No Fear of Bad News

Psalm 112:7   (KJV)   7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

Bad news doesn’t scare believers. Our hearts and sights are set not on all the evil things going on around us; they’re steadily fixed on the Lord. Situations may be scary in the Psalm 112.7 - No Fear of Bad Newsnatural, but we always trust in our absolutely trustworthy God and Father. He’s always much bigger than our biggest problems and worst situations.

We don’t deny the existence of evil tidings. Bad things abound. They surround us. We live in an ever-darkening world that can’t stand what we stand for. There are enemies who don’t take it sitting down. They want to continue doing evil, and they won’t rest until they utterly get rid of the godly.

We live in peace. Goliaths of life are big, but God is bigger. We don’t deny evil, we face them head-on. We don’t take them lightly; evil and sin are serious matters. We don’t play around with them; to do so is to court disaster. No. We deal with them decisively and uncompromisingly. We don’t give in to them; we don’t surrender to them. We may be in the minority, but fewer doesn’t always mean weaker. We’re for God, thus, He’s for us; and “…If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

His Name, Our Unity

John 17:11   (KJV)   11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

The Father has given His wonderful Name to the Son. It’s His very same Name that keeps or protects us. And one of the reasons His Name is keeping us is the oneness of His John 17.11 - His Name, Our Unitypeople—the church. The kind of oneness or unity he desires for us is that which is very intimate—as close as the oneness of the Father and the Son.

The unity of the church is very important to our Lord Jesus. It’s something I personally treasure, pray for, and pursue. Churches, preachers, and teachers talk about this, support and uphold this truth. But many of the actions I see seem to be very different.

An attack against the unity of the church is an attack against the Name of the Father. Our Father loves the Son, the Son loves His church—it’s His body. The Lord told us He will destroy those who destroy His temple. That’s completely understandable; we take that seriously. We pray that others humble themselves and honor the Name that protects them. As for us, we’re committed to it. We may not be as numerous as the needed voices, but we’re not silent.

Father, In Jesus’ Name

John 16:23   (KJV)   23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

A day was prophesied and that day is now that we pray directly to the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus. When we, do God grants our prayers. The veil between us and God has been torn apart. We now boldly come before the throne of God. We do so not John 16.23 - Father, In Jesus' Namebecause of our own righteousness or accomplishment; it’s because of our Lord Jesus. Because of Him, there no longer remains anything that separates us from the Father.

We maintain a healthy balance of sincere humility and lion-like boldness. We’re not deserving of being in the presence of the greatest and perfectly holy Being; we can’t help but approach His awesome presence with utter lowliness of heart. At the same time, we don’t cower away, knowing that we have an advocate to our Father. He is worthy.  It’s because of Him and in His Name that we have access to our heavenly Father.

In the lighter side of things, some people ask, “Do we pray to the Father, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?”. As expected, answers vary. Here’s one passage telling us to pray directly to the Father—in Jesus’ Name. Of course, this is not the only Scripture though that addresses the issue. For now, we just pray the best we know how, and it’s been an awesome experience so far.

Of Tolerance and Love

John 4:9   (KJV)   9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

We have our own uniqueness as believers. There are things we do very differently: unexpected actions; uncommon ways. We love everyone, care for everyone, and desire John 4.9 - Of Tolerance and Loveeveryone to be saved. We’re not called to just tolerate; we’re called to love everyone.

A discriminating Christian is a contradiction. Looking down on others for so many reasons is the way of the world—even of the most ardent activists against discrimination. It seems like the prevalent attitude is: “Don’t discriminate against us, but we’ll discriminate against anyone who disagrees with us.” Not so with believers.

We love everyone: men, women, young, old, brown, yellow, black, white, rich, poor, theists, atheists, Republicans, Democrats, believers, unbelievers, and the differences go on—ad infinitum. Not everyone shares the same conviction. There are those who overtly and proudly wear their badge of discrimination. Then there are those who zealously march for tolerance while having no problem zealously silencing and violently attacking those who share a different view.

As God’s very own unique people, we are hated, but even then, our call doesn’t change: we love everyone—even those who hate us, even our enemies. We are surprising to many people. It doesn’t matter how much others try to paint a very dark picture of us, we just keep on shining. And the darker things get, our lights just shine more brightly.

When Everyone Believes

Isaiah 26:9   (KJV)   With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

For some, the only time they’ll learn what’s right is when the Lord finally returns to judge. For us, the only thing left to do is to wait for that time. We long for the Lord’s Isaiah 26.9 - When Everyone Believesreturn. For us, it will be glorious beyond description. For some, it will be a horrible awakening.

We desire doing our best in reaching the lost and sharing to them about the Lord so that they will experience the light of the glorious Gospel of the Kingdom—the Gospel of Salvation. There are some who respond wisely, but there are those who see and treat every word we speak and every approach we make as something offensive. Any additional effort on our part seems to just push them away even farther.

There are those who just don’t want to believe in God. Some go even to the extremes of not believing His existence; others just don’t want to trust in Him. They don’t believe what He says in His Word, that He’s the hope for our salvation. They don’t even want to accept the fact that they need salvation. That’s why they don’t like God, or Christians. We are the light that exposes their true status.

Everything though will come to light. When the Lord returns, they will know—albeit too late. As for us, we continue to yearn for Him. We meet Him through His Word and His Spirit. He lives in us, and we in Him. We yearn for His appearing, and one of these days, we will see Him face to face.

Pilgrim’s Home

Hebrews 11:13   (KJV)   13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

We don’t forget: we are strangers and pilgrims here on the earth. We’ve received innumerable, unique, and wonderful blessings from our heavenly Father for being Hebrews 11.13 - Pilgrims' Homebelievers. But there are still unimaginably more and greater blessings awaiting us.

So if we’re not a part of the 1% of the richest and most famous? So what if we don’t live in mansions and palaces? There are those of us, like me, who don’t even own our homes; we’re “just” renters. These things don’t sadden us.

We’re just pilgrims passing through the here and now. Our eyes are set on the glorious place we can truly and gratefully (thanks to our Dad) call our own. We don’t get carried away trying to invest so much on earthly temporal treasures and possessions. We have absolutely glorious and blissful heavenly rooms or mansions and existence prepared personally by our precious Lord and Savior waiting for us. So we pass on, with no thought or desire of getting stuck to these earthly allurements. We “…press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:14).

Restoration and Vindication

Micah 7:9   (KJV)   I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.

We’re willing to submit ourselves to our heavenly Father’s discipline. Yes, we still sin. To say we no longer do makes liars out of us. Yes, we can still grieve the Holy Spirit. Yes, God Micah 7.9 - Restoration and Vindicationstill doesn’t like sin. Yes, God still doesn’t like us sinning. And yes, He still disciplines His children.

But we don’t beat ourselves on the head when we fall. It’s good that we don’t feel good about it when we do things that displease Him Who we want to please the most. Conviction is good. The worst thing is to feel easy, comfortable, and even okay about sinning. But when we offend our heavenly Dad, we don’t cower away and pull away from Him. We fall, but we rise; we don’t stay down—that’s what the righteous do.

We know that our heavenly Father is full of love and invites us to boldly come to His throne of grace so we can receive grace and mercy when we need it. He’s our Shepherd Who restores the souls of the contrite in heart. We don’t think about God no longer wanting to do anything for us just because we fail Him. True, we undergo the process of discipline, but even as He disciplines us, our Lord Jesus is also interceding for us. And in His own timing, He brings us forth to the light, and we see Him vindicate us against those who attack us, put us down, embarrass us, and mock us and our Father.