“Firsts” to Believe

Romans 16:5   (KJV)   Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

We take our hats off to trailblazers, especially those who took the brunt of cynicism, skepticism, suspicion, criticisms, and persecution for being the first to believe the Gospel in their particular spheres of existence.

Romans 16.5 - Firsts to BelieveI remember how my brother was vehemently scolded by my Dad when he no longer wanted to participate in the repeated recitations of prayers we conducted every night, accusing him of being a traitor—turning his back from our dearly-long-held beliefs and traditions. My Dad forced him to do it—even lead the prayers. I remember seeing him recite those prayers with tears in his eyes, thinking to myself how “touched” he must have been as he led our family and the many visitors in our daily ritual. I wondered though because I’ve never seen anyone that moved before in going through those particular religious acts.

That example is very light compared to the life-threatening experiences others have for being the first believer in their family, tribe, or community. But I’m still grateful to my brother for being the first believer in our family. All of us in the family eventually prayed to receive. Of all the five guys among the siblings, one passed away, and three are now pastors—except him (ironic).

Thank You Lord for raising up people who were humble, bold, and wise enough to be the first to take the plunge of faith into faith—in You.


“Kings” and “Kingdoms”

2 Chronicles 34:33   (KJV)   33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God. And all his days they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.

King Josiah opted to live in obedience to the Lord. He did away with all the abominable ways his predecessors established. The people of his kingdom were also living according King Josiah Hears the Law II Chronicles 34:14-19to the sinful ways of their previous kings. He also influenced the people of his kingdom to follow God.

Most of the nations in the world are not in a kingdom system. Most nations are comprised of different people who have different spiritual persuasions and who subscribe to different sources as their authority. Leaders in these kinds of societies can’t dictate their constituents who to worship. But the truth remains: leaders have certain degrees of influence that others don’t. And leaders choose who they personally worship. Leaders can choose the path of righteousness.

We all are leaders one way or another. As for us believers, we opt to live our lives in complete surrender to the one true living God. We willingly submit to His Kingship. Although we’re citizens of our country, we’re first and foremost citizens of His Kingdom. We live in obedience to His will and His Words. We implore others to be a part. And we lead those who become a part to fully live the Kingdom life—with all its challenges, uniqueness, and joy. There’s no life better.

One True God

Deuteronomy 13:4  (KJV)   Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

God – the One true God – He alone is God. He is to be followed, revered, honored, obeyed, and served.

I write this very humbly and in no way do I desire to hurt anyone. I’m taking the liberty to write the truth that may hurt, but my prayer is that it will liberate instead. There is only One true God, and we ought to have no other gods but Him. We ought to never be led by anyone or anything into worshiping anyone or anything else as God. We ought to be very careful and very discerning. A person may seem to be very godly;  he or she may be very successful, powerful and influential; he or she may be someone we’ve learned so much from, owe so much from, love so much and respect so much, but if they lead us away from God, we ought to quickly turn away from their influence. Sometimes, it may call for us to separate from them. At times it may take the greater sacrifice of severing our relationships with them. But we’d rather pull away from them than pull away from God.

Our One and only true God, may we not fall into the deadly error of worshiping another god. – in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Triumph of Good

Psalm 12:5  (KJV)   For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

The context of chapter 12 seems to be the diminishing number and influence of the godly as well as the widespread influence and louder voice of the ungodly. The poor and the needy in this verse may refer to the godly who are now in poor standing and in a needy state because they’ve become the target of oppression, persecution and attacks. Evildoers now have the power – accepted, praised and are having their heyday, marching proudly with their vileness. They are punishing those who will oppose and stand in their way. They have forgotten that all the powers they’ve accumulated and achieved still stand matchless against the God they so arrogantly fight. God, in His perfect timing will arise and will defend, vindicate, and lift up those who remained faithfully His.

We see it everywhere; there’s no longer any regard for God in many sectors of our society. Believers who speak about God and their faith are quickly ridiculed, labelled as bigots, haters, and intolerant, and they are quickly silenced. Any attempt to share their faith is quickly described as “shoving in the throat,” – no matter how gently and lovingly it’s done, and any expressed disagreement to a popular public opinion is considered hate speech, discrimination or dangerous phobia. But hope for believers is never lost. An expansive and overpowering popularity of ungodliness never meant defeat for the cause of our Christ. God is in control and has never in any moment in time lost grip of that. He will arise, and we will see the day when everyone who has foolishly rose in battle against Him and His people will be quickly brought down.

Our sovereign, holy, and victorious God, we put our hope in You. May we not dread the millions of marching minions of Your already defeated enemy. Help us to remember that all the seeming triumphs of evildoers and its advocates are actually Your administration of judgment to them. Thank You Lord for the victories You’ve invited us to enjoy with You. In Jesus’ Name, amen.