Diligence and Assurance

Hebrews 6:11   (KJV)   11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Diligence plays a huge part in fully assuring our hope. This is specifically referring to work and labour of love for our spiritual family.

Hebrews 6.11 - Diligence and AssuranceThere may be times when we don’t really feel like loving. We want to be on the receiving end. Others have times of laziness. But our days are exciting exactly because we don’t allow our moods and circumstances to dictate how our days go.

In the process, we keep on growing; we keep on progressing in our Christian journey; we keep becoming more productive as God’s people; more people are blessed through us. We contribute in the Kingdom purposes and mission.

We believe in the supernatural, in the eternal, in the spiritual. We believe in heaven; we believe in God; we believe the return of our Lord Jesus. This results in us living full lives—lives truly blessed—recipients of, and channels of. Through us, more people are helped living out their fullness as well.

Died and Rose—for Us

Romans 4:25   (KJV)   25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Praise God; our precious Savior sacrificially died on the cross for our sins. Praise God; He didn’t stay dead and buried; He defeated grave, death, and hell; He rose from the dead so Romans 4.25 - Died and Rose--for Uswe may be reckoned as justified—just as if we haven’t sinned at all—made completely right before God.

I don’t even want to imagine what could have happened had He not incarnated, had He not lived a perfect life, had He not been willing to give His life for us, had He been unable to resurrect. We’re grateful He was a worthy, willing, and perfect sacrifice.

Our holy God lovingly provided a merciful yet just way out for us; our offences were placed upon our Lord; we need no longer be penalized and punished for them. Every need, every requirement for this hope and reality of eternal life has been met; we’re over-blessed; we’re overjoyed.

Self Realization

Isaiah 6:5   (KJV)   5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

The prophet Isaiah realized the sobering truth of His wretchedness and gave at least two reasons for His clear realization and humble admission. The first reason he gave was the uncleanness of his lips. The interpretations of which vary, but we can generalize it as Isaiah 6.5 - Realization of Real Selfuncleanness. This uncleanness wasn’t only in his personal sphere but even communal—the people around him were also unclean. The second reason he gave was him seeing the Lord. Seeing the Lord in His majesty and utter holiness has that kind of effect.

The holiest of us, left to ourselves, are unclean. The unholy in the presence of the Most Holy isn’t a good scenario unless it’s a process of cleansing and forgiveness. No matter how highly people esteem themselves to be, no matter how self-righteous, how much better they see themselves to be in comparison to others, their exaggerated view of themselves will embarrassingly shrink when presented with the picture of their true state and presented before the presence of the one and only true holy God.

It’s a good first step though to humbly admit our spiritual bankruptcy. It’s those who realize the poverty in their spirit who receive the kingdom of heaven. It’s good to see Who the answer to our need is. He Who is Holy lovingly, willingly, graciously, and abundantly imparts His holiness to those who reach out to Him in full dependence and surrender. We’re hopeful even when we see what’s devastatingly wrong with us, knowing that Someone can make it wonderfully right.

Beautiful People

Colossians 3:12   (KJV)   12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering

We’re different—unique in so many ways. We’re part of God’s elect; not everyone’s a part. We’re holy—made holy that is; not everyone is. Being made different; we’re also called to be different—in our thoughts, character, and in our actions.

Colossians 3.12 - Beautiful PeopleWe’ve received abundant mercy; we are merciful—compassionate; freely we have received, we freely give. People speak of love very easily; it’s sad that they also treat it very casually. There’s a lot of lip-service, but not a lot of reality. We’re kind; we need kindness more than ever. Others say we live in a cruel world; rudeness seems to be the trend. It’s easy to understand why there are so many people living in deep depression. They need help; they need hope; they need to see that not everyone’s out to get them; not everyone is a competition or an enemy; not everyone wants to put them down.

We are gratefully humble; we don’t need people’s approval or praise; we’re not insecure because we find our significance and worth in our Lord Jesus; we don’t find it necessary to jockey for position because position isn’t what makes us important. It’s a joy for us to consider others better than ourselves. We’re meek; we understand that people need tender, gentle, loving care. We’re surrounded by fragile—sensitive people; many are them are already broken. We can’t change everyone, but we can change ourselves—for the better—continuously—increasingly better. And through us, the world is and can still be a better place. It may take a long time for us to see the difference; it’s okay, we have enough patience for that, and we’re still continually growing in it. We’re different—set apart for God’s specific purpose; we love it.

From Mourning to Dancing

Psalm 30:5   (KJV)   5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

The God of love also gets angry.  But we can still be joyful about it because His anger is but for a moment—it doesn’t last for a long time. We’re willing to be under His discipline and/or punishment, rather under man’s punishment and/or vengeance.  God is inifintely Psalm 30.5 - Mourning Into Dancingmore merciful than us.  Our God is a merciful and gracious, and His favour towards us lasts for a lifetime;  I would even say, it lasts forever.

As believers, we’re not exempt from loneliness. We can still spend days and nights of sorrow.  It isn’t sinful to be sad.  Even our precious Lord Jesus experienced extremely deep grief in the Garden of Gethsemane—hours before His death.  But we also know: sadness too is momentary.  Joy awaits and dawns upon us.  We may weep at night, but joy characterizes the life of a believer.  Instead of a face of a downtrodden, we wear smiles on our lips.

Our God can, He is willing, and He does turn our mourning into dancing; He changes our garments of sadness with garments of gladness. Praise God!!!  As we experience pain and loneliness, we do so with hope for a joyful tomorrow.

In God is Our Hope

Psalm 39:7   (KJV)   And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

We are satisfied about today and we’re excited about our tomorrow. We have great expectations. We’re not as those who live without hope. In Jesus, we not only have hope, Psalm 39.7 - In God is Our Hopewe live in hope. This keeps us going and growing. We all need hope. Those who lose hope lose passion for life, even the very desire to live. Praise God, in Him is our hope.

God has proven Himself and His faithfulness many times over. He has given us great and precious promises and we know He won’t disappoint us. He has never and will never break one word of all His promises. That’s just Him; He’s naturally dependable. He’s truthful; He’s excellent in everything He does; His timing is impeccable. Who needs better anchor than that? Where can we find better reason for hope?

For sure, there are many uncertainties; things change; we don’t know much of the future. There are many threats to our future—especially our future as believers. Even our Lord warned us about growing evil and persecutions. But He also told us that the gates of hell won’t prevail against His church. What do we have to lose? Even the experience most feared—death, is a transition towards our most glorious change and existence.

 

Fire for the Lukewarm

Revelation 3:20   (KJV)   20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

It’s always gratifyingly comforting to know that our precious Lord Jesus wants to be constantly with us. He gave us His word: He will never leave or forsake us: He will be with us to the end of the age. People don’t always have the same level of appreciation for this. revelation-3-20-fire-for-the-lukewarmThere are those who don’t believe His existence; there are those who prefer Him not to exist; there are those who pursue morality, but they reject Christ.

Then there’s the church. In the church, we find those who still make wrong decisions and who pursue wrong priorities. Our best will still fall short. God will always be true and faithful; the church wants to be but isn’t always. There are those who lose their steam, their fire, their passion. Somehow, they get taken over by different interests, like material possessions, or even immoral desires.

Ungodliness belongs to the world, not the church. We fall; God knows and understands we will; He knows our frame; He knows our weaknesses. But He’s not pleased when we sit (stay) in the seat of the scornful. He’s particularly clear about this: He spews out the lukewarm. We don’t ever want to find ourselves in this dangerous state; we don’t want to face the Lord and realize that we’re wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Our eyes our set on true riches: the Pearl of Great Price. And our feet are set on the straight and narrow.

For those who humbly find themselves in this fearfully risky stage of lingering in wrong priority and desire, linger no more; there’s hope. Jesus, in His amazingly enduring patience and love, is knocking. It’s best to open the door, let Him come in, and let Him take His rightful place seated on your life’s throne. He will kindle the fire of your godly passion once again.

Dayspring from Heaven

Luke 1:78   (KJV)   78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

Because God, our heavenly Father loves us infinitely much and is immensely merciful to us, He brightens our days and lights our paths. Our precious Lord Jesus, the Dayspring from on high, the Morning Light came “to give light to them that sit in darkness and in luke-1-78-79-dayspring-from-heaventhe shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:79). This is one of the clear and vital meanings of Christmas or His incarnation.

We humbly admit the obvious: we are imperfect. We’re surrounded by ever-expanding and deepening darkness. There are unanswered questions and unexplored roads ahead. These seemingly daunting realities render many people fearfully paralyzed. Many are stuck or are sinking deeper in despair and desperate circumstances. But Christmas is a message of hope and God’s powerful yet lovingly gentle intervention.

Our Father, our Lord God Who has made heavens and earth by His great power extends His mighty and inviting arms to us. There, we find grace and mercy that’s able to cover the multitudes of our sins. There, darkness flees; there, death is powerless; there, troubles are calmed. We don’t fear treading on our future. We may not know what waits, but we take comfort in the truth that the Rising Sun—our Lord Jesus—lights our way and indeed brightens our day.

God’s Plans Fulfilled

revelation-10-7-gods-plans-fulfilled

Revelation 10:7   (KJV)   7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

All of God’s sovereign plans will be accomplished; there’s no force—human or demonic that can stop, derail, or delay what He has purposed. There are those who work contrary to God’s will and God’s plans; some, knowingly and deliberately; some, unknowingly and ignorantly. But whatever the nature is of any deterrence to what God declares, they will all fail. God’s plans will prevail. It will be a horrible time for His enemies; it will be glorious for us.

We look forward to that time; we look up and watch, when the curtains of the mysteries of God open, when we understand them, and when the things existing in our faith become visible. People can say whatever they want to say. Many people today think we’re deceived, that we believe in fairy tales, that we’re hurting others for leading them astray, that we’re propagating a lie, that we’re enemies of progress. It’s not always easy, but we patiently bear the burdens.

We will be vindicated. Just because there are more people and louder voices deriding us doesn’t mean we’re wrong; majority isn’t always right. We look like underdogs in this conflict, but we’re the underdogs who are guaranteed with victory. This assurance comes from Someone Who has seen the end from the beginning. Systems and ideologies come and go; kings and kingdoms rise and fall, history will continue to have expected and unexpected twists and turns, but all these lead to the fulfillment of God’s decrees. We often hear people say, “There’s nothing sure here on earth;” this is true if God isn’t in the equation. But God doesn’t change; His promises are true. What He says will happen will happen. This is the anchor of our hope; this is the solid rock we stand on. We’re right, and everyone—even our accusers will recognize this.

Blessed Nations

Isaiah 26:15 (KJV)

15 Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.

The greatness of a nation—any nation is from the Lord. The land, the beauty, the majesty, the culture, the people, the progress—everything good about us is from Him. We all have come a very long way from our humble beginnings. We humbly bow our hearts and thank Him. We honor HiGod Holding the Worldm; we glorify Him. Yes, there are those who turn away from God, but not us. Perish the thought. We may be few; it doesn’t matter; we remember the Lord our God. We acknowledge Him.

Nations have gone through and go through difficult challenges. Most of us are still here. Bless the Lord; He saves. And a person, a people, a nation trusting in Him will be vindicated. There are those who mock us, insult us, threaten us, attack us, but we have peace; that indescribable peace also comes from Him. Perfect peace comes from Him alone. It’s futile to trust in any imperfect human being to get us there. We pursue peace when it’s at all possible; we know it will come, but the ultimate peace we pursue will be realized only when the perfect, holy, righteous, powerful, just, loving Peron rules. We know of only One.

The life of the righteous, the true believers, despite all the struggles and challenges, despite unpopularity and ridicule, it’s really the best. In the middle of all unrest, we have rest; in the middle of impending chaos, we have peace; in the middle of possible world and cosmic destruction, we look forward to a new heaven and a new earth. We enjoy what we have right now. We don’t have everything, but we have everything we need. Again, He’s the Source. That’s the truth. To deny that is to live in a lie, deception, and delusion. We choose truth. That’s why blessed is a nation whose God is the LORD; it’s a blessing to move in truth.

We are blessed as a nation. We continue to acknowledge our Creator Who has endowed us with all our wonderful inalienable rights and blessings. To do that is to live in ever-increasing blessings. To forego of that state isn’t wise. We stand on what’s wise. If it all comes down to a very few of us—a remnant; there will be: us. We who are called by God’s Name humble ourselves; we call on Him; we seek His face and greater intimacy with Him; we pursue righteousness. He hears; He forgives; He heals—even the ills of a once godly nation.