When God is Revealed

Revelation 15:4   (KJV)   4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

Revelation 15.4 - When God is RevealedWhen everything is revealed, everyone will clearly see how just and perfect God’s ways are. We don’t question God. We have the ability to but not the position to. He is so much bigger than us; His thoughts and ways are way much higher—infinitely—much higher than our ways and thoughts.

Others have a tendency to question Him especially when bad things happen to them. Many times, people can become so arrogant in the way they treat a very loving and powerful Creator. I’m happy the Lord doesn’t always put us in our place quickly. He gives us more than enough time to snap out of our rebellious ignorance and to come to our senses. Some persist in their defiance.

But in God’s perfect timing, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him as Lord. He will be revealed for Who He truly is—in His greatness, in His glory, in His splendor, in His majesty, in His holiness.  What a scene that will be. Believers and unbelievers alike will “stand” in awe—one in perfect joy, one in utter regret. All accusations hurled against God will vanish at the sight of eternal reality.

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Let Us Fear?

Hebrews 4:1   (KJV)   4 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

There are healthy fears, and this is one of them. This is a concluding statement after a warning about hardening of hearts, turning away from God, and failing to enter God’s rest. Praise God; the promise of entering into His rest still stands. However, the Hebrews 4.1 - Let us Fearpossibility of coming short of entering that rest also exists.

God is still so graciously offering His rest to us. How we believers interpret the meaning of coming short of it—failing to enter that rest—may differ, but the seriousness and gravity of the admonition ought to neither be overlooked nor undermined. The blessing offered is very great, it’s just befitting that we take careful and sure steps in our pilgrimage: to have good, right, and godly attitude in all this.

John the Beloved wrote, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18); the writer of Hebrews tells us, “Let us therefore fear…” They may seem contradictory, but they are complementary. My humble take: Perfect love casts out fear, except fear of God. We can elaborate and expand on that proposition ad infinitum, but the Scripture is very clear and explicit. To discard one is to err.

Warning!!!

Hebrews 3:12   (KJV)   12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

We as believers—those of us who are a part of God’s family—need to pay sincere and serious attention, and need to be very careful. Not doing so results to the terrible condition of having “an evil heart of unbelief”—hearts that become hardened through Hebrews 3.12 - Warning!!!continuous conscious decisions and actions of disobedience and rebellion—which inevitably leads to departure from the living God.

This Scripture is a point of contention among believers despite the clarity of the statement. But instead of adding to an already excessive arguments and counter-arguments from both sides of interpretation, I choose to just do what the Scripture directs us to do—to heed the encouragement and warning.

We want to be careful and not careless. We have an internal enemy—the flesh, and we have external enemies—the world and the devil. They want to creep in and devour us completely. We’d rather live as more than conquerors than live as the conquered. We want to have good, believing hearts instead of evil, unbelieving, doubtful, confused, hardened, and calloused hearts.  We want to abide in God instead of departing from Him. We strive to fight the good fight, to run our race well, and to keep the faith.

On Questioning God

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Job 38:4   (KJV)   4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

The Lord invites us to reason with Him; that’s how gracious, loving and understanding He is. But we do always in love and reverence—never in pride, doubt, and arrogance. There are many things we don’t understand and we will never understand. The vast ocean of God’s knowledge won’t ever fit the tiny cup of minds. God also has withheld some info from us—those secrets belong to God.

It saddens me seeing how many people doubt God’s existence or accuse God of wrongdoing; just because there are things we don’t comprehend about Him and about His ways. But really, how can we question Him when we’re surrounded by so many things we can’t explain—things that show God’s greatness, splendor, and majesty. Humble hearts seek their Maker, and it’s natural for them to bow before Someone so great.

Until now, it doesn’t matter what kind of explanation unbelievers come up with to question God’s existence, they haven’t come up with an answer to something as plain and simple as the origin or beginning of the universe. It’s only very recently that they came up with an admission that the universe indeed had a beginning. This is a truth believers had known for eons. We pray for those who still wouldn’t humbly accept that their intelligence and brilliance is sheer folly when they take positions against the One Who knows all things.

Suffering Saints

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Mark 6:27   (KJV)   “And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison”

How many of our brothers and sisters throughout history have suffered because of their commitment to Christ? The mental torture of knowing you’re about to be killed, the physical pain–these combine together in horrible persecutions of the faithful. There are those of us who have it so comfortably in living out our faith, but this doesn’t diminish the truth that many of our fellow believers don’t have it so easy. They are under attack.

Day after day, Christians are under a tremendous amount of terrifying threats and situations in so many parts of the world. People who know not God the way we do ask, “Where is God in all this? How can He allow His people to undergo such suffering? Why doesn’t He rescue them everytime they’re in trouble?” Those questions are understandable, especially when born out genuine concern. But there are of course people we continue to pray for because they ask those questions out of spite for God who many of them claim they don’t believe anyway.

But those questions rise from more need of knowledge and understanding about our God. He’s a very good Father to His children, a very good Master to His servants. There’s no question about His rescuing power; He’s done it so many times–many of them in absolutely amazing miraculous ways. He can. But God never promised us a suffering-free life. The opposite is true: with all His blessings, rewards, grace, aid, and mercy, He declared that suffering is a part of Christian experience. And unless He comes, we will still experience physical death. The righteous suffers, the wicked prospers–this is a fact of life. But God’s ways can’t be contained in a box. There are also righteous people who prosper and wicked people who suffer the consequences of their wickedness. The sense in all this is found in the right perspective–not the earthly temporary sphere, but the spiritual eternal reality.

We don’t run after it, but suffering for our Lord is a joyful honor for us, and death is sweet; it’s a blessed experience–even in the Lord’s sight. Our suffering results in glory that far outweighs our suffering; our death is a transition from the imperfect, trouble-riddled temporal world, to the perfect problem-free eternal life. As for the pain involved; I pray that when/or if it happens, our sights and thoughts will be captured by the glory of the Lord as we see Him standing at the right hand of the Father, preparing to usher us into out eternal home.

Go in Peace

John 20:21   (KJV)   21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

One of man’s greatest pursuits is peace, and peace is one of the greatest gifts from our precious Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Sadly, it’s something the world does not have. It’s available, bJohn 20.21 - Go in Peaceut many haven’t yet availed of it. It’s so close, and yet so far. Wherever we look, we see hostilities, arguments, fights, and wars. Wherever we go, there are huge potentials for trouble, even harm. We no longer feel safe even just strolling down our neighborhood streets. But we don’t live in a bubble; we don’t have to; our peace comes from our Savior’s decree. His Words matter; He spoke all of creation into existence.

Our peace is untouchable, but we aren’t hid away from the world. We are sent out to a very troubled world. God’s people are targets of spite, persecution, and even death. We are agents of peace. People can experience and enjoy peace with God and the peace of God—the inner peace that God alone gives. It’s what keeps us calm and unafraid in the midst of most horrifying storms. It’s paramount that everyone hears and learns about this. Not everyone will welcome us and our message, but there are hearts that sincerely search and cry out for this; each one who shares in this experience is a sufficient reason for us to face all necessary risks and dangers.

Even the most troubling experience for our Lord’s disciples turned into one that’s gloriously life-changing. Jesus Who was horribly tortured, crucified, murdered, and buried, rose on the third day and showed Himself alive to His followers. It was a fast-paced transition from sadness, to fear, to peace; it was a sudden change from unbelief, to doubt, to faith. But it was a phenomenon that made our Lord’s declaration of peace more easily received. It had more than sufficient evidences to be found real. With a worldwide mission, and personal struggles, peace is a real help. We’ll have occasions of sadness; we’ll have surprises; we’ll have powerful forces attacking us, but in and through all this, we continue our journey with peace, joy, and love.

There Will be Believers

Acts 17:32-34  (KJV)   32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Paul preached. There were three distinct reactions. 1. Some mocked. 2. Others wanted to check it out further. 3. Some believed. Those who believed took the initiative of joining Paul and other believers. These believers included both men and women.

People are different. Their hearts are are different, their mindset are different, their decisions are different. It will be so cool if everyone believes every time we preach – way cool. But In as much as we desire everyone to believe the Gospel and be saved, we can expect that this will not be so. We can categorize people’s reactions the same way Paul’s audiences reacted to him. Some will be hostile; some will be half convinced; some will believe. It’s interesting to note that the results at times surprise us. Those who we thought will be angry, in some “mysterious” ways, very willingly surrender their lives to Christ. Those we thought are perfectly ripe for harvest suddenly display surprising outbursts of extreme disapproval to the Gospel message. What’s beautiful about spreading the Good News though is that we can have the right result every time. I’m not referring to the responses – that will always be the same until preaching is no longer needed; I’m referring to the preaching itself. Whether we preach or not is not dependent upon others. We can preach whether they accept or abhor the Message. Whether we succeed to preach or not is totally dependent upon us. It’s our choice. So, preach away, knowing that there will be believers. By the way, for those of us who’ve been looking for the “magic bullet” of growing a church, this is a very effective start: preach. Again, there will be believers.

Dear Lord of the Harvest, Our Message, thank You that our faithfulness in sharing or preaching the Good News is not determined by other people. We pray for love, truthfulness, wisdom, gentleness, and boldness as we go out and preach Your Gospel. Thank you Lord because we can join you in the joy of the harvest.