with us; praise God, He also gives us additional honor and privilege of pleasing Him practically.

Care for the Sheep

John 21:17  (KJV)   “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”

Those we love, we take care of.  It’s because of God’s great love for us that He takes great care of us; it’s because we sincerely love each other in the church that we naturally take good care of each other. We feed each other—both spiritually and physically. It’s because john-21-17-care-for-the-sheepwe fervently love the lost that we persistently reach out to them—that we willingly help them with their needs, especially their indispensable need for salvation. This is what our Lord Jesus repeatedly commissioned Peter to do as a responsibility that comes with his love for the Lord.

Our dear Lord Jesus loves us. He cares for us so much that He invites us all to cast all our often nerve-wrecking cares, worries, and concerns to Him. One of the interesting things He did with the apostles after His death and resurrection was to feed them and to eat with them. It’s almost allegorical—that’s what He did for three years: feed the apostles, especially with spiritual food.

He didn’t give up; it didn’t matter how many times the apostles failed to understand His teachings, how many times they forgot, how many times they failed; He just kept on caring for them; He just kept on feeding them. This is the pattern; we don’t get tired of teaching our brothers and sisters in Chrsit—repeatedly, continuously. Like physical food: we eat; we get hungry; we get weak; we eat again—the cycle continues.

Just because we’ve taught a certain truth to others doesn’t mean we expect them to go by the power of that one teaching without failing or falling until they meet the Lord. No; we clearly understand that they will get weak; we understand that properly caring for them is an invaluable task we’ll keep doing—without irritation, annoyance, or disappointment. We understand this because we too need and receive the same precious gracious, patient, persevering care. So yes, it’s a wonderful pleasure taking good care of others—again, and again.

The Father and the Son

John 14:9   (KJV)   Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

Because of His amazing love and intense desire to have a loving relationship with us, our great God revealed Himself in the best and most personal way so far; He did this by sending His beloved Son—our precious Lord Jesus. Through our dear Jesus, God—His john-14-9-the-father-and-the-sonwonderful being, His astonishing ways, and His awesome power is now understood inestimably more. Yes, there were and are other ways God reveals Himself. We who genuinely seek for truth, we see that incontrovertible proofs of God’s reality abound; they’re all around us.

The greatest and the clearest of all these undeniable evidences is our Lord Jesus. He is the exact and perfect representation of our Father—so close that seeing Jesus is seeing the Father. Of course, here lies many of the reasonable questions and dangerous misunderstandings, confusions, and even doubts and disbeliefs. But I humbly caution: our lack of understanding about the truth isn’t the same as non-existence of truth. And my earnest encouragement: our trivial differences ought to not trump our much needed love for each other.

Remember: it’s by our clear and unpretentious love for each other as His children that we are known by the unbelieving world as our Lord Jesus’ true disciples, not necessarily because of our uniformity in understanding all the great truths about our infinite God. Here’s my humble understanding about the relationship of our heavenly Father and His dear Son—our Lord Jesus. The Father and the Son are two different entities: the Father doesn’t transform into the Son; the Son doesn’t transform into the Father. The Father is a spirit, and the Son is the fullness of the Godhead bodily—that is, the Father lives in Him. The Father is in the Son, the Son is in the Father. Clearly, they’re two different entities, but it’s no problem seeing them as one.

Allow me just to echo and express a joyful and reverent praise: “Holy, Holy, Holy, LORD God Almighty—God in three ‘Persons’—blessed Trinity.”